Lebanese carry ‘worthless’ stacks of cash after currency crash


Antoine Haddad, known as Abou Chadi, a Lebanese restaurant owner, counts Lebanese pounds in Jal el-Dib, Lebanon October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Issam Abdallah

BEIRUT, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Restaurant owner Antoine Haddad has been in business for over 35 years but says he is running out of hope as Lebanon struggles with one of the deepest financial crises of modern times.

The Lebanese pound lost around 90% of its value in the past two years, propelling three quarters of the population into poverty.

For Haddad, the difference between this and other crises that Lebanon has experienced, including the 1975-1990 civil war, is that it feels like there is no end in sight.

“Previously, you had hope that: ‘tomorrow the war will end, we do this and that and go back to where we were’, but this time there is no hope,” he said.

A man holds up Lebanese pound banknotes in Beirut, Lebanon October 27, 2021. Picture taken October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Issam Abdallah

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