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Beirut: Design city where creators struggleSitting in her boutique, Cynthia Chamat Debbane reflects on her career as a designer and on society's addiction to instant gratification and fast consumption. Through "Your Local Ninjas," Debbane, Cheikha and Raji are making their usually private faces more visible, speaking out on what is means to be a local, sustainable and ethical designer in Lebanon.Though designing and overseeing the production of her designs is nearly a full-time job, Cheikha said that it is still not enough for her to survive on. The trained graphic designer also relies on freelance work to support herself – something many of her peers do as well. Twenty-nine-year-old Raji, who runs Sumak Homeware, wouldn't call his carpet designs affordable.Particularly, in homeware designs, Raji noted the tendency of Lebanese people to search for European names because, frankly, it's "European".The idea that Lebanese designers are not competent enough to produce items worthy enough to invest in is a huge challenge he faces. For Debbane, the idea of buying Lebanese and supporting Lebanese is not only for her benefit, but also for the local tailors who materialize her designs.
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