Lebanon’s economy is hampered by continuous sectarian strife, political and social insecurity, conflict with its two surrounding neighbours (Israel and Syria), and a pervasive culture of or “connections” that promotes family ties and personal relationships over merit in every aspect of society from promotions at work to concentrating political power. At my university the stove in our graduate dorm kitchen was used exclusively by the foreign students, whereas there was a line of Lebanese girls (and here you are a girl until you get married) for the one microwave, prepared food in their hands.
This has led to one of my strangest observations: how Lebanese girls rank men. For someone who had been packing her own school lunches since she was 11, it was an unusual sight.
Lebanon practices a mass “amnesia”, the only way the country could move on from a conflict in which all sides committed atrocities.
The fact that we went out on a few dates or I told you I like you is most definitely NOT a marriage proposal.
And remember: If you want to act all Westernized and shit, sex is part of the package.
A decent salary in Lebanon for an experienced engineer is ,000 a month, or ,000 per year. A guy can be handsome or come from a good family, but it’s the second passport to a country with opportunity that elicits the strongest reaction from friends and family. In Lebanon children stay in their parents’ house until they get married, even if they are over 30.
Compare this to the starting salary for an engineer straight out of college in the US, at -60,000 a year, and Lebanon’s devastating brain drain is understandable. Unlike in the US, where being in your mid-20s and still living in your parents’ basement is considered horribly embarrassing, in Lebanon the opposite is true, especially for young women. Virtually all of my Lebanese friends do not know how to cook, and each week go home to their parents’ house and get food from their mothers to reheat throughout the week.