During an experience across cultures, it was surprising to learn what Americans thought of Lebanon whether as a country or a culture. “Is Lebanon a desert?”, “Are there women rights?”, “Oh, you have malls over there?”, and a lot more comments and questions were made to show that Lebanon in the eye of some Americans is simply uncivilized to a very far extent.
Media plays its role for sure, and for whichever agenda, the west tries to point out to only the negative part of the Middle East, and here we mean Lebanon specifically. Internal conflicts, street armed-fighting, a riot, a peaceful demonstration going violent, and all the “not-so-accepted” incidents are the new mostly mentioned by the media. Well, those things do happen, but seriously, where do they “not happen”? Lebanon has a completely other face to it, It’s not only about pretests and sands and camels, infact it’s not sands and camels at all, it is what some call it, “heaven on earth’. The fact that you can swim and ski on the same day only explains the beauty of its nature. Afterall, Beirut was the number 1 place to visit in 2009 according to the New York Times.
Yet the more important part we are concerned with is the level of civilization this country has reached, especially when compared to nearby countries, or even the entire middle east. Unlike other very conservative countries, Lebanon gives women the right to be educated, work, and get paid as any other man. Lebanon also gives the freedom to its citizens in practicing their religion and expressing their views and opinions, without imposing control over them.
Lebanon might have its instabilities, but it is also one of the most civilized countries in the area, with the most Liberal people in it.
Yes we do have religious entities, veiled women, poor groups, little hours of electirc power, street protests, and many other wrong issues, but we are a civilized country, and we do have malls. We are an adaptable nation who has been through so many hardships, but are still able to keep going, with an optimistic mood.