Beirut/ Wassim Seif El Din/ Anatolia</p>- Mount Lebanon governorate gained its share, like the rest of the governorates, due to the crises that imposed their weight on its economy and government administrations.<br/>Mount Lebanon, with its center in Baabda, is one of the largest of the six governorates that make up Lebanon<br/>- Governor of Mount Lebanon Muhammad Makkawi: "Baabda Saray" was established in the Ottoman era, and it bears witness to important periods in Lebanon's history<p>Since 2019, Lebanon has been under the weight of a severe economic crisis, which has led to a deterioration in the living conditions of its residents in light of the coronavirus imposing restrictions on the economy, followed by the explosion of the Port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, and worsening matters, in addition to successive political crises.
Like the rest of the Lebanese governorates, Mount Lebanon has gained its share due to the crises that imposed their weight on its economy and government departments.
Mount Lebanon Governorate, with its center in Baabda, is one of the largest of the six governorates that make up Lebanon, as it includes 6 districts containing 478 cities and villages, of which 303 have municipal councils.
The governorate was the heart of the Emirate of Mount Lebanon before independence, and today it is one of its most important economic centers, as it contains more than 50 percent of the industrial establishments in Lebanon.
But the successive crises that Lebanon is going through, perhaps the worst of which is the collapse of the national currency and its loss of more than 90 percent of its value, portend a comprehensive collapse.
The Governor of Mount Lebanon, Judge Muhammad Makkawi, said in an interview with “Anadolu Agency”, that Lebanon has gone through several vacuums (in power), whether the failure to form a government or the delay in its formation or the delay in electing a president of the republic.
In the face of this path, “Lebanon had to pay the price,” according to Makkawi’s expression, who believes that the result “was that citizens took to the streets on October 17, 2019, and the subsequent economic, banking and living crises that we did not witness at the height of the civil war that began.” 1975″.
He points out that the Corona pandemic had a negative impact on the economy and social situation, due to the general closure throughout the country.
He says: “In Mount Lebanon, we dealt with all these crises responsibly, especially under the caretaker government (2021-2020) headed by Hassan Diab, and the weakness of the central authority.”
He explains that the interaction was effective in social affairs, as the municipalities had a great role, despite their meager potential, noting that they worked to obtain aid through expatriates from their children abroad.
He added, “At the beginning of 2019, before the revolution, we saw an increase in the unemployment rate, so we encouraged citizens to return to work on their lands and reclaim them.”
According to the statistics of “Information International” (particularly specialized in statistics), unemployment in Lebanon rose to one million unemployed in 2020.
And about how to deal with the fuel shortage crisis that has hit the country for months, especially diesel fuel, which is essential for private electric generators in villages and neighborhoods, he says: “We tried to secure diesel for vital institutions, such as hospitals and ovens.”
He added, “We organized this crisis with the municipalities, in coordination with the owners of gas stations, but it is not possible to deal with this issue on the basis of results, but rather on the level of causes.”
And he added: “Finally we have a government to look into these crises and work to solve them.”
** Government departments suffer from the crisis
The Governor of Mount Lebanon believes that the economic crisis in Lebanon was reflected in a crisis in the administration and public governmental facilities. He explained: “As a governorate, we try as much as possible to pass work as little as possible… such as reducing employee shifts due to the difficulty of securing gasoline and the high cost of commuting to work.”
He points out that the security and military services, in turn, are suffering as a result of the same crisis, “which would reflect a threat to social security in the country.”
** The economic crisis..and the historical “serail”
The “Baabda Saray” played a major role in the history of Lebanon, between 1860 and 1916. It is one of the most important historical monuments and the oldest public buildings in the country. It was built with sandstone that characterized the old buildings, as well as towers on four corners, to give it the character of castles, on an area of 7,852 square meters of construction distributed over two floors surrounded by an inner garden.
Governor Makkawi says that “this historic and ancient building needs maintenance and restoration,” adding: “We had begun to develop a plan to develop and restore the building to give it a cultural splendor, but the crisis afflicting the country delayed everything.”
He talks about the importance of rehabilitating this 250-year-old historic palace.
He tells that the Serail was established in the Ottoman era as a palace for Prince Haider Shehab (in 1775), and from there a center for the Mutasarrifiyya of Mount Lebanon.
The mutasarrifiyya is an Ottoman administrative division. Each Ottoman state is divided into a number of mutasarrifiyya. The mutasarrifiyya is also called a sanjak or brigade. The mutasarrifiyya is headed by an administrative employee called the mutasarrif who is appointed by order of the Sultan.
During the period of the French mandate, the building was transformed into a center for the High Commissioner, and in the post-independence period it became a center for the province until today.
Makkawi points out that “the building contains a valuable archive dating back hundreds of years, but it needs more attention, from restoration, sterilization and preservation in a scientific way… This is very expensive and needs funding.”
He reveals that the amount of documents in the archive is not small, and they testify to several stations in the history of Lebanon, “and these documents are a written history that does not bear controversy or skepticism,” stressing the importance of preserving this wealth.
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