Lebanon's woes cast shadow over Eid al-Adha

This year's Eid al-Adha in Lebanon has a very different tone; lockdown came into effect last week and with the economy in freefall, many have been left unable to observe the season's traditions.

On Friday (July 31), Beirut's mosques were vacant of the usual crowds who gather on the first day of the annual Muslim holiday.

In some areas, there were no decorations or twinkling lights, and no electricity to power them.

During Eid, Muslims buy livestock for slaughter and distribute the meat to the poor, and the holiday is traditionally marked with large gatherings of friends and family where they share a meal and traditional sweets bought in the lead-up to the event.

But with months of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, many Lebanese like Bilal have little left:

"Beirut is empty, people can't afford to eat. Nobody is visiting each other, no one can buy gifts, the roads are empty. Because of the coronavirus and there's no work, people are digging through the garbage, there's no Eid, nobody feels Eid this year."

As of Saturday (August 1) Lebanon reported 4,730 infections and 61 deaths according to the ministry of health.

Video Transcript

CIARA LEE: This year's Eid al-Adha in Lebanon has a very different tone. Lockdown came into effect last week. And with the economy in freefall, many have been left unable to observe the season's traditions. On Friday, Beirut's mosques were vacant of the usual crowds who gather on the first day of the annual Muslim holiday. In some areas, there were no decorations or twinkling lights, and no electricity to power them.

During Eid, Muslims buy livestock for slaughter and distribute the meat to the poor. And the holiday is traditionally marked with large gatherings of friends and family, where they share a meal and traditional sweets bought in the lead-up to the event. But with months of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, many Lebanese like Bilal have little left.

BILAL: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Beirut is empty. People can't afford to eat. Nobody is visiting each other. No one can buy gifts. The roads are empty. Because of the coronavirus and the lack of work, people are digging through the garbage. There's no Eid. Nobody feels Eid this year.

CIARA LEE: As of Saturday, Lebanon reported 4,730 infections and 61 deaths, according to the health ministry.