The Republic of Lebanon is a small middle Eastern country. It has long Mediterranean coastline of one side while it shares a majority of its border with Syria. It has a rich history as it had been part of an array of civilizations over the centuries. This history has turned Lebanon into a tourist hub. Lebanon mountains have pleasant temperature in summer while most of the middle-east is burning in July heat. So, it had become a summer get-away, particularly for the crowd in the middle-east. These mountains had many grand hotels and resorts, built in local culture but ran with foreign influence.
However recent political turmoil and the proximity to the Syrian border has turned some major parts of the country into high alert and unsafe areas. Tourism is not only discouraged, but also restricted in these areas. This has proven to be a blow to the nation’s economy.
But the country is in steps of restoration last few years. The brunt of war is still fresh but tourist are already eager to step into those streets that are no more just about history, its also a history of our living times. The land has ruins of past and present among a busy life matching any cosmopolitan. While it was once called ‘Swaziland of Middle-East’, it still holds the title of a ‘Lost Paradise’.
Lebanon’s official language is Standard Arabic. It’s native language is called Lebanese Arabic, similar to a lot of native Arabic languages in the area. The youth is well versed in English is often used in business and scientific sectors. Though not as popular as English, French is also used by a large portion of the Lebanese population. French become popular after a mandate passed the French in early 1900’s.
Arabic isn’t often used in the education. The school majorly use English or French, though English is being more common and accepted among the youth rather than the older generation. The people are soft spoken and friendly. Interactions with the local people is easy due to the common use of both English and French. So in case one feels lost, blank looks wouldn’t add to one’s anxiety.
Lebanon is a truly diverse middle-east nation. It has varied ethic and religious groups. The majority is formed by Christian at 40.5% (Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Greek-Catholic Melkites, Protestant etc.) and Muslim at 54% (Shi’a, Sunni, Alawites). The population also includes a large number of Syrian and of Palestinian refugees.
A typical Mediterranean country, Lebanon has hot, dry summers and wet, cold winters. As there is no rainfall in summer but the temperature is pleasant, especially in the hilly area it is considered the best time to visit Lebanon. The coasts can experience heat waves at times.
Autumn and springs sees a decrease in tourist population but its still a good time to visit Lebanon as the rain is light and the humidity is low.
To decide which clothes to pack its utmost to check the season and the climate whichever region you would be spending your time. Once there be cautious to wear conservatively while visiting any religious or holy place. Extreme beach-wear is not allowed even at the beach and while walking through the markets its suggested the women wear full trousers rather than shorts and such to avoid attention. The cities are more chic than even cities like Paris but when visiting the old cities its better to blend in than stand out.