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Is Lebanon a safe country for travel is a question I get asked a lot. In fact, it’s the most frequent question asked on social media and on the internet about Lebanon. As I Lebanese citizen who has been touring the country for 23 years, it is “safe” to say it’s safe!
One of the many reasons that this is trending topic is that Lebanon’s image is still stained by the Lebanese civil war that broke approximately 30 years ago. Before that, Lebanon was THE place to be. Beirut was named Paris of the Middle East, along with being a banking haven, with tourists flooding the country all year and designers rushing to show their newest collection at the Beirut Fashion Week and not to forget all the party people who flew from all around the globe to participate in the Lebanese nightlife scene. All of that is still the same today and even better, but alas foreigners only know the dark side.
As we all know, there are two sides to every story or person or in this case country. Unfortunately Lebanon is still facing consequences of the Lebanese civil war that broke the beautiful image of the country but not the spirit of its people! Slowly but steadily Beirut was rebuilt from the ashes of what remained and Lebanon is reshaping its image piece by piece. I will not deny that the Syrian war has had a major effect on the the country as a whole , but mostly on the economy and demographics. Unemployment rates skyrocketed among Lebanese citizens and Hezbollah’s interference in the neighboring war has taken its toll on the country and its process of rebirth. But as far as safety is concerned, Lebanon is one of the safest country to visit in the Middle East.
The media’s role in this story is unfortunately not a very good one. We all know how important the media reporting is these days and how everything is affected by it. As a result of poor media representation, the West thinks we’re just a breeding country for fanatics and terrorists, the East has a divided opinion and as far as the rest of the world is concerned, we exist only on the map.
Although the tourism sector is what’s helping Lebanon stay on its feet, it has seen better days. If only you can see Lebanon through my eyes and see what I see, you’d fall in love at first sight and might never want to leave!