Economic meltdown in Lebanon brings in a mellowed down Ramadan

Lebanon_Ramadan

Lebanon LebanonRamadan has always been a big celebratory affair in Lebanon. Every year the big patisserie shop in Beirut, Patisserie Cremino, had to get prepared well in advance for the large demand of cakes, pastries and other delicacies during festival months of Christmas, Ramadan and Easter. But this Ramadan the affair is far from the usual merry state.

The customers are in small numbers these days at the pastry shop. “The more time passes, the worse we all get. We live and work day by day; you don’t know if you’ll be able to open tomorrow with all the chaos happening and the fuel crisis,” said Ali, one of the shop’s workers. “And this is supposed to be a blessed month. Let’s see where we’re headed to. No one knows.”

Ramadan – a period to look forward to

Ramadan is usually a time to look forward to for Lebanon’s local retailers and confectioners. The three day festivities of Eid Al Fitr that end the holy month is usually marked with fasting, faith and discipline that are rewarded with fresh delights.

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Crashed Lebanese economy

The Lebanon’s economy has been thrashed for past few years with the currency witnessing downfall by almost 90 per cent. The price people have to pay during the Holy Month of Ramadan is a sad reality.

Shadia, a keeper of a children’s boutique called Hello Baby said, “What would usually be a busy time for me has evaporated; a woman comes in with her two or three children but can barely afford to get them a few pieces for Eid, and nowadays most walk out without having bought anything. It breaks my heart really.”

Toned down celebrations

The streets of Beirut now lack the usual hustle and bustle of festivities. The posters are there but with toned down Ramadan touch of celebrations.

Next month scheduled presidential and parliamentary elections have hinted for a hopeful change. Politicians are assuring in campaigns to bring relief in living conditions of the people.

“It doesn’t feel like Ramadan. We do not have food, I ration every day and it’s emotionally and spiritually exhausting. No one will get presents this year, no new clothes, no pocket money for my grandchildren. What an Eid, there is nothing to celebrate, nothing to be happy about.”

Lebanese people are waiting for some respite from the economic crackdown as country is facing one of the worst crisis in country. What do you think can bring some relief to people of Lebanon. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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