Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Lebanon voices: Nadia Natout

Voters in Lebanon give their reaction to the new unity government.

While the politicians argued, factories closed, services suffered and families lost income
Age: 25
Occupation: student
Location: Beirut
Background: Druze

Like many Lebanese, I feel apathetic about this cabinet.

It takes only a little knowledge to realise that a reallocation of roles to the same players cannot solve our problems.

Ziad Baroud, the minister of Interior, who is one of the president's allies, is doing some good work, but individuals are incapacitated by the corrupt, bureaucratic machine of government.

Like many here, I am not optimistic about the appointments or think they will make any difference to the general mentality of government in Lebanon.

No one thinks that the new government will try to unify the nation. The various parties just want their slice of the political pie. They can use cabinet posts as a source of patronage.

While the politicians argued, factories closed, services suffered and families lost income. Both the major factions - March 8 and March 14 have failed and so I support neither.

The problem is that the politicians' squabbling increases tension between the various communities. The division used to be between Muslims and other religions, but now there is rising tension between Sunnis and Shias.

This has been brewing since [former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik] Hariri's assassination [in 2005]. It has been heightened recently with the broader regional tension between the two - for example in Iraq and Iran.

My background is Druze although I am not religious. But I've witnessed trouble. Two weeks ago I saw a simple hooligan matter descend into a sectarian fight on my street.

Politicians must focus on real social and political goals: Public services, the economy and infrastructure.

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