No matter where Aseer is, no matter how many families decide to open fire on one another, no matter how many roads get blocked by people in solidarity with someone, no matter how many people get victimized because of their national identity, and no matter how imminent a civil war might seem, Hamra Street would always be beautiful. Hamra is the Times Square of Lebanon, minus the dirt, and with a lot more homeless children. Hamra feels like a home. Always busy. Always vibrant. Always diverse. Always open. Something stable among all the chaos that we live in.
Last week, I decided, with the help of Reine, one of my awesome close friends, to take pictures of random people on Hamra street, in an attempt to capture its essence. If seeing each other as human beings does not bring us together, I do not know what would. Here is the end-product.
Us: Do you have children?
Lady: Yes. I’m a teta (grandmother) too. Why do you want to take my photo? Do you think there is something special about me?
Us: Your have wonderful hair.
Us: Where are you guys from?
Them: Sri Lanka.
Us: Oh, Nice! How long have you been in Lebanon?
Them: Around 25 years.
Us: Wow. You’re basically more “Lebanese” than most of us.
Guard: Why do you want to take my picture?
Us: The way you are sitting with that cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. Can we take the photo?
Boys: Can you take individual photos of us?
Us: Can we take a picture of you?
Lady: For you, for sure!
Us: This is one of the prettiest yet.