Lebanese tweeters troll politicians’ expensive watches amid economic collapse

Lebanese tweeters troll politicians’ expensive watches amid economic collapse
A Lebanese protester spray paints a slogan on the fence of the Banque du Liban (Lebanese Central Bank) at its branch in the southern city of Sidon on October 24, 2019, reading in Arabic "Riad Salameh (bank governor) is a thief). (File/AFP)
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Updated 01 February 2021

Lebanese tweeters troll politicians’ expensive watches amid economic collapse

Lebanese tweeters troll politicians’ expensive watches amid economic collapse
  • Lebanese tweeters took to social media to showcase the vast wealth of the politicians that are meant to serve them
  • Photos of the country’s political leaders wearing luxury watches worth thousands of dollars made the rounds on Twitter

LONDON: As Lebanon’s unprecedented economic downfall continues, catalyzed by a medical crisis and mass anti-corruption protests, the country’s tweeters took to social media to showcase the vast wealth of the politicians that are meant to serve them.

Photos of the country’s political leaders wearing luxury watches worth thousands of dollars made the rounds on Twitter, all while the country’s second largest city Tripoli enters its fifth day of protests against the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures shown in photos include US-sanctioned former foreign minister Gebran Bassil — who is also the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun — and similarly sanctioned former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil. Lebanon’s 32nd Prime Minister Fouad Sanioura also made the list, as did former ministers of energy Nada Boustani, former interior minister Nohad Al-Machnouk and the now-charged Central Bank Gov. Riad Salameh.

One of the most expensive watches belongs to former defense minister Elias Bou Saab, whose Patek Philippe watch is worth a staggering $185,582. Boustani’s timepiece was also among the most costly, with a tweet showing her wearing a pair, that when put together, costs about $50,000.

 

Lebanon is going through one of the most challenging periods since its independence, which includes a 15-year long civil war and targeted assassinations.

Hungry and poverty-stricken protesters stormed one of Lebanon’s poorest cities, Tripoli, in recent days, and set fire to government buildings in a call for action from a standstill government.