Amid Hardship, Libyans Unite for Traditional Meals during Ramadan

Amid Hardship, Libyans Unite for Traditional Meals during Ramadan
Photo: Libyan Bazin served with stew. Credit: Creative Commons/Libiya11

A group of around 30 men reportedly meet daily in a suburb of Tripoli to make and distribute roughly 300 free meals during Ramadan.  

It’s part of a unity-promoting initiative that emerged following the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi. 

The volunteers are cooking a traditional Berber dish called Bazin – an unleavened bread made with barley, water and salt usually served with stew. 

"In the old days, this dish was limited to the homes" where it was prepared by women and served "to relatives and neighbours," Salem Omrane, told AFP. "We offer these meals to everyone who comes.”

But no meat is being served this year because of soaring prices. 

In Tripoli, another traditional dish is reportedly experiencing a revival - sfinz – a deep-fried donut. 

Formerly a budget-friendly street snack, sfinz has become a luxury item for numerous Libyans.

Despite possessing vast oil reserves and natural gas deposits, war and persistent instability has eroded Libya’s economy hitting the wallets of Libyans hard.

"Customers buy within their means," Mohamad Saber, who runs a sfinz shop told AFP.

For many Libyans struggling with hardship, partaking in a traditional Ramadan meal offers a comforting break. 

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