Lebanese summer means many things. It’s embracing nature and change of seasons. It’s pausing to appreciate clear skies, green everything, fresh air, colorful mountains, and sandy beaches. Lebanon’s summer is where the word “problematic” has no place.
Some people go out more. Others decide to spend it at home. You can always hear kids in the background arguing or laughing. They for sure like to spend it in the alleys playing a game only known to them. The rest decide to venture out of city life, and hibernate in the mountains, until autumn comes. No matter how they spend it, its always around family and friends.
More people are around. If you grew up in Lebanon, you’d understand that there are neighbors you’d only see from year to year.The ones who fly in for a couple of months during summer and then suddenly disappear.
There was no doubt I’d spend my summers anywhere else. I always flew in. And one thing I always miss is the laid-back vibes, divine weather, and family meals.
Reminiscing, I remember that tirwee2ah was a major part of my Lebanese summers. The faran was open all day, filling the neighborhoods with smells of manakishe and fresh baked bread.
An unforgettable time is when Teta used to take us to the faran. She used to stock an over-sized tray with her own olive oil, sesame seeds, cheeses, za’atar. These were to top the manakishe. Back then, I used to think she was too meticulous for doing that. I mean, the faran has all those things. He can use what he has, ya teta. Now, I understand the pride she had over her pantry. It was no little thing. She knew she had the best za’atar in town and the highest quality olive oil. I totally get her now.