Fire, Fury and Change: Lebanon's Week of Protests, in Photos

People set aside their usual sectarian divisions to unite for now week-long demonstrations. Here's what two photographers have seen.

by VICE Staff; photos by Tamara Abdul Hadi, and Roï Saada
29 October 2019, 7:20am

"REVOLUTION", "LEAVE": Some of the graffiti written on walls, Beirut, on the 19th of October. All photos by Tamara Abdul Hadi and Roy Saada

This article originally appeared on VICE Arabia

Since last Thursday, Lebanon's streets have shaken with the noise and movement of mass demonstrations. Up to four million people have reportedly joined the revolt against low living standards, rising unemployment, the spread of corruption and poverty and the ruling government's overall mismanagement of the country. According to the World Bank, more than a quarter of Lebanon's population now lives below the poverty line. Iraqi-born photographer Tamara Abdul Hadi and Lebanese photographer Roy Saada took to the streets of capital city Beirut to convey the atmosphere of the ongoing protests, which are demanding the removal of the entire political system under the slogan: "All means all".

“The energy on the streets has been electrifying and hopeful, and not to mention a long time coming," Abdul Hadi and Saada told VICE Arabia. "People of all ages, from parents with their children, university students to grandparents, the people of Lebanon have been flooding the streets to protest against corruption and taxes – shouting for the fall of the regime – under no political party or sectarian affiliation. For the first time in Lebanese modern history, people broke out from any religious and political representation to hold politicians accountable.”

See photos from both photographers below.

People protesting at Jal el Dib, a Lebanese town in the Mount Lebanon Governorate on the 23rd of October.
During one of the many attempts of the Lebanese army to open the roads blocked by the protesters, a woman runs towards the army and falls to the ground in prayer. Jal el Dib, on the 23rd of October.
Demonstrators asserted their unity with the Lebanese army by handing roses to them. Jal el Dib, on the 23rd of October.
The protests that started on the 17th of October, still going strong despite the rain. Jal El Dib, on the 23rd of October.
"Revolution", "Leave": Some of the graffiti written on the walls, Beirut. The 19th of October.
Protesters on one of many construction hoardings in the city to have a better view of the protest. Beirut, the 19th of October.
Women have been playing a crucial role keeping all protests peaceful. An organised group of women standing as a barrier between the army and the protesters. Beirut, the 19th of October.
Many men and women on bikes have been touring the city as an act of disobedience. Beirut, the 19th of October.
A protester in joker makeup in Beirut’s city centre. Beirut, the 19th of October.
A self-portrait in one of the most damaged buildings in the city centre – by some protesters on the second day – symbolising the capitalist and upperclassmen’s control over most of the City Center. Beirut, the 19th of October.
A protester in joker makeup in Beirut’s city centre runs past the fire, on the 19th of October.

This article originally appeared on VICE AR.