Lebanon

Lebanon

Etymology

The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Semitic root lbn meaning “white,” apparently from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן.[22] [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Beirut Travellers and Expats Club – This is a club for avid travellers and for expats living in Beirut. The aim is to exchange travel experiences, discuss different cultures, connect expats to the local community in a fun and friendly environment. [meetup]

Friends of the Middle East- Lebanon – Friends of the Middle East is made to share positive stories, promote social entrepreneurship, give a space for changemakers to share their ideas, initiatives and why not onboard/stimulate other positive people! [meetup]

Lets go Mountain Biking – This is a group for anyone interested in Mountain Biking. All skills levels are welcome. Looking forward to exploring new trails and meeting new people. [meetup]

Nerd Fun Lebanon – Do you like learning new things in history, science, culture, psychology? Did you learn something cool or do you have an inspiring story that you would like to share? You like going to museums or lectures but you can’t get your regular crew to go with you? [meetup]

Simply BEIRUT Cool Gettogethers – Here in Beirut, we tend to be bound in our own circles, and our friendships tend to be limited to these circles, and our IDENTITY defined. Examples of circles: university, work place, area of residence, hobbies/classes, religious background, language preferance, background, religious/sectarian background, social class, etc… [meetup]

Tripodev – This group is for anyone specialized, studying, working, etc. in technologies. We are preparing meetings, sessions, workshops, etc. regarding the latest technologies and presented by specialized people having long experience in each topic. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Arablounge.com – Arablounge.com is the best online dating site in Lebanon as well as the rest of the Middle East. It has been around since 2003 and is also a great site if you are looking to date Lebanese in other countries of the world, including the United States. [visa hunter]

Lebanese Christian Hearts – Meet the Lebanese Christian man or Lebanese Christian women you have been searching for online at LebaneseChristianHearts.com whether that special someone is on the other side of the world or in your own neighborhood. [lebanese christian hearts]

LebaneseCupid.com – Meet Lebanese singles worldwide and discover friendship, romance, and love. Registration is free. Sign up today and find the Lebanese friend or soul mate you’ve been dreaming of… [lebanese cupid]

Meet-Lebanese.com – The best and most serious chating and dating website 100% free dedicated primarily to date between people who are interested by the Lebanese culture. You Chat with a serious Lebanese man or You can find easily a Lebanese girl for marriage in Beirut, Jounieh, Jbeil (Byblos), Tripoli, Zahle, Tyre, Sidon, Batroun, and in all Lebanese cities and in Americain, Europe and Arab countries. [meet lebanese]

YaGharami – First Love dating site for singles looking for love and marriage in Lebanon. It is mainly intended for the Lebanese community. Sign up now and meet thousands of Lebanese members already present on Yagharami. [yagharami]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Beirut Free Walking Tour – If anyone is interested in a free walking tour around Beirut (mainly the Downtown region and surroundings), just join me ! 🙂 [facebook]

Walk Beirut – Interested in exploring Beirut’s layered history by foot? WalkBeirut offers the only extensive, in-depth guided walking tour of Beirut. Our tours are offered in English, and are run by graduates in history from the American University of Beirut. The tour narrates Beirut’s rich and often troublesome past, and reflects on the city’s enduring spirit. [be beirut]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Afqa Waterfall – I give you my word that this waterfall will be the first place I visit in Lebanon this July. I stumbled across an Instagram photo of a group of mates swimming here on my flight back to Sydney last year and will not put my mind at ease until I’m doing the exact same. [smf blog]

Al-Khiam Restaurant – Another destination I haven’t been able to get to due to the instability of the country. After hearing about how amazing the food is here, it has to be done this year! [smf blog]

Baatara Gorge Waterfall – During summer the water’s flow isn’t that strong, but it’s well worth the visit. Make sure you keep an eye our for the signs as there is a designated place you can park and walk straight down to the cave. Be very careful when crossing the natural bridge though. [smf blog]

Bekaa Valley – Similar to Nahr Ibrahim, Beqaa Valley is a whole region that could take you a day or two to scout efficiently. The entire area has secret, yet amazing, locations embedded that’ll have you staying longer than originally planned. [smf blog]

Cedars of Lebanon – Lebanon is predominately known for its cedar trees, hence why it occupies the national flag. During summer the Ariz region is filled with tourists purchasing souvenirs, relaxing in their villas and visiting some of the most delicious restaurants. [smf blog]

Chowan Waterfall – After two long hours on the road, missing turns, smashing through pot holes and thirteen pittstops, we finally made it to Chowan Waterfall located at the end of Nahr Ibrahim. [smf blog]

Downtown Beirut – Where the rich and famous are seen walking the streets alongside the poor. Downtown Beirut hosts everything from store front to store front of luxurious retailer designer brands to some of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and bars. [smf blog]

