Post: Lebanon in 2023: A Year of Turmoil and Resilience


In 2023, Lebanon faced numerous challenges on multiple fronts. The nation’s economic crisis worsened, with devastating consequences for its population; rocket attacks along the Lebanese-Israeli border heightened tensions, and political infighting impeded progress towards stability. Despite these adversities, the people of Lebanon found moments of joy and solidarity amidst the turmoil.

A deepening economic crisis

The already severe economic crisis in Lebanon only intensified in 2023, leaving residents grappling with rampant inflation, currency devaluation, and import shortages. Consequently, the country’s unemployment rate skyrocketed, leaving countless families struggling to secure basic necessities such as food, healthcare, and shelter.

  • Inflation soared at alarming rates, eroding the purchasing power of most households and plunging many into abject poverty.
  • Currency devaluation resulted in the depreciation of the Lebanese pound, making imports more expensive and exacerbating shortages.
  • Import shortages led to widespread issues with electricity and fuel supply, posing significant difficulties for local businesses and residents alike.

Rocket attacks and border skirmishes heighten tensions

Throughout 2023, a series of rocket attacks and incursions conducted by armed groups marred the uneasy calm along the Lebanon-Israel border. To make matters worse, Israeli forces retaliated to some of these provocations, escalating hostilities between the two nations.

Hezbollah’s cross-border raid and Israel’s response

In one high-profile incident, Hezbollah operatives launched a cross-border raid into Israel, killing several soldiers. In response, the Israeli government carried out a month-long campaign of airstrikes and artillery bombardments against Hezbollah positions in Lebanon.

Clashes between rival groups in South Lebanon

As tensions mounted along the border, violent clashes took place between rival factions within Lebanon itself. One notable incident occurred in a Palestinian refugee camp in South Lebanon, leaving several people dead and many more injured.

The struggle for political stability

In 2023, Lebanon’s protracted political crisis continued to fester, with the presidency remaining vacant and little progress made towards addressing pressing economic and security issues. This stalemate only served to worsen the country’s dire situation.

  • A grueling recession amplified Lebanon’s financial woes, with cafe footfalls plummeting, businesses closing their doors, and the formal economy barely functioning.
  • Despite concerns about rights violations, efforts to address these issues remained stymied by internal divisions and external pressure from powerful entities interested in preserving the status quo.

Moments of joy amid chaos

In the face of adversity, Lebanese citizens displayed remarkable resilience and solidarity. They worked together to support one another through some of the most challenging times in the nation’s history.

New Year celebrations across Lebanon

Toward the end of the year, people across the country gathered in markets and restaurants to welcome the New Year, defying the odds stacked against them. These spontaneous gatherings offered a temporary reprieve from the hardships afflicting so many ordinary people.

Citizen-led initiatives to ease suffering

Throughout the year, communities banded together to establish volunteer-run charities and food banks, providing much-needed assistance to families hit hardest by the economic crisis.

Limited progress in addressing key issues

Although the country’s deep-seated problems remain unresolved, 2023 did see a modicum of limited progress in certain areas:

  1. International pressure led to increased scrutiny of both the weaponry held by Hezbollah and other non-state actors in Lebanon, as well as Israel’s violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty and security.
  2. The violence along the border prompted some tentative negotiations, centered around the disputed territories of Ghajar village and Shebaa farms.
  3. Regional powers began to reevaluate their strategies regarding Lebanon, with some taking tentative steps towards supporting peacebuilding efforts within the country.

In conclusion, it is clear that 2023 brought tremendous challenges for Lebanon. However, amidst these hardships, the resilient spirit of its people shone through as they demonstrated their resolve to support one another and build a better future together.