Sunny and warm wheather –> check
Beach, sea and mountains –> check
Mediterranean food –> check
Sparkling nightlife –> check
Rationally, there’s nothing wrong with this place, that smells like optimism and hope in an area devasted by war. Emotionally, Beirut takes to the next level something we can’t bear anymore in Italy: the culture of appearing rather than being. In our perception, a lot of people are very focused on the money they make, on the clothes they wear, on the car they drive, on how their (add any body part) looks.
It’s a shame that a country that is home to a thousands-years old culture, survived a bloody civil war and houses three religions that coexist peacefully seeks progress through its worst form: savage capitalism. The American and European neo-colonialism is both subtle and evident in Beirut, where people prefer to talk french or english rather than arabic, eat burgers more than falafel wraps and buy food in supermarkets rather than small local producers.
Not all is lost though! Lebanon is much more than Beirut, and we are ready to explore it further when the time comes. By that time, hopefully our perception of the world will be so “shaked” that we will look at Beirut through a different angle, and we will love it too.
Shukran Beirut for reminding us why we are doing this, and for boosting our hunger for growth breaking free from our bubble.