The more we live in Lebanon, the more we are running out of reasons to stay. Many factors these days have made this country unlivable, and its deteriorating economy has made its citizens question their existence in their homeland.
However, we tend to disregard many other vital factors that make Lebanon a country worth hanging on to and fight for.
Here are the most relevant on count-down:
#11 Friendly Climate
Whether you see this as an important factor or not, you can’t ignore Lebanon’s special weather pattern that grants us smooth seasons.
Unlike many countries that endure harsh weather or environmental hazards, Lebanon is not subject to devastating hurricanes, tornadoes, (natural) floods, extreme cold, long winters under the snow, harsh heat, and the like.
Lebanon is blessed with four seasons with smooth transitions between them, allowing its citizens to make the best of all of them.
#10 Extraordinary environment
Lebanon’s geography is a fusion of natural features that are simply rare to find together in other lands. Wherever you go, you’ve got impeccable views.
If you’re in the mountains, you get to enjoy the panoramic view of the coastal cities and the Mediterranean Sea. Likewise, when at the coast or at the beach, you get to feel the mountains having your back; so to speak. They are a mighty beauty.
And when you walk the valleys and our forests or camp by a river, you feel nature enveloping you in peaceful bliss.
#9 Everything is “close by“
It is true we have impossible traffic in some cities yet, unlike in most countries, there is much we can do across Lebanon in an hour or so.
We’ve been taking it for granted that we can escape the city’s summer heat to the cool freshness of the mountains in less than an hour, some even 20 minutes. Yet, it is truly a blessing not granted to many.
Besides, we can easily move from city to city on a bike or a low-rent taxi. We can take short road trips and reach the far south or far north of Lebanon. Whereas a similar road trip in the USA or Canada, for example, could take you several days.
#8 Rich cuisine from the blessings of the land
The way to a Lebanese’s heart is food. Thus, Lebanon’s cuisine is a major reason to stay. We hold our traditional Lebanese cuisine close to our hearts.
Even though we love international cookery, Lebanese food will always be our weakness. That said, imagine living abroad and not having a decent Tabbouleh dish from the harvest of our land!
#7 Beautiful traditions
You can never run out of traditions in Lebanon because of its multicultural society and rich history. In the early summer, you’ll experience Ramadan and Easter all together.
In El-Mina, for instance, locals have their own Easter tradition called Zambo where they cover their bodies in black mud and dance their way to the beach to take a dip in the water.
Also, you’ll experience Ramadan and get invited to luscious dinners.
We’ve got lots of enjoyable traditions throughout the whole year and what makes them really special is that we get to enjoy them collectively, with our communities and beyond.
#6 Exciting social lifestyle
True, Lebanon is a small country and is currently missing vital amenities but it has numerous other ones that make life in the country exciting. Point is, you can never get bored in Lebanon.
The Lebanese lifestyle is irreplaceable. We are social-junkies, getting together for any reason, and without reason, on weekdays as on weekends. We simply love life and love to enjoy it with everybody.
Besides, the easiness to commute in Lebanon, get us to enjoy spontaneous road trips with friends, and including outdoor activities.
Other than a nature-packed day, we don’t lack eventful nights. We can never run out of social get-together and occasions whether at homes or in pubs, rooftops, nightclubs, and restaurants.
Streets like Mar Mikhael and Hamra, for instance, are always packed with hyped Lebanese ready to have fun.
You can never find so much social energy in one country, let alone a city!
#5 Engaging diversity
In each Lebanese region, you meet diverse sub-cultures and mentalities.
In the far South and North, you get to interact with conservative and traditional cultures and lifestyles while the capital and the center part of Lebanon follow a more liberal lifestyle.
Let’s acknowledge it. It adds to the richness of living in Lebanon.
#4 Remarkable education
For such a small country, we’ve got a remarkable education.
Adding to the multilingual must, Lebanon has low-to-almost-free tuition in its Lebanese University (LU) and public schools so that all social classes are able to get educated up to their postgraduate degree(s).
Both private and public schools are on the same professional level. You undertake different types of tests such as SATs, Islets, and Toffel, which makes local private universities compete internationally.
#3 Familiarity & Sense of Belonging
Because Lebanon is such a small country, the interconnection among its people is easily detected.
Let’s put it this way: It’s rare in Lebanon that one doesn’t know a person who knows another who is related to another who’s acquainted with someone who… happens to be your neighbor or your cousin or your colleague at work.
How many times have you been asked, when first introduced to a Lebanese in Lebanon, “What’s your relation to…” that fellow or that other? And not so rarely told back, “Oh, but I know your uncle!” or father, or grandfather? You might have even found yourselves related.
That’s home. That’s living in Lebanon and never feeling alone or, as we say, “cut off from the tree.”
#2 The People
What makes Lebanon really unique is its people. Living in Lebanon is being surrounded by people who care, whether you like it or not.
We might differ in political opinions or ideologies, and we might fight here and there, but we care enough to forget all about it if the other gets sick or needs help. We simply rush to them.
How many times have your neighbor knocked on your door concerned for haven’t seen you leave the house for two days? Or to bring you a plate of her warak enab or a plate of fresh tabouleh of her making?
You got the point. That’s all too familiar.
That’s caring. That’s generosity. That’s being never alone. And that is more than a simple reason to hang on to Lebanon and fight for it to prevail!
Plus, Lebanese people are fun. They thrive for happiness no matter what. Not even a civil war took their passion for life.
#1 It’s our homeland, a legacy to honor and preserve
There is this particular feature of the Lebanese people, so anchored in their collective mind, since the onset of times probably: They don’t give up on their land whatever the hardships.
That stubbornness to prevail is remarkable. One has only to look back at their long history.
Conquerors have come and gone, some of these mighty empires had even extinguished, and Lebanon is still here, more beautiful than ever, more deserving to fight for than ever.
So here we are, a stubborn nation, holding on to this awesome homeland… for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, in conflicts and in peacetime.
We do…. because we have a legacy of thousands of years to honor and ensure it to the generations to come… until the end of times.