My dad calls me every Sunday from Trinidad..We talk about Lebanon, we talk about Trinidad..and basically recap all that has happened over the past week. Last Sunday we were talking about how many people (I’m not sure of the exact percentage) in Lebanon speak three languages fluently..
He, like many people, was unaware that Lebanon was once under the mandate of the French..and that even though the mandate ended officially in 1943 (thanks @footnem @rihamberjaoui @mich1mich @abaretruth @flbader), French is still widely spoken in Lebanon..
“But, it’s more than that,” I tried to explain. “It’s not only the language,,but the French lifestyle and customs..Some of my friends speak only French at home, watch French TV, buy French products.. and what’s more, some of them don’t even speak Arabic properly..”
I got off the phone wondering to myself why this is..
I know that I probably should have conducted some more research before writing a post about this..but I thought, what better way to learn about Lebanon than to ask the Lebanese, so my friends, perhaps you can help me fill in the gaps..
1. Why is French still so widely spoken and the French culture and customs still so ardently embraced, even though the French left Lebanon in 1943.
2. Why do some Lebanese people consider themselves Phoenicians and not Arabs?
3. Why does it seem (and now this is a hasty generalization) that most people who are French educated are Christian, and most people who are English educated are Muslim (again, these are just my observations). Is this accurate, or am I mistaken?
4. What are the factors that go into choosing whether to send your child to an English school or a French school?