After a tumultuous recent past, this historically and culturally rich little Mediterranean country is also one of the Arab world's most fun, liberal, and sophisticated, with a vigorous wine country, beaches, skiing, and lots more. And while its great vicissitudes of the past couple of years in particular - including the massive explosion in Beirut and the collapse of the economy due to political and financial corruption - have presented challenges, it's still possible to visit and enjoy Lebanon (and at amazing prices), and doing so will help a wonderful country in dire need.

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A country being unified through hiking

Abby SewellHere's an interesting piece put out by BBC Travel recently. Despite the severe economic and social crisis gripping Lebanon this year, it seems that life goes on, and hiking has increasingly become a way for visitors to learn about this beautiful country, and locals to learn more about themselves. Check it out here.

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Hope in Lebanon that expats/domestic tourism can save the economy

Both the pandemic and the current economic crisis have gutted hospitality along with other businesses in Lebanon But as pandemic restrictions are being eased, the businesses that survived hope the dollars spent by visiting Lebanese expats and an increase in domestic tourism can get the wheels of the economy moving again. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Mired-in-crises-Lebanon-hopes-summer-arrivals-16293567.php

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The Arab world's most liberal country, beautiful Lebanon is an under-the-radar gem

The tiny Arab country of Lebanon (not even three-quarters the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut) on the Mediterranean bordering Jordan, Syria, and Israel, has been in the news this week thanks to universal street protests - peaceful and held in a festive atmosphere - aimed at getting its corrupt ruling politicians to step down. Additionally, the little many Westerners have known about this country is outdated, from when it was convulsed from 1975 to 1990 by a brutal civil war as well as an…

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  • It's worth noting that despite its small size, Lebanon can boast five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the 8th-century ruins of Anjar in the Bekaa Valley; the magnificent ruins of Baalbek, dating back to the ancient Phoenicians (also in the Bekaa); the northern city of Byblos (also of mostly Phoenician origin); the Holy Valley and the Forest of the Cedars of God; and the southern city of Tyre (again, founded by Phoenicians). More information at https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/LB.
    Lebanon - UNESCO World Heritage Convention
    Lebanon - UNESCO World Heritage Convention
  • Check out Hoojoozat.com (www.hoojoozat.com) and book your hotel in Beirut and Lebanon at best prices!
  • I read (in Media LIne, I think) that Lebanon's 2009 tourism numbers increased 39% over 2008. And 2008 was an up year. From my perspective, that's an amazing increase. What's the explanation? Is it just peace?
  • Lebanon gets a shout-out in this week's Tripatini blog post surveying hot destinations for 2010. Check it out!
  • Just in case you didn't catch it on our home page, this week our Top Tune From Around the Planet was from Lebanon's Myriam Fares: "Eih Elly Byehsal? (What's Going On?)." Enjoy!

    Our latest ditty hails from Lebanon via the pouty lips of sultry chanteuse Myriam Fares, who at 26 already has several albums and a brand of perfume under her belt... a decade after snagging first place at the Lebanese Song Festival. "Eih Elly Byehsal?" is in the Egyptian rather than Lebanese dialect of Arabic (which is more widely understood throughout the Arab world), and frankly, there's nothing remotely deep here ("I'm in love and how can I describe this passion?"). But it's certainly easy on both eyes and ears, so what the hey. Now, Myriam isn't without her critics: More than a few have said she tends to ape (part-Lebanese) Colombian sexpot Shakira, while some fans of another Lebanese singer a decade older, Haifa Wehbe, claim Myriam is copying her. Picky, picky...but never mind that -- what if Hezbollah finds out?

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