If you've been heading to your bank at least once a week to withdraw money from your account only to be forced to go back home empty-handed, then you were probably a tad satisfied to see protesters attack the banks this week.
The anger fueling the Lebanese society starts at the most basic level: access to one's money. Many people in the country haven't been able to access their money, something that is rightfully theirs. Some have been told that there are no dollars in the bank's vaults while others have had limitations on the number of dollars withdrawn from their accounts. Apparently, the money stuck at the bank now has a name.
It's time to holler at all the Lollars at the banks in hopes of getting authentic dollars in our hands. What is a Lollar, you may be wondering?
According to Urban Dictionary (yes, the word has made it on there), a Lollar is a U.S. dollar that is stuck in the Lebanese banking system. In other terms, a Lollar exists virtually in the computer system and not as tangible currency. The term was coined by Harvard economic fellow Dan Azzi following the fall of the Lebanese economy.
Walking on the crammed streets of Hamra, one cannot help but overhear the conversations happening between people. But instead of conversations about the most mouthwatering manoushe or small talk about the weather, the discussions have all been centered on the country's depressing economic status.
On my way to the bank earlier this week, I overheard three different people talking to others about the country's failing economy.
"This week I was only able to withdraw $500 and you're not even limiting your spending," one woman was heard saying while speaking to someone on the other end of a phone call in the midst of a busy Monday morning.
I was irritated to learn that other banks were giving their customers $500 a week whereas my bank was using the $100 as a bargaining chip to silence its clients. And then I discovered (maybe I was a bit late to the party) that the term Lollar is now a thing.
And it has its own Twitter account (and currency symbol), too
Because of the tumbling economy, social outings have been kept to a minimum. First, we all fear spending the cash we do have in our hands. Second, it doesn't feel right going out when the country we're living in can barely stand on its toes. Third, it feels elite to go out to a coffee shop knowing people from lower socio-economic backgrounds have had it much worse than you.
Anyway, because socializing outside of the home hasn't been a frequent thing for me, I've been spending a lot of time online. Twitter has become my best friend ... but it's kind of a one-sided friendship. I use Twitter to observe though I rarely ever give back to the platform in the form of original tweets.
So while scrolling through my feed, I came across the Twitter account Lebanese Lollar and thought it would be worth compiling some of the best posts shared and re-shared on the account.