Lebanon

Lebanon

Overview
Lebanon officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among the citizens of Lebanon. (Arabic: ; French: ), is a country in the East Mediterranean.
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Timeline

1867   Maronite nationalist leader Youssef Karam leaves Lebanon on board a French ship for Algeria

1941   World War II: Allies invade Syria and Lebanon.

1943   Lebanon gains independence from France.

1948   Following the demise of the British Mandate of Palestine, Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invade the territory partitioned for the Arab state by the British Mandate of Palestine thus starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1975   Bus Massacre in Lebanon: Attack by the Phalangist resistance kill 26 militia members of the P.F.L. of Palestine, marking the start of the 15-year Lebanese Civil War.

1976   Battle of Aishiya in Lebanon.

1978   The Israeli Defense Force invades and occupies southern Lebanon, in Operation Litani.

1978   UN Security Council Resolution 425 is passed, calling upon Israel immediately to cease its military action and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory (Operation Litani), and establishing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

1978   The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon for peacekeeping mission along the Blue Line.

1978   Israeli Defense Forces withdraw from Lebanon.

 
Encyclopedia
Lebanon officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among the citizens of Lebanon. (Arabic: ; French: ), is a country in the East Mediterranean. It is bordered by Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to the north and east, and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 to the south. Lebanon's location at the crossroads
Crossroads (culture)
In folk magic and mythology, crossroads may represent a location "between the worlds" and, as such, a site where supernatural spirits can be contacted and paranormal events can take place...

 of the Mediterranean Basin
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 and the Arabian hinterland
Hinterland
The hinterland is the land or district behind a coast or the shoreline of a river. Specifically, by the doctrine of the hinterland, the word is applied to the inland region lying behind a port, claimed by the state that owns the coast. The area from which products are delivered to a port for...

 has dictated its rich history
History of Lebanon
This article deals with the history of Lebanon, and the nations previously occupying its territory.-Phoenicia:The coastal plain of Lebanon is the historic home of a string of coastal trading cities of Semitic culture, which the Greeks termed Phoenicia, whose maritime culture flourished there for...

, and shaped a cultural identity
Culture of Lebanon
The Culture of Lebanon is the product of various civilizations and cultures that have passed through the country over thousands of years. Starting with the first inhabitants of Lebanon, the Phoenicians, the country was then subsequently conquered and occupied by the Assyrians, the Persians, the...

 of religious and ethnic diversity.

The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than 7,000 years—predating recorded history
Recorded history
Recorded history is the period in history of the world after prehistory. It has been written down using language, or recorded using other means of communication. It starts around the 4th millennium BC, with the invention of writing.-Historical accounts:...

. Lebanon was the home of the Phoenicians, a maritime culture that flourished for nearly 2,500 years (3000–539 BC). Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 after World War I, the five provinces that comprise modern Lebanon were mandated to France
French Mandate of Lebanon
The state of Greater Lebanon, the predecessor of modern Lebanon, was created in 1920 as part of the French scheme of dividing the French Mandate of Syria into six states....

. The French expanded the borders of Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon Governorate
Mount Lebanon is one of the Governorates of Lebanon. Its capital is Baabda. The overwhelming majority of its population is Maronites, Greek Orthodox, and Melkite Greek Catholic Christians...

, which was mostly populated by Maronite Catholics and Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, and established a unique political system, known as confessionalism
Confessionalism (politics)
Confessionalism is a system of government that refers to de jure mix of religion and politics. It can mean distributing political and institutional power proportionally among religious communities.-Debate:...

, a power-sharing
Consociationalism
Consociationalism is a form of government involving guaranteed group representation, and is often suggested for managing conflict in deeply divided societies...

 mechanism based on religious communities – Bechara El Khoury who became independent Lebanon's first President and Riad El-Solh, who became Lebanon's first prime minister, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence. French troops withdrew from Lebanon in 1946.

Before the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 (1975–1990), the country experienced a period of relative calm and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, and banking. Because of its financial power and diversity, Lebanon was known in its heyday as the "Switzerland of the East". It attracted large numbers of tourists, such that the capital Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 was referred to as "Paris of the Middle East." At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.

Until July 2006, Lebanon enjoyed considerable stability, Beirut's reconstruction was almost complete, and increasing numbers of tourists poured into the nation's resorts. Then, the month-long 2006 war between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Lebanon caused significant civilian death and heavy damage to Lebanon's civil infrastructure.

Due to its tightly regulated financial system and the highest gold reserve in the Middle East, Lebanese banks largely avoided the financial crisis of 2007–2010. In 2009, despite a global recession, Lebanon enjoyed 9% economic growth and hosted the largest number of tourists in its history; however, by 2011, economic growth had slowed to below average for the region.

Lebanon is known for its unique efforts in the Middle East to guarantee civil rights and freedom to its citizens, ranking first in the Middle East and 26th worldwide (out of 66 countries) in the The World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index 2011.

Etymology


The name Lebanon comes from the Semitic root lbn, meaning "white", likely a reference to the snow-capped Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon , as a geographic designation, is a Lebanese mountain range, averaging above 2,200 meters in height and receiving a substantial amount of precipitation, including snow, which averages around four meters deep. It extends across the whole country along about , parallel to the...

.
Upon his arrival to Lebanon around 47 BC, Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 proclaimed "Lub" "Na'an", meaning "White-Land" in Semitic.

Occurrences of the name have been found in texts from the library of Ebla
Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

, which date to the third millennium BC, nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the protagonist of the story, Gilgamesh king of Uruk, which were fashioned into a longer Akkadian epic much...

 (perhaps as early as 2100 BC).

The name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian
Egyptian language
Egyptian is the oldest known indigenous language of Egypt and a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Written records of the Egyptian language have been dated from about 3400 BC, making it one of the oldest recorded languages known. Egyptian was spoken until the late 17th century AD in the...

 as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L.

Geology and archaeology


Lebanon is mainly composed of Jurassic
Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

 age rock overlaid in places with a Cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 layer, the oldest of which is sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

, usually occurring at altitudes of over 1000 metres (3,280.8 ft) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. Evidence of early habitation in Lebanon has been shown in flint industries dating to the Lower Paleolithic
Lower Paleolithic
The Lower Paleolithic is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 2.5 million years ago when the first evidence of craft and use of stone tools by hominids appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the...

.

Ancient history


Evidence of an early settlement in Lebanon was found in Byblos
Byblos
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

, which is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and date back to earlier than 5000 BC. Archaeologists discovered remnants of prehistoric huts with crushed limestone floors, primitive weapons, and burial jars left by the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 and Chalcolithic
Copper Age
The Chalcolithic |stone]]") period or Copper Age, also known as the Eneolithic/Æneolithic , is a phase of the Bronze Age in which the addition of tin to copper to form bronze during smelting remained yet unknown by the metallurgists of the times...

 fishing communities who lived on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea over 7,000 years ago.

Lebanon was the homeland of the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns, a seafaring people that spread across the Mediterranean before the rise of Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus II of Persia , commonly known as Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much...

. After two centuries of Persian rule, Macedonian
Ancient Macedonians
The Macedonians originated from inhabitants of the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, in the alluvial plain around the rivers Haliacmon and lower Axios...

 ruler Alexander the Great attacked and burned Tyre, the most prominent Phoenician city. Throughout the subsequent centuries leading up to recent times, the country became part of numerous succeeding empires, among them Egyptian Empire, Persian, Assyria
Achaemenid Assyria
Athura was a geographical area within the Persian Achaemenid Empire during the period of 539 BC to 330 BC. Although sometimes regarded as a satrapy, Achaemenid royal inscriptions list it as a dahyu, a concept generally interpreted as meaning either a group of people or both a country and its...

n, Hellenistic
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

, Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Eastern Roman, Arab, Seljuk
Great Seljuq Empire
The Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Persianate, Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuq Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf...

, Mamluk
Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo)
The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt was the final independent Egyptian state prior to the establishment of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in 1805. It lasted from the overthrow of the Ayyubid Dynasty until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. The sultanate's ruling caste was composed of Mamluks, Arabised...

, Crusader
Crusader states
The Crusader states were a number of mostly 12th- and 13th-century feudal states created by Western European crusaders in Asia Minor, Greece and the Holy Land , and during the Northern Crusades in the eastern Baltic area...

, and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

.

Medieval times



In 1590, Fakhr-al-Din II
Fakhr-al-Din II
Emir Fakhr-al-Din ibn Maan was the 1st prince of the State of Lebanon which has self-governed under the Ottoman Empire between the 17th and 19th centuries. Son of Prince Qorqmaz ibn Maan and Sit Nasab of the Tanukhi family, he was given the title "Emir" or Prince in Arabic because the Maan...

 became successor to Korkmaz. He was a skilled politician and described as a pupil of Machiavelli. Fakhr-al-Din II adjusted to the lifestyles of the Druze, Christianity and Islam, according to his needs. He paid tribute to the Sultanate of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and shared the spoils of war with his masters. Eventually, Fakhr-al-Din II was appointed Sultan of Mt. Lebanon, with full authority. He was considered one of the greatest rulers of the region, also across the Middle of Lebanon. But, his enemies and governors angered the Ottoman Sultanate. Hence, a campaign, calling for the arrest of Fakhr-al-Din II, found the deposed leader in Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, where he was executed by hanging. Shortly afterwards, the Emirate of Mt. Lebanon that lasted more than 500 years was replaced, instead of the emirate meteor.

French mandate and independence




Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 for over 400 years, until 1918 when the area became a part of the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon
French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon
Officially the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire...

 following World War I. By the end of the war, famine had killed an estimated 100,000 people in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, about 30% of the total population. On 1 September 1920, France reestablished Greater Lebanon after the Moutasarrifiya rule removed several regions belonging to the Principality of Lebanon and gave them to Syria. Lebanon was a largely Christian (mainly Maronite
Maronites
Maronites , is an ethnoreligious group in the Middle East that have been historically tied with Lebanon. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church....

 territory with some Greek Orthodox) enclaves but it also included areas containing many Muslims (including Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

). On 1 September 1926, France formed the Lebanese Republic. A constitution was adopted on 25 May 1926 establishing a democratic republic with a parliamentary system of government.

Lebanon gained independence in 1943, while France was occupied by Germany.
General Henri Dentz
Henri Dentz
Henri Fernand Dentz was an officer in the French Army and, after France surrendered during World War II, he served with the Vichy French Army.-Syria-Lebanon campaign:...

, the Vichy
Vichy
Vichy is a commune in the department of Allier in Auvergne in central France. It belongs to the historic province of Bourbonnais.It is known as a spa and resort town and was the de facto capital of Vichy France during the World War II Nazi German occupation from 1940 to 1944.The town's inhabitants...

 High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

 for Syria and Lebanon, played a major role in the independence of the nation. The Vichy authorities in 1941 allowed Germany to move aircraft and supplies through Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 where they were used against British forces. The United Kingdom, fearing that Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 would gain full control of Lebanon and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 by pressure on the weak Vichy government, sent its army into Syria and Lebanon.

After the fighting ended in Lebanon, General Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 visited the area. Under political pressure from both inside and outside Lebanon, de Gaulle recognized the independence of Lebanon. On 26 November 1941 General Georges Catroux
Georges Catroux
Georges Catroux was a French Army general and diplomat who served in both World War I and World War II, and served as Grand Chancellor of the Légion d'honneur from 1954 to 1969.-Biography:...

 announced that Lebanon would become independent under the authority of the Free French government. Elections were held in 1943 and on 8 November 1943 the new Lebanese government unilaterally abolished the mandate. The French reacted by throwing the new government into prison. In the face of international pressure, the French released the government officials on 22 November 1943 and recognized the independence of Lebanon.

The allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 kept the region under control until the end of World War II. The last French troops withdrew in 1946. Lebanon's unwritten National Pact
National Pact
The National Pact is an unwritten agreement that laid the foundation of Lebanon as a multi-confessional state, and has shaped the country to this day. Following negotiations between the Shi'ite, Sunni, and Maronite leaderships, the National Pact was born in the summer of 1943 allowing Lebanon to...

 of 1943 required that its president be Maronite Christian, its speaker of the parliament
Speaker (politics)
The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the...

 to be a Shiite Muslim, its prime minister be Sunni Muslim, and the deputy speaker of Parliament and the deputy prime minister be Greek Orthodox.

Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and turmoil (including a civil conflict in 1958
Lebanon crisis of 1958
The 1958 Lebanon crisis was a Lebanese political crisis caused by political and religious tensions in the country. It included a U.S. military intervention.-Background:...

) interspersed with prosperity built on Beirut's
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 position as a regional center for finance and trade.

1948 Arab-Israeli war


In May 1948, Lebanon supported neighbouring Arab countries against Israel. While some irregular forces crossed the border and carried out minor skirmishes against Israel, it was without the support of the Lebanese government, and Lebanese troops did not officially invade. Lebanon agreed to support the forces with covering artillery fire, armored cars, volunteers and logistical support. On 5–6 June 1948, the Lebanese army captured Al-Malkiyya. This was Lebanon's only success in the war.

During the war, some 100,000 Palestinians fled to Lebanon, and Israel did not permit their return at the end of hostilities. Palestinians, previously prevented from working at all due to denial of citizenship, are now forbidden to work in some 20 professions after liberalization laws. Today, more than 400,000 refugees remain in limbo, about half in camps.

Civil war and beyond


In 1975, civil war broke out in Lebanon. The Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 lasted fifteen years, devastating the country's economy, and resulting in massive loss of human life and property. It is estimated that 150,000 people were killed and another 200,000 wounded. Some 900,000 people, representing one-fifth of the pre-war population, were displaced from their homes. The war ended in 1990 with the signing of the Taif Agreement
Taif Agreement
The Taif Agreement was an agreement reached to provide "the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon." Negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia, it was designed to end the decades-long Lebanese civil war, politically accommodate the demographic...

 and parts of Lebanon were left in ruins.

GDP Change in Lebanon before and during the civil war (in real terms)
1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1990 2000 2005 2011
GDP change (in real terms) 12.2% 4.7% 2.4% −30.3% −57.0% 67.7% −2.6% 2.4% 1.5% 0.6% −36.8% 6.5% 8.5% 4.6% 3.5%
GDP per capita (US$, current values) 893 1132 1423 1186 527 1005 1091 1274 1526 1470 1006 2201 4889 8921 11109


During the civil war, the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO) used Lebanon to launch attacks against Israel. Lebanon was twice invaded and occupied by the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 (IDF) in 1978 and 1982, with the PLO expelled in the second invasion. Israel remained in control of Southern Lebanon until 2000, when there was a general decision, led by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

, to withdraw because of continuous attacks executed by Hezbollah, and a belief that the violence would diminish and dissolve without the Israeli presence in Lebanon. The UN determined that the withdrawal of Israeli troops beyond the blue line
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

 was in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 425, although a border region called the Shebaa Farms
Shebaa farms
The Shebaa Farms are a small uninhabited territory claimed by Lebanon, but occupied by Israel which claims they are in Syria's Golan Heights. Syrian policy is to vaguely accept the Lebanese claim, while refusing any binding demarcation until Israeli forces withdraw from the area.The United Nations...

 is still disputed. Hezbollah declared that it would not stop its operations against Israel until this area was liberated.

Cedar Revolution




On 14 February 2005, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

 was assassinated in a car bomb
Car bomb
A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

 explosion near the Saint George Hotel in Beirut. Leaders of the March 14 Alliance
March 14 Alliance
The March 14 alliance , named after the date of the Cedar Revolution, is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon that call for sovereignty over all Lebanese territories, led by MP Saad Hariri, younger son of Rafik Hariri, the assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon, as...

, a pro-Western coalition, accused Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 of the attack because of its extensive military and intelligence presence in Lebanon, and the public rift between Hariri and Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 over the Syrian-backed constitutional amendment extending President Lahoud's
Émile Lahoud
General Émile Jamil Lahoud is a former President of Lebanon. Lahoud is a Maronite-Catholic, as is required for the Lebanese presidency. Under Lebanon's unwritten constitutional agreement, the National Pact, the presidency is earmarked for Maronite_Catholic, the parliament speaker's post for a Shia...

 term in office. Others, namely the March 8 Alliance
March 8 Alliance
The March 8 Alliance is a coalition of various political parties in Lebanon. It has been the ruling coalition since January 25, 2011 when the alliance managed to nominate Najib Mikati as the new prime minister.-History:...

 and Syrian officials, claimed that the assassination may have been executed by the Israeli Mossad
Mossad
The Mossad , short for HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim , is the national intelligence agency of Israel....

 in an attempt to destabilize the country.

This incident triggered a series of demonstrations, dubbed the 'Cedar Revolution,' which demanded the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and the establishment of an international commission to investigate the assassination. The United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 unanimously adopted Resolution 1559 on 7 April 2005, which called for an investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri. Preliminary findings of the investigation were officially published on 20 October 2005 in the Mehlis report
Mehlis report
The Mehlis Report is the result of the United Nations' investigation into the 14 February 2005 assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri. The investigation was launched in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1595 and headed by the German judge, Detlev Mehlis...

, which cited indications that high-ranking members of the Syrian and Lebanese governments were involved in the assassination. Eventually, and under pressure from the West, Syria began withdrawing its 15,000-strong army troops from Lebanon. By 26 April 2005, all uniformed Syrian soldiers had already crossed the border back to Syria. The Hariri assassination marked the beginning of a series of assassination attempts that resulted in the loss of many prominent Lebanese figures.

The UN Investigation and the controversy


In 2005, United Nations Secretary-General
United Nations Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat of the United Nations, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations....

 Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 appointed Mehlis as the Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

 and 22 other people in Beirut. In October 2005, Jund al-Sham
Jund al-Sham
Jund al-Sham is a terrorist group believed to have first appeared in Afghanistan in 1999, the group was established by Syrians, Palestinians and Lebanese with links to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who went on to found al-Qaida in Iraq and was subsequently killed by a US airstrike...

 threatened to slaughter Detlev Mehlis
Detlev Mehlis
Detlev Mehlis is currently the Senior Public Prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney General in Berlin. He has 30 years of prosecutorial experience and has led numerous investigations into serious, complex transnational crimes...

 while he was heading the UN inquiry into the assassination of Rafik Hariri, claiming that Mehlis was connected with Israel and the CIA.

The Mehlis report
Mehlis report
The Mehlis Report is the result of the United Nations' investigation into the 14 February 2005 assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri. The investigation was launched in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1595 and headed by the German judge, Detlev Mehlis...

 was presented to the Secretary General on 20 October 2005. It implicated Lebanese and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n Military Intelligence in the assassination, and it accused Syrian officials, including now Foreign Minister Muallem, of misleading the investigation. A second report was submitted on 10 December 2005. On 11 January 2006 Mehlis, upon his own suggestion, was replaced by Serge Brammertz
Serge Brammertz
Serge Brammertz is a Belgian jurist, and the prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.Brammertz was deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court from 2002 to 2007...

.

2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict



The conflict began when Hezbollah militants launched a missile attack on two armored Humvees patrolling the Israeli side of the border fence. The ambush left three soldiers dead. Two additional soldiers, believed to have been killed outright or mortally wounded, were taken by Hezbollah to Lebanon. Israel responded by bombing Lebanon, causing damage to Lebanon's civil infrastructure (including Beirut's airport). Beirut's southern suburb was razed to the ground by Israeli airplanes.

The month-long conflict caused a significant loss of life; some 1,600 Lebanese and nearly 160 Israelis were killed in the conflict. In Israel, 3,970 Hezbollah rockets landed on northern Israel, landing many in urban areas and killing 44 civilians. The conflict officially ended on 14 August 2006, when the United Nations Security Council issued resolution 1701 ordering a ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel. Goldwasser and Regev, two captured Israeli soldiers, were held for two years, without indication as to their health, until their remains were returned by Hezbollah to Israel on 16 July 2008 in a trade for all Lebanese prisoners, both dead and living. Hezbollah had told Israel, prior to the prisoner swap, that these soldiers were alive.

Nahr al-Bared conflict



Nahr al-Bared (Arabic: نهر البارد, literally: Cold River) is a Palestinian
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

 refugee camp
Refugee camp
A refugee camp is a temporary settlement built to receive refugees. Hundreds of thousands of people may live in any one single camp. Usually they are built and run by a government, the United Nations, or international organizations, or NGOs.Refugee camps are generally set up in an impromptu...

 in northern Lebanon, 16 km from the city of Tripoli
Tripoli, Lebanon
Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in Lebanon. Situated 85 km north of the capital Beirut, Tripoli is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Geographically located on the east of the Mediterranean, the city's history dates back...

. Some 30,000 displaced Palestinians and their descendants live in and around the camp, which was named after the river that runs south of the camp. The camp was established in December 1949 by the League of Red Cross Societies in order to accommodate the Palestinian refugees suffering from the difficult winter conditions in the Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
The Beqaa Valley is a fertile valley in east Lebanon. For the Romans, the Beqaa Valley was a major agricultural source, and today it remains Lebanon’s most important farming region...

 and the suburbs of Tripoli. The Lebanese Army is banned from entering all Palestinian camps under the 1969 Cairo Agreement
Cairo agreement
The Cairo agreement or Cairo accord was an agreement reached on 2 November 1969 during talks between Yassir Arafat and the Lebanese army commander General Emile Bustani...

.

Late in the night of Saturday 19 May 2007, a building was surrounded by Lebanese Internal Security Forces
Internal Security Forces
The Internal Security Forces – ISF or Forces de Sécurité Intérieure in French, are the national police and security force of Lebanon. Modern police were established in Lebanon in 1861, with creation of the Gendarmerie...

 (ISF) in which a group of Fatah al-Islam
Fatah al-Islam
Fatah al-Islam, is a radical Sunni Islamist group that formed in November 2006 in a Palestinian refugee camp, located in Lebanon. It has been described as a militant jihadist movement that draws inspiration from al-Qaeda...

 militants accused of taking part in a bank robbery earlier that day were hiding. The ISF attacked the building early on Sunday 20 May 2007, unleashing a day long battle between the ISF and Fatah al-Islam militants. As a response, members of Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared Camp attacked an army checkpoint, killing several soldiers in their sleep. The army immediately responded by shelling the camp and Launching Rockets Bringing down Specific Buildings.

The camp became the center of the fighting between the Lebanese Army and Fatah al-Islam. It sustained heavy shelling while under siege. UNRWA estimates the battle between the army and Islamic militant group Fatah al-Islam destroyed or rendered uninhabitable as much as 85 percent of homes in the camp and ruined infrastructure. The camp’s up to 40,000 residents were forced to flee, many of them sheltering in the already overcrowded Beddawi camp, 10 km south.

