With the shock resignation of Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Harriri, many people began to wonder if Lebanon is still safe?
It’s a valid question actually.
If you read the international news, Lebanon sounds like it was plunged into chaos overnight and on the verge of regional or civil war!
That’s not at all the case though. Lebanon is still peaceful as before.
There’s no fighting amongst the different religious sects. If anything, this crisis has shown clearly that few, if any, groups in Lebanon desire any kind of conflict.
Almost everyone is for peace internally, even if there are forces external to Lebanon trying to sway things a different direction at times!
Isn’t It Unstable And Unsafe Without A Prime Minister?
To outsiders, hearing that the head of government suddenly resigned under what the New Yorker aptly termed “mysterious circumstances” seems to signal that the country is falling apart.
That’s not happening though. In fact, Lebanon is quite used to running day-to-day business without a fully functioning government!
Remember that very recently Lebanon operated without a president for more than 2 years. From 2014 to 2016 the country survived with such a power vacuum that seemed to have no end.
It wasn’t easy on the country, but if anything the Lebanese know how to survive some of the most challenging of conditions.
The country itself continues to remain a stable, peaceful and exciting place to visit.
Just a couple weeks after the resignation of Harriri, during the height of media speculation on whether war was coming or not, I was able to visit Batroun for a short holiday away from Beirut.
You would not have known there was any kind of ‘crisis’ in the country in the way that foreign media dramatizes it. Batroun was quiet, restaurants still open for business, and reports still receiving visitors.
It was business as usual, and another enjoyable scenic trip to an iconic Lebanese location!
I would not discourage anyone from coming to Lebanon right now. It is life as usual, and as winter approaches you won’t want to miss some amazing skiing, or walking the cedars in a quiet snowfall!