The massive explosion that rocked Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday has the world’s attention focused on the tiny country. Before the explosion, however, Lebanon was already struggling under a massive weight of crises. Survivors say the blast is the perfect illustration of the political negligence and leadership that is drawing Lebanon to the brink.
Lebanon was once a vacation hotspot for much of Europe. Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. Today the nation is hurtling toward a Venezuela style economic collapse that could add another dimension of chaos to the broader Middle East struggle. This crisis began well before the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but the convergence of the two catastrophes escalated the rate and depth of the country’s meltdown.
On August 4, the explosion drew the world’s attention to the latest tragedy in a country already on the brink of collapse.