Being able to cross Lebanon out of my must-see places was a great achievement for me. I always wanted to go there and experience it even if it was for 5 days only. I enjoyed it so much and learnt so many things I didn’t really know before. Here are 12 quick facts about Lebanon.
1- Beirut is the capital and largest city
I’m starting with the basics. Beirut is home to almost 3 million people and is the biggest city in Lebanon. It was nicknamed as “Paris of the Middle-East”, a status the city is striving to preserve.
2- Lebanese people drink a lot
If you thought you were in an Arab country, alcohol would be prohibited then you are quite wrong. Alcohol is found pretty much everywhere! In bars and pubs, Lebanese people seem to drink a lot but strangely they don’t act drunk. They party really hard!
3- The country doesn’t have a president
It’s probably a random fact I’m adding to the list but it’s interesting to see that the country is not run by a president because of political instability. This has been going on for more than 500 days.
4- Jeitta Grottos: Middle Eastern wonder
Jeitta Grottos are simply amazing natural wonders in Lebanon and some of the must-sees in the Middle-East. Photography is prohibited inside, that’s why I don’t have any pictures for you. Go and see them!
5- It snows in Lebanon
I visited in summer but Lebanon is famous for having a snowy winter up in the mountains. It’s a great ski destination within Middle-East’s arid weather.
6- Three languages to communicate
Arabic is the national language that unites all Lebanese people. However some speak English and even French. And it’s very common that a Beiruti uses those 3 languages in one sentence. I’m wondering what we could call it “Frenglic” or “Arensh”. Sorry for my poor suggestions, but it’s complicated!
7- 18 recognised religious sects
What would be a Middle Eastern country without religions? Well, Lebanon has several. And it’s proud of it despite some tensions related to it. It is also a taboo sometimes to ask someone about their religious beliefs. But I personally found it amazing to be able to see so much diversity in such a small country.
8- There are almost as many refugees as Lebanese
As the world is just facing the harsh reality of the refugees crisis, Lebanon has been welcoming them for many years now. Whether they are Palestinians, Syrians or Armenians, they all fled prosecution and war in their countries. Almost 2 million Syrians have entered Lebanon since the civil war.
9- Entertaining the Arab World
Lebanon is famous over the Arab World for their quality of entertainment. Beirut is somehow a bit like LA in the region. Most real TV shows are recorded there and seen across the Arabic speaking countries such as “Arab Idol” and “Star Academy Arabia”.
10- The food is amazing
This is a fact that everybody knows. Lebanese food is amazing. PERIOD.
11- Byblos is the oldest living city
Called Jbail in Arabic, Byblos is considered to be the oldest living city in the world. Its Roman history is very rich and still preserved until now.
12 – Visitors are always welcome
Travellers are always welcome in Lebanon. That’s how I felt people treated me there: a generous hospitality and warm welcome that makes me want to go back again.
Check out my other publications about Lebanon: