Monday, August 2, 2010

How Lebanon Schooled Egypt

A couple of days ago, I returned from a lovely trip to Lebanon, to visit my one and only Hanan. Though it was a short trip, her family's hospitality made it feel like home, a kindness I hope I can return someday soon. (On a side note, Hanan specifically requested that I clarify that though Lebanon is her home in the Middle East, she and her family are actually proud Palestinians.)

Now, the last thing I want is to turn this into an overly simplistic debate over which Arab country is superior to the rest. Still, I would like to summarize some of the features in Lebanon with which Egypt just can't compete.*

A few ways Lebanon owns Egypt:

1. The air is fresh and free of smog, dust, and other pollutants. I'd almost forgotten what that was like.
2. There are mountains (they make up pretty much the entire country) completely covered with trees...TREES!
3. Sukleen, a waste management company, has bins placed all over the city, as well as maintenance men working around the clock to keep the country squeaky clean. 3o'bal Masr...
4. Cool army uniforms, especially those berets. It sounds odd, but just trust me.
5. Mana'eesh anyone? Once you've tasted the real stuff, Al Amir just won't do (and neither will Egypt's attempts at reinventing this originally Lebanese specialty).
6. Jeita - It's up for one of the 7 Wonders of Nature. Look it up!
7. Just about anywhere you go, you will find one amazing view after another. Hanan and I eventually got tired of taking pictures because everything was postcard-worthy. In Egypt, most of by picture-taking is limited to odd sights rather than scenery.

So, to put it briefly, Lebanon is awesome and everyone should go, but you'd better stop by Egypt and visit me too!

*I know there may be some backlash from a few of you proud Egyptians, so I'm mentally preparing a post with some points arguing the other side, just in case.


  1. Hilarious.. and sooo true.

    Oh those berets! <3 Miss you so much already!!

  2. "Mana'eesh anyone? Once you've tasted the real stuff, Al Amir just won't do (and neither will Egypt's attempts at reinventing this originally Lebanese specialty)."

    it's official. i must go.

  3. Wow! Jeita looks AMAZING! SubhanALLAH! I can't get over the images..

  4. I should've known that would be right up your alley, Aicha...It is amazing!

    Zoya, seriously...mana'eeeeesh.

    See? Lebanon has something for everyone!

  5. Although Egypt is beautiful, we have to admit it does have its problems. And its nice to compare it to other countries, perhaps then we can eventually help change Egypt for the better. When I went to a recent trip to Dubai I found myself making the same notes as you have here...o'bal masr indeed!

  6. By the way, I'd love to see more of the photographs you took in Leb! Do you have a flickr account?

  7. Sure! I'd love to share some pictures from Lebanon. I actually don't have a flickr account. I've used picasa in the past. Is flickr much better? I'll go with whichever one is best :)

  8. Slowly but surely I believe masr will change....