Category: Research

Lebanese Stereotypes

Stereotypes are certain thoughts about individuals or more usually about communities that differentiate them from other communities. Sometimes stereotypes are even handing down from generation to generation. For example, nowadays it is very common to think that every Arabian person is a terrorist with too strict traditions and nothing more. However what do we actually know about this nation? The technological progress, information spreading is this thing that changes human nature and moreover, can have influence in future on the transformations of culture and stereotypes appearing. However, what does one know about Lebanese people, for instance? Some people say that there are many stereotypes about Lebanese that does not describe this nation in a good way; that Lebanese are pretentious and superficial. Is this true?

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The extending of stereotypes is inevitable thing nowadays, especially when the world is so technologically progressed. With the help of media, one can even see stereotypes in advertisements or daily news which have quite an influence on people. Some false news can give a sort of understanding of the whole community. Many Lebanese people nowadays are accused in not only terroristic activity, but also in racism, in prejudices towards other world’s communities. If one would ask any of us what do we know about Lebanese, the answer would be probably always the same that Lebanese are, of course, terrorists, ignorant, superficial, and that Lebanese women all have surgeries and always wear too much make-up. That is totally nonsense and yet they are all considered as stereotypes. This world is so far from perfect and, no one looks at each other equally, but it does not mean that one should follow all stereotypes he hears. (Shaheen)

Nowadays a lot of stereotypes are made mostly by the largest nations, such as Americans for example. In most articles about Lebanese people, it is said that this nation likes to live fully, but Lebanese themselves tell that it is not a stereotype; it is just the way they live. For instance, Lebanese people like to eat the best food in rich restaurants, like to go shopping to the richest boutiques, and to enjoy this life despite all the troubles around. It is common for Lebanese men and women to wear the most famous brands, like Prada, for instance, even if after buying it they would be left with nothing. It does not matter if Lebanese woman, for instance, can afford this time only one skirt made by Dolce & Gabbana, she would still return to this shop later just to buy another brand clothes and look elegant. However can one tell that to look good and elegant can be considered as the bad stereotype? Absolutely not, considering that Americans themselves like to wear clothes made by famous designers. One should not also forget that there are not only rich people living in Lebanon. So, the stereotype about the richness of Lebanese is just someone’s prejudices. (Global Connections)


Another stereotype is considered about religion in Lebanon. It is a well-known fact that only about 60% of Lebanese are Muslims, however other 40% of them are Christians. However, even in that case, there are stereotypes about the religion there. As in every Islam country, it is believed that in Lebanon, it is too hard for Christians to live there. It is thought that for them to have there a normal life, Christians either has to change their religion and become Muslims or to pursue their beliefs silently. That is a common stereotype among Western people. However, the truth is that Lebanon is considered as one of the most democratic country when it comes to the issues about religion. From this one false stereotype comes another one about Muslim males. It is believed that to grow in Muslim family could be compared to even hell. It is absolutely not true. The fact is that in Muslim families, one has to not forget about traditions and follow them. Moreover, in some families to follow traditions has to be done in a strict order. It is said also that if any violence action would have a place inside the marriage couple, woman has a right to deprive her man from his husband’s rights or in the other words, to divorce him and even take her children from father too. Women, according to Muslim religion, have to be respected and not used. That is why the stereotype that Western people imagined about Muslim is also a false one stereotype. (Fares)

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There is one more stereotype that is widely spread among Arab nations about Lebanese women. It is believed that among all other Arab countries, exactly Lebanon is considered as the Arabic center for prostitutes. As it was already mentioned previously, there is a stereotype, a thought that Lebanese women care about nothing, except fashion and their good look. Moreover, it is no wonder then that in most Arabic movies, exactly a Lebanese woman is always showed as either an indifferent mother or just a silly pretty girl. However, only Lebanese women in their, it seems, like eternal race for beauty can be blamed for the existence of this stereotype. There are many cabarets in Lebanon, so when Arabic men are coming there, they first of all are trying to get to these cabarets and find a girl for them. However, these kinds of men can be blamed here too as they are not hurrying to suburbs, where ordinary well-mannered girls are living, instead they are hurrying to night clubs where girls sometimes even just have to sell themselves. These are the double standards, when stereotype is appearing because of false impressions. Moreover, if to mention women from other Arabic countries, they also are coming from time to time to Lebanon and having fun against all their traditions. The conclusion from this stereotype can be only he one – people from other Arabic countries need to understand that there is a large diversity in Lebanese population. This country, Lebanon, is not a purely Islamic one country, its population contains members of many religions and there many decent and well-mannered girls, women who are really hurt by the stereotypes like this one. (Yateem)

According to other articles, Lebanese do think of themselves as about being different from other Arabian nations. For instance, one cannot fit in Lebanese community without having new technologies that are so popular in the Western countries. Most of the Lebanese females have to stay fit like some supermodels and, most of their men have to stay like some weightlifter. Moreover, sometimes Lebanese gyms are more filled with the newest technologies than the American ones. One more thing about Lebanese is that probably every woman at least once has visited a plastic surgeon. Lebanese thinks that their main guru is Adonis, the most beautiful mortal ever, but there is actually no fact that this god to have a plastic surgeon. This stereotype about Lebanese people, that they are almost all sort of made, is probably the only stereotype which is true. (Williams)

After all, from the stereotypes mentioned above and especially the stereotype about Lebanese beauty follows another superstition: it is believed sometimes that exactly Lebanese people from all the Arabs are the most ignorant, pretentious and superficial people. According to the history of Lebanon there were a lot of ethnic wars there, that is why it is believed that Lebanese people are sneaky and usually accused of being too pretentious and racist. Let’s not forget that Lebanese combine in them French, Arabic and even Italian bloods, that is probably why they are so different from other Arabic nations. However, according to many other articles, Lebanese are very generous and friendly. They like to make a good impression on tourists, like to be complimented and thanked for their hospitality. Lebanese are not very private people; otherwise, they are open-minded and like to talk with each other standing really close. Maybe Lebanese people, especially women, do prefer to go to a surgeon than enjoy their natural beauty; however, they are not ignorant, superficial or pretentious. According to some sources, Lebanese men are a bit of annoying and cocky, but never ignorant. Lebanese girls in their turn, are just too picky and love fashion. (Fordham)

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Lebanese people may seem different from other Arabs, but let’s face the truth that all nations, Arabs or not, are different. Moreover, Lebanese is very patriotic and very proud to be Arabs. The thing is that with the help of rumors, technological progress and information spreading about Lebanese who are somehow pretentious or superficial is simply not accurate enough. Every nation in the whole world has examples of such people, however it does not mean that this nation needs to be considered as pretentious as everyone thinks of them. Do not judge the whole nation by just one of its representatives. 

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