STORY: These Lebanese artists refuse to leave their native country
despite widespread economic hardship
Amin Beitamouni’s journey with tango started 10 years ago
Ballroom dancing has been his lifeline since then
(Amin Beitamouni, Dancer) "Tango is more than just a hobby. Tango is a way to stay alive. For me, it is a way to stay alive, to keep on thinking, to keep on expressing. On days when I grow tired of this country, of the country’s situation, of everything that we are going through, it allows me to keep resisting and express myself."
For rock singer Joy Fayad, music is first about lifting her audience
and helping them release their frustrations
(Joy Fayad, Singer and musician) "I always face problems, for example sometimes there is no electricity when we want to practice. But then, when the electricity comes back, I blow off steam more intensely because there is something inside me that is coming out, it’s healing me. I think it’s a loop, it’s an ongoing loop of going through stress and then giving more, going through stress, then giving more, and releasing the stress in a positive way."
Lebanon has been rocked by an economic meltdown
that the World Bank says was orchestrated by the ruling class
and by a massive explosion in Beirut in 2020
(Paul Merhy, Fine artist and painter) "I need to find a solution, I need to find a solution - just like many people living here who are survivors found solutions to keep going. Many people are working outside their fields, there are many people like me who are attached to their country, they belong to their country."