Dekkenit Al Balad in Gemmayzeh, Thursday, May 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Gemmayzeh's main street is littered with an ever-changing roster of pubs, shops and restaurants, but Thursday morning witnessed the opening of a new kind of store – one aimed at fighting corruption in a country where fraud and bribery are rampant.Sakker al-Dekkene roughly translates to "shut down the store," and plays on the idea that public institutions sell official documents and help to expedite administrative procedures for cash, an exchange of goods for money similar to that of shops.During the launch the organization aired a satirical video depicting the Lebanese public sector in the form of a store, with clients asking for paperwork, enquiring about document prices, fighting to stand in line, and finally paying at the register. A politician looking to sell votes is also seen entering the store. Lebanon's public sector ranks 127th in Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, and scored 28 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
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