Introduction to Ethics for some Lebanese.

11:37 PM Daniela Skeyki 1 Comments

There are a lot of things in this country I enjoy, but there are also things I’d love to change or never hear about. Whenever people ask me what is the main difference between Russians (because that’s where I originally come from) and Lebanese, I always have the same answer: They mind their own business.

Don’t get me wrong - I love Lebanese people. But I also hate how some of them try to interfere in things, from family to friends, have outrageous personality traits and behavior. I listed a couple of things, with a rough translation from Arabic. (In Arabic it sounds even worse)

This one is my least favorite but the one I hear the most.

“Soooooooo… When are you getting married?”. What is this constant obsession with women getting married in this society? Is it the biggest aspiration in life? Is it the only goal anyone in their twenties should achieve? Screw career, personal development, experience. GET MARRIED. Because you know, you are already 20-something, your eggs are dying and hair is going to turn grey any second and wrinkles on your face are going to appear faster than mushrooms after the rain. 

I never knew my body needed a commentator.

Look, there is a fine line between complimenting someone “Wow, your body looks great!” and saying “You lost weight.” When a Lebanese comments on your weight loss, they look at you from head to toe and make this face of disgust as if you have a rat sitting on your head. And don’t get me started with weight gain comments. You should NEVER tell someone that they've gained weight, unless they ask you for your honest opinion or you are close family member or friend.
Weirdly enough, when you bump into someone you haven’t seen in a while, the conversation goes like this:
-       Hiiiiiiiii. I missed you! You gained/lost weight!
-       Hiiiiiiiii. And I hope I won’t see you again anytime soon.

  Diiiiiid you know?

Did I know if Laura recently got engaged? No. Did I know that Elsa decided to do a boob surgery? No. Did I know that Farah just went for masters in Amsterdam? No. Did I know that Nour’s parents are bankrupt? No. Did I know that Stephanie’s mom cheated on her dad? No.

We are all guilty of some occasional gossiping, but here it reaches an extreme level where people gossip about smallest things with a huge importance. They can even make “Diiiiiiid you know that she got a new car?” sound epic.

Do I want to discuss these things? Not really. Do I want to know these things? Not really. Do I even care? NO.

We've never met but I have your number.

Okay. What is it with guys thinking it is acceptable to steal/take someone’s number and call or Whatsapp them? Like how obnoxious do you have to be, to actually believe that a girl will reply to your “Hi. I like you. You don’t know me.”? Or maybe we will change our mind if you keep calling us multiple times after we politely asked you to leave us alone and hang up on your face? Because this is what we do, we sit whole day and hope and pray that some creep will illegally get access to our phone number and start harassing us.

Above everything and everyone. Superiority complex.

So they recently did this “adorable” “amazing” ad for Mother’s day in a Lebanese restaurant. (We all know which video I am talking about). The idea is that kids dressed up as waiters would like to serve their mothers on this day, as a sign of gratitude for all these years their mother spent taking care of them. Great idea. Very touching. There is only one tiny problem… I couldn’t help it but see how terribly we treat people who serve / take care of us in this country. It took them a couple of minutes to understand that its their child, for one simple reason: THEY DON’T EVEN LOOK AT THESE PEOPLE WHEN THEY ORDER. What? They are not worthy of you looking at them when talking to them? Is doing their job should be a privilege because they get to stand next to someone like you? Does it make them a “bad person” if they earn for their living because they did not inherit a bank account? Some of the greatest, nicest and most interesting people I’ve met in this country are these people, people who have exhausting job dealing with jerks like you on a daily basis.  

Where? What? When?

To make it easier for a Lebanese to accept someone based on their social status, there is a list of questions that you will hear from them eventually:
- Where do you live?
Please let me know if "Hopefully as far from you as possible" is an acceptable answer. I usually ask people where do they live only when I invite them somewhere, to make sure its not a big effort for them to come.
- What do you do?
An innocent question we all ask to know someone better or do a small talk. But not here, not in this country. Behind these 4 simple words there is a hidden agenda of "How can I use you?". 
- What is your religion?
Highly offensive question, especially for religious people. (I admit I asked some people this, but rather for personal interest to see cultural differentiation and understand better)

and last but not least... 
- How much do you make?


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