I spent a morning with the folks in Beirut's Hamra Street, passing by some old joints they remember. Well, places Mom remembers at least. Dad couldn't seem to locate the pubs and clubs he used to frequent ;) I love seeing things through their eyes, and noting how Beirut has changed since the war.
The Saroulla Center that Mom remembers was a much larger space where her aunt Pruni had a burger joint called Saddle Sore - the first American diner of its kind in the city. The lemon meringue was baked in her home and was a hit in Beirut.
During the year in which Mom and Dad were corresponding by mail (they met while Dad was on holiday in Lebanon and wrote letters to each other for a year before he returned to propose and fly her off to the wider streets of South Africa), Dad's cousin took Mom to the Piccadilly Theatre to see Fairouz live. Mom remembers being rather embarrassed by her escort singing along to every tune by Lebanon's most famous singer.
Way In is where Mom used to purchase all her books for varsity when studying at BUC (Beirut University College), now LAU (Lebanese American University. With LAU on one side and AUB on the other, this is a Hamra institution that will never close down.