As multicultural as Dubai is, stereotypes still abound. This time, we’re going to give you five of the most common tropes associated with the Lebanese.
From downright absurd to mildly amusing, here are 5 common Lebanese stereotypes:
1. The Trilingual
French influence in Lebanon throughout the last couple of centuries has lent many words to the local vocabulary.
The country’s lingo is rife with expressions that blend English, Arabic and French together, resulting in popular expressions like “hi, kefik, ca va?” and “excuse me, wein il toilette?” But the mesh of words isn’t necessarily a marker of true fluency.
Over the years, the lingual jumble has birthed a sort of double-edged stereotype: either all Lebanese are gifted linguists from birth or they only think they are.
2. The Flower Boy
Given its soft-spoken quality, the Lebanese dialect is commonly considered as espousing more poetic qualities than its khaliji counterparts.
Out of the mouths of those Levant angel-faces (see number three), it’s considered endearing, tantalizing, and even sexy. But hearing a slick-haired, trimmed-beard silver-chained man purr out some sweet Lebanese always raises some eyebrows.
The stereotype here is that, well, if the shoe fits.
3. Beautiful Women
Who hasn’t heard of the famed beauty of Lebanese women?
It doesn’t hurt that Lebanon’s gene pool seems to house every conventionally attractive trait there is – they have it all: the big, dark eyes and the sky-blues; the wavy blonde hair and the silky brunettes; milky-white skin and sun-kissed tan; button noses and straight arrows; four limbs; two eyebrows; female anatomy; etc.
It also helps that the country’s chilled out norms means that many of these girls aren’t hiding what their mamas gave them behind abayas either.
Unfortunately, even positive stereotypes are stereotypes at the end of the day, and they too come with baggage.
4. The Free Spirit
Beautiful women? Vibrant nightlife? Sunny beaches? Sexist stereotypes, unleash! Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and smoking-hot women are sadly put on hot embers for, well, being smoking-hot.
That and Lebanon’s comparatively liberal lifestyle often clashes with that of its conservative neighbors, and the women usually bear the brunt of the consequential head-shaking and finger-wagging.
Many times, the attitude even comes from within the culture, as double-standards usually do.
5. Baba Ghanouj
All Arabic food is Lebanese, right? Right?
What are some other Lebanese stereotypes you’ve experienced? Tell us in the comments below.