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It's a sunny Wednesday afternoon on Beirut's Beshara al-Khoury Street, and Falafel Abu al-Ziz is completely empty.To the younger crowd today, it's mostly just known as that one street with all the falafel places between Sodeco and Downtown.It's not like the competition was losing any sleep every time a new falafel shop opened.Customers gloat that they bring their friends from America and Europe to try their sandwiches. One man in a suit said he's been eating at Sahyoun since 1975, when the original shop had temporarily relocated because of the war. On the other side of Zuheir's shop is Arax, the only falafel place that also sells meat sandwiches. It's managed by Vrej Heybelian, who said it opened about two years ago with half its sales being falafel, and the other half shawarma. At the farthest end of the street, close to Downtown, is Falafel Tabboush, owned by Fawaz, the founder's son. It was opened in 1956, Fawaz explained. Like the others, he was unconcerned with competition, insisting that there will always be a market for falafel.
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