Lebanon

Old Oct 27, 18, 7:03 pm
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Lebanon

Hi. Would it be safe for an American Jew (last name Rosen) to travel as a tourist in Lebanon. thanks!
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Old Oct 27, 18, 8:27 pm
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howard38, welcome to FlyerTalk.
Let's share your question with the readers of the Middle East forum. I'll move this there. Ocn Vw 1K, Senior Moderator.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 4:12 am
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Ok, thank you.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 7:03 am
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Hi howard38 and welcome to Flyertalk. At one point in the not so distant past, Lebanon had a sizable Jewish community. In fact, Jewish holidays used to be celebrated all the time (along with Christian and Muslim holidays) and our national carrier used to fly to Jerusalem. After the break out of the war, things changed. There continues to be a small Jewish community in the country but most fled during the war to either Europe or the US. At the end of the civil war, work started on the restoration of the main synagogue in downtown Beirut and is now complete but due to the proximity to the current prime minister's residence, visiting the synagogue is almost impossible. Having said that, I have had a couple of Jewish friends visit me here in Lebanon (from European and North American countries) in the last couple of years and they never felt uncomfortable in any way.

Last edited by BEYFlyer; Oct 30, 18 at 3:19 am
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Old Oct 29, 18, 7:28 am
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Thank you, Beyflyer. After recent events it seems like it may even be safer for me in Lebanon than America : (

Howard
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Old Oct 30, 18, 3:20 am
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Very sad indeed
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Old Nov 15, 18, 2:01 am
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I'd keep as far away as I can if I were you. We were near the border last year and the situation was pretty hostile and we decided against travelling into Lebanon
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Old Nov 17, 18, 3:20 am
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Old Nov 18, 18, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by jblueflyer View Post
I'd keep as far away as I can if I were you. We were near the border last year and the situation was pretty hostile and we decided against travelling into Lebanon
It sounds like you weren’t an actual tourist to Lebanon who came to BEY.

Most Jewish American visitors to Lebanon in recent years seem to have no problems as tourists in say Beirut, but my concern is that the arrivals lists get vetted by some not so hospitable and friendly groups that aren’t beyond playing some dirty games even against legitimate tourists. For example, if I were a Jewish American named Netta or Shaheen Rosen visiting BEY, unlikely to be a problem. But if I were named Iddo Netanyahu, I would be more concerned about flying from NY/NJ to CDG to BEY or TLV-AMM/LCA/ATH/IST-BEY, Also, I would suggest staying away from the sensitive border areas.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 1:20 am
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It sounds like you weren’t an actual tourist to Lebanon who came to BEY.
You are right ! Although we'd have loved to visit.

What I heard is that if you have a visa stamp to IL (which we do) or entry/exit stamps from the borders to Egypt or Jordan(which again we did). Things can get very hostile, very fast. It was not something we were willing to risk.

I am now beginning to think it may be fine if I flew in directly to BEY as opposed to trying to cross the border. I have heard a lot about the place and the lovely people. I will try to visit Lebanon, just not risk my family's life in the process.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 1:24 am
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Also my name can easily be identified as Jewish (or maybe Christian) so there's that risk too
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Old Nov 20, 18, 3:05 am
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Originally Posted by jblueflyer View Post
Also my name can easily be identified as Jewish (or maybe Christian) so there's that risk too
Thomas Friedman seems to have visited Beirut more than a few times even long after the Lebanese civil war ended, and his public profile and history in the region is no more a state secret than is his historical religious affiliation.

As long as a US passport doesn’t have any Israeli stamps or other Israel-visiting indications, a Moshe Cohen or David Rabinowitz will generally have no problem on a visit to Beirut. But I am also betting more than a few airline passenger and hotel guest registries end up being looked at by some official and unofficial actors in Lebanon and elsewhere that could occasionally result in some unwanted attention. Then again, lots of US hotels and hotel groups also have a bad habit of having that information being handed over in part at least and used to generate unwanted attention of one sort or another.

Get another passport and visit BEY and then tell us how it went. If you’re young enough to want to party, go in the summer and have some fun.


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Old Nov 20, 18, 8:39 am
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For my first visit to Beirut, the immigration officer scrutinized my Lao visa/stamps, under the assumption that Lao script was just new-age Hebrew.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jblueflyer View Post
I am now beginning to think it may be fine if I flew in directly to BEY as opposed to trying to cross the border.
Which land border did you consider crossing into Lebanon? They certainly are not going to let anyone* enter Lebanon from Israel?

* Anyone who is not with the UN, that is.
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Old Nov 21, 18, 3:53 am
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
For my first visit to Beirut, the immigration officer scrutinized my Lao visa/stamps, under the assumption that Lao script was just new-age Hebrew.
Did the person ask you any questions about the stamps/visas?

They have that issue with various S/SEAsian scripts/abugida, including Thai and Devanagari.

Juxtapose examples from the following

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abugida#/media/File%_sanskrit.png

with Hebrew and it reminds me of the saying “it’s all French to me”.

I expect that BEY passport control has access to files showing passports and visa sticker/stamps from a lot of places —even Israeli ones — and have been trained on that and to flag indications of having used an ordinary passport to visit Israel.

Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 21, 18 at 4:03 am
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