Explorer Mikael Strandberg

A Lebanese Diary, part 2

26th November

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There are obviously many things which makes you feel alive once you arrive to a genuinly fantastic city like Beirut. Most of all the people. They all have a story of great drama to tell, they all have perspective on what is important or not in life, which at times, is much harder to find back home. It is there of. course, mainly due to to the new arrivals from the south and the East, but i haven´t been able to meet really any of them yet.

People´s stories about war and tragedy are harrowing in many ways. It is difficult to sleep after hearing many of them.

I have met a few people of my own generation here and there stories from the wars in Beirut when everything was more or less lawless are strong. And it is amazing how they all have survived, moved on and figure most things out. Extremely impressive. in different ways. As different as most people are, so are their ways to cope with dramatic change an tragedy.

A visit like this gives perspective to life. But it is hard, this eating at 21.00 hours….😉

27 November

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Yesterday we met with a few lebanese and talked about the future of tourism. I have to say that Lebanon is a wonderful place, even though there´s no doubt they´re facing a lot of challenges, but as a tourist destination, definitely world class on many levels, especially history, foood and people.

We learned that they have invited the Lebanese diaspora to the country. The population of this interesting country is a bit more than 4 million plus refugees from Syria and Palestina, but there´s more than 11 million lebanese living elsewhere, which is quite dramatic. The idea is to lure them back to Beirut and Lebanon. I´d like to be part of that first visit to see how they react!

We have so far lived a way to priviliged life with the Christian section of this still very divided place. We have dined, travelled and socialized at the upper echolons, so it was utterly great last night when Lars and me had a lebanese dinner next to the sea, at a very simple place, in the Muslim sector. Kind of more down to earth.

Having said that, I have enjoyed every second here. More to come.

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