Lebanon – Still standing
Lebanon is one of those countries where you’d have to seek a window of opportunity to visit. It’s been ravaged by wars with Israel, interference by Syria and internal divides between Sunnis, Shias and Maronite Christians. Inevitably it is the scars and the co-existance during times of peace which makes it beautiful to see it recovered. It’s always heartbreaking to see such a radiant country, the light of the middle east getting ravaged by internal strife.
Lebanon is not entirely on the tourist trail, and even during times of peace, ALL it’s borders are considered volatile and dangerous. Britains’ Foreign Office considers these are red areas. However, I think these could be visited. The ones which I consider as “darker red” I’d probably skip. This includes:
- Border with Israel
- Some tourist sites in the South East as I’ve heard that small amounts of nuclear waste from used weaponry exist
For Tripoli, touristic sites are safe in general, however, as a tourist renting a car, it is inevitable that I’ll get lost, or due to the flow of traffic, I’ll end up on the dividing line in the city – Syria road across which beach volleyball is played (street battles with all sorts of weapons).
But in Lebanon, nothing is predictable. Situation can change and if you feel like you’re getting strong negative vibes – it’s better to stay away.
As of April 2012, everything seemed to be coming along even though the civil war in Syria seems to be leaking little by little.