Thursday, December 18, 2008
Many of the Lebanese expatriates working in the Arabian Gulf, especially in Dubai, are being let go overnight because of the financial meltdown. A friend who works there has told me that half his 140 employees company have been released and given 3 months to find another job or return home. Here's an extensive article (Arabic) on the expected impact from the crisis on remittances to Lebanon (which have been declining). This is the time to look inside for solutions. There is urgency: I expect the impact on rural areas to be significant: many rural families survive only because of the remittances from abroad. This is the time to invest in an agricultural revival, aimed at the small and medium producers. And I say invest. Whoever will run this state or which ever party will run their small piece of the state (more likely) needs to know that they need to invest in farming for it to become a source of livelihood that can compensate for remittances (among other things. This is not the only role of farming, of course).