Hit by crises twice: Ms. Nayla Awad describes what it is like to live in Lebanon

Bambi recently had a conversation with her childhood friend, Ms. Awad (or Nayla) about the situation in Lebanon. It was a deep chat. This is why Bambi asked if she could share on her personal website. Thank you Nayla for having accepted. Bambi appreciates your kind generosity.

First of all, Nayla has always had a natural talent for seeing matters with lucidity; a quality that not too many people possess in life. Indeed, many folks deceive themselves or prevent themselves from seeing reality (especially when it is hard) by either lying to themselves or to others. Not Nayla whose honesty is precisely what Bambi has always appreciated in her good friend.

This being said, Bambi kindly called today to see how is the situation in NB, Canada. When Bambi asked her about Lebanon, sadly already hit by a crisis before this one, here were the words of her friend:

“At first, with the financial crisis [that started suddenly on October 17, 2019], we felt stuck in this country. All of a sudden, we could no longer have access to our money at the bank. That has been unfair to people. Then, with the coronavirus pandemic, we felt stuck even further, as literally we cannot (or should not) travel anymore nowadays”.

Nayla then added the following: “Plus, even if we say, let’s go to Canada for a better life. To immigrate, we need to take with us our savings to be able to live for at least a year, if we are not able to find a job at first. Well, we still cannot do that as you know because we still do not have access to our own money at the bank” [this is in reference of the limited access to funds, US$50-$100 per week, that citizens can take out of the bank].

“So, basically, people are feeling increasingly stuck, even if we know that in the end pandemics will end (hopefully with the least mortality possible). We also want to remain as optimistic as possible about the financial crisis”.

To come back to the coronavirus crisis, Nayla said: “some people cannot self-isolate because they earn a living on a daily basis. The other day, I bumped into a cab driver and he literally told me these words: I need to feed by my family; this is why I am still on the roads, despite the coronavirus”.

“Lebanon is bankrupt and cannot afford to go through what Italy has experienced. No money to buy much needed equipment. We have no choice but to be wise and try to stop the transmission of the virus”’.

She then added: “What can we do? This pandemic is what is happening now in the world and we just cope with it from the best of our capacity. I just hope that everyone will be safe and that we will not lose anyone to this virus, whether it is someone close or not, we like or not, etc.”.

“Yes, social isolation is tough on some people”, Nayla added, giving the example of some people who were already feeling down by the crisis”. She then gave the great example of Italians singing on their balcony to deal with social isolation stemming from preventive measures against the pandemic of COVID-19.  To use her own words again, “there is nothing more charming and cute than that” [Bambi agrees with her friend].

To conclude this post, here are Nayla’s final wise words and below is a video from Italy showing quarantined Italians singing together from their balconies:

“Maybe we can learn from Italians. We should talk to each other, and we can do this across balconies, be kind to one another, in those times of social isolation”.

Well said, Nayla. Thank you again. Please be safe, you and your family.

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