The holy city of Beirut? PM urges Ramadan tourists to visit Lebanon
Some clubbing with your fasting sir?
Lebanon is not the most obvious destination for the holy month of Ramadan but Prime Minister Najib Mikati is keen for Arab tourists to come fast in the land of clubbing and plastic surgery.
The tourist industry in Lebanon has taken a major hit recently due to violence spilling over from neighboring Syria. But according to Mikati, that’s no reason for Arab’s to avoid the trip.
Neither, apparently, are the warnings from Gulf country governments for their citizens to stay away. After images emerged last month of tires burning in the capital and gunfights further north, most Gulf countries told residents to avoid Lebanon.
But for Mikati, it’s a matter of sticking together through thick and thin, a worthy message in the holy month. He called on Arabs to come and fast in Lebanon because," we have to cooperate together to shake up this summer; it's going to be full of festivals and events that we must support."
Many Arabs may not be convinced though as Ramadan is traditionally a time to spend at home with the family, or at the very least, in a place of quiet contemplation. Lebanon’s banging nightlife and famously scanty clad singing stars don’t quite fit the picture.
Undeterred by government warnings and club culture, Mikati put out a formal invitation for Arabs everywhere to come visit: "the holy month is just around the corner, we can launch a campaign under the slogan of " greater merits", fast Ramadan in Lebanon," he said. What those “greater merits” would be, well only God knows.
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