Inside the old souks of Tripoli is a bakery called “افران ايام زمان” which translates into Ovens of the Good Old Days.
It is possibly the only place in Lebanon that is still selling a za’atar man’oushe (Lebanese Thyme flatbread) for the now-incredible old price of 500 LBP and a traditional Tripolitan ka’ak for 250 LBP.
While the beaten-down Lebanese economy has forced bakeries across the country to raise their prices, this bakery’s owner, Abou Deeb El-Masri, refuses to increase his prices during these hard times.
He found himself in the face of two choices, either to keep his prices as they are or close shop. Increasing his prices was not an option for him, so he decided to continue baking with the flour that he already has until he runs out.
“We’re just passing through a crisis… and we’ve passed through many before,” he said optimistically to local media channel Sawt Beirut, adding that this is the worst crisis he has experienced in his time.
But while the profit may have decreased, he is determined not to abuse the crisis for his own benefit and to continue providing affordable pricing for the poor in the city.
Notably, Tripoli is home to some of the poorest and most vulnerable families in Lebanon. Yet. it is still living up to its endearing nickname Oum El-Faqeer: Mother of the Poor.