Middle East

Lebanon protests: The voices and faces of the demonstrations

Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting

Lebanon is witnessing its biggest protests for 15 years, with huge crowds marching in anger at corruption and the cost of living.

The message is serious, but many of the protests have had a carnival-like atmosphere, with flag-waving, music, chants and drums. The BBC's Eloise Alanna spoke to some of the demonstrators.

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Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting
Image caption Sara, second from the right, dreams of leaving Lebanon

Sara, 17

"I'm 17 years old and my biggest dream is to leave Lebanon. I'm waiting for my visa to be accepted in another country, a country where I can maintain my rights and live peacefully, a country where I can build a future in. Lebanon is getting ruined more and more, day after day because of all the politicians out there that's why I'm against all of them.

"That's why the Lebanese are standing hand in hand against the corruption and against the bad economical state. This revolution is the key to a better Lebanon."

Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting
Image caption Nour Myra: "We need a better future"

Nour Myra, 17

"We need a future in this country that can hold opportunities and all our dreams in order to keep all the brains and intellectuals in Lebanon. I know my parents don't want me to leave the country - I bet all parents don't want their children to leave the country. So in order for them to stay and in order for Lebanon to prosper we need a better future."

Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting
Image caption Adam: "We are going to win"

Adam, 17

"It doesn't matter who has the money and the guns, all the power belongs to the people. So we are here and we are protesting for our rights. And we are going to win."

Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting
Image caption Raba: "We used to have more freedom"

Rabab, 50

"I've seen a lot of things here but I have never seen such a corrupted government in Lebanon. We used to have more freedom too. Also things are much more polluted now."

Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting
Image caption Afif: "We have the right to live in this beauty"

Afif, 54

"This used to be one of the most beautiful countries - the people, the land is all beautiful. We have the right to live in this beauty. And we won't let this country down. The country is corrupted and it's time to take back what's ours."

Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting
Image caption Leyane: "Time to claim what's ours"

Leyane, 20

'This is a very important moment, a moment to show what's good in the Arab people. People always see the religious differences - now there is a huge gathering of people in need of change, money, in need to jobs.

"We are gathering. There are no political flags here today, no religious symbols - which is rare in Lebanon - but you see nothing but the Lebanese flag because it's time. It's 30 years after the civil war, time to claim what's ours, claim our pride that has been destroyed by the political parties here and by the way the western media depicts us."

Lebanese demonstrators who spoke to the BBC about why they are protesting
Image caption Lina: I don't believe our leaders any more

Lina, 40

"Since I was my daughter's age there have been the same rulers they are robbing the country - they are taking our rights. They give us promises and lies and we are still at the same place. I don't believe them anymore; our children shouldn't go through what we went through - we don't want that for them."

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