*India and Lebanon are natural partners
* we have a language called Urdu, which has the same script as Arabic
*whole world is moving to invest in India.
* sharing knowledge and experience
India Teaching us how to be, India under your braids of hair the title of love, you are fated existence inspired by the times, and how we live on the revelation of conscience teaching us the homeland of humanity , the closer to the sun than the sun, and the lowest of the revelation of revelation and the effective on the book of the title .
* There is so many similarities between the Lebanese and the Indians
*When asked what the relationship between India and Lebanon and how it can be expanded, Ambassador Nayar said that the more she stays in Lebanon, the more she feels that there are so many similarities between the two countries. India and Lebanon are natural partners, both are democracies , both have multi- cultural, multi-religious society, both have similar social traditions such as the importance of family values, festival celebrations witheating drinking, dancing…There is a similar openness, a generosity of spirit, you meet a Lebanese and almost immediately he is your friend, his house is your house, and the Indians have same spirit.
* Many Arabic words are commonly used in India
Even the language – we have a language called Urdu, which has the same script as Arabic, and is a mixture of Hindi, Arabic, Persian, and some Turkish, so we use many Arabic words like duniya,watan, galat,kursi, kameez, mazboot, mushkil etc. Some words are pronounced differently but have the same meaning like we say Mubarak instead of Mabruk and Shikwah instead of Shakwah. Ambassador Nayar said that her favourite word, since she was a little child, is Inshallah which she uses at least hundred times a day. So, Inshallah, Lebanese and Indians will always be friends, but we need to develop the relationship beyond just being good friends, we need to become major trading partners.
*India and Lebanon are natural partners
India is right now I think, Lebanon’s thirteen largest trading partner, we export goods worth about 430 – 450 million USD every year to Lebanon. On the other hand Lebanon’s exports to India amount to only around 20 million USD a year. There can be a huge improvement on that, because there is a big demand in India for wines, olive oil, fruits, handicrafts and other Lebanese products. Ambassador Nayar said that she also wants Lebanese businessman, who have money and international networks, to invest in India. Right now in India there is a lot of opportunity for investment, the whole world is moving to invest in India and the Lebanese should take advantage of that. There are some Lebanese projects in India but there should be many more!
*Kerala is one of the most popular destinations in India
Asked about where she saw India in terms of Tourism, Ambassador Nayar said that again it is like the relationship between India and Lebanon, there is huge potential for improvement. Lebanese have been increasingly showing a lot of interest in India. Most go to the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal) and Jaipur, and now many Lebanese are going to India very regularly for “Yoga” and “Ayurveda” treatments. In fact there is one Lebanese doctor who has actually invested in his own Ayurveda clinic in “Kerala” so that he can ensure his patientsare treated according to his wishes. But India has so much more to offer, beautiful monuments and museums, palaces, wildlife sanctuaries, beaches, mountains, festivals and fairs, handicrafts, textiles, jewellery, spicesetc; whatever you want you can find in India! So we are looking for more and more tourism from Lebanon to India, especially as now more and more travel agencies are offering special Indian packages, and we are trying to promote that. For example, we just took a delegation of travel operators to India to show them the state of “Kerala” which has become one of the most popular destinations in India.
– Indians are everywhere! In India we joke that if you land on the moon, you will find an Indian to welcome you. I have now changed the joke to if you land on the moon you will find an Indian and a Lebanese greeting you.
*Asked about the Indian Community in Lebanon, Ambassador Nayar said that she does not know the exact number but that our estimate is that there are between 6000 – 8000 thousand Indians in Lebanon. Most of them are workers in the agricultural sector, the construction sector or in factories. There may be about 100 people who are employed professionally, like computer technicians, managers, consultants etc. Many of them are working in UNIFIL and other UN and international agencies. However, the Indian community in Lebanon is very small compared to the Gulf where there are around 7 7 million Indians and they are you know contributing to the economy at every level. Ambassador Nayar said that she hopes that we will find more and more professional Indians coming and working in Lebanon, that while Lebanese policy is understandable, you do not want people coming and taking away your jobs, but there are benefits for both India and Lebanon in sharing knowledge and experience and that should also be considered.
* Asked for some Concluding Remarks, Ambassador Nayar said that she believed that life is growth, and hoped that the future will see India and Lebanon continue to grow as friends, as partners, and achieve peace, stability, prosperity and happiness together with the region and the world.
Written by Feryal Dbouk