A small country of the Middle East, Lebanon, previously known for its beautiful landscapes is famous for its night life and cultural richness throughout the world, has unfortunately been facing several misfortunes for more than two years now. After going through a national revolution (Thawra) in 2019 and a devastating blast in 2020, the country is now facing an economic and social crisis accompanied by the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19, which has made it see its darkest days. However, the country is constantly fighting not to let the cultural and artistic heritage die and continue to keep it living through all crises.
One of Lebanon’s greatest richness is its culinary culture, which extends beyond the country’s borders and lives on around the world. To name only a few, humus, falafel and shawarma have become well-known dishes in countries all over the world and are today an emblem of the Arab and Lebanese cuisine. If the culinary sector of the country has known hard blows following the various tragedies and the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 800 restaurants and bars that have been forced to close their doors, Lebanon still tries to recover as best it can to keep this gustatory culture alive by trying to keep its restaurants open and even by innovating with new restaurant concepts. Today in Beirut, the capital, there are more than 977 establishments that serve the citizens a varied and diversified cuisine: Lebanese, Armenian, Italian, Japanese, Indian, etc.
In addition to that, there are many bars and cafes that offer to every person interested in culture and art, the opportunity to escape and enjoy their time at any time of the day, with a wide range of choices: concerts by local and international artists in a variety of musical styles, comedy shows, poetry nights, movie screenings, language exchanges, etc.
Despite its small size, Lebanon has also a large number of museums, art centers, galleries and cultural places. Beirut, the capital, has more than 56 galleries and 11 museums, rich in collections. However weak in means, these institutions continue to vibrate the heart of the country, by not yielding to the economic and sanitary pressure and refuse to close their door to the great public fanatic of Art and Culture. Yet with many restrictions, they continue to organize numerous artistic and cultural events such as exhibitions or guided tours, featuring works of art by well-known artists or new emerging artists. For example, the National Museum of Beirut, which is the main archaeological museum in Lebanon, has more than 100,000 objects, most of which are antiquities and medieval artifacts. This museum is a main place of cultural tourism in Lebanon and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.
If this country attracts less tourists due to its social instability, it is important to remember that Lebanon remains one of the only Arabic countries to have such a dense artistic and cultural wealth, which persists in the face of time and the social crises.
Nadine Fardon is from Lebanon, graduated in Journalism and Communication Arts and Major of Promotion in the French Baccalaureate. Full of motivation, she’s a very ambitious and hard-working person. She’s consistently committed to her work and always ready to seize new experiences.