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tips for Surviving in Lebanon By Dylan Kidson

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Lebanon is a complex country of charm, chaos and contradiction. Beirut, it’s capital, is the wild child of the Middle East. The country hasn’t fully recovered from its 15 year civil war, but people are eternally optimistic and live every day as if its their last. With the utmost respect to my Lebanese friends, I bring you the Lebanon Survival Guide: Ignore soldiers on the street. Don't panic when you see armed troops or even tanks, it’s normal. Don’t join any protests or take pictures of them and you’ll be fine. Locals are experts at distinguishing between fireworks and gunshots, so if they if they aren’t panicking you shouldn’t either. Use the triple greeting. The quickest way to fit in (especially if you’re a pale westerner) is to greet everyone in English, Arabic and French at once. Hi, kifak, ├ža va? After that, if you can’t speak the language, simply throw in the three most common expressions every few minutes: Laaa (you’re kidding, repeated quickly three times), yiiii (reall…