The consequences of the economic crisis extend even to the “maamoul” that the Lebanese offer to celebrate the Day of Resurrection


  • Alyos Alana
  • BBC – Beirut

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The cost of labor has become too prohibitive for many families

The tradition of baking and buying “maamoul” is one of the aspects of Easter celebration for the Greek Orthodox Christians in Lebanon, but the situation looked different this year due to the extremely difficult economic conditions.

The Lebanese are proud of their baked goods, as unlike Easter, it is also an aspect of celebrating Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan as well, and Muslims and Druze make it on Eid al-Adha.

Rita Istanbouli, a Greek Orthodox, lives in Zahle, which is located about an hour’s drive east of Beirut, in the Bekaa Valley. And when I visited, she was making maamoul.

Church hymns can be heard as Rita makes the mamoul in her kitchen. So she grabs one of the date balls, and stuffs one of the dough pieces with it, then puts it in a wooden mold, and says laughing as she comes out with her hand a handcrafted in an elaborate manner: “We release our tension in it (the maamoul).”

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