In a December 8, 2019 broadcast on Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) from Beirut, a Shi'ite protestor from Baalbek-Hermel named Hussein Ali Matar asked to be interviewed by the reporter. Matar said that it is impossible to find a job in his area without connections to Hizbullah or the Amal Movement and that Shi'ites in Lebanon are dying of hunger and eating from the trash. He said Hizbullah and Amal Movement officials should resign if they cannot help the people and criticized these movements for accusing their critics of treason and collaboration with Israel. Matar then proceeded to destroy his Hizbullah membership card on camera.
Hussein Ali Matar: "I asked to talk to Al-Arabiya Network in order to deliver my message. I am a Shi'ite from Baalbek-Hermel. In short, I am dying of hunger. We are all dying of hunger there. We are willing to do any job. I'm telling you, I applied for work at the Dar Al-Amal Hospital, but you need connections to the Amal Movement. I applied for work at a factory, but again, you need connections to the Amal Movement. For any job I apply to, I need connections to either Hizbullah or Amal.
"I am a Shi'ite and I have a debt of 2 million Lebanese pounds because of the rent. I support four sisters and one brother, and I haven't worked in six or seven months. I go everywhere, but nobody helps me. They say there is nothing they can do.
"I used to work for Hizbullah and they let me go. So now what? This is my party membership card. This card shows that I volunteer for Hizbullah's Islamic health organization. I – a son of Hizbullah – am dying of hunger. The others keep talking about the weapons of the resistance. Nobody is touching the weapons of the resistance. We all support the resistance against Israel, but we are dying of hunger. One needs to eat in order to fight.
"You think that I am well-fed just because I'm from Hizbullah? I am in the same situation as everybody else.
"During the elections, the Council for Development and Reconstruction made us promises about Baalbek-Hermel. They should go to Baalbek-Hermel and see how the people are dying of hunger. With my own eyes, I saw people eating from the trash. There are people in Baalbek-Hermel who eat from the trash. I saw it with my own eyes. People are sick and tired of being hungry."
Reporter: "You volunteer for Hizbullah. Why didn't they help you?"
Matar: "I don't know, ask them. I knocked on their door 100 times. I'm telling you, I went to the office of Hashim [Safi Al-Din] in the Dahieh Suburb. He wouldn't see me. He sent his assistant. I told him that I wanted work and he said: 'What do you want me to do? There's no work in the country.'
"What do you mean there's no work? When you told me to vote for you, I did. How come there is no work in the country? Now they tell people to leave [the demonstration]. Why would they leave? Each one of [those in power] gets $1,000-1,500, while I get nothing, not a single Lebanese pound a month.
"If they can't help us, they should resign and let others help us. If anybody who is not from Hizbullah or Amal Movement wants to help us, they turn him into a collaborator with Israel. I am talking to you now, and tomorrow they'll say I am a traitor, who betrayed the resistance and became an ally of Israel."
Reporter: "What are you doing?"
Matar shows his Hizbullah ID card to the camera.
Matar: "I'm going to cut this card to pieces. I don't want it.
"That's it. I'm a traitor..."
Matar destroys his Hizbullah ID card.
"Let them call me a traitor, I don't care, as long as I live in dignity instead of knocking on people's doors, looking for a piece of bread. The high-ups should keep this in mind. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, I'll be honest with you: Berri, you've been Parliament Speaker for 30 years. You have billions of dollars and your children live in America. How come your children go to America and it's okay, but if we say a single word, we become collaborators? People in America are honorable, but when we, in Lebanon, are looking for our daily bread, we are pronounced collaborators with America and Israel? Enough. We are sick and tired of hearing that when someone is looking for his daily bread, he is a collaborator with Israel. Nobody is a collaborator with Israel. All the Lebanese are against Israel. The entire Lebanese people fought Israel, not just the Shi'ites."