Living in crises and chaos: everyday life in Lebanon
As in few other countries in the world, everyday life in Lebanon is characterized by stark contrasts. So it is sometimes said that Lebanon is war and fun – what does that mean?
Twenty years of civil war, refugees from neighboring Syria – nevertheless, Lebanon has always been celebrating. This is the only way to endure the often sad reality. This attitude has shaped the people in Lebanon. There are many crises in Lebanon, but normal life goes on in Lebanon, and the people of Lebanon have practice in this. Attacks by radical groups cannot change this either. Lebanese love life and nightlife too. The Lebanese learned to survive and live in chaos.
But there are not always conflicts, for many years the different religions in Lebanon have lived together peacefully, and that still exists today.
Here you can see some pictures from everyday life in Lebanon, which of course can only capture a small part. Many of these pictures come from the capital Beirut, which often reflects precisely these contrasts.
Beirut – city of contrasts
Beirut is considered modern and chic. Lebanese women are considered the epitome of beauty and elegance. But here, too, peace is often only a temporary peace, until the next attack. The Lebanese live with great contrasts. Beirut is a city of joie de vivre and money at the same time. There are expensive apartments here for people who can afford it and poor neighborhoods for those who cannot afford it. There are children here who go to expensive private schools and children who work and don’t go to school at all.
There are often broken houses next to the new buildings. The traces of the civil war, but also the attacks that keep happening, can be seen everywhere.
Clothing in Lebanon
In Lebanon, as a country located in Middle East according to calculatorinc, girls and women do not have to wear a veil. Many do it anyway, but it is not mandatory. However, there is no veil over the whole face. Many Lebanese girls of Muslim faith wear a dress down to the floor and a veil or some kind of headscarf over their hair. But not all women wear these long robes. There are women who are dressed just like women in Europe. Young women put on a lot of make-up, and hardly any woman would leave the house without make-up.
The men mostly dress like the men here with us. In some areas the men still wear special clothing, such as black harem pants with a black shirt and a cap on their head. These men belong to the Druze religious group.
Eating in Lebanon
What do you eat in Lebanon?
Lebanese cuisine is famous in the Middle East for its diversity and sophistication. The Lebanese like to eat a lot. Those who travel to Lebanon are usually welcomed in a friendly manner and are offered something to eat and drink. You shouldn’t say “no” here either, because that offends the host.
Delicious starters called “Mezze”
In Lebanon, too, there is mezze as a starter, which is typical of the cuisine of the Orient and which is available in many countries. Usually these consist of vegetables and are served cold. Typical ingredients are chickpeas, yogurt, eggplant, tomatoes and olives. Spices like coriander and cumin are welcome. Examples of mezze are sesame puree, meatballs, tabbouleh (a bulgur salad), ful made from broad beans, toasted bread pieces with yogurt. By the way, there are over 70 types of starters.
And what else?
A typical dish that is very popular in Lebanon is falafel, where it is called falefel. These are balls that you roll out of the puree of chickpeas and then deep-fried in oil. They then come in the also very popular flatbread, which cannot be missing in Lebanon either. This is served with a sesame sauce and tomatoes or turnips that have previously been pickled. Lebanese also love olives, they are simply part of the food.
Lebanese children have a sweet tooth too, and there are many sweet desserts in Arab countries. Small cakes made of puff pastry and baked with nuts and lots of sugar syrup are popular. A rare but very popular dessert is Arabic ice cream, which is similar to ours, but which can be stretched out.
Since Lebanon is not a purely Muslim country, there is also alcohol here. Wine grows, so adults can drink a very good wine made on site. There is also arak, a national drink in Lebanon, and sweet mocha with a spice called cardamom. You may know cardamom from the gingerbread cookies at Christmas, there is often cardamom with the spices.
Many thanks to Sabine El-Helou for providing us with this important information. On their website www.derlibanon.de/you will find further important information about eating in Lebanon. There is also a page especially for children. If you want to know whether kebab is eaten in Lebanon, you will get an answer. If you have any further questions about Lebanon, you can write to her. You can find the address on the website.