The World’s Worst Passports: Leish Fi A7la Men Lebnen?

Lebanese passport

The passport of yours truly

As a Lebanese, you certainly do not need to travel. You have everything you need in the confines of our infinitely beautiful country.

I mean, why would anyone want to go do anything outside of Lebanon? We have the world’s best beaches, the prettiest women, the best nightlife, the best nature sceneries, the best food, the best wine, the best everything this world has to offer.

And in case you got bored, don’t worry. There’s almost always something happening somewhere. Who would want to have the boring routine life of those pesky Europeans and Americans who think they’re better than us, with all their rules and regulations. Seriously, why would anyone want to be limited like that?

As such, ladies and gentlemen, we are in good company on a worst passports of the world list. Not that it should matter, right? The list (link) ranking the world’s worst passports has us with all those places that we love to bash, always thinking we’re better than them, always thinking their people are so much lesser than us.

Who’s on that list? Countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea, Kosovo, Pakistan, Palestine, Nepal, Sudan, Sri Lanka. Even while typing those countries, my head was listing every single joke that we, as Lebanese, have made about the people who come from those places. I guess the joke’s on us now. Those women will be livid they’re on the same list as their maids, no?

Certainly, many will now say that I’m being overly negative, that I’m being overly melodramatic when it pertains to the situation in our country, especially when it comes to the matter at hand. There will be those who have absolutely no problem with this situation because having it the other way around would mean Lebanon being in bed with all those imperialistic nations that are ruling the world and forgetting the struggles of the region we’re in. There will be those who have absolutely no problem with all the paperwork required to have countries possibly consider granting you access, maybe, to their countries and who find that addressing the issue is not important because, seriously, ma fi a7la men lebnen.

Perhaps such rankings make sense. We are in a place that can push even the most resilient and positive of people to their breaking point. Some of them even decide to leave. And I know I’ve talked about such a thing before – it’s basically why I was hesitant to write about the issue again. But is the ranking making sense reason enough to be content? What is the solution?

Talking about the state of the Lebanese passport isn’t because we like to have paperwork-free vacations in France, which I personally would love to have. It’s because our passport situation is a clear reflection of the situation that our citizenship and country bestow upon us, one that many love to turn a blind eye to because it doesn’t go hand in hand with the good image we want to portray of Lebanon and the joie de vivre we are all known for. Or maybe some of us are.

Getting our passport up to par has a pre-requisite, which is getting our citizenship up to par. It means pushing every Lebanese not to want to seek out a better life elsewhere. It means having a state that can provide for us the basic necessities in the best form possible, and then some. It means having decent roads, electricity, water, internet, equality, security, accountability, democracy. It means not having our passport system be so corrupt that we have to pay $200, effectively making our passport the most expensive in the world, for something that is this worthless.

Some of those elements are a struggle, sure. But they surely won’t happen with politicians who are content to have a diplomatic passport that can take them anywhere, who renew their mandate whenever they feel like it and who, whether we like it or not, would get re-elected anyway. The hell with us, it seems. And such an issue, in my opinion, will never be redundant. But nevermind me because seriously, fi a7la men lebnen?

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8 thoughts on “The World’s Worst Passports: Leish Fi A7la Men Lebnen?

  1. I remember some time ago you posted about this as well. I believe I mentioned Hezbollah. Interesting to see the example of countries you just mentioned all had or have civil wars or non-state actors (rebels/terrorists) with private armies. Don’t just fix the services, fix that as well.

    That price for a passport is insane by the way. We pay one third that price and we’re third on the list.

    Reply
    • That’s what I meant by equality, security, accountability & democracy. None of those things can exist as long as you have private armies, militias, etc. roaming free.

      Reply
    • The Prices of Lebanese Passports are so high for a purpose. They want less people travelling to other countries and see the differences and realize the corruption eating the Lebanese infrastructure. It is sad how people still vote for the same slimy mother fucking leaches.

      Reply
  2. I will not go into the analysis of the whole subject as you did a wonderful job there Elie (as usual). I will just cite the standard process I go through every time I travel.

    My wife has a dual citizenship (lucky her!), she holds the British passport along the Lebanese one. On all our trips, I have to waste weeks of my time in applying for a visa while holding my heart in my hand for fear of rejection, while all she has to do is just book a ticket and make sure that all accommodations are taking care of, a chore that doesn’t take more than 15 mins on a good day.

    Upon arrival to any airport, her passport is immediately stamped while I have to go through the bombardment of questions related to where am I coming from, where I am staying, how long and so on.

    Once we had to miss a trip with our friend just because my visa got rejected for inconsistencies in documents (my company made a mistake there).

    And the list goes on. I, like many other Lebanese, am in the process of finalizing my application to Canada. UK is second on the list. I am not looking back as this place gave me nothing but the burden of belonging to it.

    Reply
    • Azmi, I guess you and I are in the same club… sometimes I feel so guilty that I end up booking the trip for my wife, and then follow her once/if my visa application gets approved. It’s not her fault and she deserves the vacation; why should my useless and overpriced passport be a burden on her as well.

      Reply
      • Exactly! Especially when you are moving around Arab countries for example. She just passes the passport control without any obligations, while my supposedly Arab passport doesn’t even mean a thing.

        Reply
  3. Pingback: Some Lebanese Just Don’t Get It: Two Reactions on Lebanon’s Passport Ranking | A Separate State of Mind | A Lebanese Blog

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