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Mahmoud Harmouch
Mahmoud Harmouch

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Lebanon: The Devastating Life.

In Lebanon, life is devastating. The financial crisis has left many people behind. They receive no assistance at all from the government and are forced to fend for themselves. As a result, many of them live in abject poverty and desperation. Their lives are far from the Lebanese dream that is often spoken about.

The financial crisis has had a hugely negative impact on the lives of many Lebanese people. It has created an immense amount of hardship and despair. For those affected, the Lebanese dream seems like a distant reality.

👉 Table Of Content (TOC).

Introducing The Lebanese Economic Crisis.

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Image by NatanaelGinting from Istockphoto.

The crisis can be traced back to the late 70s to early 90s and started to take mainstream ever since 2019, when the economy started to crash. This led to a domino effect, with many industries collapsing. This had a devastating effect on the Lebanese economy, which is still struggling to recover.

The Lebanese government has been criticized for its handling of the crisis. It has been accused of not doing enough to help those affected. The government has also been accused of not being transparent about the true extent of the crisis.

This has led to much anger and frustration among the Lebanese people. Many feel that the government has abandoned them and that they have been left to fend for themselves.

High Unemployment Rates.

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Image taken from macrotrends.

In 2021, the youth unemployment rate was 29.60%. This is the highest it has been for ages. Many people are struggling to find jobs.

The high unemployment rates are having a ripple effect on the economy. Consumer spending is down because people don't have money to spend [0]. This is causing businesses to cut back on production and layoffs. The result is a vicious cycle that is only deepening the financial crisis.

It is clear that something needs to be done to address the high unemployment rates. But what can be done? You may ask. Well, one way to reduce unemployment is by providing financial assistance to businesses so that they can maintain or create jobs. Another way is by investing in training and education programs to help people find jobs. By taking these steps, we can help to mitigate the effects of this financial crisis and help get the economy back on track.

In essence, high unemployment rates are not only a drag on the economy but also a human tragedy. Too many people are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. Something needs to be done to address this problem before it worsens.

Deep Poverty.

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Image by Frantisek Krejci from Pixabay.

The Lebanese crisis has been raging for over three years, showing no signs of abating. The crisis has devastated the country's economy, with the Lebanese pound losing over 90% of its value since 2019. This has led to widespread poverty, with over 80% of Lebanese living below the poverty line [1].

The crisis in Lebanon has also caused a sharp increase in the price of basic goods and a decrease in the availability of jobs. This has made it extremely difficult for families to make ends meet, and many have been forced to rely on aid from local and international organizations.

The crisis has also caused a major decline in GDP, with GDP per capita dropping 37.1% between 2018 and 2021 [2]. This has had a devastating impact on the Lebanese population. As the crisis continues, the situation is only likely to worsen, with more Lebanese people living in poverty and struggling to meet their basic needs.

The situation in Lebanon profoundly impacts ordinary Lebanese lives. The crisis needs to be brought to an end as soon as possible so that people can start to rebuild their lives.


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The official rate of the Lebanese pound is about 1,507.50 to the dollar, but the actual street value is way lower. The unofficial exchange rate has climbed from 1,507 to almost 35,000, meaning that daily grocery bills can now equal a month's worth of income for a typical family, leaving many Lebanese struggling to make ends meet.

The Lebanese government has been trying to stem the tide of devaluation by printing more money, but this has only led to inflation. Prices are rising faster than wages, and there is no end to the crisis.

The Lebanese people are suffering immensely due to the devaluation of their currency. Many are going hungry or are forced to live in abject poverty. We can only hope the situation improves soon for the sake of all those affected.

Basic Medicines Are Unavailable.

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Image by PDPics from Pixabay

According to the World Health Organization(WHO), It is estimated that less than half of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, healthcare facilities of hospitals are currently functioning [3]. This means that access to primary medical care is limited for the Lebanese people. In addition, many essential medicines are unavailable in the country [4].

The lack of access to basic medical care and essential medicines is devastatingly impacting the Lebanese people's health.

The situation in Lebanon is dire, and the needs of the Lebanese people are great. I urge all parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian organizations like UNICEF, and UNESCO, access to those in need and to facilitate the delivery of essential medical supplies and other vital assistance.

The Majority Of Homes Lack Electricity.

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Image from GettyImages

Most homes in Lebanon lack electricity; this led to the price of solar panels skyrocketing [5], making them unaffordable for many citizens. The Lebanese government has been struggling to provide basic services, let alone power, to its citizens since the start of the crisis. This has resulted in a black market for solar panels, with prices soaring as demand outstrips supply.

