STOP THE CAR: SAÏDA’S OLD SOUK

Adventure time has indeed arrived: it’s all about heritage and history. “Understanding the past is key to facing the future”, and it is. Watching brick after brick grasping a generation of people, sweat and hard work. Lebanon has a rich history, revealing itself in museums, the famous Raouché Rock, the ruins of Baalbek in the Bikaa, AND the old souk in Saïda. Now it struck me how bad things are preserved in the country: the remains are beautiful, but look like bad leftovers. To compliment a country with so many memories of the past, they should be well preserved.

Nonetheless, for the sheer excitement and thrill for the SMELL of history, we hopped onto the broken roads of yesterday.

The first thing you see is a dominant grey in the skies: something I thought was only a change of weather, little did we know it was a leap into a century of hard work. The smells jump at you in the face, something frying, chicken feathers mixed in with cinnamon and pepper spices. You see little specks of white floating around everywhere in front of you, surrounding you with a dirty atmosphere, a good kind of different dirty. So clouds, smell, dirt and feathers. Then come the tired faces, unwashed, unshaved and very tan. Mostly green eyes and crooked teeth proudly shown through a smile welcoming the foreign visitors. Tired from holding her barefoot child around the arm, “Tfaddalo!” says the lady, welcoming us to the Soap exhibition in the old souk, and we walk in, more like walk back centuries of force and exquisite main-d’oeuvre.

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