Lebanon travel, Lebanon people, Lebanon strangers, Yes Theory Lebanon, challenges in Lebanon, angriest country stereotypes, proving stereotypes wrong
The crew from Yes Theory is known for taking on big challenges that push them far outside their comfort zones. So when they set out to visit Lebanon – often referred to as the “angriest country in the world” – it seemed like the perfect test of their open-mindedness and ability to connect with strangers. However, what they found may surprise you.
Arriving in Beirut with just a few hours of daylight left, the trio devised a plan to truly experience Lebanon on a local level. Their challenge? To go out, make some friends, and hopefully find a place to stay for the night, all before dark. Easier said than done in a country with a reputation for anger and conflict.
Equipped with their signature welcoming nature and humor, the Yes Theory guys started their social experiment by chatting with the first people they met – a group of young Lebanese men playing basketball. Despite their different backgrounds, a connection was quickly formed through laughter and curiosity about each other’s lives. The locals were happy to give advice on the best areas to find dinner and continue making connections.
Next, they stumbled upon a crowd dancing and enjoying live music at a sidewalk restaurant. Breaking the ice with their infectious positivity, they were soon grabbing food with the lively group. Discussion of politics was politely avoided in favor of focusing on shared loves of family, friendship, and Saturday nights out. Before they knew it, the new friends were insisting the travelers join their celebrations and spend the night as welcomed guests.
So in one short evening, the stereotype of an “angry” Lebanon was turned on its head through simple human interaction. By leaving their preconceptions at the door and approaching locals as equals, Yes Theory found the residents to be remarkably warm, funny, and hospitable – just like people anywhere in the world.
Their hosts, who represented Lebanon’s three main religious sects, were eager to show off their culture and chat over meals for hours. It seemed the angry reputation might have more to do with outside political tensions than the kindness of individuals within the country. Each person believed strongly that living together in diversity was the answer, not division or walls between groups.
In the bright light of a new day, it was clear to Yes Theory that chances for amazing experiences are missed when countries are written off before being understood. By welcoming outsiders, the Lebanese people renewed their faith in friendship as a universal way to overcome perceived differences. It just takes a simple act of human connection to discover our shared hopes beneath the surface and forge bonds that transcend borders.
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