The lack of electricity has devastatingly impacted everyday life in Lebanon. Hospitals are struggling to function without power [6].

The Lebanese government has responded by rationing power, fuel [7]; but the blackouts have nonetheless left many businesses and households in the dark. The crisis has also caused a spike in generators and other backup power prices, as well as a run on batteries and candles.

It's been a difficult adjustment for everyone, but we, the Lebanese people, are known for our resilience [8]. Hopefully, the country will be able to weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side.


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Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

As Lebanese people, we are living an existential crisis moment. To understand the real Lebanon, you need to understand our lives. Only by understanding our struggles can you begin to understand the country as a whole. Peace!

Cover Image by Alexa from Pixabay


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[0] Unicef. When we have money, we buy what we need. If we don’t have money, we don’t eat.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[1] thenationalnews. Almost 80% of Lebanese living in poverty, UN study reveals.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[2] worldbank. Lebanon's Economic Update — October 2021.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[3] france24. Many of Beirut's hospitals 'non-functional' following deadly blast, WHO warns.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[4] thenationalnews. Lebanon to run out of hundreds of medicines by the end of July.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[5] aljazeera. Solar ‘boom’ times as Lebanon’s fossil fuels run dry.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[6] vanguardngr. Fuel shortage throws Lebanon’s hospitals in crisis.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[7] transparency-lebanon. Transparency in Lebanon’s Power Sector.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

[8] atiejelmouallem. Lebanon’s Long History with Resilience.. Retrieved 2022-09-08.

Top comments (14)

mneme profile image
Alex T

As a programmer, you are too good in human language. I like how you sent clear and structured message. The crisis you shared here is similar to Venezuela. I had an impulse to start a web project last time when I heard from a friend. I may have a naive thinking that as web developer, we can make an impact or make a difference for the world.

  1. economy crisis. I think many countries are experiencing it since pandemic, Lebanese situation is as bad as Venezuelan. I ever heard a Professor in Venezuela can't even afford a cheap smartphone. Pandemic and Ukraine-Russian war made it worse.
    I do think that prolonged corruption and government officials lacking insights and competency is the main culprit for country not to flourish as they should be.(I may be wrong about it)

  2. High unemployment rates
    I think there is a change in "employment" structure since the internet and technology emerging for the last 10-15 years. Spotify democratises musicians, shopping platforms democratise merchandising, YouTube democratises movies. That's how it sparkles my mind on how to solve it.

  3. Deep Poverty
    It is harsh and cruel for survival.
    If possible with the data science, what is the most available major food source which is cheap in Lebanon? is it possible to increase the production or farming? if not, are there any other alternatives? By carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water. eg. Soya beans or beans as cheaper food for cheese, eggs, meat.

  4. In pandemic, many countries suffering from medical supplies exhausted and under supplied.(or people hoarding medical supplies) I have seen many people in telegram groups sharing on nutritional healing and all sorts of remedies.

In this highly volatile environment ever since the pandemic, I think people have learnt to be more versatile and resilient. You have impressed me as your age with such a flow of writing and high versatility of technology skills.

wiseai profile image
Mahmoud Harmouch

Thank you for your kind words and insightful thoughts, Alex. I'm glad you appreciate my thoughts on the situation. I really like how you are thinking about improving the situation. It is true that knowledge is power and I'm using it to try to make a difference in this world. I also believe that education is an important part of making a change.

As you mentioned, It's incredibly difficult to find a way out of the crisis here in Lebanon, especially when necessities like smartphones are too expensive for many people. I agree that the crisis is similar to Venezuela. The biggest difference, however, is that Venezuela has oil and Lebanon does not. This means that Venezuela can use its oil to barter with other countries for goods, whereas Lebanon cannot. This makes it even more difficult for Lebanese people to find a way out of their current predicament.

I think finding a solution will require a lot of time and effort from everyone involved. But I remain hopeful that things can improve if we work together towards a common goal. Thank you again for your thoughtful comments.

