Former Lebanese MP assaults bakery worker who accused his party of crisis

Former Lebanese MP assaults bakery worker who accused his party of crisis
A Lebanese politician has defended himself after assaulting a female worker at a bakery, who he said refused to sell more bread to another customer
3 min read
30 July, 2022
The Ukraine war has made the bread crisis worse in Lebanon, already in financial depression [Getty]

A former Lebanese MP assaulted a worker on Friday after a dispute over buying bread and after she allegedly blamed his party for the country’s economic woes.

CCTV footage at a bakery in Rabweh, northeast of Beirut, showed Hikmat Dib waiting to pay for a pack of the traditional Arabic bread. He claims to have told one of the workers to let an elderly man buy a second pack after the latter pleaded, but the woman refused.

"This is all because of you," the worker allegedly told Dib, in reference to his Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) whose founder is currently the president.

Dib then picks a tiny basket and throws it at the woman, before being shoved by a man at the cashier.

Footage then cuts to Dib coming out of his car with a gun in his hand, but the former lawmaker told local media that he only got his gun after being "attacked" by two men from the bakery.

Other reports say the men only went out to speak to Dib.

Dib, who was trending on Twitter after the footage of him surfaced, blasted his critics for not fact checking before sharing "lies and fake news."

"This elderly Lebanese man who I stood up for…was not fitting for the owner of the bakery. Of course, when has our dignity and interest ever been important to bakery owners," Dib wrote on Twitter, accusing them of lying about what happened.

Many in Lebanon blame the FPM and their allies for being behind the country’s unprecedented economic crisis, which has seen the currency collapse, inflation skyrocket and hundreds of thousands leave the country in the past few years.

The FPM says it is not responsible, arguing that this was a result of decades of poor management and rampant corruption.

Due to the war in Ukraine and like many other countries, Lebanon is currently witnessing a bread crisis, with long queues of people seen waiting outside bakeries to buy a pack.

While different types of breads are reportedly in abundance, there is a shortage in the traditional Arabic bread, a Lebanese dietary staple.

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Some observers have said wheat was in fact available but was being smuggled to Syria or hoarded, similar to what has happened previously with fuel and medicines.

Caretaker Economy Minister Amin Salam said earlier this week that the crisis should be solved within the coming days as Lebanon expects grain imports to arrive soon, thanks to a World Bank loan approved earlier this year. He added that there are plans to build two new silos.

The Beirut Port silos which stored most of the country’s grains were destroyed in the August 2020 blast.