Matthew Parris Matthew Parris

The view from a street corner in Beirut

A pale sun had emerged from wintry clouds and the hillsides were topped snowy white. But all around me was the workaday bustle of Beirut streets still wet from overnight winter rain. This was the Armenian quarter, near the docks, at morning coffee time.

I was standing on the Rue Qobaiyat, opposite a downtown petrol station and outside a corner barber’s shop, Salon Anto.

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