Lebanese Culture

Greetings

  • A smile and handshake is generally an appropriate as a greeting in Lebanon. Some men may grasp the other person’s elbow or arm to demonstrate sincerity in the greeting.
  • It is common for close friends to kiss one another three times on alternating cheeks.
  • Muslim men or women may prefer not to make physical contact with members of the opposite gender. Therefore, when greeting someone displaying an Islamic dress code, it is best to greet him or her verbally and let them choose to extend their hand first.
  • The Lebanese appreciate questions about family and the exchange of jokes upon meeting someone for the first time.
  • You might receive an invitation to be someone’s guest during your first encounter with them. You may politely decline with an excuse, unless they strongly insist.
  • Lebanese people often address one another as 'habibi', meaning “my love” in Arabic. This is an affectionate way to address friends and family and is used very often and casually.
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