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The road was empty. Dried leaves danced on vacant sidewalks, their rustling clearly audible as they rolled on the ground. Gazing upon the scene from inside my car was melancholic, as silence enveloped the beautiful street; a silence not ruined, and a stupor not broken, except by the roar or headlights of cars coming from the opposite end. Store signs were dark, or were they missing? Their fronts shuttered by rollers caked with heavy dust. Such was the vision that welcomed visitors to the main street in the renowned town of Bhamdoun el-Mhatta, 23 kilometers from Beirut, that is if one were to park his car and exit to stroll about. But, what harkens? A different sound could now be heard, an unusual commotion that defied description — a bustling noise! I hastily drew closer to its source and discovered an open ice cream and confectionary parlor, brightly lit up and bursting with customers.

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