Lebanese commemorate Labor Day this year in a different atmosphere. Many workers have left their basic occupation due to the harsh conditions and resorted to other work that enables them to live in the simplest of necessities.
A sixty-year-old man wanders the streets of Tripoli collecting pieces of plastic and metal from garbage after he was a brilliant carpenter, and according to what he told the correspondent of “Voice of Beirut International,” Ghassan Farran, “At first I learned painting furniture. Then I moved to the carpentry of Lamaika sheets in the port and later opened a cafe, but with the high prices, I moved to collecting plastic and iron.
Abu Mustafa used to work as a painter, on this Labor Day, he is far from his profession and his main work, as he moved to selling hats and said, “Now I feel tired, this work needs long hours, as I used to work from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon.” And on whether he would celebrate Labor Day, he said, “It is a feast for us to have a livelihood.”
Rifaat, a twenty-year-old man from the Denniyeh area, resorted to wiping shoes to gain daily sustenance after he was a builder. He says that the real feast is the day when work will be available again, he stressed that this profession can not afford a good life but he is trying to cope with it.
What kind of a feast is this in a country where the worker no longer realizes what his true occupation is, and does not know what fate will be awaiting his and his family ?