A luxury new U.S. embassy complex in Lebanon, about 2.5 times of the size of the White House, is triggering controversy for its “sheer size and opulence” in a country where about 80 percent of the population is in poverty, according to CNN.
“Located some 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) from the center of Beirut and built on the site of the current embassy, the U.S.’ new compound in Lebanon looks like a city of its own,” CNN reported on Saturday, noting that it is larger than 21 football fields.
The embassy complex is said to have cost $1 billion.
Many Twitter users have questioned the need for such a large embassy. “They cut forest for building these, what about the nature? But wait, it is an embassy, why do they need all these buildings,” a twitter user, Lebanese#Artsakh, commented.
“What an absolute waste of taxpayer’s dollars,” Sybil, a self-employed bus owner, tweeted in Texas.
Screen shot of the U.S. embassy in Lebanon’s official twitter account, May 15, 2023. /CGTN
“Lebanon is smaller than Connecticut and has a population of just six million. Few American tourists go to the country as the State Department has placed it on the third highest travel advisory level.” CNN reported.
Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis, causing a collapse of the local currency which has plunged many Lebanese into poverty.