At least 169 soldiers, 287 insurgents and 47 civilians were killed in the army’s battle with the al-Qaeda-inspired militants. Funds for the reconstruction of the area have been slow to materialize, and life for the displaced refugees is difficult.

2008 internal strife



When Émile Lahoud
Émile Lahoud
General Émile Jamil Lahoud is a former President of Lebanon. Lahoud is a Maronite-Catholic, as is required for the Lebanese presidency. Under Lebanon's unwritten constitutional agreement, the National Pact, the presidency is earmarked for Maronite_Catholic, the parliament speaker's post for a Shia...

's presidential term ended in October 2007, the opposition refused to vote for a successor unless a power-sharing deal was reached, leaving Lebanon without a president. On 9 May 2008, Hezbollah and Amal
Amal Movement
Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

 forces, sparked by a government declaration that Hezbollah's communications network was illegal, seized western Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 in Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975–90 civil war
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. Moreover, the violence, decried by the Lebanese government as an attempted coup, threatened to escalate into another civil war. At least 62 people died in the resulting clashes between pro-government and opposition militias.

On 21 May 2008, after five days of negotiation under Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 mediation in Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

, all major parties signed the Doha Agreement, which ended the fighting. Under the accord, both sides agreed to elect former army head Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman or Sleiman is the President of Lebanon. Before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. After LAF commander Émile Lahoud took office as president in November of 1998, Suleiman succeeded him, taking his place in December...

 president and establish a national unity government with a veto share for the opposition. This ended 18 months of political paralysis. The agreement was a victory for opposition forces, who received concessions regarding the composition of the cabinet, Hezbollah's telecommunications network, and the airport security chief, increasing their political clout.

2011 government collapse


In early January 2011, the national unity government
Lebanese government of November 2009
In November 2009, after five months of negotiations following the 2009 parliamentary elections, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri formed a national unity government.-Method:...

 collapsed after all ten opposition ministers and one presidential appointee resigned due to tensions stemming from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an international tribunal for the prosecution under Lebanese law of those responsible for the assassination of Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. The tribunal also has jurisdiction over a series of other attacks in Lebanon if they are proven to be connected...

, which was expected to indict Hezbollah members in the assassination of former prime minister Rafic Hariri. The collapse plunged Lebanon into its worst political crisis since the 2008 fighting, and indicated further political gains for the Hezbollah-led opposition March 8 Alliance
March 8 Alliance
The March 8 Alliance is a coalition of various political parties in Lebanon. It has been the ruling coalition since January 25, 2011 when the alliance managed to nominate Najib Mikati as the new prime minister.-History:...

, which gained a parliamentary majority. The parliament elected Najib Mikati, the 8 March candidate, Prime Minister of Lebanon, making him responsible for forming a new government.

Geography and climate




Lebanon is located in Western Asia, between latitudes 33°
33rd parallel north
The 33rd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 33 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 35° N
35th parallel north
The 35th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 35 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 35°
35th meridian east
The meridian 35° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 37° E
37th meridian east
The meridian 37° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across theArctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 to the west along a 225 kilometres (139.8 mi) coastline, by Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to the east and north, and by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 to the south. The Lebanon-Syria border stretches for 375 kilometres (233 mi) and the Lebanon-Israel border for 79 kilometres (49.1 mi). The border
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

 with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights is disputed by Lebanon in a small area called Shebaa Farms
Shebaa farms
The Shebaa Farms are a small uninhabited territory claimed by Lebanon, but occupied by Israel which claims they are in Syria's Golan Heights. Syrian policy is to vaguely accept the Lebanese claim, while refusing any binding demarcation until Israeli forces withdraw from the area.The United Nations...

.

Most of Lebanon's area is mountainous terrain, except for the narrow coastline and the Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
The Beqaa Valley is a fertile valley in east Lebanon. For the Romans, the Beqaa Valley was a major agricultural source, and today it remains Lebanon’s most important farming region...

, which plays an integral role in Lebanon's agriculture. However, climate change and political differences threaten conflict over water resources in the Valley.

Lebanon has a moderate Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

. In coastal areas, winters are generally cool and rainy whilst summers are hot and humid. In more elevated areas, temperatures usually drop below freezing during the winter with frequent, sometimes heavy snow; summers are warm and dry. Although most of Lebanon receives a relatively large amount of rainfall annually (compared to its arid surroundings), certain areas in north-eastern Lebanon receive little because of the high peaks of the western mountain front blocking much of the rain clouds that originate over the Mediterranean Sea.

In ancient times, Lebanon housed large forests of the Cedars of Lebanon
Lebanon Cedar
Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean region.There are two distinct types that are considered to be different subspecies or varieties. Lebanon cedar or Cedar of Lebanon Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean...

, which now serve as the country's national emblem. In 2010, the Agriculture Ministry set a 10-year plan to increase the national forest coverage by 20% that is equivalent to the planting of two million new trees each year. The plan, which was funded the U.S. development agency, USAID, and overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, and the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative, was inaugurated in 2011 by planting of seedlings, such as cedar, pine, wild almond, juniper, fir and oak, in five regions around Lebanon.

Late Cretaceous
Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 fish fossils beds of Lebanon are world famous, and are in the top twenty or thirty such location around the world.

Government and politics




Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy, which implements a special system known as confessionalism
Confessionalism (politics)
Confessionalism is a system of government that refers to de jure mix of religion and politics. It can mean distributing political and institutional power proportionally among religious communities.-Debate:...

. This system is intended to deter sectarian conflict and attempts to fairly represent the demographic distribution of the 18 recognized religious groups in government. High-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups. The President, for example, has to be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, the Speaker of the Parliament a Shi’a Muslim, the Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister
A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

 and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Greek Orthodox.

Lebanon's national legislature is the unicameral Parliament of Lebanon
Parliament of Lebanon
The Parliament of Lebanon is the national parliament of Lebanon. There are 128 members elected to a four-year terms in multi-member constituencies, apportioned among Lebanon's diverse Christian and Muslim denominations. Lebanon has universal adult suffrage...

. Its 128 seats are divided
Reserved political positions
Several politico-constitutional arrangements use reserved political positions, especially when endeavoring to ensure the rights of minorities or preserving a political balance of power...

 equally between Christians and Muslims, proportionately between the 18 different denominations and proportionately between its 26 regions. Prior to 1990, the ratio stood at 6:5 in favor of Christians; however, the Taif Accord, which put an end to the 1975–1990 civil war, adjusted the ratio to grant equal representation to followers of the two religions. The Parliament is elected for a four-year term by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation.

The executive branch consists of the President, the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

, and the Prime Minister, the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

. The parliament elects the president for a non-renewable six-year term by a two-third majority. The president appoints the Prime Minister, following consultations with the parliament. The President and the Prime Minister form the Cabinet, which must also adhere to the sectarian distribution set out by confessionalism.

On 27 June 2009, Lebanon's president Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman or Sleiman is the President of Lebanon. Before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. After LAF commander Émile Lahoud took office as president in November of 1998, Suleiman succeeded him, taking his place in December...

 appointed parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri
Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri is a Saudi-Lebanese billionaire who served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 2009 until 2011. He is the second son of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in 2005...

 as prime minister after his pro-Western coalition, the March 14 Alliance
March 14 Alliance
The March 14 alliance , named after the date of the Cedar Revolution, is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon that call for sovereignty over all Lebanese territories, led by MP Saad Hariri, younger son of Rafik Hariri, the assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon, as...

, defeated a Hezbollah-led alliance
March 8 Alliance
The March 8 Alliance is a coalition of various political parties in Lebanon. It has been the ruling coalition since January 25, 2011 when the alliance managed to nominate Najib Mikati as the new prime minister.-History:...

 in a June 2009 election
Lebanese general election, 2009
-Background:Prior to the election, the process to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 years was put into motion, but as this requires a constitutional amendment, it did not happen before the election.- Allocation of seats :...

. In November, after five months of cabinet negotiations, Hariri formed a national unity
National unity government
A national unity government, government of national unity, or national union government is a broad coalition government consisting of all parties in the legislature, usually formed during a time of war or other national emergency.- Canada :During World War I the Conservative government of Sir...

 government
Lebanese government of November 2009
In November 2009, after five months of negotiations following the 2009 parliamentary elections, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri formed a national unity government.-Method:...

. In January 2011, the government collapsed after all ten opposition ministers and one presidential appointee resigned due to tensions stemming from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is an international tribunal for the prosecution under Lebanese law of those responsible for the assassination of Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. The tribunal also has jurisdiction over a series of other attacks in Lebanon if they are proven to be connected...

, which was expected to indict Hezbollah members in the assassination of former prime minister Rafic Hariri.

Lebanon's judicial system is a mixture of Ottoman law
Kanûn-i Esâsî
The Ottoman constitution of 1876 was the first constitution of the Ottoman Empire. Written by members of the Young Ottomans, particularly Midhat Pasha, during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II , the constitution was only in effect for two years, from 1876 to 1878.A large part of the reason for the...

, Napoleonic code
Napoleonic code
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon — is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified...

, canon law
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

 and civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

. The Lebanese court system consists of three levels: courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation. The Constitutional Council rules on constitutionality of laws and electoral frauds. There also is a system of religious courts having jurisdiction over personal status matters within their own communities, with rules on matters such as marriage and inheritance.

Foreign relations



Lebanon concluded negotiations on an association agreement with the European Union in late 2001, and both sides initialed the accord in January 2002. Lebanon also has bilateral trade agreements with several Arab states and is working toward accession to the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

.

Lebanon enjoys good relations with virtually all of the other Arab countries (despite historic tensions with Libya, the Palestinians, Syria and Iraq), and hosted an Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 Summit in March 2002 for the first time in more than 35 years. Lebanon is a member of the Francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 countries and hosted the Francophone Summit in October 2002 as well as the Jeux de la Francophonie in 2009.

Military



The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has 72,100 active personnel, including 1,100 in the air force, and 1,000 in the navy.
The Lebanese Armed Forces' primary missions include defending Lebanon and its citizens against external aggression, maintaining internal stability and security, confronting threats against the country's vital interests, engaging in social development activities, and undertaking relief operations in coordination with public and humanitarian institutions.

Lebanon is a major recipient of foreign military aid. With $400 million since 2005, it is the second largest per capita recipient of American military aid behind Israel.

Governorates and districts



Lebanon is divided into six governorate
Governorate
A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administered by governors either states, provinces, or colonies, the term governorate is often used in translation from non-English-speaking administrations.The...

s (mohaafazaat, ;singular mohafazah) which are further subdivided into twenty-five districts (aqdya—singular: qadaa
Qadaa
Kaza or caza , meaning "jurisdiction" and often translated "district," is a term for a second-level administrative division in Iraq and Lebanon and for a third-level administrative division in Jordan and the former Ottoman Empire....

). The districts themselves are also divided into several municipalities, each enclosing a group of cities or villages. The governorates and their respective districts are listed below:

  • Beirut Governorate
    Beirut Governorate
    The Governorate of Beirut is the only Lebanese governorate that consists of one districtand one city, Beirut, which is also its capital, and the capital of Lebanon....

