Tala Ramadan profile background image
Tala Ramadan profile image

Tala Ramadan

Lebanon Correspondent

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Tala Ramadan is the Lebanon Correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, covering socioeconomic inclusion and vulnerable communities. She previously worked for the Lebanese daily newspaper, L'Orient Le Jour, and Al Arabiya English.

December 16, 2022

A few chickens, the children's teddy bears and bundles of sodden clothes were all Karma Akiki and her family could save when floodwaters swept away their flimsy home in a settlement housing Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon.

Heavy rains, flooding and landslides along the Lebanese coast last month took a heavy toll on low-lying slum areas where many Syrians live, displacing hundreds of refugees and causing extensive damage to their often-precarious shelters.

November 17, 2022

Europeans are bracing for a tough winter of possible energy rationing and even power blackouts due to reduced natural gas supplies from Russia, while millions are cutting their consumption to save on sky-rocketing bills.

Climate researchers say weak energy policies, ageing infrastructure, conflict and more extreme weather linked to global warming could further undermine energy security around the world in the years to come.

November 08, 2022

Maha El Hamed and her family can no longer afford to buy bottled water when the taps run dry - a regular occurrence in her refugee camp in northern Lebanon.

"When we don't have tap water, we rely on the nearest pond," the Syrian said as she sat beside the hospital bed of her seriously ill 4-year-old son - victim of a cholera outbreak that is bringing more misery to crisis-hit Lebanon.

October 13, 2022

The Chams family faced a horrible choice: feed the family or divert what little money was left after Lebanon's three-year financial crisis into schooling their 12-year-old daughter.

Eating won out.

October 04, 2022

When a door-to-door salesman offered Mazen Kanaan the chance to escape Lebanon's regular energy blackouts and soaring electricity bills by installing a cheap solar panel on his home in the capital Beirut, Kanaan jumped at the opportunity.

Within a fortnight the panel failed, and the salesman stopped answering his calls.

September 14, 2022

Middle Eastern indie rock band Mashrou' Leila has announced it will disband following online abuse, drawing tributes from fans and rights activists who said it will result in the loss of a rare public voice for LGBTQ+ rights in the region.

Lead singer Hamed Sinno, who is openly gay, told Lebanese podcast "Sarde After Dinner" that the group had taken the decision after persistent harassment on social media.

September 13, 2022

Crushed by soaring food and fuel prices, barely any electricity, and a currency that buys less each day, people in Lebanon now risk losing access to two more essentials - their mobile phones and the internet.

When Lebanon's 140 ambulance service line - which is run by the Lebanese Red Cross and responds to 560 emergencies a day - went down last week, the charity posted alternative numbers on Twitter and Facebook.

August 02, 2022

Two years have passed since a huge explosion at Beirut's port killed more than 215 people and devastated parts of the Lebanese capital, but many residents are still haunted by traumatic memories of Aug. 4, 2020.

The explosion was caused by ammonium nitrate unsafely stored at the port since 2013, and is widely seen by Lebanese as a symbol of corruption and bad governance by a ruling elite that has also steered the country into a grinding financial crisis.

July 19, 2022

Forced to teach the wrong subjects, scrape by on decimated wages and even buy their own chalk, demoralised Lebanese teachers are heading abroad - many lured by well-paid jobs in the United Arab Emirates.

Lebanon's three-year-old economic crisis has caused havoc in the country's schools, with teachers' strikes closing many for months on end, and dropout rates have surged as families send children out to work instead.

June 21, 2022

"God gave me a long life, but I'd be dead if it wasn't for my daughters paying all the hospital bills," a middle-aged woman told me recently in a shared Beirut taxi, explaining that she was on her way to undergo chemotherapy.

Despite their mother's illness, her daughters are lucky, I thought to myself.