I’ve made a surprise visit to Lebanon, arriving yeasterday from Dubai on a FlyDubai flight (more on that below). American administration officials are not the only ones who can pull off surprise visits. I’m here till the 24th with the website returning to regular programming soon after.

As for the FlyDubai flight on Monday, it was very much a no-frill trip until the plane landed at Beirut Airport. The head attendent came on the PA and announced (in Arabic):

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Queen Alia Aiport in Beirut…

That brought looks of confusion across everyone’s face. But she continued. Next, she wanted to say that now the plane has landed (habattat), we can turn on our mobiles phone. But she said (in Arabic):

..the plane has crashed (khabattat) so you can now turn on your mobile phones…

I kid you not. The entire cabin broke out in laughter.