    • The Beirut Governorate is not divided into districts and is limited to the city of Beirut
      Beirut
      Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

  • Nabatieh Governorate (Jabal Amel)
    • Bint Jbeil
      Bint Jbeil District
      The Bint Jbeil District is a district in the Nabatiyeh Governorate of Lebanon. The capital of the district is Bint Jbeil....

    • Hasbaya
      Hasbaya District
      The Hasbaya District is a district in the Nabatiyeh Governorate of Lebanon. The capital of the district is Hasbaya....

    • Marjeyoun
      Marjeyoun District
      The Marjeyoun District is a district in the Nabatieh Governorate of Lebanon. The capital of the district is Marjeyoun.Marjeyoun stands majestically at a hill facing Mount Haramoun to the East, Beaufort 1000 years old Crusader Castle above the Litani River and overlooking Mount Amel to the West,...

    • Nabatieh
      Nabatieh District
      The Nabatieh District is a district in the Nabatieh Governorate of Lebanon. The capital of the district is Nabatieh, and it contains the following Villages:* Kfarfila*Jbaa*Ain Qana*Ain Boswar*Arab Saleem*Jarjoo*Houmeen*Kfar Tebneet*Zibdeen*Chouqin...

  • Beqaa Governorate
    Beqaa Governorate
    Beqaa is a governorate in Lebanon with a population of 750,000 inhabitants.-Geography:The Beqaa governorate covers an area of 4,429 km². Béqaa is the primary center of Lebanon's agriculture. The Beqaa governorate forms the main geographical extension of Lebanon and it lies between the Western...

    • Baalbek
      Baalbek District
      Baalbek District is an administrative district in the Beqaa Governorate of the Republic of Lebanon, having Baalbek as its capital. It is by far the largest district in the country comprising a total of 2319 km2....

    • Hermel
      Hermel District
      The Hermel District is a district in the Beqaa Governorate of Lebanon. Population estimated at 39,000The capital of the Hermel District is Hermel.-References:*...

    • Rashaya
      Rashaya District
      Rashaya District is an administrative district in the Beqaa Governorate of the Republic of Lebanon.Most of Rachaya's population are Christians with a large Druze minority. Many people of Rachaya have left for larger cities in Lebanon such as Beirut...

    • Western Beqaa
      Western Beqaa District
      Western Beqaa District is an administrative district in the Beqaa Governorate of the Republic of Lebanon. The capital is Joub Jannine....

       (al-Beqaa al-Gharbi)
    • Zahle
      Zahle District
      Zahle District is an administrative district in the Beqaa Governorate of the Republic of Lebanon.The people of Zahle district are almost entirely Christian, it is the capital of the Biqa region in Lebanon, with a district population of around 500,000. About half of the people are maronites, 25 %...

  • North Governorate
    North Governorate
    North Governorate is one of the governorates of Lebanon. Its capital is Tripoli.-Districts:The North Governorate is divided into districts, or aqdya...

     (al-Shamal)
    • Akkar
      Akkar District
      Akkar is a district in the North Governorate, Lebanon. It covers an area of and has a population of 198,174. The capital lies at Halba....

    • Batroun
      Batroun District
      Batroun District is a district in the North Governorate, Lebanon, south of Tripoli. The capital is Batroun.-Cities and towns:* Abrine* Assia*Batroun* Bazbina* Bchaaleh* Beit Kassab* Bijdarfil* Billa* Deir Billa* Bqosmaya* Chatine...

    • Bsharri
    • Koura
      Koura District
      Koura or El Koura is a district in the North Governorate, Lebanon.Koura is one of the 36 districts of Lebanon, which is very popular for the olive tree cultivation. It is known by its dark green color....

    • Miniyeh-Danniyeh
      Miniyeh-Danniyeh District
      The Miniyeh-Danniyeh District is a district in the North Governorate of Lebanon. As it names indicates, the district includes the Dinniyeh region. In December 1999-January 2000 the Lebanese army and Islamist militants were involved in heavy fighting in the area....

    • Tripoli
      Tripoli District
      The Tripoli District is a small, but very densely populated district in the North Governorate of Lebanon. It consists of the city Tripoli and the surrounding area...

    • Zgharta
      Zgharta District
      Zgharta District is a district of the North Governorate, Lebanon.The administrative center is the town of Zgharta. The district has 57 populated areas with 30 municipalities covering 37 villages. Some areas share the same municipality such as Ehden/Zgharta, Kfarsghab/Morh Kfarsghab or...

  • Mount Lebanon Governorate
    Mount Lebanon Governorate
    Mount Lebanon is one of the Governorates of Lebanon. Its capital is Baabda. The overwhelming majority of its population is Maronites, Greek Orthodox, and Melkite Greek Catholic Christians...

     (Jabal Lubnan)
    • Aley
      Aley District
      Aley is a district in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, to the south-east of the Lebanon's capital Beirut. The capital is Aley. Aley city was previously known as the "bride of the summers" during the 1960 and 70s, when Aley and neighboring Bhamdune were attractive tourist locations for Gulf tourists and...

    • Baabda
      Baabda District
      Baabda District , sometimes spelled B'abda, is a district in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, to the south and east of the Lebanon's capital Beirut...

    • Byblos
      Byblos
      Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

       (Jbeil)
    • Chouf
      Chouf District
      Chouf is a historic region of Lebanon, as well as an administrative district in the governorate of Mount Lebanon....

    • Keserwan
      Keserwan District
      Keserwan is a district in the Mount Lebanon Governorate , Lebanon, to the northeast of the Lebanon's capital Beirut...

    • Matn
      Matn District
      Matn , sometimes spelled Metn, is a district in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of Lebanon, east of the Lebanon's capital Beirut...

  • South Governorate
    South Governorate
    South Governorate is one of the governorates of Lebanon. South Lebanon has a population of 500,000 inhabitants and an area of 2,000 km². The capital is Sidon. The lowest elevation is sea-level; the highest is 1,000 meters. The inhabitants are a mixture of Shiites, Sunnis, Orthodox,...

     (al-Janoub)
    • Jezzine
      Jezzine District
      The Jezzine District ‎ is a district in the South Governorate of Lebanon. The capital is Jezzine....

    • Sidon
      Sidon District
      -Cities and towns:*Ain El Delb*Ansariye*Maghdouché*Majdelyoun*Qinarit*Salhieh*Sidon - capital*Tabbaya*Zrarieh...

       (Saida)
    • Tyre
      Tyre District
      -Phoenician era:Tyre was a major port in Phoenician times. It grew wealthy from its far-reaching colonies and industries of purple-dyed textiles. This attracted the attention of conquerors among them the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great....

       (Sur)

Economy


The urban population in Lebanon is noted for its commercial enterprise. Over the course of time, emigration has yielded Lebanese "commercial networks" throughout the world. As a result, remittances from Lebanese abroad to family members within the country total $8.2 billion and account for one fifth of the country's economy. Lebanon has the largest proportion of skilled labor among Arab States.

Although Lebanon is ideally suited for agricultural activities in terms of water availability and soil fertility, as it possesses the highest proportion of cultivable land in the Arabic speaking world, it does not have a large agricultural sector. Attracting only 12% of the total workforce
Workforce
The workforce is the labour pool in employment. It is generally used to describe those working for a single company or industry, but can also apply to a geographic region like a city, country, state, etc. The term generally excludes the employers or management, and implies those involved in...

, agriculture is the least popular economic sector in Lebanon. It contributes approximately 11.7% of the country's GDP, also placing it in the lowest rank compared to other economic sectors. Major produce includes apples, peaches, oranges, and lemons.

Industry in Lebanon is mainly limited to small businesses that reassemble and package imported parts. In 2004, industry ranked second in workforce, with 26% of the Lebanese working population, and second in GDP contribution, with 21% of Lebanon's GDP.

A combination of beautiful climate, many historic landmarks and World Heritage Sites continues to attract large numbers of tourists to Lebanon. In addition, Lebanon's strict financial secrecy
Bank secrecy
Bank secrecy is a legal principle in some jurisdictions under which banks are not allowed to provide to authorities personal and account information about their customers unless certain conditions apply...

 and capitalist economy have given it significant, though no longer dominant, economic status among Arab countries. The thriving tourism
Tourism in Lebanon
The tourism industry in Lebanon has been historically important to the local economy and remains to this day to be a major source of revenue for Lebanon...

 and banking activities have naturally made the services sector the most important pillar of the Lebanese economy. The majority of the Lebanese workforce (nearly 65%) attains employment in the services sector as a result of the abundant job opportunities. The GDP contribution, accordingly, amounts to roughly 67.3% of the annual Lebanese GDP. However, dependence on the tourism and banking sectors leaves the economy vulnerable to political instability.

The 1975–1990 civil war heavily damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

, cut national output by half, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a West Asian entrepôt
Entrepôt
An entrepôt is a trading post where merchandise can be imported and exported without paying import duties, often at a profit. This profit is possible because of trade conditions, for example, the reluctance of ships to travel the entire length of a long trading route, and selling to the entrepôt...

 and banking hub. The subsequent period of relative peace enabled the central government to restore control in Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, begin collecting taxes, and regain access to key port and government facilities. Economic recovery has been helped by a financially sound banking system and resilient small- and medium-scale manufacturers, with family remittances, banking services, manufactured and farm exports, and international aid as the main sources of foreign exchange.

Until the 2006 Lebanon War, Lebanon's economy witnessed excellent growth, with bank assets reaching over 75 billion US dollars, By the end of the first half of 2006, the influx of tourists to Lebanon had already registered a 49.3% increase over 2005 figures (which was a low figure, making the 49.3% increase seem more spectacular than it was). Market capitalization
Market capitalization
Market capitalization is a measurement of the value of the ownership interest that shareholders hold in a business enterprise. It is equal to the share price times the number of shares outstanding of a publicly traded company...

 was also at an all time high, estimated at $10.9 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2006, just weeks before the fighting started.

The war severely damaged Lebanon's fragile economy, especially the tourism sector. According to a preliminary report published by the Lebanese Ministry of Finance on 30 August 2006, a major economic decline was expected as a result of the fighting.

Rafiq Hariri International Airport re-opened in September 2006, and the efforts to revive the Lebanese economy have proceeded at a slow pace. Major contributors to the reconstruction of Lebanon include Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 (with US$ 1.5 billion pledged), the European Union (with about $1 billion) and a few other Persian Gulf countries with contributions of up to $800 million.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Lebanon's 2010 public debt exceeded 150.7% of GDP, ranking fourth highest in the world as a percentage of GDP, though down from 154.8% in 2009. Finance minister Mohammad Chatah stated that the debt reached $47 billion in 2008 and would increase to $49 billion if privatization of two telecoms companies did not occur. The Daily Star
Daily Star (Lebanon)
The Daily Star is a pan-Middle East English language newspaper edited in Beirut. It was founded in 1952 by Kamel Mrowa, the publisher of the Arabic daily Al-Hayat to serve the growing number of expatriates brought by the oil industry...

wrote that exorbitant debt levels have "slowed down the economy and reduced the government's spending on essential development projects."

