Woman in green top

French love, either way

Folks, you might be surprised to discover there are many foreigners living in Lebanon. All kinds of people, from all continents, and from countries we would never thought they could have settled down here. Latvians or Malaysians, Cubans or Chinese, you probably won’t meet them in public spaces, or not even notice them, but they are all surrounding us.

France gave us her laws. Many of them have been updated in France, but still prehistoric, unused and aged ones are found in Lebanon. She gave us her administration – complex and inactive, but necessary. She gave us nuns and priests who conducted us in a severe regime of education, but we grew up sane – a bit “psychologically” troubled, but it is OK. This is the way it was in France at that time.

When discussing the reasons why French people are attracted to our country, they all have the same vision. To them, the mess existing here seems to be very exotic. Let’s say it this way: “a messy democracy.” They simply love it. A melting pot of negative and positive things on daily life that can either change them drastically, or make them feel “we are what we are and will survive with it.”

Hélène lived in Lebanon for 12 years, and she is simply attracted by this country. “I would have loved to do the tabboulé the way Lebanese moms do. They do it with love and tenderness. I wish I knew how to cut parsleys,” she says. “The Lebanese is selfish and he lives in an ambient mess, continuously. At the same time, he has what you can never find in the Occident, the instinct of life.”

Cathy has been in Lebanon since 2011. “We never feel peace or calm. No silence in this country. Always crowded,” she says. “I love Lebanese people despite everything.”

At first, they feel very confused, suffering from mild culture shock. Then after months of living with us, many of them become like us, after several years updating their character and personality, trying to get into the Lebanese way of living. As much as they feel they’re the best in their own land, they believe we’re the best among the rest.

Despite everything, they really love us, as we do too.

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