Time’s Corner

I met this elder man while strolling along Armenia Road in Bourj Hammoud. He sets up shop right in the entrance of a residential building. No sign, no windows, no storefront: just a desk and modest chair.

But that little corner is very much his own with posters of watches and maps hung as ornaments or perhaps a makeshift window display.

He let me watch as he got to work. I wasn’t really sure if he was really fixing it or just tinkering with it for the photographs, but he seemed engrossed enough in what he was doing that I really didn’t mind.

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© Loryne Atoui 2012

Hair Craft and Ethiopian Coffee

A few friends and I recently stumbled into an Ethiopian hair salon in the Karm el-Zeytoun neighborhoods where we curiously explored this intimate setting. Hair is very much a craft for the ladies and getting it done is a full day’s affair accentuated with plenty of coffee, arguileh and gossip. They graciously welcomed our group in and allowed us to observe their Saturday afternoon ritual more closely with our cameras.

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Styling Sabah

Sabah’s former stylist lives along the coast of Tripoli, in the quiet port-side part of town where the winding alleyways with hanging rusty shutters and netted baskets smell of fish long after the morning catch.

I entered the shop to take a look after spotting all the photos on the glass outside. You wouldn’t think much of the shop from first glance. I didn’t believe him at first but if a shrine of their photos together is any proof of his devotion to the pop icon, then I don’t know what is (and his shop does little more than just do that). It’s a museum of that signature flowing bleach blonde hair with that painted on make-up that will remain as frozen in time as the woman herself.

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Although I’m not much of a fan of Sabah, but like entering any well-preserved museum, you can’t help but walk out with a little sense of appreciation for the life she’s lived (and the hairstyle she’s managed to keep all this time). Something about seeing it unveiled through the eyes of her stylist leaves you wondering what that journey’s been like and why they parted ways. Does Sabah miss Nicholas as much as he misses her?

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