THE ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
IFI, in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada in Lebanon held a panel discussion on March 9 tackling the impacts of Lebanese emigration. The event gathered academics and experts to discuss the causes and consequences of Lebanese emigration in recent years.
Following opening remarks by Ambassador of Canada Stefanie McCollum, the panel discussion included Dr. Dany Samaha, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at NDU; Dr. Lina Choueiri, AUB Deputy Provost and Linguistics Professor; Randa Rustom, founding partner and deputy managing director of APIS Health Consulting Group; and Dr. Ali Fakih, chair of the Department of Economics at LAU, moderated by IFI Director Dr. Joseph Bahout.
Speakers highlighted the many challenges facing Lebanon today, including economic and political instability, social unrest, and regional conflicts. They emphasized the role that emigration has played in exacerbating these challenges, noting that the loss of talented and skilled individuals has weakened the country's economic and social fabric. Panelists also discussed the various factors that have contributed to the recent surge in Lebanese emigration, including economic opportunities abroad, political disillusionment, and social unrest. They noted that many young people and professionals have been leaving the country in search of better opportunities and a more stable future. Contrary to the overall trend, Dr. Fakih mentioned that “we noticed a return of emigrants, in many rural areas and villages; businessmen and many Lebanese migrants are investing to improve the infrastructure of their villages.”
Throughout the discussion, there was a strong focus on the need for policy solutions to address the issue of Lebanese emigration. Speakers suggested a range of policy interventions, including measures to improve economic opportunities, strengthen social protection, and promote political stability and good governance. They also emphasized the need for international cooperation and support to help Lebanon address these complex challenges.
You can watch the full event on IFI’s Facebook page here.