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Dear Lebanon,

A couple of weeks ago, towards the last few days in October, I, along with some other travelers chose your country as a destination to visit during the Eid Al Adha. The trip at one point was almost canceled after the unjustly and devastating assassination to your head of Police Intelligence, Wissam Al Hassan. Our Embassies warned us that going to Lebanon at such a time would not be wise and extremely unsafe.

After speaking to several of your country men and women, who reassured us that we have nothing to fear, the plan to come went ahead and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions we could have made.

My first morning in Beirut, I walked along the Corniche from Rawcheh to Zaitunay (St. George) Bay, during the walk I was able to observe and experience the essence of the Lebanese people. I could sense not only their self-pride in whom they are, but the pride they have in their country, a pride that exuded patriotism. Their joie de vivre was something that also fascinated me and earned my respect. After all Lebanon has been through and continues to go through, your patriots stand tall, unnerved and more determined to see the assailants fail in their mission to provoke fear, defeat and unity. I for one salute you!

As I traveled touring your historical and natural sites I began to fall in love not only with your country, but your people. Your people have a charm about them; they are very hospitable, friendly, and helpful. Your people‚Äôs strength and your country’s beauty is reflected in them, a recipe that guarantees that your visitors will return to visit again and again.

Visiting Lebanon made me homesick for the 3 flags that I declare my allegiance to. Your greenery, scenic landscapes and fun-loving people made me long for Ireland. The pride and cosmopolitan atmosphere reawakened a desire to go back to Canada. The charming people, the Mediterranean vibe and Corniche,  reminded me of what Egypt once was decades ago.

May you and yours continue to stand strong against those who wish to harm you. May your flag always fly high and until we meet again, May God  continue to bless Lebanon and her people.

The IrishAlexandrian

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