I landed amidst protests into a region I have always wanted to go to but wasn’t particularly sure if it was safe to go alone. As I walked out of the airport three workers stopped me smiling and waving furiously, “The international transports are that way!” What? No, no I came to be here! I guess they must not get a lot of Asian American tourists. Luckily I was soon greeted by the smiling face of a friend and whisked off around so many blockades. I found the assault rifle toting military wandering the streets in France to be surprising and the various military checkpoints here were a reminder of why this beautiful place isn’t more commonly a tourist destination.


A country in the middle of a trash and refugee crisis.



Wandering the hot, narrow and windy alleys of Sidon past laughing children, vendors and people’s living rooms.



The beautiful view from the sea fort.



The ancient cedars that grace the flag that is proudly displayed everywhere.



The beautiful geometric patterns that I had previously gotten closest to in Spain. Gorgeous.



I left as a sandstorm settled on the country. Surreal.

Don’t let my lack of food pictures for once deceive you, everything was delicious and I’m not sure how I fit it all in. Perhaps more than most places I am visiting friends, I am grateful for the viewpoint and help of a local. Of the generosity of her family and friends to welcome me and make sure I got to see all parts of Lebanon and some amazing home cooking. Someone told me the entire country is the size of Los Angeles county, which boggled my mind. We did criss cross the country pretty quickly to see all of the history juxtaposed with a very modern leaning city. There aren’t many places I go where I feel underdressed anymore, but this whole country did feel more fashion planned than I am used to. There were regions we avoided due to danger, although I never got a clear idea of what was safe or not and have no idea how anyone could keep up. May the region enjoy peace and be able to be shared with the rest of us, a gem that seems off the path to most for now.


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