Executive photo essay

People who not long ago were comfortably middle-class urban dwellers, find themselves thrown into poverty this year, to the point of relying on NGO-provided food aid.

From the old to the very young, the faces of poverty may be depressed or smiling, but the underlying realities are the same.

Urban poverty has been expressing itself for decades, as seen in the photo below, showing a man who has called the streets home for years.

But today, urban poverty also includes a new wave of people: those whose homes were destroyed by the Beirut blast and who now have to live on the street, and are dumbfounded to be grateful for another 10-day supply of bare necessities.

As Beirut experienced the rapid devaluation of the Lebanese lira and suffered the August 4 blast, poverty afflicts all without differentiation by political or religious allegiance.

Shadows of poverty are looming large. We wonder whether there is still
hope they will not consume the lives of the old, the young, the downtrodden and the optimistic.

Photos by Greg Demarque.

Lara Shabb is the managing editor of Executive Magazine.

Thomas Schellen

Thomas Schellen is Executive's editor-at-large. He has been reporting on Middle Eastern business and economy for over 20 years. Send mail

Greg Demarque

Greg Demarque is a photo journalist based in Beirut.