In September I got the chance to visit Lebanon for my first time. It was nothing like I expected. I was expecting something like Jordan. It was much more like Europe than I had ever imagined. Not just the streets, but the people too. There were events and parties every night, green trees, clothes that bared the shoulders, knees and sometimes even midriffs… I was definitely not expecting such culture shock when I took a 2-hour plane ride from Amman. I also didn’t pack any shorts – apparently I don’t own any anymore!.
My experience of comparing it to Amman sparked an interesting self-reflection on my life here in Jordan. A lot of folks were surprised to hear that I live in Jordan. “Isn’t it really conservative?” “Isn’t it really boring?” Well….. if you look at it in that way, perhaps. But I still love Amman and what I finally concluded is that Amman is where people’s personalities really come out. Without the hustle and bustle of Beirut or some other western city, people in Amman are forced to be more creative and to get to know each other better.
At the same time, I’ll probably have to break out of this quiet shell of Jordan someday and Beirut is definitely on my list of places I’ll look at next. Here are some shots from my week in Beirut.