"...لبنان يا قطعة سما "
When you mention Lebanon in front of those who have been to our country, they can't help but recall its famously kind and generous people, its rich and established culture, and its serene landscapes.
The attractiveness of this unique nation has been an inspiration to all those who have set foot in its otherworldly land and experienced its grandeur firsthand.
Many of those people have turned that inspiration to paintings, others to music and poetry. Some have conveyed their awe skillfully with memorable words and left us with 1-liners that we eagerly use to express our appreciation for our beloved Lebanon.
Here are some brilliant quotes that perfectly capture the essence of Lebanon and its people:
#1. Lebanon...a message of freedom -Pope John Paul II
"Lebanon is more than a country; it is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for East and West." -Pope John Paul II
What's extraordinary about Lebanon is the multiculturalism that thrives in such a geographically limited country. In Lebanon, you can dive into the eastern culture with its intriguing traditions and unique customs in one area, and then head to a different area and experience a Euro-American way of life.
The diversity of mores and the harmonious mixture of liberal and conservative values in this little country are truly astonishing.
#2. Lebanon...a poet between one eternity and another. -Khalil Gibran
"My Lebanon is a serene mountain sitting between the sea and the plains, like a poet between one eternity and another." -Khalil Gibran
This quote is taken from the renowned message written by Gebran Khalil Gibran to the Lebanese people in 1920, which envelopes the distinctive traits that characterize Lebanon.
It is a message of patriotism by the extraordinary Lebanese writer, poet, philosopher and visual artist whose works of art show how much he loves his home country.
#3. If Lebanon didn't exist, then it is our duty to create it. -Nizar Qabbani
"Lebanon is an important beauty cultural heritage for this region and the world, and if Lebanon didn't exist, then it is our duty to create it." -Nizar Qabbani
These thoughtful words by the celebrated poet should be enough to draw your attention to the country he is describing, even if you've never heard of it. The description of Lebanon as "important" and the view that its existence is a necessity for the MENA region, as well as the world, is witness to the significance of this country.
#4. If Lebanon was not my country, I would have chosen it to be. -Khalil Gibran
"If Lebanon was not my country, I would have chosen it to be." -Khalil Gibran
Another thought-provoking and empowering quote by the great Gibran, who personally ranked Lebanon above all other nations, not just because it's his homeland but because of the remarkable objective value the country has in his viewpoint.
#5. From this small country... we build wherever we wish a Lebanon. -Said Akl
"From this small country we travel the earth, we challenge the world, people and countries, and build wherever we wish a Lebanon." -Said Akl
The Lebanese diaspora consists of approximately 8.6 million to 14 million people spread across numerous countries of all continents. Thus, the Lebanese spirit of dedication, compassion, and hustle, and the culture of Paris of the Middle East is found wherever you travel around the globe; carried by its bright, life-loving people who become active contributors to their new countries.
#6. It was the beginning of the Orient... It was the beginning of the West -Robert Fisk
"When I arrived in Beirut from Europe, I felt the oppressive, damp heat, saw the unkempt palm trees and smelt the Arabic coffee, the fruit stalls and the over-spiced meat. It was the beginning of the Orient. And when I flew back to Beirut from Iran, I could pick up the British papers, ask for a gin and tonic at any bar, choose a French, Italian, or German restaurant for dinner. It was the beginning of the West. All things to all people, the Lebanese rarely questioned their own identity." -Robert Fisk
#7. A talented, cosmopolitan, and energetic people. -Jeffrey Feltman
Former US ambassador to Lebanon Jeffry Feltman expressed genuine appreciation towards Lebanon and its people before leaving the country back to the United States in 2007. Shortly before leaving the country, he announced:
"The Lebanon that I am leaving soon has retained all those wonderful qualities that so impressed me when I first encountered this beautiful country; a talented, cosmopolitan, and energetic people; a lively and free media; a respect for diversity; and deep democratic traditions."
#8. Oh, Lady of Lebanon.. make of your green branches a protective roof for your children. -Charles Corm
"Oh lady of Lebanon, oh wide-shaded cedar, make of your green branches a protective roof for your children, despite the threats of a cyclone, and the roars of the devil, they fly under your branches and your overwhelming safety shields them." -Charles Corm
In his long poem The Sacred Mountain, Lebanese writer, industrialist, and philanthropist Charles Corm contemplates the characteristics of Lebanon and admires its beauty. Corm is considered to be the leader of the Phoenicianism movement in Lebanon, which ignited a surge of nationalism that led to Lebanon's independence.
#9. Lebanon is one of the most beautiful mountainous areas on Earth... -Victor Guérin
"Lebanon is one of the most beautiful mountainous areas on Earth. It has greatness and prestige that capture the attention of the tourist."
Victor Guérin was a French intellectual, explorer and amateur archaeologist. This quote is taken from a report he wrote in France following his arrival from one of his many expeditions to the "Holy Land" in the 1880s. He was especially fascinated with Lebanon's mountains to which he dedicated a beautiful description. The following is an excerpt of the description:
"When its peaks dissolve in the darkness of the night, star chandeliers radiate above them, as if the hills of Lebanon were lifting their dome on their palms, or as if there were heavenly beacons illuminating the mountains of Lebanon."
#10. What an amazing magician this Lebanon is. -Joseph-Ernest Renan
This roughly-translated sentence is by the French philosopher and historian Joseph-Ernest Renan, which he wrote in his "Phoenician Expedition" after finishing his archaeological mission in Lebanon (1860). During his mission, he discovered ancient inscriptions that were identified as Phoenician, and was inspired to write about Lebanon and its unique history.
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