«Downtown» is open to "ordinary people" … Hello «Prestige»!


«Arrange 5000 pounds» in the heart of «Solidere»! Thus, the economic crisis managed to bring the "people" back to the center of Beirut, where the reconstruction was unsuccessful, after the local people wanted to be of a single social "color". In the downtown cafes of today there are many "colors": entrepreneurs with ties, "ladies of the community" and young people who could not be here if the price of "Ras Al Arkila" still touched the $ 15. Far from cure, so is 'center' in all cities of the world, than the language Ntrn in 'our center'.

The scene began to change, as if this region remained the "country." We may be in a fleeting phase, before things get back to normal. But the Nashvan's long years in these streets and the growing calamities with the greatest economic impasse reinforce the possibility that the change is not temporary, or at least not for a short time.

Prestige is not more important. The most luxurious cafes and restaurants do not hesitate to express their "offers" to attract customers: "Pizza + Pepsi for LE10000" and "Shawerma Alasaj + Potato + Pepsi for LE10000!" Shop owners in the center and in cafés agreed to cut prices after waiting too long, unsuccessfully, to return the haggash before 2005. At that time, the children of the "parties" were monitoring the conditions of those who were there. Those who used to go on a trip to the area, often just roaming, to look at a different way of life, or to see how the rich live … Yesterday, they are sitting in the most luxurious cafes, breathing in the smoke of the " arakil "The epithet is impressive.

"The market is heading back," says Samer, a coffee manager. But he does not look very happy. Customers are not the old customers now. His buying power has varied. "He is right, the white dresses that have long held the place before 2005 are absent.Customers today are mostly Lebanese.Beirut, from the heart of Beirut, and the suburbs as well. of the "class" of the "center" is changing to some extent, though not radically. The region has not yet become "popular" and these things do not happen overnight.

Foreign tourists, to tell them, still come, and some "good" as well. But these are no longer the masters of those chairs scattered in those luxury alleys. Some people came to share the place, like before the civil war. Who said that economic crises have no good points?

Demonstrations of Riad al-Solh Square and Al-Shuhada Square following the assassination of Rafik Hariri and the open opposition in late 2006 marked the beginning of the transformation of the "Downtown" phenomenon.

It is true that Fouad Siniora did not fall from the prime minister, but was watching daily from the window of his office in the Serail. The tourist trade movement at that stage was hit by "Nashvan," but the region maintained the identity of the wealthy class, and the poor, or the "common", generally did not invade them as customers. This is happening now, after the desperation of the "Rizqa" shopkeepers who are no longer coming.


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