Oman’s former Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah recalled some of his experiences and funny situations in Lebanon as a diplomat.
During a recent TV interview, the politician talked about his memories from a tour that involved several countries in the region in the 1970s.
“From Saudi Arabia, we went to Yemen, and from Yemen, we went to Lebanon. Lebanon is something else,” he reminisced.
“Culture, politics, development, and openness,” the interviewer chimed in, to which bin Alawi said: “Openness, the most important thing is openness,” remarking that Lebanon is a good place for shopping.
Bin Alawi, who was Oman’s chargé d’affaires in Lebanon before opening his country’s embassy there, recalled how he struggled with currency during the early stage of his time in Lebanon.
He said he and his team would have trouble distinguishing $100 bills from $1 bills, as Lebanon was the first place where they had used American currency, which sometimes caused them some inconvenience in Beirut.
Yusuf bin Alawi was appointed Ambassador of Oman to Lebanon in 1973, a year before he was promoted to Secretary-General of the Omani Foreign Ministry.