In crisis-hit Lebanon, celebrating Eid is for the ‘happy few’

As Lebanon continues to crumble, celebrating Eid al-Adha has become an afterthought for many Muslims in the crisis-hit nation.

In years past, the three-day holiday would be a time for abundant food, family gatherings and gifts. Now, Lebanon’s ever-spiralling economic crisis, political instability and shortages of basic necessities means Eid has become a luxury only a select few can afford.

With nearly 50 percent of the population now below the poverty line according to the World Bank, many residents of low-income Beirut suburbs such as Dahieh will now have to go without even the most common household products.

“We’re able to afford 200g of meat a week, the rest of the week we’re eating potatoes and simple, cheap food like lentils and vegetarian dishes, and even those are now expensive,” she added. “Clothes for the Eid for my grandson are impossible. He doesn’t even know Eid is coming and maybe it’s best, so he doesn’t realise he’s missing anything.”The resignation of former Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri last week plunged the Lebanese lira even further to record lows that show no sign of abating. At the time of writing, the lira was worth LL23,000 per dollar. For those relying on a Lebanese lira income, most salaries are no longer covering basic living costs.

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