Thursday, July 30, 2020

With regards to that article about Lebanon being fourth most prosperous nation in 1963

Recently many people were sharing an article about Lebanon that dates back to 1963 which qualifies it as the fourth most prosperous nation in the world after Switzerland, (West) Germany, and the US. The barometer used was how much money was in the banks per capita but also with regards to the country's geographical area (it helps we are a tiny nation I guess). Interestingly, the money in the said banks did not have to be for Lebanese depositors. And it wasn't. Also interestingly, all this came three years before the Intra Bank bankruptcy due to lack of liquidity compared to money deposited. 
Poverty was (and is) rampant in Lebanon and those not aware about how social inequality helped fuel the war that ended up erupting in 1975, I ask them to check their history.
Photo Rudolf Dietrich (1970)
Under the Al Shams building, one of the most celebrated jewels of modernist architecture (by architect Joseph Philippe Karam) and in the pathways that made way to the sea, lived people in extreme Poverty, in makeshift houses. Literally at a stone throw from one of the most luxurious buildings of Beirut at the time.