SIDON, Lebanon: Fishermen in Sidon said they hoped for a prosperous year ahead as they headed back with their nets to the shore early on New Year's Day.
“We waited until midnight ... before we took off in our boats. We returned this beautiful morning with a load of fish, which is a good start for the new year. We hope it brings peace and a new government that implements projects,” Basem Habli, a fisherman, told The Daily Star.
Nearby, a coffee seller clinking his small coffee cups said he looked forward to an improved economy.
“We hope Lebanon remains calm and the prices will go down. 2018 was a tough year and hopefully, the upcoming year will make it up for us,” Saad al-Ahmad, who has been selling coffee for over 20 years, said.
Away from the shore, vegetable seller Mahmoud Hanqeer said he hoped for corruption to be eliminated. “The deadlocked government must focus on supplying electricity, water and jobs for the thousands of unemployed people,” he said.
South of Sidon, a group of Syrian children from a nearby camp played with an old bicycle.
“We came here from Syria when the war started, and we hope we can return there,” Walid, one of the children, said.