When night falls, an overbearing darkness envelops the city. While you can attribute it to years of corruption and mismanagement, the situation remains uncanny. The familiar places and landscapes you grew up in are there, but engulfed in darkness.
Walking through the streets at night feels like hovering between reality and fiction. In this darkness, it is easy to forget that for a moment, people formed the closest thing to a cohesive whole and asked for change.
In Lebanese, we say ma fi doumari — even the doumari is not there — to describe places devoid of human presence. This expression is a remnant of a time before electricity when the doumari walked through the city at nightfall, lighting lanterns to fend off the darkness.
After a revolution, a global pandemic, an explosion, and an ongoing economic crisis, I too was changed. In December 2021, at 30 years old, I stopped fearing I could be swallowed whole. My camera gave me a semblance of agency and so I set out to find the Doumari, the presence at the edge of oblivion, and ask: “how does it feel to be in the dark?”