One amazing thing about Lebanon is that we always have a substantial amount of tourists around no matter how messed up things get.
I work with a lot of them, and have neighbors from nearly every European country, yet I still manage to ask them regularly about the reason they stay here, and nearly every one of them says: “I feel more alive here.”
Here are just some of their comments. They'll surely put a smile on your face.
On our nature
“We do have great nature where I come from, but the places I’ve been to in Lebanon are breathtaking, like Batroun and Tannourine,” said Max, a 23-year-old British man.
"I’ve been to Tyre-Sour and it was amazing. The beach is beautiful, and so are the people,” said Rafal, a 22-year-old Iraqi.
"I love this place, winter season or summertime, all the activities are available. I just wish the garbage issue could be resolved," said Sarah, a 33-year-old American.
On how we look
“I live in Mar Mkhayel, people here are so creative with their dress. I could sit in a pub and watch like it were some street-wear fashion show,” said Max.
“You are beautiful people. Your features are so sharp. I find Arabs in general, the most beautiful," said John, a 31-year-old British man.
On our “rituals” and traits
“Your respect for food is amazing, particularly for bread. There’s something sacred about bread here, you try your best not to throw it away or have it fall on the ground. That’s very appreciative," said Kathy, a 30-year-old British woman.
“You’re liberal people when it comes to fun and living the moment. Yet, you keep your beliefs and traditions in place. Most of the Lebanese people I know show open-mindedness at the party, but DO NOT MESS WITH THEIR RITUALS outside that ambiance. I think that’s a cool combination," said Max.
“You are very affectionate people. You care! You like helping. Walking down the street and seeing someone cry, where I come from, we would just trot by, but here you’d stop and ask," said Gavin, a 23-year-old British man.
“You are very positive people. That’s how I see it. No matter what situation you’re in, you still find the time and way to have fun and be happy,” said a 30-year-old, Canadian.
On the funny and weird things we do
“You are very touchy people! You hug all the time - you kiss three times anywhere always. You stretch kids’ cheeks when they’re cute!” said John, a 31-year-old British man.
“You would stop in the middle of the road, be it by car or on foot, just to say hello to someone and open up a whole conversation," said Tania, a 38-year-old Russian.
“Regarding time, you would visit relatives and friends at any time convenient to your personal schedule. 7 am or 11 pm!” said Gavin.
“The street lights. For some reason I have only witnessed Lebanese people texting the moment the light turns green," said Rafal.
On questions foreigners are constantly asked
“'How much money do you make?' I promise you, it’s nearly as much as you make," said Emma, a 35-year-old Canadian.
“'Why are you in Lebanon?' I'm often asked with a shocked face. Well, honestly I love the freedom here," said Arthur, a 30-year-old Irish man.
“'What are you really doing here?' As though I’m some spy," explained Max.
A word to the Lebanese people
“Stay as positive as you are!” said Rian, a 33-year-old Irish woman.
“You’ve got the whole ‘we might be a bit messed up, but so what, we have fun’ thing down – keep doing it!” said Roland, a 23-year-old French national.