When protesters took to the streets last October to rage against the corruption and mismanagement of Lebanon’s ruling elite, many saw the cross-sectarian outpouring of anger as toppling the barriers of communal fear lingering since the end of the 1975-90 Civil War.
However, one year on, many Lebanese are retreating behind those barriers, which analysts say are becoming fortified as the disintegration of the economy takes its toll. They warn that unless a solution is found, de-facto cantonization may become the new reality.
Oumayma Safa was among the hundreds of thousands who descended upon Beirut’s city center in the first few days following the Oct. 17 uprising. In the year that followed, the collapse of the local currency and economy cost Safa her job as a nursery teacher – making ends meet has since become a daily struggle.
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