Lebanese shoemaker fights to save his profession

STORY: Location: Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon

This Lebanese shoemaker is struggling to keep his profession alive

Hagop Kechichian has been a shoemaker for as long as he can remember

But his work is dwindling as he competes with cheaper imports

along with a lack of raw materials and frequent power cuts

(Hagop Kechichian, shoemaker)

"The material that we need, we can’t find. Our industry demands a lot of raw materials. Leather, glue, nails, cables, buttons, heels; all of these we can’t find. We bring whatever we can find.’’

Lebanon's economic crisis means the power often goes out

Kechichian can’t afford a private generator so he just waits for the power to return

or works manually with hammers and pliers

"If I want to put on the generator to have light here, I would have to pay three million Lebanese liras or four

million Lebanese liras for electricity. Where am I going to get three, four million Lebanese liras every month? No, I work with no electricity. When the electricity comes, it comes."