It’s bad people. Really bad. Remember when I was complaining about Lebanon being one of 39 countries that has to wait 10 days on average for the Schengen visa? If you don’t, then here it is.
It turns out the situation is much worse than having to wait 10 days for a Schengen visa. We, as Lebanese, can access 33 countries without needing visas. 33 sounds appealing? Well, the #1 countries in the world, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, can access 173 countries.
In a 2011 study, conducted by Henley & Partners, Lebanon ranked 97 out of 110 countries and behind countries such as Iran, Egypt.
In fact, in a 2010 study conducted by the same company (check it out here), we are also behind North Korea. And it doesn’t stop there. We are also on brochures that tell travelers about Lebanon being one of the countries with the most visa restrictions.
I have to ask though: why is the situation this bad? Other neighboring countries, who share our geographical location and the whole baggage of the Middle East, have a better situation that we do.
It could be that our Ministry of Foreign affairs is doing a horrible job, which I think is true. I mean, have you heard that “minister” asking the president to halt in filing a protest against Syrian violation of our land pending investigations? When you have people like that in charge of these types of relations, where do you expect to get?
Or could it be that all those other countries simply refuse to permit headache-free entry for Lebanese travelers?
I would tend to think it’s the former – that governments throughout the years have been and are doing such a bad job with foreign relations that with each passing day our passport loses whatever negligible value it had. And it’s actually very sad.
What’s the best passport to seek out in case you want to go anywhere you want and still retain your Lebanese citizenship? It seems like Sweden is a good fit. Denmark doesn’t allow dual citizenships.
A word for our minister of foreign affairs though, the citizens of the country that he has no problem getting up in a fit for whenever they violate our country can access 142 countries. Just saying.