A video of a Lebanese mother offering to sell her kidney has circulated widely on social media.
In the viral video, the woman sits with her son on a street carrying a sign that reads “kidney for sale, great price.”
The person recording the video asks why she is doing this, to which she replies that her son has a heart condition, her husband had been arrested amidst the protests taking over Lebanon since October, and she cannot afford to support her family.
The woman complains that her landlord is threatening to evict her and her family if she fails to pay her overdue rent. She weeps as she confesses she cannot afford to treat her ill son, nor pay the house in which her elderly mother and her family reside.
بعد إنتحار #ناجي_الفليطي يوم أمس بسبب عدم قدرته على تأمين الطعام لعائلته، إمرأة لبنانية تُدعى حليمة معلّم تعرض كليتها للبيع بسبب عدم قدرتها على معالجة والدتها، وابنها وإعالة عائلتها بعد توقيف زوجها#لبنان_ينتفض pic.twitter.com/NhW3DNbuPk— Mhّmd (@dankar) December 2, 2019
Translation: “After the suicide of a young man who killed himself because he couldn’t afford to support his family, a Lebanese mother called Halima Moallem offers to sell her kidney due to the fact that she cannot treat her terminally ill son, nor afford a house after her husband got detained in the protests.”
The video sparked a massive outcry amongs activists on social media, who mourned the death of two other Lebanese people who committed suicide due to the dire economic situation in the country.
في أم عارضة كليتها للبيع، وفي أب انتحر لأن ما قدر يأمّن لبنتو الف ليرة وفي شب جرّب يحرق حالو، وفي نايب عم بحذر من زمن جوع بيشبه حرب ال 1914، يعني في شعب على شفير الانتحار، وفي مسؤولين بعدن عم يتاجرو بحصص وزارية وعطيني تا أعطيك!! ثورة ثورة ثورة #ثورة_ثورة_ثورة pic.twitter.com/xGFWvWDR4f— Rima Assaf (@RimaLBCI) December 2, 2019
Translate: “There’s a mother in the streets who is offering to sell her kidney, and there’s a father who committed suicide because he could not provide money to his family, and there’s a young man who attempted to burn himself alive. Our people are killing themselves because they cannot afford their basic needs like food or shelter, meanwhile, corrupt politicians are gambling with our economy and stealing our rights.”
Over the past two months, thousands of Lebanese people took to the streets to protest corruption in a rare show of unity in the deeply divided sectarian country. Economic and political experts have warned that if the economic downturn continues, Lebanon will be facing further social crises.
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