A HEART-BREAKING story unfolding at the “Federal Bank” in Beirut: A man is holding staff/clients hostage, threatening to set himself on fire unless he receives his trapped savings to pay his dad’s healthcare costs so he can undergo a critical surgery!

Bambi’s sister, journalist Roula Douglas, attracted her attention to the following unfolding story:

In French…

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1308254/prise-dotages-a-la-federal-bank-a-hamra.html

In English…

https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1308257/armed-man-holding-employees-and-citizens-hostage-in-hamras-federal-bank.html

https://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/291787-armed-man-demanding-savings-detains-staff-at-federal-bank-in-hamra

In Arabic, with pictures and videos…

https://www.annahar.com/arabic/%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AC%D9%84%D9%87/11082022084808438

How SAD and how NOT surprising. Indeed, Bambi saw with her own eyes the distress of the Lebanese people during a recent trip to the Middle East :(. There is NO word to describe the current Lebanese human disaster, which began on October 17, 2019 when the banking sector collapsed. At that time, the people of Lebanon and the world realized that this country’s economy was based on a GIANT Ponzi scheme!

Since October 17, 2017, people have been (illegally) prevented from accessing their life savings. The Lebanese pound lost its value (with hyperinflation of almost 200%).

Without any surprise, the corrupt powerful folks at the top of the banking and governmental sectors got their money out (abroad). Not the average Lebanese who is getting poorer day after day. Not the citizens of Lebanon who have worked by the sweat of their brow all their lives, raising their families and contributing to society. No. Not them. Not those seniors who are supposed to enjoy the final stage(s) of their lives. Instead, their quality of life took an unacceptable hit: little or no power with an unbearable summer humidity along the coasts (and in the winter with much cold, especially in the snowy mountains), no access to medication. All this while going from a gas crisis to a bread crisis to ammonium nitrates exploding their places and work places AND killing them. All this without any accountability, any justice, any governmental reform effort. Nothing! Instead those in power are busy dividing the cake of power… of course according to sectarian, or identity-based, lines because this is what matters the most in life (Canada, please take note of where sectarianism could, at least theoretically yet very possibly, lead us in the future, may God forbid).

If Bambi sounds angry writing all the above, it is because she is indeed VERY angry and sad for the Lebanese people. Bearing the described context above in mind, she will add the following: The Lebanese government is bankrupt. There is no more public coverage of healthcare, at least in the private or semi-private hospitals. If you do not have an insurance, you literally die. If you do not have access to your OWN funds to pay your insurance, you also die. Now this being said, she will argue below how this man, his dad, the bank staff/clients and the ENTIRE Lebanese population are ALL victims of systemic corruption and decay.

Indeed, this still unfolding story seems to be going like this: If the fact is true, this man grabbed a weapon from the bank itself. This could be the case as Bambi did not recognize bank branches in Beirut. They are hidden behind metal walls– no windows, no light, nothing. How do employees manage to work without seeing the sunshine she wondered? At least, they are safe from people’s understandable and legitimate anger. Bambi also feels for those employees. They are victims too, as mentioned above. She has loved ones among them. Not at this particular bank, thank God.

Anyhow, the man in question is desperate because he is going to lose his dad (can you imagine?). He has money at the bank (maybe $200K or $230K, it seems), but no access to it. He needs $50K so his dad can have access to urgent care. His bank is not giving it to him and to the other depositors. This “illegal” (criminal?) banking practice has been going on since October 17, 2019. We are in 2022, almost in 2023. Can you imagine?

So, to conclude this post, may God help this man, his dad, the bank staff and two clients taken hostage. May those negotiating with him succeed in making the story end with humanity, justice, and.. without blood. If anyone knows if and how we can help this man and his dad, please let Bambi know to share. As for you Lebanon, Bambi has no more words about you. Just a prayer, if she may…

3 thoughts on “A HEART-BREAKING story unfolding at the “Federal Bank” in Beirut: A man is holding staff/clients hostage, threatening to set himself on fire unless he receives his trapped savings to pay his dad’s healthcare costs so he can undergo a critical surgery!”

  1. This is Bambi commenting on her own post to thank you, Gina, for caring to know how this sad story ended. Thanks for keeping Bambi informed. It seems that it ended with humanity and no blood ,thank Goodness. However, one must remember the words of wisdom of Achim about “the possible chain reaction that would only cause more suffering”. All the best to the Lebanese people struggling with their county’s economic disaster.

  2. This is truly sad. So much desperation, and a possible chain reaction that would only cause more suffering 🙏🙏🙏

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