BEIRUT: With security holding and travel bans lifting, many Lebanese are hoping this summer could see a revival of the country’s vital tourism sector, which just received another small boost from an unlikely source: The Huffington Post.
The popular U.S.-based website recently published a list of “9 Places You Absolutely, Positively Must See Before You Die,” with Lebanon coming in at number six behind Santorini, Greece, and just before London.
The list was compiled based on feedback from The Huffington Post’s facebook fans, making it an eclectic, if somewhat random compilation.
Lebanon was credited as a suggestion to one Susan Latuga, who wrote, “This is where my grandparents were born. My parents never had a chance to go before they passed away so it is my dream to walk where my roots are.”
Her comment was published under a stunning photograph of the majestic Saint Paul Cathedral in the Keserouan village of Harissa at twilight overlooking the coast.
The expatriate pull is strong, and thanks to recent legislation under debate, descendants of Lebanese emigrants like Latuga could soon find an easier path to citizenship, provided their connection is through their father’s side.
A draft law would allow grandchildren of paternal Lebanese grandfathers to apply directly for Lebanese citizenship, without the father having to claim the nationality first. Lebanese women are barred by law from passing on their citizenship to their spouses or children.