Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Jbeil (Byblos), Lebanon

In some countries, it is customary for the locals to offer a parting gift to people who visit them. During a trip to Lebanon, we toured the archaeological sights of the coastal town of Jbeil, north of Beirut. The town is also known as Byblos and has been in existence for millennia. Today, it boasts the title as one of the oldest places on earth that have been continually inhabited.

After the sightseeing and meandering around the port, we perused the souvenir shops looking for a traditional item to take home when an accompanying friend presented us with this couple.

Lebanese couple

Meant to symbolise Mr G and I, the couple in traditional Lebanese costume was not only a parting gift but a memento of my fascination with the man’s trousers.

The shirwal, as it is called in Arabic, is a type of baggy black trouser that fits tight around the waist and the shins, often paired with a long sleeve shirt. This kind of traditional clothing is still worn in some remote villages in Lebanon usually by the elders. But don’t expect it to be a popular sight in the capital. Beirutis of all ages are far more at home in the latest designer outfits and accessories that rival many cities in Europe.

Every time I look at this couple, it takes me back in time.

Note: In the interests of disclosure, I should state that Mr G and I bear no resemblance to this couple.

Previous Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Tokyo, Seoul, Big Island Hawaii, Dubai, Provence,Tahiti, Montmartre/Paris.

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Travel Souvenirs from Around the World: Jbeil (Byblos), Lebanon was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

12 Comments:

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  3. cute souvenir. i don’t know a single lebanese who owns something like this, but it’s quite cute. I grew up in Jbeil myself. Love it there. We consider it a city, not a town :)
    Thanks for the thoughtful post

    • I love Jbeil too! I could have easily spent a few days there relaxing, sightseeing and dining out. (I had the best ice cream there!) The port area is enchanting. I should do a write up on it soon.

      I’m pleased this post gave you a happy memory :)

  4. Love them! I haven’t seen them before either, Faoud – wish I had, would have bought them on my last trip. So cute! They’re Druze, so that’s the traditional Druze costume, rather than traditional Lebanese costume, which of course they do still wear in their villages in Lebanon and Syria. Love this series! (You might like our Take-Homes series: http://grantourismotravels.com/category/take-homes/ ) I’m going to go and catch up on your others, too, particularly the Tokyo one seeing that’s where we’re headed next.

    • Lara, thank you! It’s lovely how some traditions remain thanks to mainly the elderly population. Without it, the world looks rather… uniform.

  5. This is a very great tradition of the locals to show their loyalness and graciousness hat they never let the visitor go back alone to the home town with empty handed they must present them any gift of their ancient civilization as a token of their love and kindness, and to pursue more tourism activity in their destination as well.

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