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Lebanon: Business Owners In Tripoli Say The City's Economy Is Suffering Be...

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By Reuters

TRIPOLI, LEBANON (JUNE 4, 2012) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF TRIPOLI CITY AND PORT MORE GENERAL VIEW OF THE CITY POCK-MARKED BUILDINGS IN THE CITY AFTER CLASHES MORE OF THE BUILDINGS LEBANESE ARMY SOLDIER ON TOP OF ARMOURED VEHICLE IN TENSE AREA OF TRIPOLI ARMOURED PERSONNEL CARRIER VARIOUS OF SHOPS DAMAGED IN THE CLASHES MORE OF LEBANESE ARMY AND SOLDIERS BUSINESS AND SHOPPING DISTRICT IN TRIPOLI WITH SHOPS CLOSED MORE OF CLOSED SHOPS RESIDENTS WALKING ON SIDE WALK SHOP OWNER SELLING TEXTILES BEHIND DESK DISCOUNT SIGN ON MERCHANDISE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TRIPOLI BUSINESSMAN, YOUSEF AL-ABED, SAYING: ''In the past three years, our sales have dropped to half and even more. We had a lot of customers from the U.S. and Canada and Africa come and buy, this has stopped now. Our prices which were very good to begin with, dropped another 20 to 30 percent, so it has affected us a lot -- what is happening in Tripoli, these events and incidents that are taking place between the parties. It has dramatically affected us.'' EXTERIOR OF RESTAURANT IN TRIPOLI CUSTOMERS INSIDE RESTAURANT VARIOUS OF SHOP WINDOW DISPLAYS AND PRICE TAGS ON MERCHANDISE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EMPLOYEE, AHMED AL-MOUNI, SAYING: ''Every time, there is a blow to Lebanon, we suffer and especially when it is in our region, it's only natural that we suffer. We can bear it for one season, one week or two weeks and after that we just lose everything. I hope the situation does not continue like this. If it does, we are going towards the worst case. What is the worst case? When it is like this for the merchants, then they cannot pay the ones above them and so one, it's an entire economic cycle.'' MORE OF SHOPS IN TRIPOLI WINDOW DISPLAY SHOWING SUNGLASSES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SHOP OWNER, KHALED NASHABI, SAYING: ''We expected this year to be good for us, we have ministers and the prime minister hails from our region, we expected Tripoli to be more protected and to not have as many problems. We expected that they would pay attention to the economy. It's been abandoned, there is no security, nothing.'' MORE OF CLOSED SHOPS IN BUSINESS AREA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TRIPOLI SHOP OWNER, MOHAMMAD GHAZZOUL, SAYING: ''The security situation is very bad, people are afraid to come to Tripoli, to shop in Tripoli, they think it is a terrorist city and the events in Syria are reflecting here. One day it's strike, one day there are clashes in Bab Tabbeneh and Jabal, one day it's problems in Al Nour Square, one day they block roads, all this is scaring away visitors and the economy is declining.'' TRIPOLI, LEBANON (JUNE 3, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MILITANTS SHOOTING FROM MACHINE GUNS DURING CLASHES ON SUNDAY IN BAB TABBANEH AREA IN TRIPOLI
Dateline: 2012

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