For the last part, I've been learning English for a very long time, and I think it helped me develop a better understanding of the world. I hope you stick around and continue to enjoy my work. Peace!

mneme profile image
Alex T

Key question: food will get rotten if don't get eaten or sold. Do you think there are merchants or people will donate the excess or food which is about to expire?
building a simple platform for people to share resources and for people in need to pick up I think is possible. Why not starting from your hometown?

mneme profile image
Alex T • Edited

I have few suggestions here:

  1. food sources sharing: during pandemic, Thai people put a food sharing cupboard in a spot that people who are really in need can take. Like canned food, flour, oil, cookies, bread. Of course, it really needs people really be considerate and take what it is enough for their needs. Another way: some shops/merchants with good credits can donate some canned food or food within 1-3months about to expire. And it is possible to put an app in Lebanon nationwide for all participating merchants, we can put in our websites to promote their merchants or shops for the good deeds they have done. I have this in mind when my country was in very bad situation. Now My country situation become better. I don't think this proposal is in need. And I am still learning for backend. If you want, I will write a workflow proposal and see what we can do about it. The fact is it can work as country basis to resolve the current situation for everyone in the world. Are you interested?

  2. With your data science knowledge, we can find out what is the current food source Lebanese is having. What other alternatives can lower the cost or is it other ways to make dishes or food to last longer?

  3. the high unemployment rates: I thought about a website allows anyone(for people in Lebanon even a housewife can be a content contributor) can share any great tips/life hacks/recipes(anything they are good at) on anything. Then anyone can tip them with the great ideas they share. It can be a recipe, good idea in saving money, or anything. The issue is we need to set up for people like Lebanese, Venezuelans can easily cash out the tip or can even use the credit to exchange for food and other necessity. Similar to BAT(Brave Attention Token concept)

What do you think ?

leob profile image
leob • Edited

The same thing has happened in Sri Lanka (and for instance - to a certain degree - in Argentina, and in Venezuela, although that's a bit of a different situation, as there's a heavy political-ideological component there, in the form of marxism).

The root cause, at least in the case of Sri Lanka and Lebanon: mismanagement of the economy by the government!

Too much reliance on a few sectors (tourism for Sri Lanka, the banking sector for Lebanon), with insufficient productivity and output in other sectors (e.g. agriculture, food production) - and the consequence is that most of the things people need to stay alive (energy, fuel, food, medicine) has to be imported, which results in a huge trade deficit - which gets financed by borrowing money.

This of course means living on a volcano - once the "rest of the world" starts losing faith in a country's economy, they will stop lending, or will only do so at huge interest rates, and that's the beginning of the end - imports can't be financed anymore, which means empty shelves in the supermarkets, no fuel in the gas stations, no electricity from your wall socket (because the country can't pay for the fuel needed to run the power plants), no medicine in the hospitals, and so on.

For both Lebanon and Sri Lanka, the blame should be put squarely and exclusively in only one place: the politicians and the government! It's their incompetence and lack of responsibility that has made people suffer.

This goes to show how, in our highly sophisticated industrialized economies, our lives and wellbeing are hanging by a very thin thread - no matter how talented and hard working you are, your life can be ruined by an incompetent government, and there's very little you can do about it.

mneme profile image
Alex T

only the people can save themselves. The value of currency holds in the minds of people. when people think/believe you worth something, that's when they will invest in you.

leob profile image
leob • Edited

No it's not "the people" who screwed up in those two countries that I mentioned - it's the folks at the top, the powers that be, the people in government, who gambled with the economy and the future of their countries - by wasting tax payers' money on dumb projects, by stuffing their own pockets, by borrowing too much, by not making sure there are productive industries to EARN the hard currencies to finance the imports.

All of that is "structural" and engrained in the 'system' - there's only so much (well very little, actually) that an individual can do. Economy crashes, then all the little puppets go with it and get buried in that "avalanche", that would apply to you and me as well if we'd be living there.

Big misunderstanding that the fault lies with the local population in those countries. Or maybe that's not what you were trying to say, but then again I'm not really sure what you were trying to say.

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mneme profile image
Alex T

My ‘people’ = civilians, not gov.

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leob profile image
leob • Edited

That's what I thought - so why, do you think, are countries like Lebanon and Sri Lanka bankrupt, and are people (= "civilians") suffering - what's the ultimate root cause?

The root cause is mismanagement - it's the governments in those countries who destroyed the economy, screwed "the people" over, and made them suffer ... it's not the fault of "the people", people are just at the mercy of their governments' incompetent policies, which ruined their countries and their lives.

Yes, for now all "the people" can do is be inventive and resilient and survive from day to day, but in the end the only real solution is to oust the corrupt and incompetent politicians, and get better ones.

The reason why Lebanon and Sri Lanka are bankrupt is because of mismanagement of the economy, so that's ultimately what you need to fix.

