| 1 August 2021, Sunday |

Protests in Saida against black market dollar which continues to set records

Sawt Beirut International’s reporter, Sarah Chehadeh, has covered the streets’ protests in Saida, when citizens blocked the entrances to Nejmeh Square in protest of the dollar’s exchange rate reaching the 18,000-pound mark.

Chehadeh indicated that a number of shops shut their doors given the challenges of pricing goods. In this context, a citizen affirmed:  “The Lebanese must unite, and head to the streets to demonstrate against the corrupt class.”

“We call on Security Forces to stand by our side so that we protest in front of politicians’ residences. I’m not here to beg for money, but at the very least for basic personal necessities. Yesterday, I was unable to find medicine for my child, as well as gasoline. We wait in lines for hours only to be shocked by the “preferences” of the gas station, who fill their cars before anybody else, without having to wait in line,” another protester explained.

Because of the scarcity of gasoline, a taxi driver stated that he was unable to operate. “We are going through difficult times, and one demonstration is not enough,” he remarked. We can no longer stand it and urge a more serious escalation. Politicians are still competing on the basis of shared interests. We urge the Labor Union and the Road Transport Union to investigate the working conditions of taxi drivers.”

“I can no longer continue working,” a bakery owner remarked. “A cheese packet used to cost 200,000 LBP, but now it costs 600,000 LBP. We don’t have a choice but to take to the streets in order to put pressure on a corrupt system. All Lebanese businesses are required to close their doors and engage in protests.”