Abu Tariq: I Fear not COVID-19 but Poverty and Indigence

“Thank Allah, the Lord of the Worlds”, is a phrase that the 50-year-old Abu Tariq has always repeated to summarize his daily suffering. You see him sitting with his crutch and weary look on his face reflecting the cruelty of the years he has lived so far.

Abu Tariq, who was an excellent athlete in his youth had an accident that caused him to lose sight in his right eye. He told us: “I have experience in plumping and repairing household appliances and electricity malfunctions, but what I lack is an escort to guide me to my way.”

In his words, one finds conviction and confidence that soon turns to weakness and sorrow once he recalls his condition and that of his family. Abu Tariq kept telling us that he is not afraid of the coronavirus but is frightened by poverty and the idea of his daughter needing medicine that he would not be able to afford.

Abu Tariq needs around 70,000 LBP a day to feed his family (equivalent to 8 USD according to the black market’s exchange rate) and most days he cannot even get half of that amount.

This is one of many similar stories that numerous Lebanese households experience on a daily basis, the unemployment rate in Lebanon reached 65% by the end of 2020 and is expected to increase as the economic situation declines day by day.

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