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Lebanon Civil War Survivors Say Today’s Crisis Even Worse

During the civil war that ended more than 30 years ago, Abra Barotta survived artillery and clashes, but she is now afraid of “slow death” from Lebanon’s worst economic crisis in decades.

The three 58-year-old mothers are more than 50% of the survivors of Lebanese who are currently in poverty.

Barotta said he repeated common refrains on television and in public rallies, and said that even the worst days of the war were not so severe.

“We were hiding in our homes and basements every time we heard the bombardment during the war, but today, where can we hide from hunger, the economic crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, and political leaders?” I talked to AFP.

“I used to be afraid of artillery and sniper death, but now I’m afraid of illness, poverty, hunger, everything,” she said.

Her voice whispered, “it’s better to die from the bombardment, at least not suffering … today we slowly suffer and die every day,” she added.





Victor Abukir, 77, a survivor of the Civil War, at a barber shop in the Hamra district of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
AFP / ANWAR AMRO

Lebanon on Tuesday celebrates 46 years since the outbreak of a conflict in Beirut between Christians and Palestinians in Lebanon, backed by leftist and Muslim factions, and a 15-year conflict that has drawn the regional powers of Israel and Syria. Showed the beginning of.

At that time, the country was divided into territories of fighting denominations.

However, many have still succeeded in maintaining the similarity of normal life between violent violence and kidnapping attacks.

The wheels of Lebanon’s economy continued to spin, supported by money and weapons sent to war parties from abroad.



Civil War survivor Jean Saliba has passed a building damaged by the Beirut Port explosion on August 4, 2020 in the Lebanese capital, Karantina.


Civil War survivor Jean Saliba has passed a building damaged by the Beirut Port explosion on August 4, 2020 in the Lebanese capital, Karantina.
AFP / ANWAR AMRO

But corruption, negligence, and fierce political division have plagued Lebanon towards the financial slump that is now ringing the death bell of the fragile middle class.

Since 2019, the Lebanese pound has lost more than 85% of its value against the dollar in the black market and prices have skyrocketed.

Customers are hitting supermarkets to secure top-selling subsidized products, and the shortage of pharmacies makes drug shopping a treasure hunt.

Despite the exacerbations, authorities have done little to stop the crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and last year’s port explosion, which cost more than 200 lives and the devastated belts of Beirut.

“The war was ugly … but we’ve never experienced anything like this economic crisis,” Barotta said at his home in Beirut, which was hit hard by the August 4 explosion. Told.

Her ground floor, located in a historic building in the Marmikhail district adjacent to the harbor, was subsequently refurbished and her neck healed from the blast.



Abra Barotta, 58, a survivor of the Civil War at her home in the capital of Lebanon


Abra Barotta, 58, a survivor of the Civil War at her home in the capital of Lebanon
AFP / ANWAR AMRO

But she said she had a lot of worries left.

“This anxiety about whether we can eat tomorrow … we have never lived it,” she said.

In the blast-stricken Karantina district, also next to the harbor, Jean Saliba points to a building with internal organs awaiting renovation, naming a family who lost their loved ones in Lebanon’s worst peacetime disaster. I mentioned it.

Since then, Karantina has become a springboard for non-governmental groups to lead reconstruction efforts.

“We have never seen the state,” said Saliba, a 63-year-old former civil servant.

“Without the distribution of money and food distributed by NGOs, people would not have been able to continue.”

Saliba called the monster blast a “collective catastrophe” and made wartime suffering look like a “drop of the sea.”

During the war, when the bombardment was delayed, people were able to get back to work, he said.

However, the current unemployment rate is approaching 40% and many have no job to return.

“Who can make money today?” Asked three fathers. “Economically, we’re done.”

Elsewhere in the capital, Victor Abukir sat vaguely in his little barber shop in the Hamra district.

“There are days when we have one customer, or at most two,” said a 77-year-old woman in an apron.

Since its opening in 1965, the store’s décor hasn’t changed, with black leather armchairs and glass cabinets reminiscent of a bright past.

According to Abu Kiel, the day of the civil war was more “benevolent” than today’s crisis day, even if he was temporarily kidnapped and survived the shootout that struck the store.

“No one likes war, but it was better at the time,” he added, adding that he lowered the blinds only when the bombardment surged.

“I had money and people were comfortable.”



Lebanon Civil War Survivors Say Today’s Crisis Even Worse Source link Lebanon Civil War Survivors Say Today’s Crisis Even Worse

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