January 19, 2019

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Lebanon “Le pays des Cèdres”

By H. E. Abdel Sattar Issa, Ambassador of Lebanon to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

I present my warmest greetings to the readers of Diplomat Magazine. I have the honour to be, since the 21st of February the new Ambassador of Lebanon to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The impressions, I have had of the Netherlands in these past few weeks, are of a beautiful country. The nature is well preserved, and the efficient sustainable development can be seen everywhere in the Dutch landscapes. The cities I have visited till now, privately or officially are all elegant, full of cultural and historical sites.

These two elements, a beautiful nature and a rich heritage, when mixed with the friendliness and open minded spirit of the Dutch people, give the formula that makes the Kingdom of the Netherlands one of the big tourist destinations in the world.

Lebanon “Le pays des Cèdres” has this magic formula too. It is a small country. It’s surface is 10.452 Km, smaller than the Kingdom of the Netherlands by almost 4 times. The same applies regarding its population (4,6 millions). But Lebanon is a very rich and diverse country. The natural landscape is composed of a varied coastline, where sandy and rocky shores give the opportunity for multiple water sports all year long.

A second feature of the natural landscape in Lebanon is its mountains that culminate at the height of 3,088m. This makes my country one of the rare ski destinations in the Middle East with ski seasons that can last till the end of April. This fact means that tourists can enjoy snow skiing and the pristine waters of the Mediterranean in the same time.

Lebanon is also rich in its historical and cultural heritage. It has some historical sites dating back to 7000BC. The Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans, all passed, ruled and left their mark in these ancient lands. This explains why a small country like Lebanon has five sites on the UNESCO World heritage list: Anjar, Baalbeck, Byblos, Ouadi Quadisha, Tyre.

If the visitor does not have enough time to visit all the famous historical sites spread all around Lebanon, a half day spent at the National Museum in Beirut, would surely give him a condensed preview of the rich history of the country.

As for the lovers of cultural and artistic vibes, Beirut would give them a treat with its numerous galleries, theatres and music halls.

The third element of the magic formula, the friendliness of the Lebanese people is as famous as their exquisite cuisine, all over the world.

Composed of eighteen religious confessions, they are tolerant and open to all cultures of the world, and master in addition to Arabic, the French and English languages. This explains why Europeans find it easy to live and communicate in Lebanon.

I encourage the readers of Diplomat Magazines to visit my beautiful country. To help me in convincing them to do this trip, I present some pictures of Lebanon, cause as we say a picture is worth a thousand words.


For additional information please visit the Ministry of Tourism of Lebanon, www.mot.gov.lb 

Photography by the Ministry of Tourism of Lebanon.

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