Given the frequent security turmoil it has faced, the Lebanese banking system has adopted a conservative approach, with strict regulations imposed by the central bank to protect the economy from political instability. These regulations have generally left Lebanese banks unscathed by the Financial crisis of 2007–2010. Lebanese banks remain, under the current circumstances, high on liquidity and reputed for their security. Consequently, Lebanon is one of the only seven countries in the world in which the value of the stock markets increased in 2008. Moreover, in 2009, Lebanon hosted the largest number of tourists to date, eclipsing the previous record set before the Lebanese Civil War. The Lebanese economy grew 8.5 percent in 2008 and a revised 9 percent in 2009 despite a global recession
Late 2000s recession
The late-2000s recession, sometimes referred to as the Great Recession or Lesser Depression or Long Recession, is a severe ongoing global economic problem that began in December 2007 and took a particularly sharp downward turn in September 2008. The Great Recession has affected the entire world...

. Furthermore, the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 estimated GDP growth in 2010 to be seven percent. As of 31 August 2010, The Daily Star reported that The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released an updated outlook on the Lebanese economy, predicting real gross domestic produce (GDP) growth would reach 6.8 percent in 2010 and 5.8 percent in 2011.

Oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 has recently been discovered inland and in the seabed between Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt and talks are underway between Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 to reach an agreement regarding the exploration of these resources.The seabed separating Lebanon and Cyprus is believed to hold significant quantities of crude oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and natural gas.

To boost the economy and increase foreign direct investments, the Lebanese government has established a national investment promotion agency, IDAL, the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon
Investment Development Authority of Lebanon
The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon is the national investment promotion agency of Lebanon. IDAL was established in 1994 with the aim of promoting Lebanon as a key investment destination, and attracting facilitating, and retaining investments in the country.In 2001, Investment Law...

 in 1994. It was established with the aim of promoting Lebanon as a key investment destination, and attracting facilitating, and retaining investments in the country. In 2001, Investment Law No.360 was enacted to reinforce the organisation's mission, providing a framework for regulating investment activities in Lebanon, and providing local and foreign investors alike with a range of incentives and business support services. In addition to its role as an investment promotion agency, IDAL was entrusted with the active promotion and marketing of Lebanese exports including but not limited to agricultural and agro-industrial products. IDAL enjoys financial and administrative autonomy and reports to the President of the Council of Ministers who exercises a tutorial authority over it.

Tourism



Between 2005 and 2007, Lebanon was in a state of political turmoil, resulting in a sharp fall in tourism. Over the course of 2008 Lebanon rebuilt its infrastructure mainly in the real estate and tourism sectors resulting in a comparatively robust post war economy. In 2009, the New York Times ranked Beirut the No. 1 travel destination worldwide Due to its Unique Nightlife and Hospitality. In January 2010, the Ministry of Tourism announced that 1,851,081 tourists had visited Lebanon in 2009, a 39% increase from 2008, with Hotels reporting an occupancy rate of 95% in 2009. In March 2010, the Lebanon Opportunities review reported that 500,000 tourists had already come to Lebanon since the beginning of the year. Overall, Lebanon has seen an annual increase in tourism since 2006. The Ministry of Tourism said that more than 2.5 million tourists from the Gulf, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America visited in 2010.

Recently, after the long years of the civil war and reoccurring periods of political unrest in Lebanon, Lebanon has become an increasingly popular destination for tourism. Its rich history, historic sites, mild climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

, along with other factors, have all made Lebanon currently one of the most visited countries in the Middle East. Lebanon, even in its post-war state, has managed to attract around 1,333,000 tourists in 2008, thus placing it as rank 79 out of 191 participating countries. Statistics have shown that Lebanon's tourist attraction rate has been increasing rapidly and the Ministry of Tourism predicts that this ongoing trend will amplify in the coming years. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 are the two most popular origin countries of foreign tourists to Lebanon.

Schools


All Lebanese schools are required to follow a prescribed curriculum designed by the Ministry of Education. Some of the 1400 private schools offer IB programs, and may also add more courses to their curriculum with approval from the Ministry of Education. The main subjects taught are mathematics, sciences, Arabic, and at least one secondary language (either French or English).

The government introduces a mild form of selectivity into the curriculum by giving 11th graders choice between two "concentrations": sciences, humanities, and 12th graders choose between four concentrations: life sciences, general sciences, sociology and economics, and humanities and literature. The choices in concentration do not include major changes in the number of subjects taken (if at all). However, subjects that fall out of the concentration are given less weight in grading and are less rigorous, while subjects that fall within the concentration are more challenging and contribute significantly to the final grade.

Students go through three academic phases:
Name Number of years Annotations
Elementary 6
Intermediate 3 students earn Intermediate Certification (Lebanese Brevet) at completion
Secondary 3 students who pass official exams earn a Baccalaureate Certificate (Baccalauréat Libanais) in the concentration they chose in 12th grade. Students studying at French-system schools or American-system schools may also graduate with a French Baccalaureate that is considered equivalent to the Lebanese Baccalaureate. Students can also graduate with an International Baccalaureate (current in some of the private schools).


The first eight years are, by law, compulsory. Nevertheless, this requirement currently falls short of being fully enforced.

Higher education


Following secondary school, Lebanese students may choose to study at a university, a college, or a vocational training institute. The number of years to complete each program varies. While the Lebanese educational system offers a very high quality and international class of education, the local employment market lacks sufficient opportunities, thus encouraging many of the young educated to travel abroad.

Lebanon has forty-one nationally accredited universities, several of which are internationally recognized. The American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 (AUB) and the Université Saint-Joseph
Université Saint-Joseph
Saint Joseph University is a private Catholic higher institute of education founded by the Jesuits in 1875 in Beirut, Lebanon, known for its school of medicine and its hospital, Hôtel-Dieu de France. The Lebanese state officially recognizes the university and the diplomas it grants in accord with...

 (USJ) were the first Anglophone and the first Francophone universities to open in Lebanon, respectively. Another prestigious and internationally recognized university is the Lebanese American University
Lebanese American University
The Lebanese American University is a secular, private and independent American university located in Lebanon...

 (LAU). The Lebanese American University
Lebanese American University
The Lebanese American University is a secular, private and independent American university located in Lebanon...

 is composed of two campuses, one in Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 and the other in Byblos
Byblos
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

. Universities in Lebanon, both public and private, largely operate in French or English.

The American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 is one of the highest-ranked and oldest universities in the Middle East. In 1862 American missionaries in Lebanon and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, asked Dr. Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss was the founder of the American University of Beirut.-Life and Work:...

 to establish a college of higher learning that would include medical training. On 24 April 1863, while Dr. Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss was the founder of the American University of Beirut.-Life and Work:...

 was raising money for the new college in the United States and England, the State of New York granted a charter for the Syrian Protestant College. The college, which was renamed the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 in 1920, opened with a class of 16 students on 3 December 1866. Dr. Bliss served as its first president, from 1866 until 1902. The American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 (AUB) has been accredited as an institution since 2004 by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Tel. 267-284-5000). AUB’s accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in June 2009, after the completion of an extensive self-study that was reviewed by educational experts chosen in consultation with Middle States. The University’s next full accreditation cycle is due in 2018–19. Over the last several years, a number of University programs and faculties have also sought accreditation with more specialized bodies. The Faculty of Health Sciences’ Graduate Public Health program became the first such program to be accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health
Council on Education for Public Health
The Council on Education for Public Health is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health as well as certain programs offered in settings other than in schools of public health...

 (CEPH) outside of North America. Similarly, the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing became the first nursing school beyond American territories to have BSN and MSN programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is an autonomous nursing education accrediting agency that contributes to the improvement of the public's health. The CCNE is recognized by the U.S...

 (CCNE). In April 2009, undergraduate and graduate programs at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business were accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business was founded in 1916 to accredit schools of business worldwide. The first accreditations took place in 1919. The stated mission is to advance quality management education worldwide through accreditation and thought leadership. It is regarded...

 (AACSB). Most recently, in July 2010, four undergraduate Engineering programs at AUB’s Faculty of Engineering and Architecture were accredited by ABET Inc. (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
ABET, Inc., formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, is a non-profit organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology...

). In general, the accreditation process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of a university, faculty, or program, confirming that it is worthy of public confidence. AUB has been registered with and recognized by the New York State Education Department
New York State Education Department
The New York State Education Department is the state education department in New York. It is part of the University of the State of New York , one of the most complete, interconnected systems of educational services in the United States...

 (NYSED) since 1863. Its degrees are recognized by the Lebanese government through the equivalence committees of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

At the English universities, students who have graduated from an American-style high school program enter at the freshman
Freshman
A freshman or fresher is a first-year student in secondary school, high school, or college. The term first year can also be used as a noun, to describe the students themselves A freshman (US) or fresher (UK, India) (or sometimes fish, freshie, fresher; slang plural frosh or freshmeat) is a...

 level to earn their baccalaureate equivalence from the Lebanese Ministry of Higher Education. This qualifies them to continue studying at the higher levels. Such students are required to have already taken the SAT I and the SAT II upon applying to college, in lieu of the official exams. On the other hand, students who have graduated from a school that follows the Lebanese educational system are directly admitted to the sophomore year. These students are still required to take the SAT I, but not the SAT II. The university academic degrees for the first stage are the Bachelor or the Licence
Licentiate
Licentiate is the title of a person who holds an academic degree called a licence. The term may derive from the Latin licentia docendi, meaning permission to teach. The term may also derive from the Latin licentia ad practicandum, which signified someone who held a certificate of competence to...

, for the second stage are the Master or the DEA
DEA (former French degree)
A Master of Advanced Studies is a non-consecutive postgraduate degree awarded predominantly in European countries. A MAS program offers comprehensive training in a specific field and can either give access to higher qualification in one's profession or lead to a new profession...

 and the third stage is the doctorate.

The United Nations assigned Lebanon an education index of 0.871 in 2008. The index, which is determined by the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary gross enrollment ratio, ranked the country 88th out of the 177 countries participating.

Demographics



Identifying all Lebanese as ethnically Arab is a widely employed example of panethnicity
Panethnicity
Panethnicity is the grouping together, and collective labeling, of various independently distinguishable, self-identified and self-sustained ethnicities into one all-encompassing group of people.Often labels of panethnicity group together people of different nationalities and/or ethnicities that...

 since in reality, the Lebanese “are descended from many different peoples who have occupied, invaded, or settled this corner of the world,” making Lebanon, “a mosaic of closely interrelated cultures”. While at first glance, this ethnic, linguistic, religious and denominational diversity might seem to cause civil and political unrest, “for much of Lebanon’s history this multitudinous diversity of religious communities has coexisted with little conflict”.

The population of Lebanon was estimated to be 4,125,247 in July 2010, however no official census has been taken since 1932 due to the sensitive confessional political balance
Confessionalism (politics)
Confessionalism is a system of government that refers to de jure mix of religion and politics. It can mean distributing political and institutional power proportionally among religious communities.-Debate:...

 between Lebanon's various religious groups.

Population projection


Lebanese fertility declined from 4.23 in 1978 to within decimal points of the 2.1 children per woman level in 2000, and this was because "most of the female population [fell] into the better-educated groups", making Lebanon's fertility rate the lowest in the Arabic-speaking world.

US Census Bureau, 2010 est. :
  • 2020: 4,459,000
  • 2030: 4,512,000
  • 2040: 4,498,000
  • 2050: 4,389,000

United Nations, 2010 est. :
  • 2020: 4,617,000
  • 2030: 4,713,000
  • 2040: 4,655,000
  • 2050: 4,414,000
  • 2060: 4,211,000
  • 2070: 4,113,000
  • 2080: 4,090,000
  • 2090: 3,989,000
  • 2100: 3,870,000

Religion



Lebanon's population is estimated to be 59.7% Muslim: 40% Shia 21% Sunni 5.7% Other (Shia, Sunni, Isma'ilite, Alawite, or Nusayri and non—Muslims with similar beliefs to the Muslim such as Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

), 39% Christian: (Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. The Melkites, Byzantine Rite Catholics of mixed Eastern Mediterranean and Greek origin, trace their history to the early Christians of Antioch, Syria, of...

