Exclusive: Filmmaker’s Solution for Lebanon

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

What is going to happen to Lebanon? Its political and economic systems have collapsed. People can’t get their own money out of the banks and inflation has made the Lebanese pound almost worthless. When I was in Beirut in April 2016, the dollar was interchangeable at $1 to 1,500 Lebanese pounds. Now, the Lebanese pound is wildly gyrating between 100,000 – 150,000 Lebanese pounds to one US dollar.

What is the solution?

This is the last of a revealing three-part report on an interview by Ramez Tomeh, a Syrian-American international investment adviser and film producer living in Lebanon, with Daizy Gedeon, a Lebanese-Australian entrepreneur, activist and filmmaker. Gedeon’s most recent award-winning candid documentary, “Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour,” challenges Lebanese citizens to vote the corrupt out of office, but she has more to say on how to turn Lebanon around.

[Part One of this interview can be found here and Part Two here.]

Tomeh: Do you think your film has had an impact — that people are thinking differently after watching your documentary?

Gedeon: There have been hundreds of screenings around the world and countless Q&A discussions.

Hundreds of people around the world and in Lebanon [have said], “I wasn’t going to vote, but after this film I’m going to vote.” Many have also confessed, “I was going to leave Lebanon, but your film has made me decide to stay and give it another go.”

The common question after watching the films was: “What can we do?”

I responded, “Mobilize. Engage. Make sure you register to vote and make sure you get your relatives to vote for change.”

I give them the facts and they make the decision. People feel empowered when they make their own decisions.

Tomeh: What do you think, other than preparing for the 2026 election, would help Lebanon re-emerge?

Gedeon: I was invited to attend and speak at a conference on Trade 4 Peace by the World Humanitarian Drive. I spoke to former and current world leaders, royalty, and institution heads on a global level. Part of my mission is to engage the diaspora and the rest who are in Lebanon. What are the ways we can help?

One way we can help is through understanding how to invest in Lebanon by offering opportunities to ethical companies here.

Real estate is amazingly cheap right now. When I first came here, it was $20 million (US dollars) for an apartment downtown. Now you can get [the same for] three to five to eight million.

Tomeh: But what are you getting for the price? Electricity, water, roads, and education are falling apart.

Gedeon: [Investors can] give jobs to the Lebanese. They will both benefit and the value of that property will increase. This is a drought — a huge opportunity — take the risk to buy property. I believe the risk is worth a tremendous return.

Tomeh: One of the problems is that the Lebanese people are frightened to vote for change. When they want something done they know they can go to their political patrons and representative. The problem with this revolution, or call for change, is that there is no cohesion.

Gedeon: There is more divisiveness, right. But this is normal.

I was able to interview11 of the 13 members of parliament elected with a mandate for change. I’m in parliament with them observing their actions and how the parliament operates, and I am trying to understand them. What is their expectation? There are only 13 of them. Alone, they cannot affect change. There are not enough of them.
[Editor’s note: There are 128 members in Lebanon’s Parliament. Half are reserved for Christians and half for Muslims.]

We shouldn’t be so critical. We should be constructive. Even in our own family we don’t agree on everything. These 13 are representing 13 different areas of Lebanon and trying to cooperate democratically. It’s not going to get done correctly the first time.

They ultimately want change for Lebanon. But, we need to form change parties for the next election. Maybe two or three change parties to form a greater voice for reform in Parliament. The parliament holds all the power in Lebanon. If we don’t have the numbers in the parliament we can’t force change.

Tomeh: Amongst those you have interviewed, do you see anyone who could be a leader for change for the future?

Gedeon: What I have discovered are very ethical people. Their will for change is strong. They need more time and there needs to be more of them. Here are some with potential: Melhem Khalaf, Yassine Yassine, Paula Yacoubian, Dr. Najat Saliba, Mark Daou and Ibrahim Mneimneh.

Leaders for Ethical Leadership in Lebanon
Photo Credit: Dream Creations International

Tomeh: How do you plan to motivate Lebanese voters for the 2028 election?

Gedeon: I am producing a series of programs, reports and mini-documentaries that are being released on my YouTube channel where I’m delving into issues with politicians, understanding the deeper concerns and impact on the people. I am focusing on the real issues that will allow the world to understand why the situation remains protracted.

I am also finalizing an updated version of my film which will have a new ending and covers last year’s elections and the impact of the Change MPs to date. I will be undertaking a world tour of the film later this year to reignite interest and awareness on Lebanon and how the diaspora and international community can help.

Editor’s Notes:
“Enough! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour” is available to watch on Shahid (Arabic) and AppleTV/iTunes. It is also available to stream in Australia and New Zealand on FanForce TV’s website.

Gedeon is hoping to re-release “Enough!” with updated content, including the results of the 2022 election, in September 2023, at a screening at the UN during the General Assembly.


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

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