572 Lebanon

Rina talks about the country her parents came from.

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Todd: Now, Rina, you said that you family is from Lebanon. (Mm-hm) Have you been to Lebanon.?

Rina: I've gone three times. We usually go about three months at a time, and last summer was the first time I was embracing my culture. I spent a lot of my younger years pushing it away because, you know, I was different. I grew up in a small town. I wanted to be like everyone else, and then last summer, I went wanting to embrace my culture and I just fell in love with it. Yeah.

Todd: So talk a little about Lebanon. What's Lebanon. like?

Rina: Um, it's definitely an amazing country. There's a lot of history. It's right on the coast of the Mediterranean. It's all mountains, so it's scary as hell. You kiss the ground when you get out of the vehicle and you pray to god when you get in and, an interesting tid bit: in one of the season's, I believe it's in April or May, you can go swimming in the Mediterranean. in the morning and go skiing in the mountains in the afternoon.

Todd: That is cool.

Rina: In the same day.

Todd: Wow! Yeah, cause when people think of the Middle East, they think of hot.

Rina: Everybody thinks that it's like flat desserts, camels, and it's that stereotype of the Middle East and it's nothing like that, it's more, I culture is closer to the Greek or Turkish culture than it is to the standard Middle Eastern culture.

Todd: Right.

Rina: Right. Very modern.

Todd: OK, well, actually, talk a little about Beirut. I hear that Beirut's just an amazing city.

Rina: Oh, it is. Well, right now, they're reconstructing everything because of the civil war and by the year 2025, it should be completely redone except there are some places that they're unable to do because of the historical facts. They're digging up underneath the city and finding Roman bath houses (Whoa) and there is, there's so much history there. It's one of the oldest cities in the world, so.

Todd: It sounds like a great place.

Rina: It's amazing. It's amazing and the night life there is unreal.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

push away

I spent a lot of my younger years pushing it away because, you know, I was different.

If you 'push something away,' you want to create a distance between yourself and this thing.  This can be physical or emotional distance.  Notice the following:

  1. When he finished his sandwich, he pushed his plate away.
  2. I spent two years pushing him away before he became my boyfriend.


Last summer was the first time I was embracing my culture.

If you 'embrace' something, then you accept it happily or willingly.  This is a very positive word.  Notice the following:

  1. Her family embraced her new husband.
  2. My boss not only liked the idea, he embraced it.


Right now, they're reconstructing everything because of the civil war.

If you 'reconstruct' something, you build it again or fix it because it has been destroyed.  We use this to describe fixing physical things as well as more emotional things, like friendships or relationships.  Notice the following:

  1. The are going to reconstruct the farm where my great-grandparents lived.
  2. They are trying to reconstruct the trust in their relationship.

scary as hell

It's all mountains, so it's scary as hell.

If something is 'scary as hell,' it is very scary.  Notice the following:

  1. The new horror movie is scary as hell.
  2. I saw the accident happen.  It was scary as hell.


It's that stereotype of the Middle East.

A 'stereotype' is a common idea that people have about a certain area, country race, age, etc.  Stereotypes are usually negative and cause people to make judgments.  Notice the following:

  1. He doesn't fulfill any of the stereotypes of a criminal.
  2. That books supports a lot of negative stereotypes about Americans.


Answer these questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Here are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
pushing • embrace • reconstruct
scary • stereotype
  1. We will probably have to completely the balcony next summer, because it is unsafe.
  2. This winter I have decided to the cold weather and spend more time outside.
  3. This book is as hell. It's hard for me to fall asleep at night.
  4. It's a horrible that Mexicans are lazy, but it's not true.
  5. For some reason she is her friends and family away.