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  • Women gesture and carry candles as they march during ongoing anti-government protests in Beirut, Lebanon November 6, 2019.

    Women gesture and carry candles as they march during ongoing anti-government protests in Beirut, Lebanon November 6, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 November 2019

"This is the first time in our lives we see the role of women being this important in the revolution because she is standing for her rights and standing for her country," a woman protesting said.

Several hundred women protesters lit candles while marching to the government headquarters in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Wednesday demanding for the whole government to resign.

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"I want to tell (the government) that if you have an ounce of respect or love for the Lebanese people then resign," said one protester called Dana Zahr Al-Dian, adding that to "clean your names and leave, the country doesn't want you, there is money that no-one can find, if you care about the situation in Lebanon and care about your reputation then please quit now."

"This is the first time in our lives we see the role of women being this important in the revolution because she is standing for her rights and standing for her country," another woman protesting named Yara Temsah told Reuters.

The women were protesting just hours after sources revealed that Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as prime minister last week, had a positive meeting with leading politician Gebran Bassil and all ideas were discussed for getting the country out of the economic crisis.

"All ideas were put on the table for what would be best for Lebanon to come out of the economic crisis and what would best heed the calls made by protesters in the past three weeks," the source said of the meeting at Hariri's Beirut residence.

It was his second meeting there with Bassil in three days. Bassil, a son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, was foreign minister in the outgoing Hariri cabinet and is a political ally of the Iran-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah.

Hariri resigned on Oct. 29 prompted by an unprecedented wave of protests against the ruling elite that has swept Lebanon since Oct. 17, tipping it into political turmoil at a time of acute economic crisis.

However, he was asked to stay on in a caretaker capacity by President Michel Aoun. More than a week later, Aoun has not yet set in motion the process of selecting a new prime minister in consultation with the parliament.

As protests continue, hundreds of students in Lebanon have left schools and universities to join anti-government protests that are increasingly targeting state institutions as it enters its third week.

"Because we are stronger and united, we are here from all sects, they can no longer play with our emotions and play at the different sects like they once did at a different time," said protester Susan Fares. "Today there are no weapons, there is just us, (standing here) peacefully between all sects." 

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