- Title: Lebanese bemoan high Ramadan prices, refugees can barely shop
- Date: 25th May 2017
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (MAY 23, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF RAMADAN DECORATIONS ON STREET MORE OF RAMADAN DECORATIONS BANNER READING (Arabic): "RAMADAN" (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE CITIZEN, BARIAA, SAYING: "Honestly, it's a bit expensive, everything in the market is expensive -- rice, vegetables, everything. They take advantage of Ramadan and they put up the price, that's what I'm seeing." VARIOUS OF A RAMADAN BANNER READING (Arabic): "RAMADAN IS THE MONTH IN WHICH THE KORAN WAS REVEALED AS A GUIDE TO MANKIND AND AS A CLEAR GUIDANCE AND JUDGEMENT" VARIOUS OF BANNER READING (Arabic):"HAPPY RAMADAN" MORE OF RAMADAN DECORATIONS IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE CITIZEN, TAGHRID, SAYING: "Hopefully it's a year of goodness and blessings. As for the prices, they've started to raise them, when it comes to vegetables and other things, you don't know, maybe at the beginning of Ramadan they raise the prices and later on they'll be lower again." VARIOUS OF RAMADAN DECORATIONS TRIPOLI, LEBANON (MAY 23, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERING AT A PASTRY SHOP VARIOUS OF SWEET PASTRIES IN A SHOP CHEF DECORATING SWEET PASTRIES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PASTRY CHEF IN A SHOP, MOHAMMAD MAAMARI, SAYING: "We have certain items made especially for Ramadan, like "Tunisiyyah" and "Ramadaniya", and we have also "Halawat al Riz'' with cheese. These items are the specialty for this month." VARIOUS OF VEGETABLE MARKET AND VENDOR CALLING OUT PRICES VARIOUS OF PEOPLE BUYING VEGETABLES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VEGETABLE VENDOR, FAYEZ AL SAYED, SAYING: "Thanks be to God, hopefully it'll be good, after a month of high prices it's cheaper now. It's the season; some people think in Ramadan vegetables get more expensive, but no, if it's they're in the market, it's a regular price. Like, one month ago, tomatoes were 2,000 Lebanese pounds a kg, today it's only 750 pounds." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN A VEGETABLE MARKET VARIOUS OF A CHILD STANDING AT WIRE FENCE IN A MAKESHIFT REFUGEE SETTLEMENT IN TRIPOLI, NORTH LEBANON VARIOUS OF A FAMILY IN A TENT IN THE MAKESHIFT SETTLEMENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUGEE, SOUAD MOHSEN MOHAMMAD, SAYING: "I can't prepare anything for Ramadan, I'm not able to provide anything for my kids. There's nothing of the Ramadan necessities that I can provide. My situation is very bad, it's almost below zero." VARIOUS OF REFUGEE CHILDREN LOOKING THROUGH A WINDOW MORE OF MAKESHIFT SETTLEMENT
- Embargoed: 8th June 2017 12:22
- Keywords: Sweets Economy Refugees Syria Fasting Islam Ramadan Lebanon
- Location: BEIRUT AND TRIPOLI, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT AND TRIPOLI, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Living / Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016IC4AXH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Like Muslims around the world, Lebanese are preparing for the holy month of Ramadan, starting this weekend, when observant believers abstain from food and drink between dawn and sunset, then celebrate by breaking the fast in their families in the evening.
For homemakers, the month ahead provides an occasion to grumble about high food prices; for the pastry chefs, it's the annual rush to prepare Ramadan treats.
But for the more than a million Syrian refugees who now make up more than a quarter of Lebanon's population, many living from hand to mouth in makeshift camps, Ramadan is a reminder of their deprivation, and the pleasures that their children will have to do without.
"Honestly, it's a bit expensive, everything in the market is expensive -- rice, vegetables, everything. They take advantage of Ramadan and they put up the price, that's what I'm seeing,'' said Bariaa, out shopping in the capital, Beirut.
In Tripoli, in the north, the food markets are crowded and the pastry chefs are working flat out.
"We have certain items made especially for Ramadan, like "Tunisiyyah" and "Ramadaniya" and we have also "Halawat al Riz'' with cheese these items are the speciality for this month,'' said baker Mohammad Maamari.
But these are treats that Souad Mohsen, a mother from the Syrian city of Homs whose husband died in the Syrian civil war, can only dream of providing for her four children.
"I can't prepare anything for Ramadan, I'm not able to provide anything for my kids," she said. "There's nothing of the Ramadan necessities that I can provide. My situation is very bad, it's almost below zero."
Like the bulk of the Syrian refugees who have fled across the border into Lebanon, Mohsen lives with her children in a small tent in a makeshift settlement, reliant on meagre, poorly-paid work and handouts to scrape an existence.
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