Why Lebanon Should Be On Your Bucket List‬‬

A native of Lebanon shares what she loves about her home country -- and what you might like about it too.

Travel in Lebanon - Qaroun Lake in the Beqaa Valley
The author loves exploring her home country of Lebanon, such as Qaroun Lake in the Beqaa Valley. Pictured is Theodora Saade

Although Lebanon is a small 10,452 km2 chunk of land that has been surrounded by a war zone in recent years, my home country is a friendly, safe, diverse destination rich in culture, entertainment and historical landmarks.

From wineries to night life to cultural sites, Lebanon should definitely be on your bucket list. Here’s why:

The People of Lebanon: Friendliest Around

We like to give three kisses on the cheek almost every time we greet somebody. And although the country is riddled with corrupt politicians, and is always somehow struggling economically, you can never erase the smiles off our faces. We do, however, express our unease through black comedy and sarcasm. A lot. In fact, everyone’s so used to it that we’re all immune to the backlash of each other’s jokes. Practically no one gets offended anymore.

An important feature of my homeland is the fact that it was occupied by both Eastern (Ottoman Empire) and Western (France) cultures in its past. This meant Lebanon adopted a unique diversity within its citizenry. And that’s what we are today.

Travel in Jnoub Lebanon
When the author gets bored of the city, she heads to the south of Lebanon known as Jnoub, which is only an hour and a half from the city. Photo by Paula Naoufal

Language Skills

The majority of the population in Lebanon is bilingual if not multilingual. I, myself, am fluent in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Lebanon’s mother tongue is Arabic, but most people speak English as fluently as if it was their first language. And because Lebanon was a French mandate before 1943, many Lebanese nationals speak French throughout their daily life. Private schools use English or French, and even both to educate the youth. It is easy for tourists to interact with the locals.

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