Jbeil – Possibly the oldest city in the world, Byblos hosts ancient buildings and artifacts dating back thousands of years. The city also has an amazing old Souk dominating with lively restaurants, pubs, and clubs that’ll keep you entertained for hours. When walking through the old streets. [smf blog]

Jeita Grotto – So close to making it into the Wonders of the World list a couple years back, Jeita Grotto is a breathtaking cave covered in limestone that have formed over thousands of years. For a few dollars, you can travel through the natural river and sneak a couple illegal photos. [smf blog]

Kefraya – Famous for its vineyards and amazing wine, Kefraya is a must if you’re interested in taking the family or a group of friends out to a memorable lunch. [smf blog]

Kfar-Hilda Waterfall – My last water related destination, I promise. Again, an ideal location to chill with the friends overnight, cooking meat on the bonfire, telling endless jokes and just having a great time. [smf blog]

Lake Qaraoun – One of the many places I’ve been meaning to visit, but have never had the chance. Will definitely be driving here this summer with a bottle of wine, some cheese, light music and a good group of friends to just chill. [smf blog]

Laqlouq Mountain Range – During the winter, the spectacular mountain range of Laqlouq is completely covered in snow. However, during summer when the Mediterranean sun melts away all the snow, you’re left with this view. Spectacular. [smf blog]

Mar Mikhael Stairs – These type of stairs have been seen all over the world, which brings me to my final point. Lebanon has inherited everything that other countries continuously boast about, from the nightlife, historical artefacts, hotels, restaurants, cars, people and or food. [smf blog]

Monastery of Saint Anthony – This place is filled with so much peace, quiet and serenity. The holy monastery accommodates for monks who are on the journey to becoming priests. [smf blog]

Msaylha Castle – If you’re from the North of Lebanon you’ll probably be very familiar with this castle as you pass it on average twice a day on your way to and from Jounieh or Beirut. The castle is managed by a keeper, who after tipping a couple dollars, will allow you to roam the castle freely. [smf blog]

Nahr Ibrahim – So Nahr Ibrahim stretches for several kilometres and as you saw previously, possess some great stops. My advice, jump in a car and drive alongside the river until you see a cool spot to stop over and take a quick dip. [smf blog]

Our Lady of Lebanon – Overlooking the city of Jounieh, the Our Lady of Lebanon statue is one of the most visited touristic sites in Lebanon. Thousands of people from all backgrounds and different religions make the trip to Harissa every year. [smf blog]

Raouchè Sea Rock – Again, another one of Lebanon’s most popular natural landmarks, the Raouchè Sea Rock can be viewed from atop or you can head down to the water and have a water taxi take you for a spin through the rocks. [smf blog]

Rikky’z – A group of friends and I discovered this place by accident while driving through Faraya. Best wrong turn I’ve ever taken. Rikky’z holds daily brunches for approximately $USD66, where they supply you with all the food and alcohol you need to have the time of your life. The owners are lovely people and will go out of their way to make you feel right at home. Definitely a must add to your Lebanon bucket list. [smf blog]

Saydet El Nourieh (Our lady of Nourieh) – Overlooking Chekka, the Our Lady of Nourieh monastery has an amazing history behind it. Head up the hill and check out the views of Chekka and Tripoli. [smf blog]

Sidon Sea Castle – One of the most prominent archaeological sites in the port city of Sidon, stands the Sidon Castle built around 4000 BC. [smf blog]

Taanayel Walk – I’ve penciled in this romantic walkway for a potential outfit shoot for this July. I personally adore places like this, where you can go for strolls around the greenery and free your mind from everything. [smf blog]

Temple of Jupiter – I visited the ruins of Baalbek when I was younger but haven’t had the chance in the last couple of years due to the unrest in the region. God willing, if the situation in Lebanon becomes a little safer, you should definitely visit the temple and other ruins scattered across the site. [smf blog]

Yahchouch Waterfall – Yes, another waterfall. I want to make it my mission to find the most epic waterfall in Lebanon. The Yahchouch Waterfall definitely isn’t, but it’s something! [smf blog]

Festivals

Festivals

Baalbeck International Festival – The oldest and most prestigious cultural event in the Middle East’, the Baalbeck Festival has a long history that goes back more than half a century. In its decades of existence, this annual event brought to the ancient city of Baalbeck world-renowned artists from theatre, opera, jazz or dance. Among them: the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Caracalla Dance Theatre, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Charles Aznavour, Gilberto Gil and Sting. This year’s programme includes performances of opera diva Angela Gheorghiu, of actors Gerard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Tania Saleh and Canadian circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main. [the culture trip]

