Lebanon has always been known as a country of contradictions, and that’s what giving it its distinctiveness and uniqueness.
Who doesn’t know that in one day you can go skiing in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon.
Go for a run in Beirut corniche, and you will encounter the sexy dressed women jogging right next to the fully veiled.
In Downtown Beirut you have the churches’ bells ringing simultaneously with the Mosques’ call for prayer.
Yes all these contradictions give our country its richness and create a clear reflection of the country’s history, people and heritage.
Unfortunately, some of the big countries have noticed these contradictions and decided to take the idea to another stage.
With the beginning of 2009, and out of the blue, an article was published in New York Times, ranking Lebanon the number 1 destination to visit in the world. We, the Lebanese were very happy and proud of this achievement, even though at the same time, I am sure every one of us was secretly wondering about the sanity of this ranking. And since then, every week or two, a new international article was being published about Lebanon and Beirut, but this time it wasn’t about war, nor about destruction. It was about beauty, parties, alcohol, food and music.
Even Paris Hilton came to party in Beirut…
We were listed among the world best party cities like Ibiza, London and Amsterdam…
So just when we thought that the world have started finally to see the real us, we forgot that we were doomed with contradictions.
The same magazine that listed Lebanon as the number one place to visit in 2009, listed also Lebanon in an article recently published, among the 14 countries whose passengers should undergo extensive and additional screening before they can board planes to the United States.
The countries list, which is designated states sponsors of terrorism by the US state department, does not include neither London, nor Ibiza or Amsterdam. It includes countries like Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria and Pakistan…
I’m sure this will leave some foreigners confused about what Lebanon is really about, and in which list it does best fit! The only thing we can tell them is to come, check themselves and be their own judge!