It's a Party

Here's some things to keep in mind if you're going to go to a child's birthday party in Lebanon.

1. Usually, they're at a place that hosts events: a restaurant, a hotel, you know.
2. Dress up a little bit, and plan to stay there with your kid. All the other moms (and dads if they're around) will stay if they can. Usually there'll be food & drinks for chatting parents while the kids party.
3. Loud music.

4. Birthday cake (or, in this case, cakes. You'll see this exact scene set up at each one. Mom and Dad, birthday kid, siblings, aunts/uncles, all gathered around the cake for pictures while kids crowd around resisting the urge to poke the cake, the roman candles explode, and the happy birthday song is piped through the speakers -- there are several popular dance remix versions that include French and English. Most people don't actually sing happy birthday. Why bother when the music is so loud? And it's a mercy, really, for the majority of us who aren't singers.
5. Gifts.  You're on your own.  I have no idea what an appropriate present is at a party for a kid--in the US I'd have more of a clue about price range and what is generally expected.  Not here.  In Beirut I'm very comfortably clueless.


  1. Oh gawd ... I would so not like this ...

  2. you had me till the happy bday remix thing...yikes!

  3. Hi Mary Ann,
    just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your blog posts... quite fascinated with your take on living here in this city...I have posted on this at my blog...and could not find an email to check if this is ok... so please do say if not... I can edit.
    best ...