Before I came to Lebanon to spend my summer, when I mentioned to somebody what plans I have, I got all sorts of questions:
„Why are you going to Lebanon?“
„Are you crazy?!“
„Aren’t you afraid? It’s dangerous!”
It was the same each time. I could spend hours talking about how great Lebanon is, but it didn’t always help to change their mind. Until another friend asked me again and I told him:
“Wait! Before I start explaining, google images of NIGHTLIFE IN LEBANON.”
He did, smiled at me and asked:
“Now I see why. Can I please go with you?”
I also spoke with many Lebanese people and we came to the conclusion, that there are way too many things that people from other countries think about Lebanon that really aren’t true. Here I’ll write about the most common ones.
- People ride camels in Lebanon
Not really, as there are no camels in Lebanon. What they ride, or more correctly drive are luxury cars. In fact, Beirut is a city with the most Porsche per capita in the world. Even the singer of Lebanese descent Karl Wolf made a song about Porsche Carrera. (If you want to laugh a bit, search for it)
- There is desert in Lebanon
If you look at the Lebanese flag, there is a cedar tree. These trees don’t grow in deserts. The countryside of Lebanon is green, full of forests and mountains. They are even ski resorts with natural snow in the winter.
- There are only Muslims in Lebanon
One picture is worth a thousand words. In the center of the city stands big Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque and right next to it Saint George Maronite Cathedral. Beside the Muslim majority, there is a big number of Christians living in Lebanon and they absolutely respect each other.
- The Lebanese women cover themselves
Really…no! There are parts where you can find women wearing a veil, but for example in the center of Beirut they wear the newest pieces from fashion designers, skirts, shorts, dresses, beautiful make up, and expensive hairstyles. There is an old Arab saying „The beauty comes from Lebanon.“ And Lebanese women of course enjoy showing their beauty to the world.
- It’s boring in Lebanon
They say that the nightlife in Beirut is the best in the World. Maybe it’s true, if you want to enter some of the clubs, you need to book a table weeks in advance. And believe me, the rooftops get crowded every single night with people enjoying the summer, with a glass of good Lebanese rosé wine.
- People only talk in Arabic
I wish they would, I came here to learn Arabic, but unfortunately 99% of the people (even taxi drivers or workers in supermarket) talk to me in English, because they see I am a foreigner. Most schools teach in French or English and a part of the population isn’t even fluent in Arabic, because of the strong French influence.
- It’s dangerous in Lebanon
Without any doubt the biggest danger in Lebanon is the traffic. You should be careful all the time! The way people drive their (luxury) cars is insane and I absolutely love it. But this requires another article. Stay tuned =)