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I am Lebanese. My whole life I have eaten their food, understood parts of their language, and even taken part in some traditional dress. I am also 20 years old. From the moment I was born, my mother wouldn't let me forget where we came from. I saw my cousins going to Lebanon nearly every year, my grandparents have also gone several times. But it wasn't until 2019 that I finally got to see the beauty that is Lebanon.

Placed right along the Mediterranean Sea, it is a paradise. I don't think I've ever met a people so kindhearted. They treat the whole of Lebanon as if it was their own personal homes. Almost every person we had met was willing to help us out with figuring things out.

I went with my mom, stepdad, sister, aunt, her wife, grandma (Teta) and grandpa (Judo). And let me tell you, trying to plan anything was like herding cats...but in a good way. We have never planned a trip this big with this many people, and it was incredibly fun. A little under a month later and I still am not fully able to process the immense beauty of Lebanon. The stereotype of Middle Eastern counties and the Middle East needs to be broken. Yes, many bad things have happened there, but the people who live there aren't inherently bad.

Just wanted to take a quick moment to say thank you to my family for allowing me to go on such a beautiful journey back to my roots. It was impeccable. I also wanted to say a thank you to Anthony Bourdain for starting to break the stereotype of the Middle East. Rest easy.

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