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HALABI BOOKSHOP

Walking through the red painted doorway of Halabi Bookshop, located near Horsh Beirut, we’re projected back in time. The owner, Abdallah Halabi, offers complementary tea and candy from an intricately carved wooden box. His friendly demeanor and welcoming grin suggest it’s a one-of-a-kind bookshop with a touch of nostalgia and a lot of character.

From the exterior, newspapers, magazines, comic books, archives and postcards cascade in color over the otherwise dull street corner. Images of 1950s Lebanese icons, French and Arabic Harlequin romance novels, encyclopedias, out-of-print editions of books and more modern international bestsellers are displayed in the windows.

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books, and that’s kind of the same thing.” This anonymous quote is the cornerstone of Halabi’s ambition.

Three generations of

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