- Title: A day in the challenging life of a Lebanese
- Date: 27th September 2021
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (SEPTEMBER 23, 2021) (REUTERS) LEBANESE BARTENDER ALI DARWISH STANDING BY THE WINDOW IN HIS HOUSE AND SAYING (Arabic): "I am checking out the weather. They said it might rain, so I want to check if I take the motorcycle or I take a shared taxi - or if there will be any shared taxis (on the streets) anyway. I will figure out what to do. I will make it work at the end of the day. All of the Lebanese somehow make it work eventually." DARWISH LOOKING ON FROM THE WINDOW AND SAYING (Arabic): "Routine and revulsion. This is it." DARWISH LOOKING ON FROM THE WINDOW / BUILDINGS SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND BEIRUT BUILDINGS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE BARTENDER, ALI DARWISH, SAYING: "Beirut means a lot to us. It is our life, we grew up here, lived, worked, and spent long nights here, partying, eating, drinking. But it has been gloomy lately, very gloomy." VARIOUS OF DARWISH PLAYING WITH HIS DOG ON THE BALCONY DAWISH'S DOG LOOKING AT HIM THEN AWAY (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE BARTENDER, ALI DARWISH, SAYING: "I work on the bar and we see a lot of people on a daily basis. People are all looking gloomy. Even those who are financially comfortable are not happy, because you need to wake up and fight every day: figure out how to secure fuel, check the electricity to take a shower with warm water and a hundred other things, how to secure money, everything is getting more expensive. We are struggling." TATTOO ON DARWISH'S HAND READING (English): "LIVE AND MAINTAIN" VARIOUS OF DARWISH WALKING INTO HIS ROOM AND CHECKING CLOTHES IN HIS CLOSET FAN THAT OPERATES ON BATTERY IN DARWISH'S ROOM / DARWISH TURNING ON FAN / AUDIO OF DARWISH SAYING (Arabic): "It has a light too, by the way. Hero." DARWISH STANDING BY THE FAN, GESTURING AT IT AND SAYING (Arabic): "With the summer being very harsh and no electricity, we had to bring this fan. It charges and works for some six hours (without electricity). You can sleep in the hot weather if you want to sleep. This is my baby." / DARWISH LAUGHING DARWISH PUTTING PUMP ON WATER GALLON AND SAYING (Arabic and English): "This is also rechargeable. Life hacks." VARIOUS OF DARWISH PUMPING WATER FROM GALLON DARWISH BRUSHING HIS TEETH VARIOUS OF DARWISH WALKING OUT OF HIS BUILDING WITH HIS DOG VARIOUS OF DARWISH DRIVING HIS MOTORCYCLE AND PASSING BY A CLOSED FUEL STATION FUEL INDICATOR ON DARWISH'S MOTORCYCLE SHOWING TANK IS ONE-QUARTER FULL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE BARTENDER, ALI DARWISH, SAYING: "This is the third fuel station I reach and is closed. This is what I honestly expected and why I am buying (fuel) from the black market. There is no fuel." VARIOUS OF DARWISH DRIVING HIS MOTORCYCLE TO WORK DARWISH ARRIVING AND PARKING HIS MOTORCYCLE DARWISH WALKING INTO THE RESTAURANT WHERE HE WORKS AS A BARTENDER DARWISH PREPPING BAR VARIOUS OF DARWISH PREPARING A DRINK AND POURING IT VARIOUS OF DARWISH WORKING AT THE BAR PEOPLE SITTING IN RESTAURANT / DARWISH WORKING BEHIND THE BAR BAR UTENSILS MORE OF DARWISH PREPARING DRINKS AND WORKING BEIRUT, LEBANON (SEPTEMBER 23, 2021) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) DARK ROADSIDE OUTSIDE DARWISH'S WORKPLACE VARIOUS OF UNLIT LIGHT POLE IN HAMRA STREET
- Embargoed: 11th October 2021 12:49
- Keywords: Lebanon bartender crisis daily life economy electricity fuel
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWHX1SL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: As Lebanese bartender Ali Darwish prepares to start his day, he accounts for several mishaps that might take place in his crisis-ridden city.
From water and electricity cuts to fuel and cash shortage, Darwish says that Beirut is now "gloomy", even for the wealthy.
"Beirut means a lot to us, it is our life, we grew up here, lived, worked, and spent long nights here, partying, eating, drinking," he said, standing on his balcony looking over buildings.
"But it has been gloomy lately, very gloomy."
Lebanon is in the throes of a financial crisis that the World Bank has called one of the deepest depressions of modern history.
On an average day in Beirut, the 27-year-old is one of many Lebanese facing several obstacles. He said he feels like he is a "warrior" living through a war.
As he figures out how to leave Lebanon, Darwish finds daily "life hacks" to survive the challenges: a rechargeable fan to sleep during hot nights without electricity, a rechargeable pump to easily access water from gallons, commuting with a motorbike to consume less fuel, and keeping extra gallons at hand, often bought from the black market as stations remain closed.
"I will make it work at the end of the day. All of the Lebanese somehow make it work eventually," he said with a little laugh.
Lebanon's currency has slumped more than 90% since 2019, driving more than three-quarters of the population into poverty.
The country's banking system is paralysed, and a hard currency crunch has led to shortages of vital imports, including fuel.
(Production: Issam Abdallah, Yara Abi Nader)
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