Why do the Lebanese have it so good? Sunny Mediteranean beaches, rolling green valleys, and mountains you can ski on. Then you have their really amazing women, and a cuisine that would make anyone's mouth water.
The most astonishing thing, however, is that it seems where ever they set their foot they seem to be successful.To those who do not know about this, the Lebanese are kind of like the Irish and the Greek, where there are more Lebanese people outside of Lebanon than inside it. The difference is, however, in whichever country they're in they reach the top echelons of society. In the Gulf, no one needs to be told that the Lebanese are doing well. More remarkably, the Lebanese have been doing well for decades in Congo (Formerly Zaire), where they are apparently the number one diamond dealers. In South America, they have even reached higher proportions. I remember when I visited Brazil I was told that the lebanese constitute the "creme de la creme" of society there. Just Witness all the famous people from South and Central America with Lebanese descent. Carlos Menem Alberto ruled Argentina (albeit corruptly) for god knows how long. Add to this Elias Serrano the former president of Guatemala and Bukaram, the lunatic who ruled Ecuador for a while not so long ago. Then we have the non-political list, which includes people like Gabriel Omar Batistuta, the Argentinian Player, and Salma Hayek, the exquisite Lebanese-Mexican. On the business front, you have people like the Brazilian Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Nissan, who was voted the father of the nation (in Japan!) in 2001. Their reach has even extended to America, with people such as Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate and (former) head of the Green Pary.
Granted, they didn't do so well at home in the seventies up until the nineties, but they do seem to have flourished everywhere else. They seem to have reached the upper echelons of Business and politics where ever they go, granting them the (un)flattering nickname of "the jews of the Arabs."
On the Arts side, they have done pretty good as well. In Literature there were icons such as Khalil Jubran, in poetry Nizara Qabani, and in music Feiruz (and more recently maybe Shakira, if one can consider her talented; she's certainly got talent in one category (not music)).
Why is that? Is it because of that cool Mediterranean breeze that might invigorate them, or maybe it is because of the women? Maybe because they've lived in such a multicultural society that has been at the crossroad of great empires for so long? It could be that poncy French influence...Does anyone have any grand theories? Maybe we can learn from them!