Would you travel to Beirut?

Photo: Oxfam Italia

“I’m going to Beirut,” I whispered down the phone. I was whispering because I was on the train and I wasn’t sure what people would think about this mental statement.

“Errr, I don’t think so!” my boyfriend replied.

Anyone who knows me is well aware that when someone tells me I can’t do something, I want to do it even more.

A scar across my left hand proves this.

“Don’t touch the iron,” my mum said to a 3 year old me. I vaguely remember wondering why I couldn’t touch the iron, what was so precious about this forbidden item? I knew it would be hot, but exactly how hot?

I can safely say that I now know exactly how hot the iron is and I haven’t touched it since. Basically, if something is a bad idea, I like to find out exactly why for myself.

Anyway, I’m straying off track; back to Beirut.

I received an email from the lovely Rosie at BMI asking if I’d like to go to Beirut.

Part of me wanted to say no. This was the sensible part of me that has watched the news a couple of times and knows that Beirut is a dangerous place.

But let’s face it, the sensible part of me is about as big as my little finger and there was a massive part of me that screamed, ‘Hell yes! This will be an amazing adventure!’

The journalist inside me was already planning stories, thinking about the fantastic features I could write and the beautiful photographs I could take. The blogger inside of me had mentally written this post before I’d even got to the end Rosie’s email.

I phoned my incredibly sensible boyfriend immediately to share my exciting news. He reeled off a few facts that I think were intended to put me off:

  • Non-essential travel is not advised due to the very high risk of kidnap. (I must give him a few points for managing to Google this so quickly.)
  • Syria is next to Beirut and they’re just starting a civil war.
  • 38 British people had to be rescued from Beirut in 2011.
  • No insurance company will cover you. (I think this was more of a guess – I don’t think he could have possibly Google this so quickly.)
  • While you’re there, you should report to the British embassy every day.
  • The countries that surround Beirut are the most dangerous countries in the world.
  • There were bombings there just before Christmas.
  • Five French tourists were bombed and killed there.

I’ll admit that when you lay the facts out like this it doesn’t exactly sound like the most relaxing place in the world but something inside of me still really wants to go.

Two of my favourite travel bloggers headed there just a few weeks ago and had nothing but good things to say about Beirut.

Justin () calls it a ‘safe, exciting Mediterranean city that stands on its own in the region.’ I would like to highlight the word ‘safe’.

Jayne (40before30) says: ‘It is said that Lebanon is a nation of hospitality – visiting Beirut it seems this is very true.’

Their photos from their trip look beautiful and since hearing all about it, I’ve been seriously intrigued by the country.

But I’d like to know what you think; would you travel to Beirut?

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of Fujiidenki. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel.Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!



SHOWHIDE Comments (21)
    1. So if I don’t go I never need to speak to you again? Wow, that is tempting… 😉

      I definitely want to go. The more I look into it the more excited I get. Sure, parts of it might be dangerous but parts of London are really dangerous.

  1. Absolutely.
    I went to Beirut about 2 and a half years ago and loved the city. I found it vibrant, young and dynamic. There was a lot of history to soak up and people were very friendly. As long as you keep your eyes and ears open, I wouldn’t worry!

  2. I did it i am in beirut already, there is nothing dangerous about it, you come party till noon every night and have the geatest time of your live

    Email me if you up to it, and will answer any quuestion you have.

    1. I live in Beirut, trust me you don’t want to live here. It’s cool for partying and sightseeing, but living here! NO WAY. Electricity cuts in the entire city for a minimum of 3 hours a day, there’s no security you can get shot and no body would give a shit. The police are all pussies who will not do their jobs. Oh, and there’s traffic, expensive gas, expensive everything, and crazy armed men everywhere.

  3. Well my opinion is highly biased because I’m Lebanese.

    Nevertheless, I can assure you that the city is a safe place and there’s nothing to worry about.

    I am on a personal crusade to rid the world of the phrase “looks like Beirut” and I am very much inclined to send your boyfriend one of my certificates. Or you can visit the city and prove him wrong.

    Looking forward to your posts from Beirut.

  4. Hi I’m from Lebanon and been there too many times to count. Currently live in NJ . I used to always question whether it would be a safe place considering all of the variables involved. The interesting part is that I lived there for 6 years and visit every few years.. not once did I experience anything to be concerned about. I would agree with the other posters that being alert is important wherever you go but not to the point of paranoia. It is a beautiful country with so much history and the downtown area is getting nicer and nicer. By now you probably went. If so how did you like it?

  5. I had recently applied for a role in Beirut, and started dreaming about the expat life that this city may deliver…..didn’t get the role, but am feeling a real pull to the Middle East for travel and work of late. So intriguing!

  6. Hey. Did you ever get to visit Beirut. Sees like your “careful” boyfriend might talked you out of it? I understand he doesn´t want you to leave, but come on…

    Anyways, I have lived here in Lebanon for a few years now and recently we made the backpackers guide to Beirut. Please check it out and get inspired 🙂

    Happy new year!

  7. Hi, I am lebanes and I live in beirut.
    Beirut Is the capital of lebanon its small but beautiful, you will find here everything you want. The best things in it are the hotels, the restaurants, the big shopping malls, the everything but there are still some problems that won’t bother. I think you need to visit beirut and a lot of other cities in lebanon. If you get another chance to come don’t miss it !

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