As a Lebanese-Greek, I can say many great things about having both these nationalities. For example, I can travel to all the European countries with my Hellenic passport, and some other equally wonderful places with my Lebanese one.

Having visited Greece quite often over the past years, all the while living in Beirut, there's always something quite familiar about Athens. It's not just the fact that celebrities want to marry us ( George Clooney and Tom Hanks, we're looking at you).

It is true that the two countries, among others, are connected by the Mediterranean Sea, and as a result have very similar agriculture (olives, anyone?) but the similarities don't stop there.

1. The Dance

Zorba or Dabkeh?
Zorba or Dabkeh?

Here in Lebanon, our traditional dance, other than bellydancing, is the Dabkeh. We do it at events, at weddings, at restaurants, basically anytime there's a chance and a good DJ, you'll see us in a circle, holding hands, doing our 1-2 step... and I've just described the Greek Zorba.

2. The Food

Traditional Greek Souvlaki
Traditional Greek Souvlaki

Other than the olives I mentioned earlier, Lebanese and Greeks have a lot in common with food. Except whereas one is called shawarma, the other is gryos. Among other similar foods we have kebabs, souvlaki (basically shish tawouk), moussaka/msa'3a and baklava. Oh, and our carb of choice? Bread!

3. Loudness


Debating who is louder would probably make a few deaf. My father is both Lebanese and Greek, and I thought he was loud. In Greece, his voice is what would be described as an inside voice. Lebanese people, you know we're loud. We scream over the phone, over separating balconies, over each other. We're always involved in some screaming match, even if it's over sweet nothings. In Greece, they're screaming just as loud, so if you're planning on vacationing there just take some Asprin.

4. Scenery


I swear to you, Greece is just a bigger Lebanon. Whereas we have mountains that lead to sea, they have bigger mountains that lead to a cleaner sea (sorry, it's true.) While cruising through the Hellas, you could swear you were in some remote day'a in Lebanon. Lush greenery on one side, and deep blue hues on the other.

5. Culture


It's no secret that both Lebanon and Greece have given great inventions to the world. There are countless stories about Ancient Greece, and about Phoenicia as well, which as we all know too well  Lebanon was a part of. They traded a great deal, and taught each other a lot as well, such as the alphabet. Basically, both of these great civilizations were engaged in trading smartness.

6. For love of family


Your family gatherings typically include all 20 of your first cousins - that's not an estimate, I've counted. Greeks and Lebanese just love their families. We're fiercely protective, and a tad overbearing in public places. But, it's all with good intentions.

P.S. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is an accurate representation of how Greeks are. Trust me.