This Narrow Building Was Built By A Man To Spoil His Brother’s View Of The Sea.

As with everything, one cannot generalize and one certainly cannot say that there are always conflicting relationships in the family. But it’s also true that when we’re faced with stories like the one we’re about to tell you, it seems like family members sometimes know to be our worst enemies.

This is what the two Lebanese brothers demonstrate at the center of a story that, over the years, has become a sort of “building legend” in the capital Beirut. They have shown the world that the thirst for revenge can sometimes be taken to truly extreme levels, even if it is a close relative. The reasons? Inheritance and money, two of the main sources of friction in many families …


image credit: Google Maps

We are in 1954, the year in which the father of these two brothers died. When the time came to divide his property, the distribution was not fair. The father owned land divided into two plots : the elder had the larger one, while the younger had the smaller one, triangular in shape and unsuitable for construction.


image credit: Sandra Rishani – Jadaliyya

Unsuitable for everyone, perhaps, but not for the youngest son who decided that on this earth he would raise his own way of getting revenge on his brother and the injustice he had suffered. What did he do ? Simple but at the same time surprising: he built a very narrow three-storey building, considered the narrowest in Lebanon, which fits perfectly into his land. Once erected, the building completely obscured the view of the sea from its older brother, who had no choice but to face a wall.


image credit: Jadaliyya

The history of this house is so symbolic that the building was even renamed with the name of Al’Basa , the grudge in French, as if to symbolize this man’s thirst for revenge against his brother. The elder, since the very narrow house is in front of his land, not only lost sight of the sea, but also saw the value of his house drop dramatically , precisely because of the poor exposure.


image credit: Jadaliyya

Revenge, therefore, for the little brother. With its minimum width of 60 centimeters and its maximum width of 4 meters, “Al’Basa”, from certain angles, looks more like a wall than a real house.


image credit: Sandra Rishani – Jadaliyya

Over time, the history of this “revenge building” has become public, thanks also to the reconstructions and information provided by the architect Sandra Rishani. According to her, the narrow pink house cannot be replaced by another because of the laws which prevent the construction of a building on this too small plot.


image credit: Sandra Rishani – Jadaliyya

According to what has been reported, furthermore, over the years the house has passed from hand to hand, fulfilling various functions, including that of meeting house and reception place for war refugees, and it is not clear who owns the building today. Admittedly, looking at her makes a smile and disconcerts at the same time “Al’Basa” is really tangible proof of what “revenge” means.

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