Lebanese barter clothes for food | Shaadaab S. Bakht - GulfToday

Lebanese barter clothes for food

Shaadaab S. Bakht

@ShaadaabSBakht

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Clothes

People are bartering outfits for food items. AFP

The sewer of human suffering continues to overflow as we stand and watch. Only the place keeps changing, not the depth of the suffering. Permit me to share with you what is going on in Lebanon.

It was a throbbing evening and she decided to passionately ride the crests that life threw up in an uninterrupted manner.

She decided to look beautiful and got herself a beautiful outfit. But what she didn’t know, like many of us, that life could turn ugly any moment. And we couldn’t do a thing about it.


A mother asked for something to eat in exchange for some of her daughter’s clothes


She also didn’t know that years of crests could turn into a perilous trough just in months. There did come a day in her life when she was forced to offer her outfit in barter for some baby food. I must underline it wasn’t her fault.

It hurts. It hurts more because she is paying for the misdeeds of the very people who are meant to ensure her joy and not fall from her position of domestic bliss.
Lebanon-barter-1A Lebanese woman checks clothes on a Facebook page. AFP

Tens of thousands of people across the social spectrum have lost their jobs because of Lebanon’s worst economic crisis in decades.

As the Lebanese pound plunged to historic lows in the market, many have reverted to non-cash transactions. On Facebook, a group called “Lebanon barters” has attracted 12,000 users in just two weeks.

Food prices have shot up by 72 per cent since the autumn, the non-governmental Consumer Protection Association said. Hassan Hasna, founder of the “Lebanon barter” page, said he and others started the group as a practical solution “because people no longer had money in hand.”

“But we were surprised by how sad some cases were.” On the page, a mother has asked for something to eat in exchange for some of her five-year-old daughter’s clothes. A third woman said she could provide two food parcels in exchange for cleaning products and anything useful for her children.

We really don’t know when the Lebanese financial crisis will be over, but we all know that the children will be raised on horrific tales of hunger. They will be gathering stories of what their parents went through to bring them up. The fear is their coarse experiences will dry up their tears because when they were shedding them the world looked the other way. And the lack of respect for tears is the first step towards ethical degeneration. And that should leave us worried.

 

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