The unimaginable disaster that struck Beirut last month left the country shattered. The explosion stole the spotlight from people’s previous concerns (high prices, poverty, no electricity, etc). Merely surviving has become a priority.
But with the focus now shifted to Beirut, it can be easy to forget the struggling people of other cities still impacted by a growing mountain of crises.
Lebanon’s second-largest city, Tripoli, has some of the most vulnerable families in the country.
The northern town has a history of being neglected, especially the notorious neighborhoods of Bab El-Tabenneh and Jabel Mohsen. Poor residents fear they will be forgotten.
However, British artist Rachel Smith began a singlehanded initiative to raise funds for needy families in Tripoli. She is rewarding lino prints of beloved Lebanese singer Fayrouz for a donation of £25 or more.
All the money from the donations will go to Menna w Fina, a local community-run initiative that is responding to the townpeople’s most urgent needs.
The prints come in two special options: “Le Beirut” and “Fairuz in the morning”. And they are quite popular. Rachel has raised over £2,900 so far.
Smith’s arts are hand-printed on Hosho Japanese paper with water-based ink and measure 143mm x 199mm each. According to her crowdfunding page, donors will receive their chosen reward in September.