Remnants of balconies that once stood there. Looking at them now, bravely hanging from the restored Beit Beirut building*, one can sense the glory of their early days, may be even imagine some of the stories they witnessed. I can vividly picture the small talk of two friends leisurely sharing a fresh pot of coffee, before getting to the more serious business of foretelling each other's future from the coffee marks, the blossoming teenager throwing furtive glances at the object of her secret crush two buildings down, the lonely bored tenant catching a glimpse of the bustling road below, the retired old man struggling to finish that one book page before surrendering to another nap summon, and so many more. Now, those beautifully crafted wrought iron sides stand straight and proud, a testimonial to the resilience of the surviving city and a message of wisdom for the future generations.
*The photo is from the facade of Beit Beirut, the Museum and Urban Cultural Center in the heart of Beirut. The 1924 building is the first memorial of its kind and includes a museum, archive and visitor center to commemorate Lebanon's civil war. The restoration targeted structural issues but left visible the scars inflicted by the 16-year war, forever reminding people to never forget how ugly and senseless wars inevitably are.