In my dreams, I see my homeland;
Far too long I’ve been away.
Land of wondrous charm and beauty,
Far from her, my skies are gray.
Land, which gave me love and nurture,
Here, in which my life began,
How I long for Lebanon,
Many splendored native land.
This, the land of my forefathers,
This, the soil from which I grew,
This, in my heart ever precious,
The only home I ever knew.
As we approach July, with its endless summer rays, and as the heat settles its mischievous ways on the capital of Beirut, an excitement seems to fill the hearts of Lebanese living here and abroad. It is that time of the year where everyone is preparing for their return home to their loved ones. School year is over and with it comes a certain freedom to roam the world. A summer vacation would not be a summer vacation without one visiting their loved ones in their native land.
Travelling to Lebanon is a certain art form. Well yes, there are a couple of things that will force you to wonder whether we have any common sense. Things like standing to get the luggage a second after the plane lands and the seat belt sign is still on. Others like the constant need to change our seats. I mean really, if you think about it, how hard is it to just sit on your designated seat? But that’s not what this post is about.
Travelling to Lebanon takes a lot of preparation and planning. There is a certain process to it all. Gifts are bought for every member of the family and packed in advance. A new wardrobe is a must for the whole family, as one needs to look their best when in Lebanon. Shopping for new clothes and shoes takes a toll on Lebanese coming here. Everything is prepared and thought of, up to the smallest detail of what to wear to the airport. As whole tribes will be awaiting their loved ones at Beirut International Airport, the first impression is key. Everyone wants to look their best when they first set foot in Beirut, so choosing the proper outfit is essential.
Another phenomena I love about travelling to Lebanon, somehow especially around summer time, 15 to 20 minutes before the plane lands, a rush to use the bathroom occurs on the plane. Women mostly will retouch their makeup and spray perfume on. Children will be taken to the toilet so once the plane lands they won’t miss anytime at the airport and head out of it as quickly as possible. A certain fusion of perfumes will rule this little airplane above the Lebanese capital.
The cherry on top though of the whole flying to Lebanon experience is a phenomenon that I love and I have to admit look forward to. Flying over Beirut looking down at this concrete jungle surrounded by the sea, a certain feeling of excitement takes over the heart of some passengers. As the tension builds up to the final climax of the plane landing, two hands, four hands, six hands, so on and so forth come together in unison over the joy of landing home and in order to show appreciation to the pilot of the plane for a safe flight and safe landing. Clapping on the Middle East Airline is an inner cry of jubilation as one is just about to set foot home.
So clap along if you know what happiness is to you and learn to trust the vibes you get, this energy doesn’t lie and all it says is: I love my family, I love my home, I love my land…
Welcome home to all who are traveling to Lebanon this summer!