I will be going on vacation to Lebanon (where I haven’t been since I was five, which I mentioned in this post) during the month of July, and I’ve decided to take a break from my blog during that time. It was not an easy decision to make, but I felt it was necessary because I would like to focus my attention on spending time with my family over there. I thought it would be a good idea to share my bucket list of things I hope to accomplish/experience during my trip. When I come back, I will write another post about how much I was able to accomplish or other things I did which were not included on the list.
1. Purchase an Arabic version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
There hasn’t really been a place for me to mention it on the blog, but I am a fan of the Harry Potter series. I have read the books several times (I highly recommend giving the series a chance if you haven’t yet) and watched all the movies at least twice. I have never owned an international version of any book, much less in a different language, so I thought the first book in the Harry Potter series would be a good choice. I am still working on reading Arabic more fluently, so it would be nice to sit down and be able to read it one day. I’ve inserted a picture of the book cover below.
2. Visit a women’s only beach.
The nice thing about the visiting a Muslim majority country is that most things I have to worry about when practicing my faith in the West are already taken care of. One of those things is the observation of my hijab. Because I must observe my hijab at all times in public, places for women exclusively are like a haven because I can uncover and be assured that no men will see me. There are places all over Lebanon that are exclusively for women, and to my surprise, this includes beaches! I would like to visit one just to see what it’s like. It’s hard to imagine because all the beaches I’ve ever been to are for both genders.
3. Visit the shrine of Sayeda Khoula (peace be upon her).
This one is going to take a bit to explain, so bear with me. So, the Prophet Muhammad and his family (including his daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren – peace be upon them all) are buried in shrines all around the Middle East. These shrines are considered sacred places and it is highly recommended that you visit them to pay your respects. One of these shrines is located in Baalbek (a city in Lebanon): the shrine of Khoula. Khoula was the daughter of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). I have never been to a shrine before, so I hope to be able to visit Khoula’s (peace be upon her). I’ve inserted a picture of the shrine below.
4. Eat feteh in Baalbek.
Feteh is a delicious Lebanese breakfast dish, and I absolutely love it. Apparently, the feteh in Baalbek is especially good, so I hope to eat it from there. I’ve inserted a picture of feteh below.
5. Shop for hijabs and summer dresses.
Another perk of being in a Muslim majority country is having clothes specifically tailored for Muslim women. These clothes and hijabs are highly sought over; I almost always ask my friends and family who are travelling to Lebanon to bring me back clothes and hijabs because they are of high quality and I know they will satisfy my modest dress style, which is an extension of observing my hijab. I am excited to finally get to do my own shopping in Lebanon.
6. Visit a mosque.
I wonder if the mosques there are of higher quality/architecture because Lebanon is a Muslim majority country. I am also interested to see how if there are differences in how they are structured. I have only ever been to one mosque, so it would be interesting to see a different one.
7. Take a boat ride around the Raouche Rocks.
The Raouche Rocks uniquely shaped rocks located in the city of Beirut. They are surrounded by water, so it is possible to take a boat ride through and around them. If I am not mistaken, they are one of the Seven Wonders the World. I’ve inserted a picture of the rocks below.
8. Visit a Starbucks.
Yet another perk of being in a Muslim majority country is that I can visit any fast-food restaurant and order anything I want off the menu because it is all hallal (permissible for Muslims to eat). I’m not sure why I chose Starbucks in particular as I don’t visit Starbucks here in Canada often. I’m sure any fast-food restaurant will suffice.
9. Visit the ruins in Baalbek.
A friend of mine went to Lebanon two summers ago and posted pictures of these ruins, and I’ve been fascinated with them ever since. I’ve since learned that they are located in Baalbek, so that’ll be another thing to do when I visit that city. I’m sure the ruins have historical significance, but I don’t exactly know what that is. I’ve inserted a picture of the ruins below.
That concludes my bucket list for my trip to Lebanon! In the interest of being fully transparent, I did not include things from my list that were personal and involved other people. I am interested to know if you have been to Lebanon and have any recommendations for me? I would love to expand my list, and I am open to any ideas.
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