The Father's Cave.


My Sunday morning trips with the Shoot as You Walk clan never fails my expectations in unraveling what dear old Tripoli has to hide, no matter how many times we cover the same areas. Meet Abdallah, the tipsy old man who welcomed me in what he called his "office", the thing I call a shelter for broken promises, a veteran militant, a deceased son and a stench of alcohol and dusty trophies.



Photos edited with Silver Efex Pro.

Abdullah leaning at the "office" entrance, where two flags welcome you, the Lebanese flag and a flag of the Liberation party (Karami's Taharror Party in Tripoli)

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First thing that hits you is the smell stacked by the all the history left forgotten in that tiny piece of memories and souvenirs.

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Pushed me outside to show me the poster of which he thought highly. However, he never agreed on explaining anything related.

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For a split second I felt as if I was put in an inescapable situation, where Abdallah insisted on me staying there even though my friends seems to have fled the place and forgot me inside. But to my surprise, the man rather wanted me to stay to show me what made him that devastated of a human being.

- I lost my son

- How did he die?

- (Takes a deep hollow breath) With cancer, yet there is politics included, things I can't speak of at the moment.

And old photo of Abdallah and his son, encircled by a handful islamic wooden plates and patriotic photo frames.

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Leaning over to fix what seemed to be an old military suit laying down on top of the party flag.

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The place was packed with old dusty items, of which I could easily spot trophies and picture frames of the person who was - obviously - Abdallah's deceased son. It was the tone he was speaking with, his tired lips and his emotionless face that both triggered my defense reflex and all at the same time, opened my eyes on the things I would never be able to notice before: The guy was dead on his inside, ever since his son passed away. A can of processed meat grabbed my attention on one of the desks, along with a huge bottle of orangy drink, a pack of cheap cigarettes and - most importantly - what seemed like a miniature shrine with an image of his son in the between two flags, a Lebanese and another red flag with only a scorpion on it.

"A can of processed meat grabbed my attention on one of the desks, along with a huge bottle of orangy drink, a pack of cheap cigarettes and - most importantly - what seemed like a miniature shrine with an image of his son"

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Abdallah's attitude was quite amazing, he kept on insisting on not minding sharing his story with the whole world, giving out details and elaborating further to what seemed to have ruined his life.

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I have always heard a son's death to the living parent is devastating, but I never thought It would hit me like it did that day. Abdallah looked like a soulless man, a thing I saw only in Hollywood World War movies in Black & White.

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