While the city is deep in its slumber, four families in Beirut have just become homeless. Women and men, children and elders, are stranded on the streets of Beirut, with the bare minimum of their belongings and the clothes on their backs.
Politician Paula Yacoubian went live on Facebook to shed light on the families that have been thrown into the streets by the municipality of Beirut. She pledged to take action immediately to see the families out of the streets.
The families told Yacoubian that they’ve lived in these houses for over 50 years.
Like many Lebanese who were once displaced during the war, they found shelter in abandoned homes decades ago, occupying them illegally since then, yet paying for electricity and water like any average citizen.
Some of the families said they were warned that morning that they had one week to leave before being evicted. Others, including an 80-year old man who was sleeping at the time, was ordered without notice to leave the house.
According to a law recently introduced, evictions are not permitted during the time of the coronavirus at least until the end of July, Paula Yacoubian said in a tweet.
She also shared that the families have been able to return to the homes they’ve been living in for 40 years.
With Yacoubian’s efforts, along with the help of the President of Beirut Bar Association Melhem Khalaf and the Minister of Justice Marie-Claude Najm, the families were able to return to their homes for the night and until the end of July.
“It’s true these aren’t their homes, but we cannot evict them in the middle of the night,” she tweeted.
It is a quick fix, for now, and Yacoubian says she will work on finding a solution.
It’s certainly thought-provoking that the municipality was in such a rush to evict these families, in the middle of the night, and during these harsh economic times.