On Wednesday, Lebanese were heartbroken upon hearing the upsetting news that the legendary owner of Bliss Street’s Café Abu Naji had passed away.
Mahmoud Amine El-Mir, who was fondly nicknamed Abu Naji, was a pillar of nearly every AUB student’s university experience on Bliss Street where his friendly face was well-known and recognized.
“People who don’t know Abou Naji will know what [an] incredible person he was from all the posts that will flood social media about him,” wrote Lina Daouk-Öyry, a professor of Work & Organizational Psychology at AUB. “May his soul rest in peace & may he always be remembered beautifully,” she continued.
“Getting a Nescafe from Abu Naji during our AUB days was more than a ritual, it was a rite of passage. He’s part of the cultural heritage of Bliss Street. He had been running his hole-in-the-wall shop since the 70s. Sad news,” tweeted British-Lebanese writer/producer Nasri Atallah.
One of Abu Naji’s 5 grandchildren, Lynn Yaghi, who currently resides in France, wrote a touching post about him on her Instagram story:
“After hearing the heartbreaking news about you leaving us, I step outside, I see gray sky, I see a kid playing the violin in the metro, I got out of the metro to see an entire parade!!! Dancing, laughing, and cheering. Then I think to myself, this is exactly how you, jedo, would want your exit to be…”
“I can’t [grieve] back home but I [grieve] with the people dancing and the kid playing the violin… And I think about how you want us all to be happy. Today, March 17, you walk out of [the] earth in the way you deserve and always wanted. I love you,” she concluded.
Abu Naji’s legacy will be remembered in the hearts of all those who knew him and those who wish they had after reading posts about him.
One thing for certain is that Bliss Street will not be the same without him. He will certainly be missed by many. May his soul Rest In Peace.