Dateline Beirut, Issues, Religion

Lebanon: Ours is a country like no Other

30 Comments 07 June 2013

aaja_layal pic beirut By Layal Srouji
American Academy of Beirut

It’s weird living in a country where people have different religions and races and are from different ethnic groups with distinctive beliefs. That’s Lebanon! Most people in Lebanon choose to be closer to people who are from their own religion or race. But to me, people shouldn’t differentiate between people and choose their friends for their color or religion.
Lebanese people belong to about 18 different religions or sects. There are three main religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
After I came back from a trip with my friend, who didn’t have the same religion as I did, after Christmas vacation I realized that having friends from different religions and diversities is more of a benefit than people think it is. You actually get to learn more about religions other than your own and get to experience other cultures and traditions, too.
Ethnic groups in Lebanon are causing many problems. There are other problems in addition, too, like political issues and economic problems. But at the end of the day, no one suffers from them. Those problems don’t affect daily life.
While reading an article online about how people with diverse races feel unwanted, as if they are second-class citizens, how they don’t want to start a family because they are afraid of their kids feeling the same way, I felt really bad and sorry for the people in the article. I wouldn’t want that to happen in my country but, unfortunately, it is happening. Those people deserved more respect and had to be treated equally with any other citizen in our country. People who are shunning others shouldn’t be proud of what they’re doing and should be stopped.
All people should be treated with respect and equality no matter where they come from, what their skin color is, or what they believe in. We’re all humans and we should treat people the way we would want them to treat us, whether they are in their country of origin or not.

Your Comments

30 Comments so far

  1. heba says:

    In my opinion people should not be treated differently according to sex, race, color, or religion. Its like you said we should treat people like we want to be treated.

  2. Marcia Santillan says:

    Thank you Layal for sharing. It is up to each of us to treat others with respect and understanding. The more we learn from each other, it is easier to see how much more we all have in common.

  3. Khansa Alhaidi says:

    The message you are trying to to tell us is one that befits all. I like how you said that its better to have diversity of friends.

  4. Amal aboulaila 6th hour says:

    I think the same thing cause in America there is so many different religions and in leabon there all so close and most of leabon ppl are muslim

  5. Rima saleh 6th hour says:

    No one should be treated differently by how they loo

  6. Ahmad Alhaidi 6th Hour says:

    You are right, all people should be treated with respect and equality no matter where they come from, what their skin color is, or what they believe in. I know I wouldn’t want to be treated different because of my culture. I hope no one would be treated different because of their color, beliefs, or religion.

  7. Mohamad Hamka 7th Grade says:

    You know i hope a lot of people get this message because some people think it’s better to have friends from the same religion but it’s not. If you have from other religions you can learn about them and their race.

  8. Mohamad Hamka 7th Grade 6th Hour says:

    You know i hope a lot of people get this message because some people think it’s better to have friends from the same religion but it’s not. If you have from other religions you can learn about them and their race.

  9. April Kincaid says:

    Lebanon sounds like a beautiful place to visit. Being a teacher in Dearborn Michigan I feel really connected to Middle Eastern culture and the Lebanese community. I hope to one day get a chance to see Lebanon from your perspective.

  10. HAWRAA BEYDOUN says:

    I really enjoyed this story but mostly the fact bthat you are giving real life examples to relate to the topic that you are talking about.

  11. Nanette says:

    We are all first class citizens in the eyes of God. Differentiation only exists on earth

  12. Emilia says:

    Good essay, Layal. I especially like your observation about having friends who aren’t exactly like us. We learn so much from our friends.
    When I travel, I like to visit the local places of worship, even if I don’t follow the religion that’s practiced there. Sometimes in my house I also celebrate holidays that aren’t part of my own ethnic or religious heritage. My husband laughs at me but I think it’s fun and interesting — and I guess I just like a reason to celebrate sometimes!

  13. Fatima Jomaa says:

    I think this story benefits us all. It was very interesting and loved it! Keep the work going good:)

  14. amazing work proud of what you wrote about lebanon. good job !

  15. Fatima Bouhamdan says:

    Great story and yes its better to have friends from different religions you can learn more and people shouldnt diffrentiate people by there race or color

  16. Ali Haidar says:

    Very good story. I agree with you on every one of the points you made. It was a very interesting story and i’d love to hear more about races and religions in lebanon.

  17. Laila Sareini says:

    Astonishing story, I agree that Lebanon is a country like no other!

  18. Ali Hammoud says:

    Great story Layal your story really shows how people should be treated and treat each other.

  19. Mustapha Jaber says:

    This story has a strong meaning to me, people should be treated equally and with the same respect no matter where they come from. We benefit from learning about others, and how there differences contrast with ours.

  20. Ali Saad says:

    I like how you said that its better to have diversity of friends. This is a great way to show that people can have friends of different religions.

  21. Fatima Charara says:

    Great story, I loved it! Lebanon is an amazing country and a perfect example of diversity.

  22. Aminta says:

    I think that it is fabulous of you to write a story on an ever-growing conflict involving racism and discrimination. We should totally benefit from others diversity and it think that it definitely makes us better-rounded.

  23. Hani Jahaf says:

    I agree with your point that people shouldn’t be base on their race or culture. It matters about their personality and how they treat others as if they were being treated themselves.

  24. Ahmad Aoun says:

    I really like your story and your right people shouldn’t choose their friends by their color or religion.

  25. Zeinab says:

    We should not judge people. It’s fun having a friend with a different religion or culture because that way you’ll know interesting things you never knew.

  26. Rania Najem says:

    Dear Layal , don’t get mad . People sometimes misjudge you for simple things you do or act , so how about if you are from different religion . It is not our fault .God created us different and there is a great wisdom behind . So be proud that you live in Lebanon , a country with different religions , and especially for being Lebanese …just LEBANESE .

  27. Yes Layal, just as we wouldn’t want to live in a world of one color for it would be very boring, we shouldn’t judge people just because they follow other religious ideologies. Life would be richer with more divers thoughts. ;)

  28. Rania Najem AAB, Beirut, Lebanon says:

    Keep up the positive thinking and trust your heart .We can’t change or even interfere in God’s will . Well done dear Layal.

  29. Ameer Alhaddi 6th Hour says:

    I think friends don’t have to be in the same race as me. Race doesn’t matter, if a person is French, Arabic, Russian and even Jewish it doesn’t mean they’re not friendly. All these different races around the world is great it is what makes the human race unique and that is why all of these different races would stop discriminating each other and understand each other.

  30. Right Layal, having friends from different religions is a very enriching experience. It makes us more tolerant and open minded.

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