We Spoke To The Tourists Who Made ‘Shape of Lebanon’ – Check It Out!

Yesterday, we showed you the video of the tourists who lip-synced to Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Shape of you’ and called in ‘Shape of Lebanon.”

 

If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here. So we reached out to them to get the full story behind the video and we had them answer some of your questions! The group consisted of 5 people: Benjamin (referred to as Ben), Jean (referred to as JB), Maina, Elly and Eléna – visiting from Europe.

Where were you visiting from?

  • Ben: London
  • JB: London
  • Maina: London
  • Elly: Callington (UK)
  • Eléna: Paris
 

What’s a common perception of Lebanon where you’re from?

  • Ben: In Europe, it’s not too bad. In the US, they still think it’s at war! I often hear ‘Oh that’s an odd destination’. To which I reply: ‘You need to experience it to get it. Stop believing everything you read and just GO!’
  • JB: Sadly I feel people still have a fairly bad imagine of Lebanon because of its past. But it is definitely getting better and better now and I really hope it continues
  • Maina: Dangerous.. weird destination for holidays.. and it’s just not my feeling. I mean, I live in London, I’m from Paris.. is it any less dangerous nowadays? Just go before judging. Lebanon is an amazing place to visit and people are very welcoming.
  • Eléna: To be honest my mother was not aware that I went to Lebanon. The geographical situation close to Syria would have scared her…
 

How did you first come up with the idea?

  • Ben: JB, Eléna & Maina had already done a similar music video during their previous trips (India & New Caledonia). Since we hadn’t gone on holiday (as a group) in a little while, we thought we had to make this trip memorable and therefore decided to do something similar to what they had done – just on a bigger scale 😉
  • JB: It was MY idea. No, just kidding. We all really enjoy being creative and this was the perfect opportunity to shoot in amazing locations.
  • Maina: We do this kind of things all the time and it’s just a good way to remember holidays and have fun.
  • Elly: We really loved the song and thought it would be the perfect choice for our ‘Lebanese Story’.
  • Eléna: We all wanted to keep a common souvenir from our trip to Lebanon.
 

What difficulties did you face while making the video?

  • Ben: Biggest challenges were the dance routine (we spent a while getting it right-ish) and Jbeil… A lot of people, small streets and a bit cringy to be fair…
  • JB: It’s hard to say cos even with the difficulties I loved making it. Even through the disagreements, take after take and embarrassment at times, it was all a good laugh.
  • Maina: Maybe the only thing is we all have a lot of ideas and sometimes it’s a big chaotic fun mess.
  • Elly: The timescale we had was crazy… We only had 4 full days to complete a 4mn video. So we decided to shoot whenever we could which meant shooting during our visits around the country whilst still making the most of our trip.
  • Eléna: as Ben said the dance scene was chaotic for me as I am a very bad dancer.
 

Why did you choose to come to Lebanon?

  • Ben: This was my 3rd trip. As a French citizen, I’ve always seen Beirut as the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ and was always very fond of the food. Combined with friends living over there and the fact that the girls had never been, it was a no-brainer! I absolutely love this country, the food, the culture and the people! And it won’t be the last time I visit that’s for sure.
  • JB: I have some very good friends there and I really feel at home in Lebanon.
  • Maina: JB & Ben had already visited several times and really made us want to go so it was the perfect destination.
  • Elly: We have friends living there so we just had to come and visit!
  • Eléna: I’ve been wanting to visit Lebanon for a while… Since I’m pregnant I wanted to come before giving birth… (could you tell?! ;))
 

What was your favourite part of your trip to Lebanon?

  • Ben: For me, Byblos and Beirut are the most amazing cities: Byblos is stunning and so is Beirut – and the party scene in Beirut is just out of this world! They sure know how to have a good time over there!
  • JB: Genuinely, just loved every second of it! From the walks in Beirut to eating by the port in Byblos. Loved discovering Baalbek and Tyre, I had never been and it was spectacular.
  • Maina: Difficult to say… this country is full of treasures, we met amazing people, visited amazing places, ate really good food. We are in love with Lebanon.
  • Elly: The people, places, food… it’s hard to decide really…
  • Eléna: I fell in love with Beirut the atmosphere, the food, the history of this city… I also felt a French ‘dimension’ really present in Beirut.
 

Where did you visit while you were in Lebanon?

  • Ben: We visited Beirut, Byblos, Harissa, Baalbek, Saïda, Jbeil & Tyre.
  • JB: As above
  • Maina: As above
  • Elly: As above
  • Eléna: As above
 

Any plans to come back?

  • Ben: Erm… OBVIOUSLY!
  • JB: Never going back would just be silly
  • Maina: Of course.
  • Elly: As soon as we can! We all ‘joked’ about actually moving there, we loved it that much!
  • Eléna: I would love to!
 

If so, any plans to make another video?

  • Ben: Considering how well this was received by our friends, our families and now you! Add to this the fact we had so much fun doing it, we’ll definitely have to! It’ll be hard to top this one though!
  • JB: I do one for almost all my trips and definitely plan to continue. It’s so much fun
  • Maina: I think we definitely will now!!
  • Elly: For sure! We decided that every trip we’ll make now well have to do a music video to it… The hardest part is finding and deciding on the right song!
  • Eléna: Yes we will. Even more professional this time!
 

Some people were disappointed not to actually hear “Shape of Lebanon” in the video. Any message for them?

  • Ben: Had we had the time and the material to do it, we would have re-written and re-recorded the whole song! Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible – maybe for part 2!
  • JB: I wish we could have…
  • Maina: The name is great but it actually came about after we finished it.. That’s why.
  • Elly: It doesn’t need to be said, the images of beautiful Lebanon speak for themselves as did the kindness of the Lebanese people.  A picture paints a thousand words…
  • Eléna: We’re going to ask Ed Sheeran to rewrite the song then we’ll be back and shoot version #2 😉
 

What would you tell others who have never been to Lebanon?

  • Ben: Don’t base your opinion on what the media might be saying  – just go and experience the food, the people, the culture and the sightseeings for yourself: you cannot not fall in love with the Lebanese people and their country!
  • JB: Just go! You won’t regret it. Despite its unfortunate location, it’s a country full of life, fun, breathtaking landscapes and unbelievable food.
  • Maina: Just book your tickets now!
  • Elly: It’s a place really worth visiting where the atmosphere and the people are so cool! And the places, views and history just as beautiful.
  • Eléna: Please Go!
 

A big thank you to the group for sharing their experience and photos with us! We look forward to having you back in Lebanon!

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