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mneme profile image
Alex T

That’s a very intriguing question you asked. I think we may need a long chat.
I wonder if I should “vandalise” on Mahmoud Harmouch’s post, or “vandalise” on my own space.

Let me simply put it:

  1. The value of a thing = how much you believe it worth
  2. globalizations. There are gives and takes.

What makes a normal soccer ball worth more with Messi’s signature?

Let’s imagine we all go back to basic, going back to ancient time:
We use things for things as trade off, no currency. Plain and simple. You and I agreed on exchange of a cow for a house. Then it comes currency, to make it easier for calculation of value. Let’s single out Lebanon(or any country in the world), when you only stay in your own country with your own currency to trade. No problem when your country is self-sufficed.

“It's a lazy day in a hot town. The sun is high, the streets are deserted, and everyone is in debt and living on credit.
At this time, a rich tourist came from other places. He entered a hotel, took out a 1,000 dollars bill and put it on the counter, saying that he wanted to look at the rooms first and choose a suitable one for overnight stay.
Just as the man went upstairs, the shopkeeper grabbed the 1,000 dollars note and ran to the butcher next door to pay the meat money he owed.
With 1,000 dollars note, the butcher crossed the road and paid off the farmer's cost.
The farmer took 1,000 dollars note and went out to pay the feed he owed.
The man who sold the feed got 1,000 dollars note and hurried to pay off the money he hired for prostitutes (the economy is not good, and the local service industry has to provide credit services).
With 1,000 dollars note, the prostitute rushed to the hotel to pay what she owed for the room.
The hotel owner hurriedly put the 1,000 dollars note on the counter to avoid suspicious passengers when they went downstairs.
At this time the man was coming downstairs, picked up 1000 dollars note, claimed that none of the rooms were satisfactory, he pocketed the money, and left...
On this day, no one produced anything, and no one got anything, but the debts of the whole town were cleared, and everyone was very happy...
What does this story tell us? Cash needs to be in circulation to generate value! And there will always be hype in the economy!”

I read about this story couples of years ago. It is a good story on 1000 dollars note passing around 6 times with the value created 6000.

Similarly, I suggest for current situation in Lebanon, people can use their own value to trade(things for similar value) among themselves to keep country people to survive.

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leob profile image
leob • Edited

Nice story, but a pyramid scheme will not last forever - ultimately real value (goods or services) will need to be produced by real people, it's the only source of "wealth". Apart from that, still not sure what you're trying to say, OTOH my analysis was simple & crystal clear.

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mneme profile image
Alex T

the story was not a pyramid scheme. it is real goods and services.

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Sloan, the sloth mascot
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leob profile image
leob • Edited

Okay, I reread the story, and of course there is a logical "hole" in it the size of the Mount Everest - I had some mental fog that prevented me from seeing it, but it's simple:

"With 1,000 dollars note, the prostitute rushed to the hotel to pay what she owed for the room.
The hotel owner hurriedly put the 1,000 dollars note on the counter to avoid suspicious passengers when they went downstairs."

So, the prostitute paid the hotel owner 1000 dollars that she owned him. Hotel owner hurriedly put it on the counter, and the rich man picked it up and went off.

The simple conclusion - the hotel owner LOST 1000 dollars revenue, which he'll never get back, because he forfeited the debt that the prostitute had with him - the hotel owner simply paid the debts of that town, from his own pocket, he became 1000 dollars poorer than he was.

No magic here at all, nothing "deep" - LOL !

(oh and on top of that the rich man had his hotel room for free, so the hotel owner got doubly screwed, but that's an inconsequential detail really)

I like an amusing anecdote as much as anyone, but the story falls flat, hence it proves nothing.

" 1000 dollars note passing around 6 times with the value created 6000" - nope, no "6000 value" was created, at all - it's a chain with the 1000 being passed on, which goes for the initial debts, and then for the paying off of the debts. The initial debts were also from A to B to C and so on. At most 1000 was "created" but not even that - see above.

Oh, and regarding:

"People can use their own value to trade(things for similar value) among themselves to keep country people to survive"

Yeah sure, that will work if you're prepared to live like a caveman, grow food, trade it with your neigbor and that's it. Say goodbye to electricity, transportation, healthcare, any form of technology - because you cannot possibly be self-sufficient with ALL of that as a country, let alone as an individual.

I'm glad that you're not the minister of economic affairs in my country, or an adviser with any sort of influence, lol.