Once upon a time, Beirut was dubbed that it has been the "Paris of the Mediterranean". This goes back to the time before the tragedy of a vicious 25 years lasting civil war from 1975 to 1990. It left 120 000 dead and lead to over a million Lebanese leaving the country. It is no surprise, you find Lebanese presence nearly all over the world today; often with multiple passports, well educated and with extremely professional and entrepreneurial spirit. Professional opportunities are limited in Lebanon today, and still many leave or at least keep a multinational spirit. Today there are an estimated 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. That makes about every second person in the country a refugee. Some had the means to find new homes, but many of the less fortunate live in tents in refugee camps for example in the Beqaa valley, close to the Syrian border. Today, you can drive with no problems to Damascus. But refugees are hesitating to move back, partly because the Syrian government does not encourage such moves. The refugees take, of course, any job they can get, and the unemployment among Lebanese is about 40 %. A lot of indicators would suggest the security situation should be bad in Lebanon and for example the US travel advice sound hysteric as always. But you will meet the most friendly and hospitable people in Lebanon. Still, the situation is fragile, even though on an improving trend. Lebanon is a beautiful country, and should there be stability any less corruption, I guess that it may have a great future. These preconditions are moving slowly in the right direction, and there is hope this may continue.
On the bright side, Lebanon is beautiful, has the most hospitable people with extremely good humor, excellent food, and multicultural and open society. This alone is already enough to make me visit again soon. Welcome to the re-emerging "Paris of the Mediterranean*.
Obviously, Beirut is the backdrop of multiple thrillers, one of them “Beirut” set in 1982. Below is the trailer.
And there are at least two price winning Lebanese movies, which are a must see. Please find trailers below.