Like many Middle Eastern countries, the demand for sweets increases in Libya as the Eid season approaches. Despite the economic conditions, Libyans buy sweets to create an atmosphere of happiness.
As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, demands for sweets have increased in the metropolitan centers of Libya. Like many other countries in the Middle East, Libya celebrates the coming of Eid, the celebration at the end of Ramadan, with sweets and confectionary. Sweet shops have seen queues of people waiting to buy their favourite popular pastries and sweets. “Having sweets is a tradition in Tripoli, and in Libya generally, there is a demand for local sweets such as zalabia, asla, and makroot, which are presented during the iftar meal,” said a Libyan pastry shop owner.
Citizens have expressed that despite they live in difficult conditions and are financially struggling, the upcoming Eid celebrations call for the purchase of sweets to create a festive and positive atmosphere.
“It is a tradition, and people value the making of these sweets on religious and special occasions,” said an owner of a sweet and confectionary shop.
With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan in mid-May, not all citizens have been able to afford these goods due to the poor economic conditions that the country has been facing.
Unemployment, a peak in prices and lack of money are some of the reasons that Libyans have faced in the past few years. Libyan economy which was highly dependent on oil saw a significant decline in GDP as militias that controlled the oil wells during years of conflict would smuggle the oil and keep the revenue.
Such poor economic led many humanitarian aid organisations to distribute food baskets throughout the holy month of Ramadan to help needy families throughout Libya.
Many hope that Libya’s situation will improve especially after recent negotiations between Libyan leaders in France resulted in the four leaders agreeing to hold elections by the end of this year.