July 27, 2012

The Neighborhood Dikkaneh VI

The neighborhood dikkaneh is always small. You need to move sideways, if there is any room for movement at all. But even with this small time business, these men – who are invariably called Abu Jean or Abu Ali - have managed to pay for a small apartment, raise a family and send their children through university. It is a sober life, with long hours, and no holidays (it’s not like in France, where in August all small retailers close their doors). No Labor Day for these guys. They grow old in their stores, and their stores grow old with them.

Sietske is not in Beirut at the moment, but on her annual ‘Trek to the Motherland’. She leaves you every Friday with a typical Lebanese neighborhood ‘dikkaneh’, also called mini-market. They are all situated in Beirut. The exact road & neighborhood are indicated on the picture itself. These little stores have all disappeared in Holland; fallen victim to the big supermarket chains. But here in Beirut, we still have them. This is number 6 in a series of 12. Enjoy, while I enjoy my holiday.