The Lebanese are always willing to help complete strangers, with directions, free food and water, invitations to their house for tea and coffee.
A few weeks ago I was walking in the pouring rain and multiple women pulled over and offered to drive me to my destination.
As I will explore further in my next blog post, there is a materialistic undertone to the Lebanese society that pushes young women (and interestingly enough, young men) to meet impossible standards of beauty.
I get fashion and all that, but when I walk into a place and almost 90% of the women there are wearing leather boots, jeans and black tops, I’ll kind of brush you all off for the sake of someone who looks different.
While the physical signs of Lebanon’s sectarian civil war are still obvious – if slowly disappearing, as old, bullet-scarred buildings are replaced by modern apartments and shopping centres – you have to look deeper to see the emotional scars that affected a generation of Lebanese who endured the extended brutal conflict.
Lebanon practices a mass “amnesia”, the only way the country could move on from a conflict in which all sides committed atrocities.
The mountain regions, to which the Lebanese escape every summer when Beirut is sweltering, are peaceful, breezy, and green.
The Lebanese love of all things beautiful does not just apply to their scenery.