Our apartment is, as you probably know, in a Itani building. This building has a street, as you probably figured, in front of it.
The street had been closed for about 7 years when it was partially re-opened in February 2012. For on this very same street there is also an entrance to the palace of our ex-prime minister Rafic Hariri who passed away BEFORE blocking the road. On the same street also, there is the lower gate to the Lebanese American University where I teach. But this blog post is not about LAU or Rafic Hariri, nor about the palace.
This post is about the shops on this street, most of which had to shut down because of the blockade. They slowly closed, one after the other. Then the street became a haven for kids to play football in, in the midst of day – something miraculous in Ras Beirut. Some people in the neighborhood -not Itani’s- sit down and smoke sheesha on the side of the road in the mornings. Why not? It’s available and VERY secure. Truth is I have something to say about the security of people on this street, but some other time.
One of the shops on the street was a FLOWER shop. It is a sweet thing to have a flower shop close to you. In fact, this flower shop was not only on the same street. It was in the building right next to ours. How good is that? Anytime you feel like it, you can simply pick up a bouquet and go upstairs and present it to your mother, your father, your sister, yourself, or the neighbor.
And how beautiful would it be to head back from LAU last Wednesday and discover that the flower shop is open again? Cue music! 𝄞 𝄢♭𝄃 𝄑 𝄫♭𝄡 𝄢 ♮𝄞
Ok, I didn’t take a long look into the shop. I simply saw the “florist” standing outside. I recognize this guy because I see him around our street and Hamra in general. I wanted to give him a big smile (a psychological hug) but I only nodded and whispered “Salam”. I was very happy, that I now feel happy just thinking of the joy the thought of the flower shop re-opening under our apartment brought to my heart. I told myself, “I will blog about this beauty.”
And here I am, doing exactly that! I went upstairs, super excited, and broke the happy news to my Mom. She was sitting in the living room with Hasan, my brother-in-law, and my older sister May. And Hasan and Mommy directly woke me up to my senses:
– This guy is just pretending to have his shop open. The landlords filed a lawsuit to end his lease so he’s just here for show. Did you see any fresh flowers in his shop?
– Truth is I didn’t look into the shop well.
Cue sad music now😦
I felt horrible. HORRIBLE. How can a florist, for me almost a sacred being who deals with flowers, these beautiful creatures, how can he be a liar? And it was then that I noted to myself; there is a big difference between a florist, and a guy who sells flowers.
So for whoever is doing any research related to this lawsuit, if you’re doing your homework right, you know the real story behind Lebanon Rose now. It withered a long time ago.