Your Healthy Dose of Lebanese Reality

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I submitted my papers to get the Schengen visa for a couple of weeks in June this morning. My appointment was at 8:30 so I went there early.
We stood in the cold, clinging tightly to a folder of documents that contained more papers than anyone would like to read.
We waited and waited until they were kind enough to let us in to wait some more before they called our names to have our pile of documents checked.

Check, check, check, check. All is in order. Or not – they need a couple more papers from my working friend to prove the company he’s working in truly “exists.”

Why would anyone not invent an entire company just to apply for a visa?

You pay $115 and leave. You are asked to go to the embassy the following day to have your fingerprints taken. Because the ones they took less than a year prior are no longer valid. Fingerprints change yearly in case you didn’t know.

This is your healthy dose of reality: walking the walk that makes you feel worthless just to have embassies consider letting you in so you can spend your money in their territories for a couple of weeks of tourism.

Feeling like third rate citizens of the world is a nice way to start your day. But it’s okay because we have “el Jabal el arib men l ba7r w trab l arz yalli aghla men l dahab.”

Meanwhile, my dual citizenship friend has booked her ticket for the summer. She doesn’t have to bother with all of this.

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17 thoughts on “Your Healthy Dose of Lebanese Reality

  1. Nobody can make you feel worthless without your consent.
    Fine! That’s the procedure, shed 7alak!
    You nag a lot and you are such a negative person!

    Reply
  2. Some people really think knocking on embassy doors to go for tourism isn’t humiliating when people who have another passport can hop on the first plane.

    Reply
  3. So is there a solution you can propose that would change the country from a third world one into one that does not require a visa? honestly?

    Reply
  4. Yesterday the Bulgarians said they have new convincing evidence against Hezbollah. Last week a Lebanese freedom fighter was convicted in Cyprus for planning heroic resistance against Israeli bikini girls (I’ll get back to bikinis). These are countries outside Schengen but inside the EU and (in case of Bulgaria) NATO. Lebanon is looking for the wrong friends. The Israelis catered to the Americans and they get away with wiping their ass with EU condemnations of their policy in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Maybe if Lebanon would look for better friends they’ll be rewarded as well. A change of policy is needed in Beirut.

    As for treating the rest of the world like they treat you (as suggested above), good luck with that. You don’t live on a self-sufficient island, none of us do. We have some idiots here who think they can live without EU trade to get our “economic” “sovereignty” “back”, words which mean so little ever since we stopped being subsistence farmers. Speaking of trade, Lebanese-European business ties are improving.

    You should be less of a playground for dubious regimes and opportunistic politicians and more like a country-sized neutral St. Tropez. Start with dressing up Hassan Nasrallah in Rudi Gernreich’s monokini to look more like Brigitte Bardot in her better years.

    Reply
    • “Start with dressing up Hassan Nasrallah in Rudi Gernreich’s monokini to look more like Brigitte Bardot in her better years.” that cracked me up.

      But more seriously, we can treat the rest like they treat us. Brazil and India are two countries that do just that. Americans need to apply for a visa to Brazil and India (both countries decided that any nation requiring visas for Indians, will do the same for people coming to India) it’s a smart move. However I don’t think it would be smart for Lebanon to do that, as we rely on tourism as a major source of foreign income.

      Having spent most of my life outside of Lebanon, and I still don’t have another passport is the most frustrating thing that I have experienced….it is humiliating, embarrassing and quite frankly depressing. But we stand up and me move on and hopefully one day we can say HAHAHAA

      Reply
  5. I have an australian passport and yes I am still treated as a terrorist wherever I go. The problem is not with the passport its with being Lebanese 🙂

    Reply

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