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The Fishermen of Sidon

Photographer: Nabil Mounzer


Every day at dawn, in the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon, about 500 fishermen set sail into the Mediterranean Sea. Sidon, which means fishing or fishery in Arabic, as well as in Greek and Hebrew, is the third largest city in Lebanon.


Fishing has long been a traditional profession for the inhabitants of Sidon, with its ancient harbor that dates back to the Phoenician era. Fishing in Sidon is a profession that is passed down through the generations. Some men admit that fishing is the only way of living they know. Every day they spend hours in their boats, setting and fixing up their nets. Some families can't afford to buy new nets, so fishermen must sometime enlist the help of their wives and children to repair their damaged nets and boats.


The fishermen's catch is sold at the local fish market in Sidon. The rainy season often brings challenges and struggles to the fishermen, who cannot take to the sea because of the adverse weather conditions. Particularly strong winds can also damage boats that remain moored in the harbor.


The fishermen of Sidon have a strong connection to the sea, which they consider generous. They all agree that they are never disappointed by what the waters offer, even though this life presents many dangers. 'Whoever goes in to the sea remains missing and whoever returns is reborn.