, Armenian Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syriac Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean
Chaldean
Chaldean may refer to:* Historical Babylon, in particular in a Hellenistic context* Chaldea, "the Chaldees", Hellenistic designation for a part of Babylon...

, Assyrian
Assyrian
-In antiquity:*ancient Assyria**the Old Assyrian period **the Middle Assyrian period **the Neo-Assyrian period *Either of two provinces of the Persian Empire:**Achaemenid Assyria...

, Copt
Copt
The Copts are the native Egyptian Christians , a major ethnoreligious group in Egypt....

, Protestant), and 1.3% other. Over the past 60 years, there has been a steady decline in the number of Christians as compared to Muslims, due to higher emigration rates among Christians, and a higher birth rate among the Muslim population. The most recent study conducted by Statistics Lebanon, a Beirut-based research firm, found that approximately 20% of the population was Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, 40% Shi'a, 21% Maronite
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, 5% Greek Catholic, and 7% other Christian sects. There are 18 state-recognized religious sects – 4 Muslim, 12 Christian, 1 Druze, and 1 Jewish.
The Shi'a community is estimated to be 27% of Lebanon's total population, and is often described as being the largest of Lebanon's Muslim communities, or the largest of the 18 recognized religious sects in Lebanon. Shi'a residents primarily live in South Beirut, the Beqaa Valley
Beqaa Valley
The Beqaa Valley is a fertile valley in east Lebanon. For the Romans, the Beqaa Valley was a major agricultural source, and today it remains Lebanon’s most important farming region...

, and southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

.

The Sunni community is estimated to be 27% of Lebanon's total population. Sunni residents primarily live in West Beirut, the southern coast of Lebanon, and northern Lebanon.

The Maronite community is estimated to be approximately 21% of Lebanon's total population. Maronite residents tend to live in East Beirut and the mountains of Lebanon. They are the largest Christian community in Lebanon.

The Greek orthodox community is estimated to be approximately 8% of Lebanon's total population. Greek orthodox residents primarily live in Koura, Beirut, Zahleh, Rachaya, Matn, Aley, Akkar, Tripoli, Hasbaya and Marjeyoun. They are the second largest Christian community in Lebanon and the 4th largest religious community in the country.

Language


Article 11 of Lebanon's Constitution states that "Arabic is the official national language. A law determines the cases in which the French language may be used". The majority of Lebanese people speak Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese or Lebanese Arabic is a variety of Levantine Arabic, indigenous to and spoken primarily in Lebanon, with significant linguistic influences borrowed from other Middle Eastern and European languages, and is in some ways unique from other varieties of Arabic...

, while formal Arabic is mostly used in magazines, newspapers, and formal broadcast media. Almost 40% of Lebanese are considered francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

, and another 15% "partial francophone," and 70% of Lebanon's secondary school use French as a second language of instruction. By comparison, English is used as a secondary language in 30% of Lebanon's secondary schools. The use of French is a legacy of the post-World War I League of Nations mandate over Lebanon given to France; as of 2004, some 20% of the population used French on a daily basis.

English is increasingly used in science and business interactions, but French is still the language generally used by intellectuals. Lebanese people of Armenian, Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

, or Greek
Greek diaspora
The Greek diaspora, also known as Hellenic Diaspora or Diaspora of Hellenism, is a term used to refer to the communities of Greek people living outside the traditional Greek homelands, but more commonly in southeast Europe and Asia Minor...

 descent often speak Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

, Neo-Aramaic, or Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 with varying degrees of fluency. There are currently around 150,000 Armenians in Lebanon, or around 5% of the population.

Diaspora


Millions of people of Lebanese descent
Lebanese diaspora
Lebanese diaspora refers to Lebanese migrants and their descendants who by choice or coercion emigrated from Lebanon and now reside in other countries....

 are spread throughout the world, mostly Christians, especially in Latin America. Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 has the largest expatriate population. See Lebanese Brazilian
Lebanese Brazilian
A Lebanese Brazilian is a Brazilian person of full, partial, or predominantly Lebanese ancestry, or a Lebanese-born person immigrant in Brazil....

. Large numbers of Lebanese migrated to West Africa, particularly in the Ivory Coast (home to over 100,000 Lebanese) and Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 (roughly 30,000 Lebanese). Australia is home to over 270,000 Lebanese (1999 est.).

Refugees


As of 2007, Lebanon was host to over 375,000 refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s and asylum seekers: 270,800 Palestinians, 50,000 from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and 4,500 from Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. Lebanon forcibly repatriated more than 300 refugees and asylum seekers in 2007.

In the last three decades, lengthy and destructive armed conflicts have ravaged the country. The majority of Lebanese have been affected by armed conflict; those with direct personal experience include 75% of the population, and most others report suffering a range of hardships. In total, almost the entire population (96%) has been affected in
some way – either personally or because of the wider consequences of armed conflict.

Overview




The area including modern Lebanon has been home to various civilizations and cultures for thousands of years. Originally home to the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns, and then subsequently conquered and occupied by the Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

ns, the Persians, the Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, the Arabs, the Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

 and most recently the French, Lebanese culture has over the millennia evolved by borrowing from all of these groups. Lebanon's diverse population, composed of different ethnic and religious groups, has further contributed to the country's festivals, musical styles and literature as well as cuisine. When compared to the rest of the Southwest Asia, Lebanese society as a whole is well educated and 91% of the population was literate. Despite the ethnic, linguistic, religious and denominational diversity of the Lebanese, they “share an almost common culture. . . .”. Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese Arabic
Lebanese or Lebanese Arabic is a variety of Levantine Arabic, indigenous to and spoken primarily in Lebanon, with significant linguistic influences borrowed from other Middle Eastern and European languages, and is in some ways unique from other varieties of Arabic...

 is universally spoken while food, music, and literature are deep-rooted “in wider Mediterranean and Levantine norms. . . .”. Lebanese society is very modern and similar to certain cultures of Mediterranean Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

 as the country is "linked ideologically and culturally to Europe through France, and its uniquely diverse ethnic and religious composition [create] a rare environment that [is] at once Arab and European. It is often considered as Europe's gateway to Western Asia as well as Asia's gateway to the Western World.

Arts and literature



By the turn of the 20th century, Beirut was vying with Cairo to be the major center for modern Arab thought, with many newspapers, magazines and literary societies. Additionally, Beirut became a thriving epicenter of Armenian culture with varied productions that was exported to the Armenian diaspora.

In literature, Khalil Gibran
Khalil Gibran
Khalil Gibran Jubrān Khalīl Jubrān,Jibrān Khalīl Jibrān, or Jibrān Xalīl Jibrān; Arabic , January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) also known as Kahlil Gibran, was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer...

, who was born in Bsharri
Bsharri
Bsharri , is a Lebanese town at about 1,450 m of altitude, near the Kadisha Valley. It is located at , in the Bsharri District of the North Governorate. Bsharri is the town of the only remaining Original Cedars of Lebanon...

, is particularly known for his book The Prophet
The Prophet (book)
The Prophet is a book of 26 poetic essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is Gibran's best known work...

, which has been translated into more than twenty different languages. Several contemporary Lebanese writers have also achieved international success; including Elias Khoury, Amin Maalouf
Amin Maalouf
Amin Maalouf , born 25 February 1949 in Beirut, is a Lebanese-born French author. Although his native language is Arabic, he writes in French, and his works have been translated into many languages. He received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for his novel The Rock of Tanios...

, Hanan al-Shaykh
Hanan al-Shaykh
Hanan al-Shaykh is a Lebanese author of contemporary Arab women's literature.- Biography :Hanan al-Shaykh's family background is that of a strict Shi'a...

, and Georges Schehadé
Georges Schehadé
Georges Schehadé was a Lebanese playwright and poet writing in French.-Life and career:Georges Schehadé was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in a Greek orthodox family but spent most of his life in Beirut, Lebanon...

.

In art, Moustafa Farroukh
Moustafa Farroukh
Moustafa Farroukh was one of Lebanon's most prominent painters of the 20th century. During his famed career, Farroukh produced over 2000 paintings most of which were acquired by collectors both in Lebanon and abroad...

 was one of Lebanon's most prominent painters of the 20th century. Formally trained in Rome and Paris, he exhibited in venues from Paris to New York to Beirut over his career.

Many more interesting and contemporary artists are currently active, such as Walid Raad
Walid Raad
Walid Raad is a contemporary media artist. The Atlas Group is a fictional collective, the work of which is produced by Walid Raad....

 a contemporary media artist currently residing in New York.

Two contemporary art exhibition centers, the Beirut Art Center (located in an industrial building painted in white near the Beirut river) and the Beirut Exhibition center (a very modern glass structure) in the BIEL area reflect the vibrant Lebanese contemporary art scene. These two centers are intended to host exhibitions and are a must in the world of international as well as local contemporary art.

Many art galleries also testify to the liveliness of the local art scene, exhibiting the works of new and talented artists such as Ayman Baalbaki, Akram Zaatari, Marwan Sahmarani, Nadim Asfar, Lamia Joreige, Jean Marc Nahas and many others.

These galleries are run by passionate gallerists such as Saleh Barakat (Agial), Neyla Kettaneh Kunigk, Fadi Mogabgab, Galerie Janine Rubeiz or the resounding Ayyam gallery whose owner is a Syrian national, one of the promoters of artistic renewal in this neighboring country.

Located in Foch Street in the Solidere
Solidere
Solidere s.a.l. is a Lebanese joint-stock company in charge of planning and redeveloping Beirut Central District following the conclusion, in 1990, of the country’s devastating civil war...

 area, FFA Private Bank
FFA Private Bank
FFA Private Bank is a financial services provider in Beirut, Lebanon specializing in the fields of Capital Markets and Wealth Management.Founded in 1994 as a Financial Brokerage House by Jean Riachi, FFA was granted a banking license in 2007 by Lebanon's Central Bank .The Bank also operates from...

 is home to many temporary exhibitions of contemporary local artists as well as to a
permanent display of paintings by Lebanese artists (Sahmarani, Baalbaki, Hannibal Srouji...) or foreign artists such as Fabienne Arietti's "Nasdaq".
At the entrance of the bank's building (typical of the architecture of the old Beirut with a futuristic interior design), visitors are greeted by a strange security guard, piece of work from "ultra-realistic" New York sculptor Marc Sijan.

A Jean Dubuffet's huge sculpture can also be seen when visiting the atrium of Bank Audi
Bank Audi
Bank Audi S.A.L. is Lebanon's largest bank in terms of both customer deposits and total assets. Its roots date back to 1830, when Hanna Audi inherited his father's exchange business....

 Plaza, located in a beautiful contemporary building designed by Kevin Dash. By Strolling through the streets of the city one can find some interesting works such as sculptures of Michel Basbous in the Bank of Lebanon street.

Another initiative is Ashkal alwan, a Lebanese association for plastic arts and a platform for the creation and exchange of artistic practices.

