Agence France-Presse (AFP) published a series of photos, taken this month, documenting “empty fridges as Lebanon economic crisis bites.”
The agency’s photographers Ibrahim Chalhoub and Anwar Amro visited several Lebanese families’ homes in various areas of Lebanon: Beirut, Tripoli, Byblos, Jounieh, and Saida.
The photos are of the people who agreed to have their picture taken next to their empty fridges.
AFP posted the pictures online with the following caption: “Lebanon’s economic crisis has led to a collapse of the local currency and purchasing power, plunging whole segments of society into poverty as exemplified by near-empty fridges in many households.”
This harsh reality weighed heavily on Lebanese people’s hearts. They had several reactions, going from anger to sympathy to pure heartbreak.
The You Stink movement in Lebanon posted the pictures on their Facebook page, saying that this is where the “ruling mafia” got the country and its people.
They called their actions a crime and described everyone who participated in getting people to this level of poverty as criminals.
Malek Maktabi, a Lebanese TV host, posted the same pictures on his Instagram account, saying: “This must be the most difficult moment in a person’s life! To open your fridge and find nothing in it… and to face the challenge of feeding your family…”
“Many Lebanese families have empty fridges, from the North to the South… Pale faces and sad pictures that reflect the situation of the Lebanese in light of the severe economic crisis and collapse… and no solution is in sight.”
We get to ask if these photos would finally shake the seats of the responsible officials and get them to tackle the excruciating reality once and for all; not with talks and handshakes but with effective actions away from politics and internal conflicts.
Would they now get to acknowledge that the reforms, which the Revolution of the people have been calling for since last year, are an urgency that should have been tackled ever since the people went screaming their pain in the streets?
Or are we going to keep witnessing their arrests or, worst, them being beaten up and slandered because of their pain and despair?