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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Tiny Feet, Big Hands

A few weeks ago, I came across a young man working on a machine that repairs shoes. Nothing special if you think about it really, but what caught my eye was the tiny shoe he was repairing, a dainty child’s shoe with shiny straps and obviously a special shoe for that little girl. Almost like a dance, I was entranced by the stark contrast of rough hands working so carefully on something so tiny and delicate.

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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?

Ya Jaggal

The past few times I’ve been out taking photographs, I’ve run into men that fit into that typical stereotypical male image people like to refer to as “jaggal”. Trust me, I don’t mean it as a term of endearment or find them jaggal-like in my eyes, but rather that they possess that attitude of macho where no other word fits better.

Each of the photographs below were taken in different cities in Lebanon and it was made very clear from the moment I saw them that they “own this town” (how true that is is certainly debatable) and enjoy the attention they get for being a bit over-the-top in their style. Try and prove them wrong (I don’t recommend it). It’s interesting to see how these men are individually very different, yet possess some very similar and unique features.

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