BEIRUT: Women took to the streets on Saturday afternoon on the eve of Mother’s Day, despite warnings from doctors about the risk of the coronavirus spreading.
The mothers ’anger over the current situation, which has prompted a generation of young people to migrate, prompted dozens to protest.
A group of mothers gathered in the Bechara Al Khoury area of Beirut and went to central Beirut and the port, the site of the port explosion seven months ago.
They wore face masks and waved Lebanese flags and banners.
The mothers cried and shouted slogans, demanding that the politicians leave.
The protests took place as dozens of flower vases, wrapped in colorful glossy paper, spread in front of flower shops in Beirut and its environs on Saturday. Among their leaves were signs indicating their price of 40,000 Lebanese pounds ($ 26).
The front of bakeries and confectionery shops was filled with cakes, the prices of which ranged from 50,000-150,000 Lebanese pounds.
Mothers Day Sunday in Lebanon coincides with the beginning of spring. Lebanese traditionally spend abundantly on gifts for their mothers or wives.
But celebrating the occasion this year is different. Compared to the situation in previous years, there are hardly any customers in clothing and perfume shops in major malls.
Prices, as Ms Samar said, are extremely high for those receiving their Lebanese pound salary. They can hardly buy baby food and milk, if they find them at all, then how can I buy a jacket for my mother, the price of which is twice my salary? Or how can you buy her a bottle of perfume, the price of which is more than 1.5 million Lebanese pounds?
The dollar continued its decline on Saturday, trading between 10,100-11,000 Lebanese pounds.
The country is waiting for the outcome of the meeting between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Monday, but expectations are not high.
After meeting with President Michel Aoun on Saturday, Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said: “We have reached an absolute impasse amid the economic collapse. Hunger is knocking on people’s doors and reconciliation has become necessary. God testifies that I told people (the reality of the situation).
Legal money changers are also cautious.
Bilal Ghandour, an owner of a jewelry store in Beirut, said: “On Saturday, money changers refrained from selling dollars. They only bought dollars, for fear that the dollar exchange rate would rise on Monday after meeting at the Republican Palace.
Ghandour described the sales in his shop as very light.
He said: The price of a gram of 18 carat gold is $ 42, which means 462,000 Lebanese pounds, according to the exchange rate on Saturday, and a small piece of gold should be more than five grams. The situation is very difficult.
Those who have dollars can buy, but they only buy pieces whose prices do not exceed 200-300 dollars.
In a statement, the Lebanese Money Changers’ Union praised the Banque du Liban’s decision to launch its electronic platform and allow banks to trade in currencies similar to legitimate money changers.
The fall in the dollar exchange rate did not lead to lower commodity prices in the market.
Everyone wants to make up for their losses in the future, said Antoine, a seller at Furn El Chebbak.
Mohammed, who sells flowers and plants at the Tayouneh roundabout, said the price of the tulip plant this year is 30,000 Lebanese pounds, compared to last year’s price of 7,000 Lebanese pounds.
The price of the cyclamen plant last year did not exceed 10,000 Lebanese pounds and is now 50,000 Lebanese pounds, he said.
We are not the ones raising prices. People are tired. Their priorities have changed, and flowers have become a luxury.
However, the demand for cakes was not affected, according to Ali, the manager of one of the confectionery shops in the Chiyah area, Ain al-Remmaneh.
He said: Although the prices of sweets destined for Mother’s Day have risen relatively, jumping from 50,000 to 95,000 Lebanese pounds, people are still buying. Probably because they are cheaper than clothes, perfumes and gold, of course.
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