Some Lebanese Just Don’t Get It: Two Reactions on Lebanon’s Passport Ranking

It’s all about our passport lately, isn’t it? And isn’t it quite odd that our passport is being discussed so fervently by almost everyone given that the news that is seemingly new is actually anything but? I remember writing about it way back in July 2012 and nothing has changed since, as is expected obviously (link).

Well, there are two interesting reactions to observe regarding the latest non-original news about the Lebanese passport. The first is by some Lebanese regarding the ranking of our passport, a reaction that you can observe via the comments on the list that had us ranked in the ten worst passport list, which I’ve screenshot in the following gallery:

Lebanese people sometimes miss the bigger picture. Well, in the case of the aforementioned comments, the big picture was missed alright for the sake of a picture. Our passport sucks? Well, I guess that’s okay some Lebanese would say as long as the you show our girls rocking Skybar and our men holding their favorite alcoholic drinks and flashing their million dollar smiles to Beiruting cameras. It’s also the case with all those Lebanese feel-good short movies that give everyone a happiness boost to get them through a day. Denial can go a long way.

Of course, denial is what the second reaction to our passport ranking is all about as well but it’s at a higher level as Lebanon’s General Security apparatus had an official statement on the matter that went almost as follows: Nope, nope they got it all wrong. This is what happens when things get lost in translation. Our passport is actually one of the best!

I’m not kidding. The official text, as translated by yours truly, goes as follows:

“Some news platforms have incorrectly translated a report labeling Lebanon’s among the top ten worst passports in the world, which affected Lebanon’s image. In fact, the Lebanese passport is among the best in the world and will soon adopt biometric standards which provides its holders with more benefits, making the Lebanese passport similar with international standards.”

I didn’t know the merits of a passport were contingent upon the way it is. To tell you the truth, I have no idea what General Security mean by whatever they wanted to say. Is our passport awesome because of its navy blue color? Remind me to consult with some fashion expert and see if navy blue is in.

Is our passport awesome because it has a golden cedar on it? But I thought those cedars were being uprooted in Bcharre for the wedding of a former MP’s son. Is our passport superior because it’s expensive? Lebanese logic seems to dictate as such.

Is our passport grand because its first page tells its holder that losing this document is punishable whereas most other countries inform their passport’s holder that they would go to the ends of the Earth to defend them? Our security apparatus would definitely think that is great.

Is our passport the best because it will soon have a biometric imprint that has been available for years and years now in the passports of all those countries that can access much more countries than we can, including some countries that we like to laugh about? I’m sure General Security thinks improvement renders us the best. Will that make our passport even more expensive? That’d make General Security happier too.

Except, of course, a passport’s merits aren’t in the way it looks, its size or the feeling it has in your hand or how efficiently it gets scanned at border controls. But don’t tell people that because we can twist any simple data we have into whatever gets us to sleep better at night. Let’s call it a way of life. Let’s call it perpetuating the status quo. Do Lebanese really want to improve their passport? By the looks of it, many of them probably couldn’t care less.

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19 thoughts on “Some Lebanese Just Don’t Get It: Two Reactions on Lebanon’s Passport Ranking

  1. I can’t tell if the comments are hilarious or extremely painful.
    It’s beyond my understanding to figure out what are they more worried about.
    Does it happen that they have other passports ? Or they haven’t actually tried to travel before?
    Getting rejected over a passport certainly is not something to feel good about.
    Will attending those parties and tanning help my application to one those multinationals, that gets us rejected before we proceed with our application.
    How would they feel to be denied access to the site in their internship because as Lebanese we are not that privileged, while your Lebanese friend who happens to be born in the states bu never lived there is considered American and would have all the privileges that come wwith such title.
    3anjad ma 3am efham. 2enno if we cover our eyes and ignore the truth we are actually achieving something?
    What are they trying to say ?
    I am not following their logic? If covering our eyes and pleasing the world will make Lebanon a country then I am willing to do so ?
    So can they please elaborate some more?
    …..
    Ghaddan Yamwon Afdal

    Reply
  2. Even if beaches and clubs were criterias for a good passport we would still have a bad ranking!!
    our beaches are filled with plastic bags and bottles and many unidentified objects while our clubs…well they’re good …. As long as you have limited discussion with 70% (to be kind) of the people present due to shallowness issues

