Ne'emtalla Abi-Nasr, a Free Patriotic Movement acolyte of Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, declared yesterday to the Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5): "ONLY 100 applications so far have been submitted by Lebanese expats and emigrés to recover their Lebanese citizenship, and the reason for this (still according to Abi-Nasr) is the incompetence of [Lebanese] diplomatic missions and consulates abroad.
Exactly. That is the point I have been making for years. See my earlier postings on the subject:
1- Fellow Lebanese Expats: 4 reasons not to invest in Lebanon, 29-December-2016
2- Aoun, Bassil and the Expats: Make Lebanon "Normal" first, 06-December-2016
3- Lebanese expats: Gebran Bassil's Kafkaesque Bureaucracy will kill you before you re-claim your so-called identity, 20-Sept-2016.
Those expats and emigrés targeted by Gebran Bassil are of two categories:
1- Old emigration: Young and not so young people who are themselves descendants of earlier emigration dating back to the 19th century, early 20th century. These are, for all practical purposes, no longer Lebanese culturally. They are Brazilians, Americans, Argentinians, Canadians.... and any residual Lebanon in them consists of kebbé, tabboulé, maybe attending church in a bunch of languages (arabic, syriac, greek...etc.) they do not understand, and a smattering of Lebanese dialect words they heard from their grandparents and parents. These people are the least likely to want the Lebanese citizenship. Some of them might do it as a experiential nostalgic affiliation, but not for moving back or investing in the old country. They have other and better things to do.
2- Recent emigration: Those who themselves left Lebanon beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, then the largest waves after the 1975 war that has yet to conclude. These people left under atrocious conditions of war, massacres, and general mayhem in which the militias of their side and the other side committed war crimes of all kinds, only to grant themselves amnesty and return to the power they share today in the Lebanese government. The emigrés and expats that Gebran Bassil wants back in Lebanon know very well that most of the names in political leadership positions today are the same names, or names associated with, the gangsters, criminal, warlords and collaborators with foreign Palestinian, Syrian and Israeli occupations that drove the emigrés out of the country in disgust, fear, and loathing. They may still have families and relatives in Lebanon; they may even still own a house somewhere in the cities or villages; and they may still nurture some nostalgic images of Lebanon of the good old days. But they also see in the media that this latest "convulsion" of decent governance that Lebanon's politicians suddenly discovered after decades of abusing their people is not to be trusted and will not last long, given that the political culture is deeply decayed and thus immune to real reform, that the structure of government is still archaic and built on sectarian division of corrupt power, and that the Middle East that surrounds Lebanon is in the throes of major political, social, and religious upheavals that will not leave Lebanon alone. These emigrés might seek Lebanese citizenship for their children as an icon of their former affiliation, assuming that their present countries allow them to be dual citizens (some countries do allow dual citizenships, some don't). In other words, they may lose their German or British citizenship by acquiring the Lebanese one.
Now, Abi-Nasr blames the incompetence of Lebanese embassies and consulates abroad, but shouldn't his fellow FPMer Gebran Bassil, who is the boss overseeing these embassies and consulates, do something about it? Why hasn't he already? Bassil has been traveling east and west, north and south, begging the Lebanese expats to acquire Lebanese citizenship and invest in Lebanon, while knowing that the first obstacle to any of this is the rotten bureaucracy that is pestilential in Lebanon's domestic administrations (moukhtars, registries of civil status, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior...) and their diplomatic missions abroad that are staffed by incompetent mercenary political appointees many of whom can't even speak the language of the country where they serve. Believe me, I recently went through a Kafkaesque ordeal choreographed by a so-called "consul" at the Lebanese New York Consulate who couldn't speak or write English, and whose attitude with expats is condescending and humiliating. The ordeal lasted more than a year just to register in Lebanon a divorce that was concluded in the 1990s (Lebanese expats: Gebran Bassil's Kafkaesque Bureaucracy will kill you before you re-claim your so-called identity, 20-Sept-2016).
So, take the truth from the mouth of babes. Ne'emtalla Abi-Nasr, who is very close to Foreign
Minister Gebran Bassil, knows the reality and has openly stated it. The importance of this is that Lebanon's politicians know they are rotten and their administrations are rotten, but they want YOUR MONEY (invest, they tell you) and YOUR NUMBERS (reclaim your citizenship, they tell you), and so they lie to you and make outlandish promises. They couldn't care less about you.
100 applications for close to 15 million people of Lebanese descent across the globe? Pretty pathetic. So let me extend my thanks.
PLEASE KEEP THE PRESSURE.
DO NOT LISTEN TO THE LIES.
FORCE BASSIL AND HIS ACOLYTES TO FIRST FIX THE COUNTRY, STOP THE ABUSES AND THE CORRUPTION, CLEAN UP THE ENVIRONMENT, ESTABLISH LAW AND ORDER, DISMANTLE ALL THE FOREIGN MILITIAS WITH WHICH THEY ARE AFFILIATED....
THEN, AND ONLY THEN, WILL LEBANON BE SUITABLE FOR ITS PEOPLE FIRST, THEN FOR ANY EXPAT OR EMIGRE WHO WISHES TO COME BACK AND VISIT.
Please read my earlier posts to get more details about this big scam of giving you back your Lebanese citizenship.