Fanous Ramadan is seen in Beirut as part of the holy month's traditions.(The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Walking down to Nijmeh Square during the day, one comes across security personnel and a handful of tourists as waiters desperately try to convince the few pedestrians to come to the mostly empty restaurants and cafes.Hatem, who didn't provide his last name, says he opened his restaurant after being impressed by the bustling activity he saw last Ramadan. Restaurants in the area have had to cooperate on nargileh pricing to avoid a price war."Beirut Ramadan Nights," hosted live on Future TV by comedian Michel Azzi in the middle of Nijmeh Square, boosted the restaurants' business for the holy month.Asked about why nothing was organized this year for Nijmeh Square, Izzat Koraytem, who organized last year's event, blames the country's economic situation. Ali Abdel-Wahed, manager of Karamna, another restaurant on Al-Maarad Street, agrees.Ailing Nijmeh Square is a reflection of the economy of the country in general.Cafes, on the other hand, have fared slightly better than restaurants, he says.
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