|I have been walking on Armenia Street towards Marash Street (Bourj Hammoud), since not less than 25 years. The last 7-8 years I am choosing particularly the afternoons to walk on that route. I start walking from where I live, the building next to 98 weeks, Rmeil, and then I||head to the left. I pass in front of Spoiler Center, then Cadrart (my cousin’s shop),||and then I notice the old metallic bridge. There I have a fear feeling and I think to myself "what if they decide to remove this antique bridge one day?"||Then I walk under it and I reach to Nour Hajine… I can already see from there||Mount Lebanon. I notice the berry tree that my grand-mother planted it some 40 years ago, but I don't pay much attention to it. Then, this feeling of fear and worry comes to me again; "what if they decide to sell all the Nour Hajine houses and build skyscrapers in their place? There is a big possibility that that could happen since Save Beirut Heritage doesn't care about that part of Beirut… Aren't they part of the city's heritage?||Then I continue my way anyway. I reach the big crossroad of Corniche-el-Nahr. One has always to risk his or her life because the street lights are not always respected if the police is not there.||I am on the bridge now. River Beirut or whatever is left from it stinks most of the time.||While on the bridge I look right at the one or two storey houses along the riverside. In the afternoon the sun strikes their facades||and they look so beautiful with their fresh colors… Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Pink, Magenta, dark red…
I reach the next crossroad,
|And I go to the right and take the oblique narrow street that will lead me to Marash street. Taxi Jneidi on my left.||I have to be escorted by a police man while taking the photos; this was the decision of the Bourj Hammoud Municipality.||While walking in the street, I look up and notice the thousands of illegal electric wires that cover the sky and I think about how dangerous this could be. I walk a little bit and I reach the beginning of the paved street with small concrete blocks. There was a plan once to make that area a pedestrian zone and a market with a cultural profile. The plan never worked. But the ethnic mood is still there.||I have the feeling that in that part of the city I am far from the aggressive evolution that I experience at the other side of River Beirut. And I don't fear of losing all these small houses and narrow streets.||When I am there I buy my fruits and vegetables from Ali||I visit my tailor if I have to shorten a trouser||Or I renew one of my shoes in Mardo's Lovely Shoes shop||I look up to see this beautiful small house above Mardo's shop||Then I visit my father at his shop||I say hi to a neighbor||I buy some spices, teas or dried fruits at Café Garo.
And finally I go and rest in my father's shop again sitting there doing nothing, resting, relaxing, feeling that time stops in that part of the town. There, I don't feel what I feel when I am in Beirut, where whatever I do, whatever I accomplish, I feel that I will never reach the rapid progress of the city.