LONDON: As Lebanon plunges deeper into collapse, another member of the country’s loathed political elite staged a lavish family wedding at the weekend.
The opulent marriage of Iris Fenianos, the daughter of former minister Youssef Fenianos, took place at a hill-top hotel in Ehden on Saturday.
The celebration drew particular anger because a judge is trying to question Fenianos over last year’s Beirut explosion, which took place when he was minister for public works and transportation.
The wedding was the latest big-budget celebration in recent weeks involving a daughter of a member of the ruling class. Lebanon’s politicians have been the target of public anger over the country’s economic downfall, and the Beirut explosion that killed 200 people.
Last month, images of the luxurious wedding of the daughter of former Hezbollah MP Nawwar Al-Sahili circulated online, stirring anger.
A similarly lavish celebration took place for the daughter of Ibrahim Kanaan, a Free Patriotic Movement MP.
The overblown events take place as Lebanon’s economic downfall accelerates.
Fuel prices more than doubled on Sunday after the latest subsidy cut. Lebanese have been struggling to even find fuel for their cars or for back-up generators to provide electricity amid widespread black outs.
The Fenianos wedding on Saturday provoked particular anger, because the MP requested in advance for anti-riot police to be deployed to the venue to deal with any potential protests.
Fenianos is one of three MPs and former ministers charged by judge Tarek Bitar, who is investigating the Beirut explosion.
According to the Thawramap Instagram account, which tracks protests in Lebanon, some demonstrators targeted the outside of the hotel.
They held images of Sahar Fares, a firefighter medic killed at the scene of the explosion after she was called to the scene of the initial fire.
Journalist Luna Safwan reposted video from the Fenianos wedding on Twitter with the caption: “Look at them celebrating with absolutely no shame, the wedding of the daughter of Youssef Fenianos [Minister of public works & transportation who knew about the Ammonium Nitrate stored in the Beirut port]. The audacity.”
More than 200 people were killed when a blaze broke out in Beirut Port in August 2020 and ignited 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate. Most of the city’s buildings were damaged by the enormous blast.
The chemical had been stored at the site for more than seven years without proper safety precautions.