Tales from Overseas: Five Types of Lebanese Guys You'll Meet Abroad

I lived abroad for the first twenty and some odd years of my life. Over the course of young adulthood, I ran into my fair share of Lebanese boys. I remember at first, if I as much as heard Lebanese chatter on campus, my heart would leap with joy, as though I were reuniting with long-lost kindred.  But getting to know a Lebanese guy was a far less exhilarating experience. In fact, they nearly always proved to be major disappointments, and I started to dodge them with a wary vigilance.

Photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-schenker/conscious-relationships_b_5232940.html


From the very arrogant, self-obsessed type to the wannabe playboy, from the cologne-drenched narcissist to the annoyingly slick socialite, these fob guys made me cringe so deeply, I shrugged off my Lebanese heritage at one point just to avoid being associated with them.

Let me paint a clearer picture and show you why.


1.  One of the most common breeds is the guy newly-arrived from Lebanon and enamored with his newfound freedom. He’s finally fled the nest and shrugged off the stiffer societal norms of Lebanon, depositing them at Beirut International Airport. On foreign soil, he immediately takes to picking up non-Arab girls—looks and smarts are of no consequence, the important thing is that he is involved in some sort of romantic relationship. He acts swiftly, too, first moving in with his unsuspecting victim, feigning adoration and long-term attachment, but as soon as things take a turn for the serious, he bolts. What a bad name he gives the Lebanese!


2.  How about the guy who thinks he is God’s gift to mankind? You know, the loud, boisterous one who trolls the university hallways with shoulders square, nose in the air, and feet barely brushing the ground. He’s constantly laying praise upon himself for his academic or professional achievements, and he rubs them in everyone’s face. Outwardly he thinks the world of himself, but inwardly he lacks confidence and leadership, hence the need to perpetually seek affirmation from others. If you make the mistake of asking him about his work or studies, be prepared for a condescending coaching lesson.


3.  There’s also the staunchly prejudiced nationalist, who believes Lebanese is the premier race in the world and everyone else is secondary in intelligence, beauty, and cunning. He has that clever, calculating aura about him, and he takes every opportunity to point out the stupidity of non-Lebanese. By stupidity, of course, he’s referring to Westerners’ preference for queues, organization, calm, and the rule of law. He sizes up every Lebanese girl as prospective marriage material, and if you as much as meet his gaze, he’ll start planning domestic bliss with you.


4.  Then there’s the spoiled, self-aggrandizing only-son whose mama raised him on her incessant worship. His head is so filled with compliments and adulation, he truly believes himself to be an irresistible catch. He makes a valiant effort to be loved by everyone, and you can’t help but feel sorry for him, because his arrogance is not entirely his own fault. Inside, he is eternally seeking others’ approval and acknowledgment, and if you merely compliment his choice of tie, you've won his friendship for life.


5.  The most frustrating type to deal with is the guy who tries to get close to you merely for your brains. He only calls or asks to meet you to work on problem sets together, to compare answers, and to lock in his own academic success. Outside of the university setting, he won’t even acknowledge you. His aim is exclusively exploitative, and “masla7jeh” doesn't start to describe his objectives. Never give him your phone number.


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