It was founded by Christine Tohme, Marwan Rechmaoui, Rania Tabbara, Mustapha Yamout and Leila Mroueh Initially, Ashkal Alwan promoted and introduced the work of artists who have been engaged in critical art practices within the context of post-war Lebanon.

The Home Works Forum is a multidisciplinary platform that takes place in Beirut, Lebanon about every other year. it has evolved into one of the most vibrant platforms for research and exchange on cultural practices in the region and beyond.

The main languages being taught in schools and universities are listed as: Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, French and English.


Festivals


Music festivals, often hosted at historical sites, are a customary element of Lebanese culture. Among the most famous are Baalbeck International Festival
Baalbeck International Festival
The Baalbeck International Festival is the oldest and best-known cultural event in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Since 1955, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have flocked to the city of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon to attend the annual festival...

, Byblos International Festival
Byblos International Festival
The Byblos international festival is one of the biggest Lebanese festivals which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world to the shores of Lebanon,to Byblos first city in Phoenicia founded around 5000BC.-HISTORY:...

, Beiteddine International Festival
Beiteddine Festival
The Beiteddine Festival is an annual summer festival that takes place in Beiteddine Palace in Beiteddine, Lebanon. It was established in 1984 with local artistic performances and it gradually started having regional and international performances...

, Broumana Festival, Batroun Festival, Dhour Chwer Festival and Tyr Festival. These festivals are promoted by Lebanon's Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism (Lebanon)
The Ministry of Tourism is a government ministry of Lebanon. It originates from the Lebanon Tourism Service created in the 1930s as part of the Ministry of National Economy.-History:...

, Lebanon Hosts about 15 Concerts from International Performers Each Year Ranking Number one for Nightlife in the Middle east and 6th Worldwide.

Holidays



Lebanon has Christian and Muslim holidays; national
Public holiday
A public holiday, national holiday or legal holiday is a holiday generally established by law and is usually a non-working day during the year....

 holidays are also observed.

National flag



The national flag of Lebanon, created shortly after independence in 1943, consists of three horizontal bands; the top and bottom bands are red and of equivalent size, each consisting of 1/4 of the flag's surface, while the larger, middle band is white with a green cedar tree fixed at its center and consists of 1/2 of the flag's surface. The cedar tree
Lebanon Cedar
Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean region.There are two distinct types that are considered to be different subspecies or varieties. Lebanon cedar or Cedar of Lebanon Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean...

, an emblem of Lebanon, symbolizes survival, the white band symbolises the eternal snow on its mountain peaks and the peace that Lebanon seeks. Red symbolizes the blood shed for independence. The top and bottom of the cedar touch the edge of both red bands.

Music



Music is pervasive in Lebanese society. While traditional folk music remains popular in Lebanon, modern music reconciling Western and traditional Arabic styles, pop, and fusion
Fusion (music)
A fusion genre is music that combines two or more styles. For example, rock and roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The main characteristics of fusion genres are variations in tempo, rhythm, i a sometimes the use of long musical "journeys" that can be divided...

 are rapidly advancing in popularity. Radio stations feature a variety of music, including traditional Lebanese, classical Arabic, Armenian and modern French, English, American, and Latin
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 tunes. Prominent traditional musicians include Fairuz
Fairuz
Nouhad Wadi Haddad , famously known as Fairuz is a Lebanese singer who is widely considered to be the most famous living singer in the Arab world and one of the best known of all time...

, an icon during the civil war
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

, Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

, Wadih El Safi
Wadih El Safi
Wadih El Safi is a Lebanese singer songwriter, and actor of Assyrian/Syriac background. He is a Lebanese cultural icon, and is often called the "Voice of Lebanon"...

, Majida El Roumi
Majida El Roumi
Magida El-Roumi was born in Kfarshima, Lebanon, on December 13, 1956. She is a Lebanese singer and a soprano, who started her musical career in the early 1970s when she participated in the talent show, Studio El Fan on Télé Liban and won the gold medal for best female singer...

, and Najwa Karam
Najwa Karam
Najwa Karam is a Multi-Platinum, Best-Selling Lebanese Arab recording artist and Philanthropist. Najwa, widely known for her Mawwal and other musical talents, has surpassed musical and political limits in building her Empire, as she has effectively helped change the Arabic music industry in its...

 who built an international audience for the genre. Marcel Khalife
Marcel Khalife
Marcel Khalife is a Lebanese composer, singer and oud player. From 1970 to 1975, he taught at the conservatory in Beirut. In 1976, he created Al Mayadeen Ensemble and became famous all over the world for songs like Ummi , Rita w'al-Bunduqiya and Jawaz al-Safar , based on Mahmoud Darwish's...

, a musician who blends classical Arab music with modern sounds, boasts immense popularity for his politically charged lyrics. Distinguished pop artists include Nancy Ajram
Nancy Ajram
Nancy Nabil Ajram is a multi-platinum Lebanese singer and Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. With the support of her father, Nancy began performing as a child and released her first studio album by the age of 15...

, Haifa Wehbe
Haifa Wehbe
Haifa Wehbe born in Mahrouna, Lebanon on March 10, 1976 is a Lebanese model, actress, and singer born to a Lebanese father and Egyptian mother who rose to fame in the Arab world as runner up for Miss Lebanon and later through the release of her debut album Houwa El-Zaman in 2002...

, The 4 Cats
The 4 Cats
The 4 Cats is a Lebanese band made up of four ladies: Dalida, Maya, Raya and Aline. They are also called, 4 Cats. The band is famous for singing oldies in Arabic. The members in the band have changed frequently.- Beginning of the band 1998 :...

—an all-female group—, Fadl Shaker
Fadl Shaker
Fadl Shaker is a famous Lebanese singer.-Personal life:Fadl Shaker, was born on April 1, 1969 in Saida , a city in Southern Lebanon...

, Elissa
Elissa (singer)
Elissar Zakaria Khoury simply known as Elissa is a Lebanese singer. She is known for her collaborations with well-known Arab and international artists, notably Ragheb Alama, Cheb Mami, Fadl Shaker, Chris DeBurgh and Gerard Ferrer.Born to a Lebanese father and a Syrian mother , her debut was in...

 and Mika
Mika (singer)
Mika is a British singer-songwriter.After recording his first extended play, Dodgy Holiday EP, Mika released his first full-length studio album, Life in Cartoon Motion, on Island Records in 2007. Life in Cartoon Motion sold more than 5.6 million copies worldwide and helped Mika win a Brit...

.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization
The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world"....

, Lebanon's music industry is growing and could attain leading status in the region. Lebanese performers are celebrated throughout the Arab World, and with the notable exception of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 enjoy increasing regional popularity. Rising demand for Arabic music outside Western Asia has provided Lebanese artists with a small but significant global audience. However, widespread piracy continues to inhibit the music industry's growth.

Sports


Both summer and winter sports thrive in Lebanon because of the unique geography. In autumn and spring, for example, it is possible to go skiing in the morning and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 in the afternoon. At the competitive level, basketball and football are among Lebanon’s most popular sports. In recent years, Lebanon has hosted the AFC Asian Cup
AFC Asian Cup
The AFC Asian Cup is an international association football tournament run by the Asian Football Confederation . It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América. The winning team becomes the champion of Asia and automatically qualifies for the FIFA...

 and the Pan Arab Games
Pan Arab Games
The Arab Games are a regional multi-sport event held between nations from the Arab World. They are organized by the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees. The first Games took place in 1953 in Alexandria, Egypt. Intended to be held every four years since, political turmoil as well as financial...

.

Lebanon has six ski resorts
Skiing in Lebanon
Skiing in Lebanon has been a popular sport since an engineering student returning from studying in Switzerland brought back with him the sport of skiing to Lebanon in the early twentieth century.-Overview:...

, with opportunities also available for cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a winter sport in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles...

, snowshoe
Snowshoe
A snowshoe is footwear for walking over the snow. Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person's foot does not sink completely into the snow, a quality called "flotation"....

ing, and snowmobiling
Snowmobile
A snowmobile, also known in some places as a snowmachine, or sled,is a land vehicle for winter travel on snow. Designed to be operated on snow and ice, they require no road or trail. Design variations enable some machines to operate in deep snow or forests; most are used on open terrain, including...

. In the summer, skilifts can be used to access hiking trails, with views stretching as far as Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 to the west and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to the east on clear days. Canoeing
Canoeing
Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

, cycling, rafting
Rafting
Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this...

, climbing
Climbing
Climbing is the activity of using one's hands and feet to ascend a steep object. It is done both for recreation and professionally, as part of activities such as maintenance of a structure, or military operations.Climbing activities include:* Bouldering: Ascending boulders or small...

, swimming, sailing and caving
Caving
Caving—also occasionally known as spelunking in the United States and potholing in the United Kingdom—is the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems...

 are among the other common leisure sports in Lebanon. Adventure and extreme sports are also possible throughout the country. The Beirut Marathon
Beirut Marathon
The Beirut International Marathon is an annual event in Beirut. The first ever BIM was held on October 19, 2003 and attracted over 6,000 runners from 49 different countries and tens of thousands of spectators in Lebanon and around the world...

 is held every fall, drawing top runners from Lebanon and abroad. Race day is promoted as a fun, family event, and it has become a tradition for many to participate in costumes or outlandish clothing.

But the most important of sports, and the most popular in Lebanon is basketball, as the Lebanese National Team
Lebanon national basketball team
The Lebanon national basketball team is the basketball team representing Lebanon in international competitions.-History:The first time basketball was ever played in Lebanon was in the mid-1920s in the American University of Beirut...

 prevailed to qualify for the FIBA World Championship
FIBA World Championship
The FIBA World Championship is an international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation , the sport's global governing body...

 3 times in a row. Considered as one of the basketball power houses in Asia, Lebanon was able to defeat strong teams like Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 and shell-shock France in what was considered to be the upset of the tournament, throwing an amazing encounter proving to be one of the most competitive teams. In 2010 FIBA World Championship
2010 FIBA World Championship
The 2010 FIBA World Championship, hosted by Turkey, was the international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams. The tournament ran from August 28 to September 12, 2010. It was co-organized by the International Basketball Federation , Turkish Basketball Federation and the...

, Lebanon defeated Canada national men's basketball team but failed to qualify to the second round. Fadi El Khatib
Fadi El Khatib
Fadi El Khatib , born January 1, 1979, is a Lebanese basketball player currently playing for Champville SC in the Lebanese Basketball League...

 is considered to be the best Lebanese basketball player of all time.
Dominant Basketball teams in Lebanon are Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut, also known as Riyadi Club and Sporting Club is a Lebanese Basketball club based in Raouché, Beirut where both men's and women's tournaments are held every year....

, who are the current Arab champions, Club Sagesse
Hekmeh
Hekmeh SC, or Hekmeh Sports Club also known by its French synonym Sagesse or Club Sagesse or Club Sportif Sagesse is a multi-sports club in Lebanon....

 who were able to earn the Asian and Arab championships before, along with Champville SC
Champville SC
Champville SC or Champville Maristes Sports and Basketball Club Champville SC competes in the Lebanese Basketball League 1st division.-History:* Lebanese League Semifinals -02, 06, 07* Lebanese Cup Winner -04, 10...

, Al Mouttahed Tripoli
Al Mouttahed Tripoli
Al Muttahed also known by its name United Club Tripoli is a Lebanese sports club most known for its basketball program playing in top division for men and women. It is located Tripoli, Lebanon...

