Guide to Lebanon Blog Posts

It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since I was in Lebanon. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday and other times it feels like it was all a dream (yes, I know that sounds cliche!). Whenever I think back to those incredible ten days in Lebanon I always have a smile on my face.

In a few weeks I will be presenting again on my time in Lebanon. This presentation will be at the Hudson Library and Historical Society on Tuesday February 5th at 7:00pm. Again, I hope for those of you in the area, you will consider attending.

For anyone who is new to my blog I thought it might be helpful if I repost the links to each blog post that I made while in Lebanon. I have included a brief summary of each one.

Enjoy!

Oreos with the Ambassador = Pre-departure, reflection on orientation in Washington DC

Details from pre-departure = more information on our pre-departure orientation sessions

Walking Tour = Our first day in Lebanon we took a walking tour of downtown Beirut

All around Lebanon = Big day of touring including Khalil Gibran museum, the Cedars, and the Roman Ruins at Baalbek

Day 4 – Our first meetings = met with Michael Young, Hanin Ghaddar, Ousama Safa and Lokman Slim

Day 6 – More meetings = met with Youssef Fawaz from Al Majmoua (microfinance NGO) and toured American University of Beirut

Parliament Meeting = met with Simon Abi Ramia, member of Parliament and head of the commission for Youth and Sports

Tour of Byblos = visited Jeita Grotto and Byblos

Just Checking In = photos at the border with Israel and with UNIFIL

Music in Lebanon = details on Najwa Karam performance at the Achrafieh Music Festival and our visit to Skybar

Visit to the US Embassy in Beirut = details on the life of US ambassadors in Lebanon

ANERA = met with Bill Corcoran, president of American Near East Refugee Assosciation, who does work with Palestinian Refugees

 

Flower at Baalbek

Tour of Byblos

After a Parliament meeting in the morning, we had a jam packed day ahead of touring a grotto and the city of Byblos.

“Jeita Grotto was discovered in 1836 by an American missionary. Drop by drop of water molds a stalactite on the ceiling and floor of the galleries and halls. Jeita Grotto is characterized by its unique dazzling beauty and the most varied shapes, sizes, and colored stones.” (From the entrance pamphlet)

We arrived and rode on a gondola up the mountain to the upper part of the grotto. We walked on foot through the upper grotto. I was amazed by the height of the stones. The beauty was truly breathtaking. Also there were several times where I was very dizzy looking down at the steep drops in a dimly lit cave with a wet floor and small path! After walking through the upper grotto we stopped at a gift shop which had some of the best deals in all of Lebanon. I kid you not! I picked up two sets of worry beads, several postcards (since photography was not allowed in the caves) and a eye of Fatima bracelet for $9. We proceeded on the tour on a mini train to the lower part of the grotto. At this point we went in a boat for a tour of the caves by water. This was incredible! I would highly recommend Jeita Grotto for any traveler to Lebanon.

After the grotto, we stopped for lunch and then proceeded full speed ahead to Byblos. We met up with our tour guide in Byblos and he was HILARIOUS! His name was Yazid and he gave us a great history of the area, as well as a full supply of laughs. We walked around the ruins and he showed us the spot where his grandfather’s house used to be, right above the ruins. The highlight of the tour was climbing into a tomb of an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus. After admiring the history, we did some more shopping. I got a hand of Fatima to hang on the wall. They are symbols of good luck and we’ve seen them at all the gift shops. We stopped for some drinks before dinner which was nice because it was super hot. Then we ate a delicious meal at Pepe Abed. If you are ever in Byblos, you must go to this restaurant! It has so much history, it even has it’s own museum. We had delicious food including calamari and fish (with the heads still on!).

Overall, this was an AMAZING day, as nearly every other day has been on this incredible journey! I am so thankful for this opportunity and for all those who have supported me. Peace and blessings!