Lebanese launch lanterns in Beirut's Gemmayzeh neighbourhood during the lighting of a Christmas tree, in memory of the victims of the devastating August explosion at the Port of Beirut. Firefighters stand in front of the Christmas tree created by Lebanese artist Hayat Nazer and decorated with uniforms of firefighters and rescue workers as a way to pay tribute to those who died in the blast.
Lebanese couture is revered around the world for its flamboyance and artistry, with collections destined for clients based in Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and the US. But in recent months, a crippling economic crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and of course August's catastrophic Beirut port explosion have threatened the industry like never before. Some of the biggest names in Beirut fashion, including the likes of Elie Saab and Tony Ward, spoke to FRANCE 24 about their experience of the past few months.
After the deadly explosion that hit the port of Beirut on August 4 and destroyed part of the city, amid a backdrop of government negligence, corruption and popular revolt, Lebanon is on its knees and seems trapped in a downward spiral. From the rubble of the central neighbourhoods of the Lebanese capital to the Shiite south along the Israeli border, our reporters Cyril Payen and Bilal Tarabey followed the daily life of a group of young friends. They tell us about their fears, hopes and dreams with the sincerity of those who have nothing left to lose.
Two weeks after massive dual explosions at the port in Beirut killed more than 170 people and destroyed a large part of the Lebanese capital, we bring you this special edition of Middle East Matters direct from Lebanon. In the devastating aftermath, the Lebanese capital is in mourning – everyone here knows someone who was affected by the blast. Our correspondents and reporters on the ground take a look at how the tragedy unfolded and consider what the future might hold for this shattered country.
The governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, was interviewed by FRANCE 24 Arabic journalist Mirna Jammal. They talked about the destruction, air pollution, President Macron’s visit and how to protect Lebanese cultural heritage. Asked how the guilty should be punished, the former judge said "harshly", because it is a “Lebanese genocide”.