'A new day at Abu Omran'

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Al-Akhbar Management

Text by Mohammad Nazzal, translated by Naria Tanoukhi

Photos by Marwan Tahtah

What is this box on the ground? What is written on it? Perhaps the score of the last card game played by people who died in the explosion? Or perhaps it is a record of the customers’ debts, scribbled by Abu Omran, the owner of the café in Jabal Mohsen, or his wounded son? Most of this café's customers are poor.

Two suicide bombers — who were also poor, residents of a nearby neighborhood in Tripoli — came here and spread death. The smoke of the fire blended with the smoke of waterpipes and locally manufactured “Cedars” cigarettes… exactly like the bombers blended with the customers. The casualty toll stands at nine martyrs and almost 50 wounded. They were here to have fun and socialize. They were simply trying to escape their reality and have some rare moments of joy. The next day, survivors have started removing the traces of death from the heart of the café that is now empty, and has been silenced after the loud explosion. It’s over now... and tomorrow is another day.

Comments

You touched a nerve Mr Tahtah when you wrote "they were simply trying to escape their reality and have some rare moments of joy" and as you put it aptly " two suicide bombers - who were also poor, residents of a nearby neighbourhood...'

It really is as tragic as that: Innocent poor poeple, being slaughtered by misguided poor people.

Marwan Tahtah's photography skills are incredible, rivalling George Samarjian. What a horrifying and touching collection.

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