What I love about Beirut/Lebanon:
– People stare, constantly and unabashed. Which could mean that you look strange, but I like it because it makes me feel irresistable. And no, I don’t care if you think otherwise, staring continuously means I have a face that is impossible to look away from.
– The friendliness is adorable. Shopkeepers steps out of their stores and walk down the street with you to show you the way. People are always super willing to go out of their way to help you.
– The undying and unwavering loyalty to their country, which in all honesty, is a bit contagious. I found myself multiple times yelling (along with the crowd) ‘Viva Libnan’!
– The way they punctuate everything with ‘Habibi’. It has to be the sweetest word in the Arabic language. The way it literally caresses you is enough for one to feel completely enamoured with the speaker. And of course the word ‘Shuu’ that seems to be a variable expression for all queries.
– The music, the bars and the crowds in them. People have boundless energy and verve. They can go on all night, literally. These pub-goers welcome even strangers with open arms, so you stumble out, late night having made a bunch of new friends, all who have already included you in the next night’s going-out plan.
– The food. The mezza are divine. Each bite seems to be filled with healthy ingredients and one cannot help but feel proud for consuming so many varieties of fruits and veges. Health=1 Bat eating=0
– The general feeling of positivity. This is a country that has gone through hell and back. Yet, they persevere. Reminds me a little of Pakistan. We, Karachi-ites are a resiliant lot too. However, the Lebanese a slightly ahead. They are positive. No whining and country bashing here. Just a whole lot of hope for the future and planning for the next ‘barty.’
Am I looking forward to going back? Always.