In Two Good Healths!

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In a fast changing city where sometimes people’s harshness might feel like a sharp blade, there are still time old traditions that make living in this country worthwhile. Despite it all, despite the noise and the commotion, there is still a light that shines from deep within this country, a light that says we live together, we take care of each other, and we belong in this weird mesh of abstraction that is Lebanon.

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Your Eyes are Welcomed

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There are many non-verbal cues that have completely different meanings in different cultures. One of the most important means of nonverbal communication in any culture is eye contact, or lack thereof. The eyes are the windows to the soul. That is why we ask people to look us in the eye and tell us the truth. Or why we get worried when someone gives us the evil eye or has a wandering eye. Our language is full of expressions that refer to where people are looking, particularly if they happen to be looking in our direction.

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Is it a Yes or a No?

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“Nshallah”, lebanese for ʾin shāʾa llāh, meaning God willing, or if Allah wills, although claimed to be an essentially Islamic expression, is more accurately understood as a Middle Eastern, and especially Levantine, expression. Its enthusiastic utterers include Lebanese of all religious backgrounds. It’s  equivalent to saying hopefully.

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Anything for You

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Arabic is a wonderfully expressive, visual language. Many terms used throughout the Arab world would not make much sense out of context, or if translated into another language. Oftentimes, colloquialisms or even idioms are the hardest part of a language for a foreigner to understand, as they are so deeply rooted in the culture.

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