    Reply
  3. I’m pretty sure the photos you post in your blog have nothing whatsoever to do with the decisions made by foreign governments whether or not to grant access to Lebanese. But there is one, great, big, glaring detail that does influence their decision to ban Lebanese passports: the fact that you have a terrorist organization running half your country. Terrorism is usually a big factor in deciding who comes in and who doesn’t.
    BTW, in light of your AUB article, I might point out that Israel’s passports are also navy blue. Better change the Lebanese ones quick…

    Reply
      • Roger, the IDF is not a terrorist organization and it definitely doesn’t run our country, our country runs it. Here are some basic questions to differentiate between the two:

        1. Who decides if/when the country goes to war (We’ll take the war in 2006 as an example)?
        In Israel- the elected government
        In Lebanon- Hizballah

        2. Who is the target of the two organizations?
        IDF- aims only for enemy combatants (yes, there are mistakes, because war is hell, but they are MISTAKES).
        Hizballah- aims for combatants and civilians alike. For example, during the war in 2006, hundreds of rockets were fired at Haifa (Wa-ila ma ba3da ba3da Haifa) and other cities. Another example: Hizballah is responsible for blowing up a bus full of tourists in Bulgaria last year. Another example: who do you think killed Rafik El-Hariri?… Israel?! I don’t think so.

        I wrote what I wrote not out of hatred or wanting your country to suffer, but because I truly believe that Hizballah is Lebanon’s biggest problem today. As for us- if Hizballah were to lay down their arms, there would be peace between Israel and Lebanon the next day. But that would be against their best interests, because perpetuating the conflict with Israel is the only thing giving them power. What would they do without their precious Muqawama?

        Reply
        • Wizardofil, sound like you’re a child when it comes to world affairs. Sorry, I can’t go on talking to someone with your level of ignorance. Just one note however about your precious IDF, in 2006, they killed 1000 Lebanese civilians and 300 Hezbolla fighters. On the other hand, Hezbolla didn’t kill a single Israeli civilian but only 165 IDF soldiers. IDF is the terrorist.

          Reply
          • Sorry Roger, you’ve got your numbers wrong.
            44 Israeli citizens were killed and 2000 were wounded. 121 Israeli soldiers were killed and 628 were wounded.
            Between 300-450 Lebanese citizens were killed and 2500 were wounded. 36 Lebanese soldiers were killed and 100 wounded. Between 500 and 700 Hizballah terrorists were killed and 1000 wounded (source- wikipedia).

            Yes, it looks like the IDF came out on top and that a lot more Lebanese citizens were killed, but there are two reasons for that-
            1. Hizballah fired random shots at Israeli citizens with less advanced weaponry. The IDF used more advanced and exact weaponry.
            2. The IDF took the battle away from Israeli population centers while Hizballah took the battle INTO Lebanese population centers. If they cared so much about the well-being of Lebanese citizens they wouldn’t have their launch sites in the middle of a village.

            Bottom line is- war is hell and people get killed. But take a look at the rest of the world and tell me if you see any democratic states warring with each other? I can’t think of any such examples (correct me if I’m wrong). War almost always happens when at least one of the sides is non-democratic. Having a non-governmental military organization running half a country is definitely not democratic.

            Reply
        • wizarardofil, you got all your numbers from that wikipedia entry on the 2006 war? Did you by any chance check to see where the references all came from? That’s all Israel’s side of the story, the lie. Enough said.

          Reply
        • wizardofil, can’t have a discussion with anyone who seriously believes that wikipedia entry on 2006 with all references coming from one side, Israel.

          Reply
  4. Pingback: Lebanon: What’s a Passport Worth? A Bitter Discussion

  5. Pingback: Libanon: Hvad er et pas værd? En bitter diskussion · Global Voices på dansk

  6. I think we Need to change our whole government body, along with our retarded ideology and international policy (by retarded I don’t mean mou3aka), empty our hearts from hatred and just try to make the best out of our lives.. you keep on hating .. but look at Jordan and Cyprus.. they’re right next to Israel .. why doesn’t Israel attack them?

    Reply

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