Pomp and flag-hanging: Abbas visits

Yesterday, cranes and workers were hard at work scrubbing the sidewalks and hanging up flags all across the highways on every light post–even leaning ones (above)
And if you live in Lebanon, you ‘ll know that politicians love hanging up flags on light posts
Today’s flag was the Palestinian one and the occasion was visit by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, for whom the red carpet was rolled out:

A full marching band:

And an honor guard of hundreds of troops and officials:

LBC, which carried the procession live, noted that this was Abbas’s 7th trip to Lebanon.

But how much have these trips helped the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who live in substandard conditions and are barred from owning property and gaining employment at most companies?

Abbas is scheduled to visit Shatila camp, where he will pay respects at its infamous massacre memorial.

As a reporter, I’ve visited the camp several times, as recently last week. I can tell you that despite all these official trips, people in Shatila live in absolute filth and squalor. The streets are caked in garbage and the fumes from open sewers make you want to puke when walking by.

Wouldn’t all this money spent on honor guards, red carpets and flag hoisting be better spent on people who are actually living in sewage and barely have enough money to eat?