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Sara Samad 15 Sep 2014

Five Big Myths You’ve Heard About Beirut

All those things you’ve been told? They’re not true.

1. Beirut is the Paris of the Middle East

(Image via Profoundly Superficial Blog)

OK, let’s start with this. I just want to get it out in the open: Beirut is by no means even close to being the Paris of the Middle East. Don’t get me wrong, I love Beirut just as much as the next person; it has its own unique charm and beauty – but it is not the Paris of the Middle East.

Everyone has to stop saying that.

Just stop. It might have been that way in the past, but in case you haven’t noticed, the past is long gone. Last time I checked, Paris didn’t have bombs going off in its various arrondissements every two days. You know what else it doesn’t have? Nationwide electricity outages. OH, AND LET’S NOT FORGET, THEY HAVE A PRESIDENT. So stop it with this. Why do we even want to be the Paris of the Middle East? Why can’t we do our own thing? We’re the Beirut of the Middle East – 5losna.

2. Beirut is a Terrorist Hub

(Image via Imagining Lebanon)

I blame the media 100%. I can think of a thousand examples in which the media has depicted us this way, but a particular TV series (cough cough HOMELAND ehmehm) comes to mind as a recent example. And it doesn’t just happen through fabricated images either, but in text too. If I was to form my perception of Lebanon through what I saw on American TV and read in British newspapers, honestly, I would think of the country as one big jolly terrorist hub, and that is not the case. For shame…

3. Beirut is a Desert Sauna

(Image via Desert Rose Racing)

This assumption isn’t completely unfounded, it’s understandable – we are in Middle East after all. Some of our neighboring countries do look somewhat like that. It’s humid, yes, for sure. But really, it’s not that hot. And yes, we do need jackets here in the winter. No, we don’t ride camels to work.

4. Beirut is a Cheap Place to Live

(Image via Blog Baladi)

HAHAHAHAHA! In what world, my friend? Good luck finding an apartment for less than a $1,000 per month. Even the manakeesh aren’t that cheap anymore.

5. Beirut is Not a Nice Place to Travel

(Image via Fly to Barcelona)

Really? I mean, look at that picture! If you want an adventure, come here. We’ve literally got it all. There is no such thing as making plans in this city, you take each day as it comes and just go with it. Whether you’re here for the culture, nature, nightlife, food, or thrill of the danger in visiting a “third world” Arab country, you’ll end up experiencing everything in a chaotic, yet absolutely magnificent mess.