These Recent Grads In Lebanon Are Using their Degrees To Sell Saj

The Lebanese economy is still spiraling downwards, sweeping away with it numerous stores, restaurants, bars, businesses, news outlets, and recently a radio station, and a major mall.

Hundreds of people are losing their only income. Parents cannot afford house expenses and many are months behind on rent. Students cannot pay their tuition. Everyone is scrambling to make ends meet. 

Prices of basic needs such as food, gas, and fuel are increasing weekly. The situation keeps getting worse, while the government is watching Lebanon fall into ruins.

In an interview with Al Jazeera news, the new Minister of Labor Lamia Yammine Douaihy said that her Ministry is trying to encourage the Lebanese people “to take jobs they wouldn’t usually work in, for example in restaurants, at fuel stations, and at the airport.”

The Lebanese economy currently does not permit the ministry to create job opportunities. In light of these circumstances, many young graduates are losing their jobs.

Among these young people who lost their jobs are Marc Darido and Rudi Hanna. Marc, a 24-year-old hospitality management graduate, lost his job as a sales manager because he participated in the Lebanese revolution.

Rudy, a 22-year-old computer science graduate, was let go because of the financial troubles of the company. He and Marc decided to dare their circumstances and that of the country and joined forces to cope… in a Lebanese style.

They got themselves what they needed of basics to open a Saj corner, and went set it up in the Martyrs’ Square of Beirut, calling “Thawra Saj.” With simple means, they managed to create their own jobs, selling at very reasonable prices.

Moved by that typical Lebanese humor that defies frustrations, they plastered their degrees in front of the stove next to a sign that reads, “We got fired but won’t give up.” 

Even though it is not a permanent solution, it provides them with a little income, while feeding the protesters on site some good warm saj. Lebanese guys like Rudy and Marc reflect the high level of endurance that characterizes many Lebanese revolutionists.

“We also want to point out that Lebanese people have so much potential, but the country’s leaders have trashed the economy and now we’re here,” they said in an interview with Al Jazeera.

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