Active since the October protests, Jaafar is frustrated by the small turnout in rallies since the blast but recognizes an outpouring of public anger is only one requisite for change. She, like many in Lebanon, sees her country’s political crisis as a product of rivalry between Hizbullah’s patron, Iran, and the U.S. and Gulf states. Only a resolution to that conflict will force change, she said.
“I understand why they exist. They filled the gap where the state failed,” said Jaafar. But “we want a real nation, a real country,” she said. “This is a jungle.”
Jaafar said protest activists are realizing they must work with allies within the system for change — push for early elections and challenge Hizbullah and its allies in Parliament.
“We won’t get rid of them in one election,” she said.