Exclusive: Filmmaker Exposes Corruption

Exclusive Interview Part Two: The Politicians
Daizy Gedeon with Ramez Tomeh, Beirut
transcribed and introduced by Bev Questad, IJM writer

Daizy Gedeon, an ex-pat in Australia who has returned to Lebanon amidst its political chaos and economic fall, has created a film, “Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour,” with follow-the-dots revelations and condemnation. Many worry for her safety.

In a fall 2022 interview with Ramez Tomeh, a Syrian-American financial adviser and film producer not unfamiliar with countries of disaster (his father was a Syrian ambassador to the UN and part of his family still lives in war-torn Syria), Gedeon responds to Tomeh’s frustrated questions about Lebanese politicians.

When the Beirut port blast occurred in August of 2020, Tomeh was coincidentally headed home, just outside Beirut, for a Zoom conference with old American University of Beirut friends, myself included. He was a few minutes late, exclaiming in shock as he came on, “I think there was just a nuclear explosion in Beirut!”

Not long after breaking news confirmed a significant blast at Beirut’s port where over 200 were killed, 6,000 injured and more than 77,000 apartments damaged. More than 300,000 people were displaced and 40 percent of Beirut was shattered.

So, when Tomeh saw Gedeon’s movie, “Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour,” opening with the port blast, he had questions.

The following is the second part of a three-part transcription of Ramez Tomeh pressing filmmaker, Daizy Gedeon, for the names of those responsible. Part One can be found here.

Tomeh: You start with the explosion in Lebanon. You didn’t deal with why the investigation into it stopped. Why were the judges’ feet basically cut off? Do you have an idea why the port investigation was shut down?

Gedeon: It is not a film about the explosion, but the blast is the worst thing that has ever happened because that moment was the darkest time in Lebanon’s history.

Beirut Port Blast, August, 2020.
Screen Shot: “Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour.”

To this day, it either remains unsolved or oppressed. Though there is a lot of evidence, Judge Tarek Bitar, who was leading the case, was prevented from continuing his investigation when he called on a few ministers and MPs to come in for questioning. They did not come and the investigation stalled. It seems there are too many people, both locally and globally, who don’t want the truth to come out.

The focus of the film is on how did we get here? For five years, I’ve been working on this, tracing back. It is a mission I was given by God – by His Divine Will. I know how to ask questions and I knew what questions to ask and what was important in this story. It’s about understanding how we got here.

Tomeh: Did these politicians cause the explosion?

Gedeon: Poor maintenance, little or no care or responsibility, and absolutely no accountability. They didn’t light the fire, but they definitely didn’t heed the warnings that were sent to them twice a year for eight years from the highest authority on safety in the country — to remove the ammonium nitrate. Instead, they sat on their hands and turned a blind eye. So definitely, negligence is huge. There’s not just negligence, there is culpability.

Picture Wall of Responsibility
Screen Shot: “Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour.”

Tomeh: If people want something done in Lebanon they go to their political bosses (parliament representatives) and nothing happens.

Gedeon: I had the opportunity to sit down with nearly all of the new Change MPs (Members of Parliament).

Change MPs were elected in the last elections, and they are all different people from 13 different areas who didn’t really know each other until they were elected. But from what we have seen so far, they are trying to cooperate democratically.

That is what I am encouraged by. They want change for Lebanon. This might be the nucleus of change for the next election. They want to get rid of the sectarian system – they want free and fair elections.

What’s more important are the statistics. We had about 1.8 million who voted out of 3.9 million who were eligible. More than 50 percent of those eligible refused to vote. There is a huge army of people who might be willing to vote next time if we have the right candidates and a political party for change.

The party that received the most votes was Hezbollah: 330,000. The rest of the parties received less than that. But the group that received the largest number of votes, 505,000, were those who voted for change.

Tomeh: How do you see the dynamic between outside interference and the local situation?

Gedeon: While researching this film I met with an English journalist from “The Economist” in London who gave me a greater insight. He said: “Look at other countries in the region who have oil or are rich in national resources. Why hasn’t the West been able to do what they’re doing in Lebanon there? The common factor is that it is allowed in Lebanon.”

Political players inside Lebanon align themselves with external partners and basically invite them to get involved. Whereas in places like Qatar, U.A.E. and so on there is no way they would allow anyone to get involved in their domestic politics.

So, it all comes back to us, the Lebanese, and our political leaders. We have to vote for better people if we want the situation to change. While this is sobering, it is also very up-lifting. The power is in our hands! We did this. We can undo this. We have the power. We can vote.

Tomeh: If it continues like this, outsiders will continue to get involved and it’s going to be more of the same with more internal problems. People are not going to be quiet forever. Right now, it seems like they’ve totally given up.

Gedeon: The people feel like they have no say and they feel helpless. I totally understand considering the number of batterings they have taken over the past 4-5 years. No other country in the world has been through the series of calamities that have befallen the Lebanese.

Circle of Corruption.
Screen Shot: “Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour.”

We should be on the streets demonstrating against this recent oil and gas agreement with Israel. Where is there any value to the Lebanese people? They think there will be jobs for Lebanese to build platforms, etc., but this is only a band-aid and the return to Lebanon will be negligible.

There was apparently a law passed after President Aoun came to power in 2016 that allowed organizations to manage an oil and gas contract with the supplier. This law allowed the government to appoint an external authority to manage the contract and dictate to the Lebanese government how much would come back to them and the people. This is ludicrous. Who, if they are sitting on a gold mine, would hand over the keys to their gold mine to a private business consortium, made up of front men for each of the major political parties, and tell them: “You decide how much I should get out of this. I trust you.”

The conflict of interest is mind-boggling! Who is looking out for the vested interest of the Lebanese people? Definitely not the Lebanese government. Everyone is screwing the Lebanese people.

“Part III: The Solution,” the third and final part of this interview, will be published next week.


“Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour”:
“Lebanon Imprisoned Splendor”:
YouTube Channel:

. . .

Join us on Facebook at!

Comments are closed.