Today I bought a story for 2000 Lebanese…

Today I bought a story for 2000 Lebanese Liras (1.3 US$) on Hamra Street. I had just said Bye to my good friend Wajdi when a young boy approached me.
“May God bless your lover’s eyes”, he said.
I looked and saw a short boy, not older than ten years old, below my right elbow.
“Give me 1000 Liras”, he pleaded.
“Where is my lover?” I smiled.
His small eyes went towards Wajdi, and I laughed.
My storytelling engines turned on and I asked the kid, who I noticed was intent on staying with me till he got his 1000 LL.”Do you know what I do?”
He shaked his head.
“I write films,” I replied. “If you tell me a story, I’ll give you a 1000 Liras.”
The boy looked worried. But he struggled to come up with something.
By the time he brainstormed for ideas I asked about his name and his age and where he lives.
Zein (10) is from Tripoli. He lives with his grandmother in a very poor suburb in Beirut and he goes to school.
He finally told me an anecdote. Unfortunately I knew it. But I had to keep my promise. So I took out a 1000 Liras and handed it to him. I hadn’t failed to notice that another young beggar was watching all this. So I handed her also another 1000 and moved on.
I had bought a story I knew for 2000 Liras. Zein, however, remains a story waiting to be told.

Author: Niam

Filmmaker/Digital Nomad/Storyteller

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