Beiteddine Festival – Beiteddine is ‘one of the leading festivals in the Middle East’, gathering each year more than 50,000 spectators to its concerts, exhibitions, theatre and dance shows. Organised for almost thirty years in the Chouf Mountains, 45km outside Beirut, the festival takes place in the 19th century Beiteddine Palace, an emblematic piece of Oriental architecture. The highlights of the 2014 edition include a concert of Lebanese diva Magida El Roumi, singers Joss Stone and Katie Melua, the dance performance A Titanic Triumph, the Arabic legend Kadim Al Sahir and the photo exhibition Hidden Treasures of the Higher Shouf. [the culture trip]

Byblos International Festival – One of the biggest festivals in Lebanon, Byblos is in itself a major tourist attraction of the summer season, gathering thousands of spectators each year. Organised in what is considered to be the first Phoenician city Byblos, in a historical setting few concert venues can offer, this top music festival lines up performers from all music genres, from classical to heavy metal and indie rock. The one month long programme includes ‘the hottest artist of the classical music planet’ Lang Lang, the trip hop British band Massive Attack, the metal band Epica and jazz legends Mulatu Astatke and Ibrahim Maalouf, among many other talented artists. [the culture trip]

Ehdeniyat International Festival – Since 2004 when the first edition of the festival took place, Ehdeniyat has become ‘an experience that never ends’, as the festival’s tagline goes. Its unique location contributes to its success and attractiveness, as this summer music festival takes places in the mountainous, picturesque town of Ehden. This year’s headliners include Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, Ziad Rahbani (one of Lebanon’s most famous composers), Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir and the Tenors of the XXI Century, a group of eight famous tenors that tour the major world stages. [the culture trip]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Buses – An overland trans-desert bus service between Beirut, Haifa, Damascus and Baghdad was established by the Nairn Transport Company of Damascus in 1923. [wikipedia]

Ferries – Apart from the international airport, the Port of Beirut is another port of entry. As a final destination, anyone can also reach Lebanon by ferry from Cyprus or by road from Damascus. The Port of Tripoli (Lebanon) is also a port of entry. [wikipedia]

Taxis and services – Apart from buses, the latter are served by either service or taxis. ‘Service’ is a lot cheaper than taxis however, to avoid misunderstanding, agreement over the pricing needs to be made before setting off. [wikipedia]

Trains – The Lebanese rail system is not currently in use, with services having ceased due to the country’s political difficulties. [wikipedia]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Agile Lebanon – We provide an open environment for fellow Scrum Masters, Agile Gurus, and newcomers alike to meet and discuss related news, best practices, tips and anything else that might arise in this exciting and rapidly evolving project management niche. [meetup]

Beirut Developers Meetup – Welcome to Beirut Developers. A get-together meetup to code, learn, talk projects, and deep dive in the latest web development and cloud platform technologies. [meetup]

Beirut Salesforce Developer Group – Are you located in Lebanon/MEA? Are you Looking to have more knowledge on the Salesforce CRM application? It is not necessary to be a developer to join us, if you would like to learn something new, we are waiting for you. [meetup]

Beirut Startup Founder 101 – Startup Founder 101 brings together aspiring and experienced tech entrepreneurs to discuss, meet, and collaborate to build great new startups, and to push the local startup ecosystem forward. [meetup]

Financial Planning Meetup – Beirut – This is a group for anyone interested in saving, investing or trading. Focus of this group is on Real Money vs Paper Money, and on Physical Market vs Cash Market. We are looking to continue building a community free of debt, and promoting for financial independence. [meetup]

Lebanon Game Designers & Developers – If you love making games and want to meet and network with other like minded people in the industry. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Beirut Travellers and Expats Club – This is a club for avid travellers and for expats living in Beirut.  The aim is to exchange travel experiences,  discuss different cultures, connect expats to the local community in a fun and friendly environment. [meetup]

Expat Families in Beirut – Just arrived and looking for help settling in? Been here for years, but still interested in making connections with people from ‘back home’ or elsewhere? This group aims to connect people from different corners of the world as they settle into Beirut, Lebanon for a month, a year, or a lifetime. [meetup]

Expats in Beirut – The Beirut Expat Meetup is an organization for Internationally-minded professionals to share cultural experiences and meet like minded individuals in Beirut. [meetup]

Girl Gone International – New generation of women who live abroad. [meetup]

Spanish in Beirut Meetup – This is a group for anyone (young, adult, professional. Interested in Spanish language. We organize encounters where we learn Spanish, we practice Spanish, we read articles and poems, we get to know cool people, …. and we have fun with Spanish language. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor – ‎Lebanon’s LGBT Community Headlines: The Monitor is a media watch reporting news about Lebanese LGBT movement. [facebook]

Resources

Resources

Places in Lebanon

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