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    Barren Beirut: Sectarian Violence Has Made Lebanon's Capital a Ghost Town

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    The Lebanese economic crisis and lack of security in the country resulting from a regional political collapse have led to the hollowing out of Beirut, once a popular destination for Mediterranean tourists.

    All restaurants and malls in the city’s center have been closed due to the region's instability, according to the director of a still-functioning organization, Ali Abdel Wahed.

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    “Only two restaurants and two shops are left open in the city center. The area’s infrastructure functioned due to Arab tourists from the Persian Gulf and Western travelers. Additionally, authorities have shut off many streets because of the unstable security situation and mass demonstrations against waste piling up on the city streets,” Ali told Sputnik Arabic.

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    According to the company’s director, the financial losses are considerable. Income suddenly decreased as tourists stopped visiting Beirut. Entrepreneurs were forced to fire employees and close their doors.

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    About a thousand businesses were shut down within a short period of time, Jasem Ajaqa, a member of the Lebanese Ministry of Economy, announced.

    “The majority of the organizations that closed worked in the tourism field. Their expenses outstripped their gains. No wonder they pulled the plug on their business,” added Ajaqa.

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    The member of the Lebanese Ministry of Economy said that poor security and the constant threat of terrorism were growing as the result of the ongoing Syrian war, affecting Lebanese tourism.

    “We failed to properly set up the Lebanese economic mechanism in the county. Today, we are witnessing the result,” Ajaqa told Sputnik Arabic.

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    Tags:
    tourism industry, economic instability, sales decline, political crisis, Lebanon, Beirut
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