World renowned food critic, chef, and the host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” Anthony Bourdain is no stranger to the Arab world. Having traveled across our desert plains to our turquoise beaches from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Bourdain has become an honorary Arab. When asked by food magazine Bon Appétit where should one travel now, his answer hit close to home for Arabs.
“Beirut. The food’s delicious, the people are awesome. It’s a party town. And everything wrong with the world is there. Hopefully, you will come back smarter about the world. You’ll understand a little more about how uninformed people are when they talk about that part of the world. You’ll come back as I did: changed and cautiously hopeful and confused in the best possible way.”
The food aficionado, who at one point considered naming his daughter Beirut, has seen the livid lifestyle the Lebanese are living in the capital of Lebanon, known across the region as the “Paris of the Middle East.” He believes that the city has the power to evolve ones attitude by gaining a greater understanding through a cultural and religious clash that is chaotic yet harmonic.
“Travel at its best defies expectations. Yes, it’s divided. There are Shia neighborhoods, Christian areas—but they all go to the same restaurants. You can go from bikinis by the pool to Hezbollah in an 8-minute cab ride. They all coexist in a weird way. That’s part of the thing that makes Beirut so interesting.” Yalla 3a Beirut!
Originally published on Scoop Empire June 5, 2016