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An Undeniable Mediterranean Magnetism FRANCISCOS VERROS Greek Ambassador to Lebanon

Greek and Lebanese culture, history, and tradition have always intertwined, as both nations share a geographic proximity, and have been part of one another’s histories over the centuries. For instance, Lebanese monuments, cemeteries, temples, and cities, like Byblos, Tyre, and Baalbeck, are historical reminders of the region’s direct influence from the ancient Hellenistic and Byzantine Greek cultures, not to mention the Phoenicians who pioneered the Greek alphabet.

When you first arrived, what was your first impression of the Lebanese?

My first time as a newcomer to Lebanon was as an ambassador. I was particularly astonished by how openminded Lebanese people are, as well as the incredible hospitality found on all levels and sectors of Lebanese society, and it immediately reminded me of the traditional Greek approach of warm hospitality that we are losing in our cities but that has been well maintained in our villages. I also found the rich cultural life in Lebanon striking and the Lebanese positive predisposition admirable.

What are some similarities between the Greeks and the Lebanese people?

To preface with some history, after Alexander the Great’s conquest, the Middle East was actually Greek-speaking for

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