Arabic Language Blog

Top 3 Nicknames for Lebanon Posted by on Jan 15, 2019 in Culture

Lebanon has always been a country of many faces, a melting pot for cultures and religions, and a tourist attraction even at times of war. Geographically, Lebanon is considered one of the most important cross countries on the map. Culturally, it is very diverse and an example of coexisting. All of that and more made Lebanon a very special country with a lot of nicknames so let’s get to know them!


1- Switzerland of the Middle East: سويسرا الشرق

It comes as no surprise that Lebanon has always been dubbed as the Switzerland of the Middle East, it’s most popular nickname to date. Its white mountains coated with fresh snow each winter and amazing weather and temperatures have made of it, like the Swiss Alps, a popular destination for winter sports, especially skiing and snowboarding. Not only that, but the sophistication and openness to other cultures paired with the love of life of the Lebanese people, as opposed to its other less progressed neighboring countries is one of the reasons behind that nickname as well.

2- The Pearl of the Middle East: جوهرة الشرق

One of the most popular nicknames for Lebanon is this one as well. Pearls are very expensive and precious, found hidden inside an oyster in the most unlikely places, and that is Lebanon, a well-hidden pearl of sophistication and beauty in the Mediterranean. Decades of prosperity under a free-market economy, flourishing Tourism, agriculture, education sectors as well as a democratic approach to national and regional problems and conflicts landed Lebanon the title ‘The Pearl of the East’.

3- Paris of the Middle East:باريس الشرق

Technically, this one is for Beirut. Beirut is the capital of Lebanon and its largest city, it is located on a peninsula on the Mediterranean coast, making it the country’s main and largest seaport. The cosmopolitan city has always been known as a regional intellectual capital, a major tourist destination and a banking haven. It is also Lebanon’s prime location for shopping, entertainment, and fine dining. With uncountable shopping ‘souks’ and fine dining restaurants, Beirut is an experience not to be missed! Either museums or street food, a raging nightlife and club scene, or even sandy beaches and warm sunlight, Beirut has a something for everyone, thus the nickname ‘Paris of the Middle East’.

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About the Author: Anastasia

Marhaba! My name is Anastasia, I'm Lebanese and I'm the new Arabic blogger! As the great prophet Khalil Gibran once said "You have your Lebanon and I have my Lebanon." For as long as I can remember, my country has been poorly portrayed in the Western media, so allow me to introduce to the magic, mystical, and breathtakingly beautiful land I grew up in called : LEBANON.


  1. yasmine:

    !مرحبا آنستازيا
    I hope I spelled your name correctly in Arabic. 🙂
    I really found this post interesting. I still haven’t gotten the chance to visit Lebanon despite the fact that Jordan and Lebanon are practically neighbors! Hopefully one day! 😀

    • Anastasia:

      @yasmine مرحباً ياسمين!
      Yes you did spell my name correctly! An uncommon occurrence I must say!
      I’ve had the chance to visit Jordan once but unfortunately I fell sick and had to miss the trip, but it’s still on top of my bucket list! Beautiful country and lovely people!
      As for you I hope you get the chance to visit us soon!

  2. Jijii:

    Technically jowhara is Jewel, not Pearl. Pearl is lu’lu.

    Also, in the English it says Middle East in all the names but in Arabic only East. I’ve noticed that in Arabic Arabs always refer to the Middle East as East mostly. Would you say that’s because of being at the Eastern end of the Med and/or being fixated on the West?

    For me, ane many readers who are Asian, the Pearl of the East (Orient) has long been Hong Kong and the Pearl of the Orient (East) Seas is the Philippines. For anyone from Asia, Lebanon is west.

    Lastly, I’d add the reason Lebanon and partict Beirut has such monikers is sophistication, beauty, and elegance.

    This was enjoyable! Could you please do more like this for the other great cities and countries around the Arab world?! Merci, shokran kteer kteer!

    • Anastasia:

      @Jijii Hello dear Jiji!
      Yes I am very aware that Jawhara is Jewel and Pearl is Lulu, but as you know not everything can be translated literally, that’s why in Arabic it is referred to Lebanon as a jewel and in English as a pearl. The words may differ but the meaning is intact.
      As for the confusion between Middle East and the East, the explanation is very simple : before Lebanon obtained its independence in 1943, it was under the French mandate, therefore, it was exposed mostly to European countries and cultures and its them who nicknamed Lebanon these 3 nicknames, and since Lebanon is East of Europe, we now just refer to it as the East! But thank you for asking it’s a very good question!

      I will definitely be posting more on cities and beautiful destinations in the Middle East! I hope you’ll enjoy it!
      Ahlan wa sahlan 🙂

  3. Bill Goff:

    Do you know the origin of your name and what it means?

    • Anastasia:

      @Bill Goff Hello Bill!

      yes actually I do know. It’s a Greek name meaning resurrection, and the name of the famous Russian princess Anastasia Romanov daughter of the Tsar Nicolas II.