An airport is an international space. And there is no doubt that every airport has been visited by people coming from all over the world. I recently travelled and it inspired me to write this post. While I was in the airport I saw people from random nationalities but something struck me, Arabs don’t melt in that pot. We are not like a needle in a stack of hay; we stand out. The elements which make an Arab stand out from the crowd are the following.
1- Entrance: we must acknowledge that we have a fear of missing our flight, a fear so deep and strong we show up with our 10 suitcases 3h before our plane takes off and while the pilot is still in his bed dreaming.
2- Check In: while I was standing in line to get my boarding pass and have my luggage weighed there was a Lebanese family in front of me. The allowed weight was 23 Kg however their suitcase was around 28 Kg and like every Lebanese, they want to find their way out of this situation. They opened the suitcase and here are some of the items found (true story):
– 2.5 Kg of Lebanese sweets, because ma fina nrou7 idna fadye 3end el 3alam, 3ayb.
– A bag of charcoal. La2ano barbecue ma3 fa7em baladi atyab.
– A bag filled with all sort of medicines, as if they were hoping to open up a drugstore.
– And of course some gifts for all the family, the friends, the neighbors, the neighbors’ friends, the lifeguard at the water park they want to go to…
3- Security check: to spot an Arab at an airport look no further than the man suffering a “random” security check along with a full cavity search. At the sight of our Arab passport the airport employees shiver and try relentlessly to keep us out of their country.
4- Boarding time: when an Arab family travels and they are waiting to board the plane,their kids are the ones running barefoot all over the place screaming and shouting at 6 AM. And to spot the parents, just look for the man running behind them and screaming: “ya Rami ta3a! ra7 trou7 el tiyara balena!!”
On my way back to Lebanon, as the plane landed, there surely was the clapping ceremony. As we left the plane, all passengers rushed to get their passport stamped and go to the luggage claim.
5- Luggage claim: The Arabs are this group of people who go to the designated belt before even the suitcases start coming in. They all gather over the beginning of the conveyor belt fighting to be in the first row. I wonder if they know they can stand alongside the entire belt and not just the start. As the first bunch of suitcases comes in, you can always hear a woman tell her husband: “hay2eton dayya3o shenatna, ba3ed ma bayyano”. Later on, all sort of packages with the weird wrappings come along and they all belong to the Arabs. What a surprise!
6- Home sweet Home: I take my luggage and head out, my father and only my father was there to pick me up. However, some Lebanese passengers have the entire neighborhood come along, and they bring them flowers, chocolate, balloons and all sort of festive things.
We Lebanese truly are one of a kind. Nothing more to say.