Coronavirus lockdown inspires animation about deteriorating conditions in Lebanon
A one-minute animated video, inspired by the infamous Super Mario video game, is making Lebanese stuck at home under lockdown smile but also lament their collective situation.
Entitled “The life of a Lebanese in 1 minute”, the video is accompanied by Arabic lyrics that poke fun at the unusual situation many Lebanese find themselves in, feeling that they are confronting several disasters at once.
The video, which has so far garnered more than 90,000 views on Instagram, features an elderly man in a robe, a quintessential Lebanese character, moving from one room to the next, losing money as he jumps over multiple hurdles: The electricity cuts, the dollar crisis, the protests of October 2019, the trash crisis in 2017, and finally the “nail in the coffin”, which refers to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ralph Karam, the 32 year-old founder of a digital solutions company, created the animation while confined to his home – just like the other members of the creative team. The production was also a family affair: His parents co-wrote the lyrics and a family friend sang it. A colleague in Montreal put the animation together which is similar to the Super Mario video game.
“We can either keep repeating it (our reality) forever or we can put an end to it and change things,” Karam said on people who find the video depressing.
Lebanon declared a nationwide lockdown on March 15. It has already been extended twice, most recently until April 26. So far, the government has confirmed 641 cases of coronavirus infections, with 21 deaths.
The coronavirus crisis broke out during Lebanon’s deep financial crisis and following weeks of anti-government protests that began in October 2019 and forced the then government of Saad Hariri to resign.