Sunday, October 01, 2006
It seems that photo processing shops are an endangered species in Lebanon – frequented mainly by Sri Lankans, the only people who it appears still use traditional non-digital cameras.
An even rarer bird is the traditional Armenian photographer.
Armenians are a practical people and, years ago, most photographers, car mechanics, tinkers, etc, here in Lebanon were Armenians.
One such relict can be found in central Jounieh.
The proprietor, an elderly stocky gentleman who wears Coke bottle glasses and looks like an old James Bond-style Soviet villain, is a master of his craft but not a master of the Arabic language or diplomacy.
When I last had passport pictures taken there he told me ‘’shut your mouth’’ as he was posing me.
A friend of mine fared much worse there though.
Unhappy with the way he looked in his portrait shots, he remonstrated with the snapper who replied ‘’ you should thank God that they’re not worse – if I hadn’t have retouched them you wouldn’t have come out looking like a son of Adam (human being)’’.