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Why Are Lebanese Students in Italy Unhappy With the Decision of the Council of Ministers?

Updated on April 5, 2020
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Residents of Italy are asking the Lebanese state to secure a plane to evacuate them immediately
Residents of Italy are asking the Lebanese state to secure a plane to evacuate them immediately

The main requirement is to secure a plane for our evacuation. This is the response of the Lebanese students in Italy to the cabinet decision to form a committee to monitor the situation of expatriates abroad. They want nothing but to return to their families, while the government insists on dealing with them as if they have left the "entry line", insisting that there is no decision to return before the end of the state of public mobilization.

Lebanese People, Students and Residents Wants declaration of "Right to Return" Rule

The decisions of the Council of Ministers, the day before yesterday, disappointed the Lebanese people in Italy, students and residents. At a time when they were waiting for the state to do justice to them by declaring the "right of return" to their country, after they touched the brink of hunger in the country of their alienation, the Lebanese-style solution came to them by forming a committee "to follow up the situation of the Lebanese abroad under Corona." The committee did not mention the steps that would follow through on the situation of those stranded abroad, especially in Italy, where the largest Nakba is only satisfied with the news of formation, as if the issue had been resolved. The formation was preceded by days of "bulk" statements that paved the way for follow-up, restricting them to providing immediate aid to expatriates and keeping them where they are. However, "they" did not wait for the state to adopt a decision that "sows ash in Laayoune," according to the president of the Association of Friends of Lebanon in Italy, Hassan Assi. The "country of our nationality" was expected to immediately take the necessary measures to return those who wish to return to the country. The Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri, had preceded them by his request yesterday from the «government to hold an extraordinary session today before tomorrow in order to reconsider the issue of expatriates who face the threat of the epidemic in their places of spread across the various parts of the earth». The first today, according to Berri, instead of forming committees and submitting "requests to embassies", is that the government urgently takes logistical measures to return them to their countries, "not to invent gunpowder and anomalies on all countries of the world that are searching today for their citizens to return them."

"Securing the Evacuation Plane" Is the Basic Requirement |Dr. Mohamed Kamal

The basic requirement of most students in Italy and residents is “securing the evacuation plane,” says Dr. Mohamed Kamal, one of the followers of the Lebanese students' case in Italy. Today, it is an "urgent demand, especially since there is no time frame for ending the crisis in Italy". It is a timing, "thus dependent on Italy's ability to return to normal life after the end of the Corona crisis". There is no other option “other than what Speaker Berri said about ensuring the return of expatriates to their families, especially students who are the weakest link, and removing the subject from the circle of political attraction,” according to Kamal.

However, until now it does not seem that the state has made this choice, and it certainly will not do what the countries of the world did. This is what has become certain for Lebanese residents and students in Italy. What makes them with this "confidence" is the state's delay in deciding their return, and what they had previously known for months of their indifference towards the blockade of the banks for them after they are now waiting for the help of the "good people to secure their livelihood", according to Assi. For them, the state “wants us to either die in corona or die of hunger”, as they say today. And they became more "confident" in this matter after the formation of the committee to monitor the situation of expatriates yesterday.

They take on the formation decision that it did not take into account the emergency experienced by expatriates, and it was not clear "what are the foundations on which the committee will focus on following our situation", says Assi.

In the cabinet session, the Foreign Minister put forward a mechanism for returning expatriates after undergoing corona tests

With regard to students and residents in Italy, "the state cannot take its decisions alone, as it has to coordinate with the Italian government, on the one hand, and on the other hand, it is not clear how to follow up. Is it to follow them where they are?" Or follow-up on their return? In the first part of the question, most expatriates, most of whom are students, refuse to stay there in this particular circumstance. As for the second part, they are required to clarify the logistical procedures that relate to their return, starting from securing their exit from their homes to Milan Airport and ending with the measures that the state will take at Beirut Airport. Students arrive at the airport in Milan and from there to Beirut. Therefore, "there is no hope for the committee," this is what they say, stressing that "what the country took at the session of yesterday was nothing more than a ping needle", according to Assi. Ultimately, for these people, the best solution is “simplification” in the embassy “and its hour will take us”.

On the other hand, sources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants indicate that the decision to form the committee "was a descent upon the desire of Prime Minister Hassan Diab." As for the "offering" of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was preparing a mechanism to pave the way for the return decision. The sources reveal that “the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Nassif even took with him to the cabinet session a mechanism that requires the expatriates to be returned to their countries after being examined in the following countries, provided that those who are in good health will be returned in the first batch for a period of 15 days after their return and a stone from They have symptoms in the countries where they reside and return after they have finished their period of stone”. However, the desire of the Foreign Ministry did not match the desire of the Prime Minister, who has a "flight authorization decision". Instead of granting this permission, "he referred the request to a committee to monitor their conditions", rejecting the decision to return until after the twelfth of next April.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Hafiz Muhammad Adnan

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