Ouzai, Beirut
Lebanon’s Economic Crisis Loosing House & Relocating
MEET Ahmad

AHMAD (father of 2), was evicted as he could not afford staying with his parents in law house. The dollarized monthly rent is high and they were a very big family (9 people living in the same small house) so the expenses of food and other items was very high. He moved to an apartment owned by the manager of the company he works for; he is staying there since (2018). The economic crisis is affecting him in a sense that he is still being paid on the dollar exchange rate of 1,500 LL, while all the household items are being priced on the black market prices for the dollar.

“I am a father. I maybe have only 2 kids and some other people have more kids, but it hunts me and I feel scared not to be able to provide for my kids.”

At first, when he was married (in 2006), he lived at his parents’ house until he got his first child, and then moved to his parents in law house (in 2013) where he stayed for about 5 years, then he had to move to another house (in 2018) where he is staying now. Since he moved to live alone with his wife and children, he felt more stable and independent:
“Stability is very good. I am stable which makes me happy. If I only knew how much it is better to be alone with ones’ wife and kids, I would have never married before being able to live on my own.”

“Yes of course. All prices are increasing. The bread which is a daily consumption by all households, is now at 2500 Liras, when it used to be 1000. When you go to a supermarket and you spend a 100 thousand you feel you did not get everything you need. Those things you used to get for 15000 Liras before. I am still working and getting paid the same salary of 1,200 thousand
at the dollar rate of 1500, but buying at the rate of 9000. Everything is times 3 or more. We are getting only the strict necessary.”

Ahmad knows many people who had to move to other regions where rents are cheaper, or even to move to a smaller apartment because they cannot afford anymore the dollarized monthly rents:
“So, people are looking for smaller places and a cheaper rent.” He considers himself as lucky, because he is renting the apartment of his manager, that he described as a good person because he did not increase the rent and sometimes he accepts to delay the rent payment.