, and Hoops Club
Hoops Club
Hoops Club is a Lebanese sports club most known for its basketball program. It is located in Beirut, Lebanon, with further branches in Antelias, Tyre and Southern suburb of Beirut....

,and Byblos
Byblos
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

.

Dance is also a popular activity in Lebanon that may fall under the category of 'sports'.

Lebanon hosted the 2009 Jeux de la Francophonie
2009 Jeux de la Francophonie
The 2009 Jeux de la Francophonie, also known as VIèmes Jeux de la Francophonie, were held from September 27 to October 6 in Beirut, Lebanon.-Organization:...

 from 27 September to 6 October.

Prominent Lebanese bodybuilders include Samir Bannout
Samir Bannout
Samir Hassan Bannout is an IFBB professional bodybuilder.-Biography:Known as "the Lion of Lebanon", Samir Bannout won the Mr. Olympia title in 1983. At that time, only 6 men had held this most prestigious title since the contest was first introduced in 1965...

, Mohammad Bannout
Mohammad Bannout
Mohammad Ali Bannout , informally referred to as Moe Bannout, is a Lebanese IFBB professional bodybuilder...

 and Ahmad Haidar
Ahmad Haidar
Ahmad Ali Haidar is an IFBB professional bodybuilder.Ahmad is nicknamed, "Abzilla", due to his developed abdominals. He first started competing in professional bodybuilding in 1997 by competing in the World Championships, where he placed 1st. His first IFBB competition was the Mr. Olympia of...

.

Rugby league
Rugby league in Lebanon
Rugby league is a team sport that has been played in Lebanon since 2002.The seeds of rugby league in Lebanon in fact lie in Australia. A group of Australian-born rugby league players with Lebanese heritage, mostly from inner-city Sydney formed a side with a view to entering the 2000 Rugby League...

 has enjoyed growth in Lebanon with a seven team domestic competition. An international team made up of domestic players recently played a two match tour in Dubai. The Lebanon national rugby league team
Lebanon national rugby league team
The Lebanon national rugby league team is the representative side of Lebanon in rugby league football. They are nicknamed "The Cedars" after the Lebanon Cedar tree, which is also on the Lebanese flag. The team has been participating in international competition since 1998 and has quickly became one...

 took part in the 2009 European Cup. After narrowly failing to qualify for the final, the team defeated Ireland
Ireland national rugby league team
The Ireland national rugby league team, known as the Wolfhounds, represent the island of Ireland in rugby league football. The team is organized by Rugby League Ireland and are accredited as an affiliate member of the Rugby League International Federation...

 to finish 3rd in the tournament.

Hazem El Masri
Hazem El Masri
Hazem El Masri is a Lebanese-Australian retired professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. An Australia and Lebanon international, and New South Wales State of Origin representative winger, he played his entire club football career with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs with...

, who is the National Rugby League
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. The NRL's main competition, called the Telstra Premiership , is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand...

's all time highest points scorer, moved from Lebanon to Australia as a child and has represented Lebanon at international level, including playing at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup
Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league competition contested by members of the Rugby League International Federation . It has been held nearly once every 4 years on average since its inaugural tournament in France in 1954...


Theatre



Theatre has existed in Lebanon since the first musical plays of Maroun Naccache, which were written and performed in the mid-1800s and are considered the birth of modern Arab theatre.

Media


Lebanon is not only a regional center of media production but also the most liberal and free in the Arab world. According to Press freedom's Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

, "the media have more freedom in Lebanon than in any other Arab country". Despite its small population and geographic size, Lebanon plays an influential role in the production of information in the Arab world and is "at the core of a regional media network with global implications".

Film



Cinema of Lebanon, according to film critic and historian, Roy Armes, was the only other cinema in the Arabic-speaking region, beside Egypt's, that could amount to a national cinema. Cinema in Lebanon has been in existence since the 1920s, and the country has produced over 500 films.
some of which are:
  • West Beirut
    West Beirut (film)
    West Beirut is a 1998 Lebanese drama film written and directed by Ziad Doueiri.-Plot:In April 1975, civil war breaks out; Beirut is partitioned along a Muslim-Christian line and is divided into East and West Beirut. Tarek is in high school, making Super 8 movies with his friend, Omar...

    – by Ziad Doueiri, released in 1998
  • Mabrouk Again – by Hany Tamba, released in 2000
  • After Shave – by Hany Tamba, received the French César Award
    César Award
    The César Award is the national film award of France, first given out in 1975. The nominations are selected by the members of the Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma....

     for best foreign short film, released in 2005
  • Bosta – by Philippe Aractingi
    Philippe Aractingi
    -Career:Born and raised in Beirut, Aractingi has made more than 40 films throughout his career, ranging from reports and documentaries to more personal and fictional films, all taking place in various countries around the world....

    , released in 2005
  • Under the Bombs
    Under the Bombs
    Under the Bombs is a 2007 Lebanese drama film by the Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi. The film is set in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon War, and follows Zeina , a Lebanese woman who with help of taxi driver Tony tries to locate her son in the chaos that follows the end of the conflict.The...

    – by Philippe Aractingi
    Philippe Aractingi
    -Career:Born and raised in Beirut, Aractingi has made more than 40 films throughout his career, ranging from reports and documentaries to more personal and fictional films, all taking place in various countries around the world....

    , released in 2006
  • Caramel
    Caramel (film)
    Caramel , the first feature film by Lebanese director/actress Nadine Labaki, is a 2007 Lebanese film. The film premiered on May 20 at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, in the Directors' Fortnight section.It ran for the Caméra d'Or....

    – starring and directed by Nadine Labaki
    Nadine Labaki
    Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese actress and director. She is one of the well known directors in the Arabic music video industry...

    , released in 2007
  • Where Do We Go Now?
    Where Do We Go Now?
    Where Do We Go Now? is a 2011 film by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki. The film premiered during the 2011 Cannes Film Festival as part of Un Certain Regard . The film was selected to represent Lebanon for the 84th Academy Awards...

    – starring and directed by Nadine Labaki
    Nadine Labaki
    Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese actress and director. She is one of the well known directors in the Arabic music video industry...

    , released in 2011

Internet


Lebanon was one of the first countries in the Arabic-speaking world to introduce internet and Beirut's newspapers were the first in the region to provide readers with web versions of their newspapers. By 1996, three newspapers from Lebanon were online, Al Anwar, Annahar, and Assafir, and by 2000, more than 200 websites provided news out of Lebanon.

Publishing


The history of publishing in Lebanon dates back to 1610 when the first printing press was established at the Convent of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya
Qozhaya
Qozhaya is located in the Zgharta District in the North Governorate of Lebanon. It belongs to the Lebanese Maronite Order, known as Baladites.-Monastery of Saint Anthony of Qozhaya:...

 in the Kadisha Valley
Kadisha Valley
The Kadisha Valley is a valley that lies within the Becharre and Zgharta Districts of the North Governorate of Lebanon. The valley is a deep gorge carved by the Kadisha River, also known as the Nahr Abu Ali when it reaches Tripoli...

, making its first publication, Qozhaya Psalter -the Bible's book of psalms, which was in both Syriac and Arabic, the first publication in the Middle East. One of the first Arabic-script, printing presses in the region was founded in 1734 at The Convent of St. John in Khinshara where it remained in operation until1899.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, Beirut had become not only a multi-religious, commercial center but also an intellectual one, especially after the establishment of two private, higher education institutes, the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 in 1864 and the Saint Joseph University in 1875, and it was this period that marked the emergence of Beirut's prolific press. Lebanese publishers and journalists, along with Syrians, also played a major role in establishing the Egyptian press in the nineteenth century. After independence, Beirut emerged as the epicenter of publishing in the Arab world, characterized by free and liberal media and literary scenes. In the 1940s, Beirut was home to 39 newspapers as well as 137 periodicals and journals that were published in three languages. Beirut also hosted the first book fair in the Arab world in 1956. By the early sixties, there were close to a hundred publishers and more than 250 printing presses in Lebanon. Armenian publications also flourished in Beirut with over 44 publications, including dailies and periodicals. Authors from Syria, Palestine and elsewhere in the Arab world found refuge in Lebanon's free and liberal publishing industry. Lebanon's press became a huge industry despite the country's small size and has remained a haven for Arabic publishing. The establishment of modern printing presses and sophisticated book distribution channels made Beirut a regional publishing leader, and gave the Lebanese publishers a dominant role in Arab publishing. Lebanon hosts annually two important regional publishing events, the Beirut Book Fair and the Beirut Francophone Book Fair.

Television



Television was introduced in Lebanon in 1959
Timeline of the introduction of television in countries
This is a list of when the first publicly announced television broadcasts occurred in the mentioned countries. Non-public field tests and closed circuit demonstrations are not included....

, with the launch of two privately-owned stations, CLT and Télé Orient that merged in 1977 into Télé Liban
Télé Liban
Télé Liban became the first Lebanese public television network, owned by the Lebanese government. Télé Liban was a result of the merger of two privately-owned stations, CLT and Télé Orient in 1977. Currently, it mainly broadcasts terrestrially throughout Lebanon. TL is the current Lebanese...

. Lebanon has ten national television channels, most channels in Lebanon are affiliated or supported by certain political parties or alliances
Political coalition
A political coalition or political alliance is an agreement for cooperation between different political parties on common political agenda, often for purposes of contesting an election to mutually benefit by collectively clearing election thresholds or otherwise benefiting from characteristics of...

.

Further reading


  • Arkadiusz, Plonka. L’idée de langue libanaise d’après Sa‘īd ‘Aql, Paris, Geuthner, 2004 (French) ISBN 2-7053-3739-3
  • Firzli, Nicola Y. Al-Baath wa-Lubnân [Arabic only] ("The Baath and Lebanon"). Beirut: Dar-al-Tali'a Books, 1973
  • Fisk, Robert. Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon. New York: Nation Books, 2002.
  • Glass, Charles
    Charles Glass
    Charles Glass is an American author, journalist, and broadcaster specializing in the Middle East. He writes regularly for The Spectator, was ABC News chief Middle East correspondent from 1983–93, and has worked as a correspondent for Newsweek and The Observer...

    , "Tribes with Flags: A Dangerous Passage Through the Chaos of the Middle East", Atlantic Monthly Press (New York) and Picador (London), 1990 ISBN 0-436-18130-4
  • Hitti Philip K.
    Philip Khuri Hitti
    Philip Khuri Hitti ,, born in Shimlan, Ottoman Syria, now modern day Lebanon), was a scholar of Islam and introduced the field of Arab culture studies to the United States. He was of Maronite Christian religion....

     History of Syria Including Lebanon and Palestine, Vol. 2 (2002) (ISBN 1-931956-61-8)
  • Holst, Sanford. Phoenicians: Lebanon's Epic Heritage. Los Angeles: Cambridge and Boston Press, 2005.
  • Norton, Augustus R. Amal and the Shi'a: Struggle for the Soul of Lebanon. Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1987.
  • Sobelman, Daniel. New Rules of the Game: Israel and Hizbollah After the Withdrawal From Lebanon, Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel-Aviv University, 2004.
  • Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Salibi, Kamal. A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
  • Schlicht, Alfred. The role of Foreign Powers in the History of Syria and Lebanon 1799–1861 in: Journal of Asian History 14 (1982)


External links


  • Lebanon official government portal