They love to brag about everything that is cliche about the country; the beach, the snow, the different sects living within, the rooftop parties, and blablabla…. but most importantly they omit to describe to you the truth.
The truth that every Lebanese knows about his 10452m2 heaven on earth but dare not say and sometimes shuns away from.
Bullet pointed below are few of these points based on reality fact checks:
- First of all, and most importantly for anyone coming from abroad, the country stinks. Yes it stinks. If you do not believe me, please do travel for a few months, come back and tell me what hits you first thing you set foot outside the airport. A lousy stench. That’s what slaps your nostrils in the face.
- Second of all, we all agree that Lebanon is no longer the Switzerland of the Middle East. Neither, can we be all high and mighty by thinking that we are better than the UAE. We are not. We are by far, worse than any of the Arab countries we so love to look down on. Take a mere example of how they abide by their rules (ex:transportation/road system/labor) and societal norms, while we live like pigs by disrespecting the law every chance we get or bending the rules to suit our livelihood and further trashing our already (literally) trashed country by throwing tissue out of our car.
- The social rules and regulation set aside, this country is not only polluted, its citizen lacks hygiene. By the latter, I mean you cannot walk down the street without stumbling on dog poop. You just cannot have an enjoyable walk because you are too busy staring at the ground. To all dog owners out there who do not clean up behind their four legged furs I have one thing to say: I hope you slide and fall on dog poop next time you are out with ‘Vanilla’ / ‘Vodka’ (yes, because c’est pas cool de donner un nom commun a son chien-chien ).
- Men are pig? Yeah maybe.. but Arab men are far worse. There is an alarming frustration /sexual tension among men from this part of the world. I think all women living in Lebanon will agree with me that one cannot go out in public wearing as she pleases without being harassed. Before you jump down my throat, I am not talking to the fashionistas who wear their mini shorts and parade from one place to another in their cars hence cannot be subjected to such degrading behavior. I am talking about women who prefer to walk their way around like me and although wearing your basic jeans and t-shirt or knee length shorts are subjected to ogling eyes and orgasmic interjections from men (young/old alike). Do not tell me you haven’t witnessed slow moving cars and the generosity of drivers letting you cross the street while their eyes focusing on your Bs (boobs & butts ladies!).
- I think one thing that I have not, till this day, understood, is the popularity of the New Range. Range Rover, New Range, whatever the name and model, I think you visualized the car. Lebanese love this car. No wait. They worship this car. This mean of transportation equals status, class and wealth. Oh how I would love to slap some sense into this visual cliche. This car might be worth 150,000$ when bought the latest year of production, full option and brought from the nest (Europe), however I have seen so many buying them second (if not third) hand from car dealerships and on installment (end price say 25,000$) just so they can parade on the ill-made roads of the city. Still acting like a snob because of your vehicle? Well think again, my mechanic (with all due respect) has just bought his NR and I am pretty sure he is not as wealthy as he wants to show / be. Your car is so overrated!
- Open minded? Free? No we are not open minded. Nor are we free. We like to show that we are. Thank God we are not oppressed like the citizens of the KSA. But we are not open minded nor are we free to act as we please. If its not the stone age laws that sets us back, it is the social norm/ mentality that does.
I don’t know about you but a caricatural image of a sort has formed in my mind when re-reading this post. I am not trying to mock the country. I am simply stating facts and the truth of every day real life in Middle Eastern Lebanon.
Tell me you haven’t felt, witnessed and thought about the above mentioned points.