Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Lebanon - 'hunger is heresy'

Lebanon is on the brink.

Political inaction and the devaluation of the Lira, Lebanon's official currency, have contributed to a growing wave of anger, frustration and desperation. Last week, several individuals took their own lives, with local media reports suggesting that the suicides were linked to economic hardship caused by the crisis.
One of the men, who shot himself on a central street in Beirut, left behind a note that read: "I'm not a heretic," a line from a song by renowned Lebanese composer Ziad Rahbani. The lyric concludes: "But hunger is heresy."
Lebanon has also seen a nascent protest movement bring down a government and push for wider political reforms, little of which has seen significant progress since last year. Since October, the Lira has lost more than 80% of its value while the US dollar, long considered an integral part of the Lebanese economy, has all but disappeared from the black market. As a result, it has become harder for Lebanese to buy basic food and supplies. The economic situation is compounded by bare shelves at grocery stores and chronic power cuts. 

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