In the heart of a beautiful village in the north of Lebanon resides a 19th century Lebanese house that has just been turned into a bed and breakfast. As you drive by the old village center of Douma with its beautiful old buildings and picturesque views of the sea, perched on a hill just a top the village center resides this beautiful old house with yellow and burgundy shutters
What I love about Beit Douma is the story behind it. Kamal Mouzawak and Rabih Keyrouz negotiated a 20-year lease on this traditional hillside house. When they signed the lease last spring, the building was in complete disrepair, as are most of the country’s older structures. They invested in restoring and modernizing the house while maintaining its original integrity. It’s a beautiful story of preserving our heritage through taking care of those dilapidated old houses and turning them into a warm beautiful business project. It’s a labor of love that only those who have a sensibility for the treasures left to us by our ancestors would appreciate.
As you arrive to Beit Douma, you are welcomed by Kamal’s very eloquent “ahla wo sahla,” that I love. You suddenly feel transported into a time where tradition and a certain savoir vivre meshed together. Organic lemons, olives, courgettes, herbs, walnuts, eggplants, among other fruits and vegetables surround this beautiful house. The inside of the house with its vaulted ceilings is a reflection of its caretakers, elegant, simple, modern, with a touch of old furniture scattered here and there. There isn’t one corner that is not thought of aesthetically.
Our most treasured memories when we stay there, are probably sitting on the front porch, and watching the grass grow tall, just like the children with each coming season. All I ask when I am there is some time to sink in the beauty of its quiet nights and star dusted skies. I’ll be content to just have my family there with me, in that house. My boys sleeping in our room tucked in bed as we spend the night drinking wine enveloped with our shawls looking at the heavens and enjoying the food that has just been prepared for us with the produce of its garden.
That little old house, up upon that hill is not just a home, but a life itself. This house that has seen various happy moments, various sad events, which has seen birth and death, is not just a home, but a life itself, with nostalgic memories which will never die at all. It’s not just a home but it’s a spirit of a time passed that has been revived by loving hands. This house is not only a home but it’s an image of how love and passion can revive the soul of a home once forgotten.
Because it’s small projects like Beit Douma that make my life so much more worth while, I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton