There is no news about plans to demolish author Amin Maalouf’s former Badaro apartment, covered on this blog last week.
A meeting with the developer, Kettaneh Group, did not take place on Friday as had been hoped, according to the prominent writer’s cousin Roya Kanaan. She says she could not reach the multi-national construction firm last week, despite its promise to discuss alternatives with the Maalouf family before launching a luxury high rise at the location.
But Kanaan says there have been other “encouraging meetings” over recent days with groups and individuals concerned with heritage, and promises to update me on developments as they happen.
For now, I can share some interior photos of the Maalouf apartment including the author’s bedroom and desk, taken by his son Ziad Maalouf:
These photos were shot before the appartment was vacated last year after the building was sold for a reported $10 million, according to Kanaan. Notice bullet scars from the civil war above bed.
Here is how the rest of the house looked:
Amin Maalouf’s mother Odette and his sister Hind:
Portrait and statue of Odette by her late husband and renowned journalist Ruchdi Maalouf, who first rented the home in 1961, when Maalouf was 12:
Odette, pictured below at the building entrance, was the last Maalouf to live in the house, though her son and grandchildren often visited:
For more on the history of the home, and its significance to Maalouf’s writing career, see my full interview with his son last week.
On a related note, a group of school children visited the home last week after reading about it’s planned demolition on this blog:
The pictures were sent to me by their 8th grade literature teacher, Kathleen Saleh, right:
Hopefully these students won’t be among the last to see and appreciate the house of a local literary giant before it is gone.
If anyone has more info (particularly from the developer’s side) please feel free to post in the comments below.