The situation in Lebanon is getting worse at a terrifying speed.
For the past two years, I have been regularly talking about the struggles the Lebanese people face.
But today, the Lebanese have to live a daily reality that is beyond comprehension. The World Bank describes the Lebanon economic crisis as being probably one of the worst in the world since the 1800s. The local currency has lost 1300% vs the dollar in a year and a half. The state is practically bankrupt, and the country has slipped into poverty, with the middle class all but wiped out.
Imagine living with just a few hours of electricity per day; having to queue up for five or six hours to get a few litres of fuel for your car; being unable to store anything in the refrigerator, losing your savings and being unable to access your own money in the banks. Pharmacies have no medicines any more, hospitals are on the verge of shutting down, even bread is hard to find as bakers have no flour or electricity.
How did we get here?
Close to 10 months after the beginning of collapse of the economy, there is still no new government formed that will enact reforms requested by the IMF and the international community, to unlock foreign loans and aid. The country’s politicians’ thirst for power, corruption, greed and an outdated sectarian system prevent the formation of a new government with little regard to the suffering of their own people.
The situation is spiralling out of control. Everything is trickling through fingers…
I don't want to play politics; I am incapable of it.
If you feel concerned or would like to help, here are some suggestions. There are several reliable organizations that can receive your donations. Details appear below.
Beit el Baraka - beitelbaraka.org https://www.paypal.com/biz/fund?id=MNKPB3F4R748A
Lebanese Red Cross https://www.supportlrc.app/
Live Love Beirut - https://livelovebeirut.com/funds
Bedayati Lebanon - https://bit.ly/bedayatilebanon?ltclid=
Offre Joie - offrejoie.org - https://instagram.com/offre.joie?utm_medium=copy_link
CCCL - children cancer center Lebanon - cccl.org.lb - https://instagram.com/ccclebanon?utm_medium=copy_link
Keep talking about Lebanon around you!
Continue to support social enterprises like mine and many others (list below), which allow the survival of many people through employment.
At this point, and given the magnitude of the daily challenges, I know that it will be hard for [Beyt] to do business but I am unable to do nothing. I plan to go to Lebanon in September to relaunch collections with my artisans; they are waiting... I pay my artisans in hard currency instead of local currency and this is literally a life saver for them. But will I be able to travel?
You could think that I got used to all these uncertainties with this country I have known for so long. But today, I have the impression that we have reached a point of no return. The repeated shocks of the last two years have put the country on its knees.
I will try to end on a hopeful note because if I didn't have hope, I wouldn't even be doing the work I am doing today. We know that life is a series of cycles of ups and downs. I hope from the bottom of my heart that Lebanon will finally rise again one day . But in the meantime, we must act. When a nation is laminated, and when all hope is shattered to the ground, anything can happen...Let's make sure that whatever happens brings positive change.
Thank you for reading this letter.
Here is below a non-exhaustive list of Lebanese social enterprises and designers. Check their accounts and consider to purchase from them if you can - it will definitely help to turn on the lights again!
Empowering artisans and preserving cultural heritage
Statement shawls reflecting the Orient
A collective platform of Lebanese designers
Empowering Palestinian artisans through embroideries
→ Go to their Instagram
THE STRAY COMPASS
Handcrafted bags in Lebanon for your next adventure
Unique clothing made out of upcycled fabrics
Empowering women artisans through the making of unique bags
→ Sarah’s Bag Instagram
THREAD OF TIME
Empowering women artisans through embroidery
→ Le Temps Brodé / Thread of Time Instagram
[beyt] by 2b design (that's us! :)
Empowering women artisans through block print handcraft
Let’s turn on the lights again!