Lebanon, is just a very tiny country on the map. And within this little country, Big things are manifested.

I have to say, I always feel the bias when it comes to my home. I’ve known and seen all of its shortcomings, the failures and the greatest pains, and with all that, I started realizing, how truly unique this tiny spot is.

What people experience there, even when they have never thought of it or visited before, I started to think of it as, the Heart Chakra opening experience. The love a person can learn to feel there, is a different kind of love. It is intensity and raging flames of not understanding, altogether mixed with kindness and the art of giving.

The Lebanese people, have one extra instinct given to them, it is called the Art of Giving. It is by no mistake that you hear the word Habibi wherever you go there.

Habibi, initially meaning my Love, has grown to become a word of 101 Lebanese fundamentals of communication. Would you like something to drink sir? No thank u Habibi , can easily be a term used for a waiter, a friend, a lover, the grocer, the lady at the supermarket cashier, the man pumping Gasoline into your car, the man selling coffee at the express on the highway, a colleague, a banker calling to remind of a missing loan payment, 2 old men to each other, and the list can go on and on and on….

It is surprising, that this is just another way of knowing that love, is in the creation of these people.

To use such a term, for someone you do not know, one would say will make it lose meaning and value, actually it doesn’t, it didn’t, and never will I believe. Habibi used randomly everyday has a soothing way of lowering down a person’s defenses and establishing connectedness with everyone concerned in your daily life, from your hairdresser, to your work, all the way back to your home.

Giving this much value of wording, into daily activities, is an act of generosity.

Yes! Hats down to you Lebanese Habibis, for being able to add to stupid dull daily conversations and struggles, a little bit of love and emotion into it, just like that, instinctively!

You say Marhaba (meaning hello),they reply Marhabtayn ( double time the hello) and same applies for many many terms, where it is obvious how, generosity is running in the veins of an entire dialect and thus the nation. 100 times hello, 100 times you are welcome, 1000 times good health, are terms used, on daily basis in the country…

Giving thought into things to find very resourceful and creative solutions, giving hospitality to even the strangest of strangers, giving awesome food and nice service in all kinds of service sectors.

And, of course giving ourselves hard time too 😆 we are generous in dark ways obviously and well unfortunately! no harm in some dark humor,right? its a survival mode after all 😉

I feel I have written too much and yet somehow not enough 😊

My therapy during the day was basically going grocery shopping, filling car at gas station, going to hairdresser, buying coffee from the small kiosk on the highway, getting flowers from the “begger” in the streets of beirut,

the random visits of employees to my office just to say hi, smile and invite for coffee and tell me all about their day at home and plans for future and complain about anything that would come up to their mind.

My therapy was the conversations with waiters changing the charcoal of some customer’s shisha, and then coming to serve my dish. My therapy was the laughter I had everytime I have some kind of car accident and me and the other driver go out of the car looking at each other like oh hey, we are alive in this bad experience, however, together and life is short so lets just laugh and chat and complain until insurance experts come to sort this out…

my therapy was waking up and just stepping outside the house and thinking what new “adventure” is hidden that day, because with the people in Lebanon, every single day, is a new day. And every single day, brings its own good and bad. And every single day, is so different from the day before, and somehow still the same…

And with this being said, there is no way you can ever plan your day!

Doing daily routine activities, with this amount of Habibis, smiles, and checkup questions on you and your family, is enough to give you the healing you need and to open up the darkest of hearts.

And I havent started talking about family and friends yet…:)

With all that image of a daily social encounter at random place in Lebanon to do some very random task, I bring myself back to Prague where if a waiter smiles at me, I feel its an achievement. if I go to do some grocery shopping, or get some service, or some paper, I hope and pray before I step outside the house, that nobody would be mean, or frown in my face, or yell at me that I forgot something, or throw some random word in an angry irritated tone.

The highlight of my day here, is when i make it through without having to fight back to anyone, and have nobody be rude to me.

I feel very achieved when someone replies my hello every few weeks and sometimes even months. I feel very achieved when my doctor is actually nice and didn’t send me home saying nothing is wrong with me. Or even when they take me in the ER without making me wait for hours with my pain. I feel achieved when drunk people don’t pass by my street and harass me at my own window. I feel achieved when, I can transfer money to Lebanon without having a woman throw paper and pen at me and then ask rudely for my passport. The achievements list shall continue in future posts. For now, this is more than enough to realize that,

Lebanon has raised the bar high for me when it comes to how people treat each other and at least, you know, deliver the services they are supposed to deliver, that I felt was the Hit.

The Hit of having my therapy from doing a car crash and finding the people who saw the accident inviting me for coffee to relax and , “we will handle it for u”, to finding achievement if I manage to survive the day without someone being complete @%^& to me.

This my dears, is where all emotional disturbances, and depression, abandonment and loneliness begins. This is where unhappiness likes to grow in, and this is the right recipe of how to lose taste of life in 40 days…

I did realize that, my posts got quickly intense, from not adapting to weather, to suddenly the entire social culture. This is not what what flying outside a nest looks like. This is what flying outside of specifically my nest, looks like…

Daily small encounters of doses of happiness, can never be replaced or exchanged with any job opportunity, or metro, or infrastructure, or 24 hour electricity and water.

Yes! We dont have these back home, but, we do have a grocer who gives you a cup of coffee until your fruits and veggies are packed for u, which gives you time to talk and chat and exchange burdens and joys and if you are young, to receive the older people advice on life…

We might lack lots of pleasures and fundamentals of living at home, but we do have the pleasure of time…

And thus, this Hit my Habibis, is not just any Hit, it is THE Hit. The Hit of realizing, no place will ever fill in the void of Lebanon, nor would it be ready to offer and give what Lebanon has mastered of Giving for centuries and ages…

Leaving you with a picture, of a flower given to my tourist friend, by my friend’s grandmother as a ‘welcome to our home for the first time’ gesture…

To be continued…

2 Comments

  1. Hatem says:

    ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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