During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Old Saida turns into a beehive that keeps busy throughout the day. Saida is famous for preparing Ramadan sweets and for the generosity of its people for offering delicious sweets that suit all social classes at the most affordable prices: “Some stores are selling a kilo of Madlouka sweets at 75,000 LBP. I sell it at 40,000 LBP, and the benefits I earn are vulnerable. I trust in God and I am grateful for all these blessings”, a shop owner told Sawt Beirut International’s reporter, Sarah Shehadeh.
Another seller affirmed: “I sell a dozen of maamoul for 16,000 LBP, whereas outside Old Saida, a dozen is sold at 30,000 LBP. One kilo of Qatayef is sold at 8,000 LBP and one kilo of baklava is sold at 25,000 LBP.”
“Back to the days of Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, we used to live a blessed life, because he dropped the dollar rate. Saida was the destinations of tourists, and we were all happier with our lives. But now, the country will keep moving backwards in the presence of such corrupt leaders,” another vendor revealed.
The Lebanese people call Old Saida “Mother of the Poor”. Despite the successive economic and living crises, the kindness and solidarity of the people supporting each other can be witnessed and felt in every corner.
The owners of Ramadan sweets shops in Old Saida were able during this Holy Month to recover part of their losses and resume their work. However, one can feel their concern and fear towards post-Ramadan stagnation.