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Lebanon officially known as the Lebanese Republic (Arabic: الجمهورية اللبنانية , romanized: It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in.
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He launched an unsuccessful "liberation war" against the presence of Syrian forces in and fled to France in When Syrian troops left in , he returned to form an alliance with pro-Syrian parties. He previously held the post between and , after which he lived outside the country citing safety concerns. In November he sparked a major political crisis by resigning in a televised address which he made in Saudi Arabia.

Lebanon - TeachMideast

A month later he formally withdrew his resignation, saying that all members of the government had agreed to stay out of conflicts in Arab countries. Mr Hariri had made the policy of so-called dissociation a key condition for his remaining as prime minister. Following the assassination of his father and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in , he entered politics and founded the Future Current political party.

He was born in Saudi Arabia in and has spent much of his adult life there. Lebanon's broadcasting scene is developed, lively and diverse, and reflects the country's pluralism and divisions. It was the first Arab country to permit private radio and TV. These outlets dominate the broadcasting scene and air some of the most outspoken TV talk shows in the region. Ministers unveil plans for 40 new hospitals and a new mental health pilot for 12 areas of England.

Middle East. Lebanon country profile 14 May The Lebanese Republic Capital: Beirut. Related Topics Lebanon. More on this story. Anti-Syrian hostility in Lebanon spawns social media backlash. Lebanon dances into the abyss as Syria conflict crosses border. Lebanon's gay-friendly reputation challenged by abuses. Shortly thereafter, Israeli forces withdrew from Lebanon with the exception of forces charged with maintaining security over the southern border with Israel using the South Lebanon Army a surrogate of Israeli forces.

These withdrawals left the Syrian army in power as it began brokering a peace treaty between the major groups in Lebanon. Meanwhile, the civil war continued as Christians and Muslims fought throughout Lebanon to impose their ideal form of a republic. However, a coup occurred within the LF and the new leadership abandoned the agreement. What followed was a long period of conflict, assassinations of political leaders, and eventually the establishment of a military-led government.

The leader of this new government, General Michel Aoun, declared a war against foreign forces within Lebanon and began attacking Syrian positions. This decision resulted in an increase of Syrian troops deployed throughout Lebanon and the devastation of regions controlled by General Aoun. The Lebanese population had become weary of the ceaseless conflict. The Lebanese assembly ordered the dissolution of all militias with the exception of Hezbollah which maintains considerable influence. Lebanon experienced a few years of peace until Israel launched a bombing campaign in targeting Hezbollah forces.

One of these strikes hit a UN base killing over civilians from the U. Investigations into the attack are still ongoing. The Syrian government was initially linked to the attack, which led to the Cedar Revolution. The revolution sparked demonstrations demanding for the removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon as well an end to Syrian political influence in Lebanon.

After 29 years of Syrian military presence, Lebanon forced their departure in April A brief war erupted between Israel and Hezbollah, lasting 34 days and causing, once again, widespread devastation in Lebanon. The Hague continues to accuse Hezbollah forces of being connected to the assassination but the group has not complied with the United Nations investigation.

The violence in the ongoing Syrian civil war spilled into Lebanon as Hezbollah forces provided support to the Assad regime. This continues to spark occasional sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia groups throughout Lebanon. Lebanese identity is more strongly linked to religious affiliation than to ethnicity. The government under the National Pact divides the three important leadership positions President, Prime Minister, and Speaker of the National Assembly among the largest religious groups.

This all-encompassing representation has allowed disagreements between groups to be resolved through political channels rather than through violence. Changing demographics, however—including decreasing numbers of Maronite Christians and increasing numbers of Shia Muslims—have raised questions about the fairness of the National Pact.

This uncertainty has led to several years of governmental breakdown as different sectors have disagreed on the division of power. Additional extensions were issued in and The next elections are scheduled to be held in May after the cabinet approved a new law for a legislative vote that has spared the country another major political crisis surrounding its national pact system.

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The new law will create a proportional representation system for parliament and alter the number of districts from which lawmakers are elected, among other changes. The country was without a president for over two years until Michel Aoun, the former Lebanese army chief, was elected in October Lebanon had been without a head of state for 29 months after Michel Suleiman stepped down as president at the end of his term in May Since then, 45 sessions to elect a new leader failed due to political infighting that led to of a lack of quorum.

Lebanon: The Last Fortress Of Christianity In The Middle East - EWTN Vaticano Full Episode

The current prime minister of Lebanon is part of the politically influential Hariri family. Bassam, L. Islamic State seeking bases inside Lebanon: Lebanon security chief. BBC Lebanon Profile. Gatten, E.

Krayem, H. Certain areas of the Lebanese-Syrian border are currently in dispute. This contention dates back to the French Mandate period; when the two countries declared independence, the borders were not clearly established. Though the area is currently occupied by Israel, both Lebanon and Syria lay claim to it. From to , Hezbollah engaged the Israeli Defense Forces in cross-border skirmishes in the hopes of reclaiming the territory.

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These skirmishes were unsuccessful and the area remains under Israeli administration. Lebanon is also home to many refugees from conflicts in the area. Refugees from the Syrian conflict number over one million, constituting more than a quarter of the population, the largest of any refugee group in the country. The Lebanese government had wanted to remain uninvolved in the conflict and has been hesitant to provide aid.

As a result, no official refugee camps had been formed, however, thousands have been integrated into Palestinian refugee camps, set up makeshift camps, and moved into urban slums throughout Lebanon.

Discrimination against refugees has prevented Palestinians from attaining certain jobs. In , the Lebanese parliament overturned the law restricting Palestinian refugees in the work force; however, non-Lebanese citizens are barred from working as engineers, lawyers and doctors. The Syrian Civil War forced about 47, Palestinians to move to Lebanon from Syria, which put additional strain on the already overcrowded and impoverished camps. According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are about 6, Iraqi refugees present in Lebanon as well, though the exact number may be higher.

Following the civil war, Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily, mostly from domestic banks, which saddled the government with a huge debt burden. Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the s have mostly gone unfulfilled. The economic system is a free-market economy with a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The investment climate suffers from corruption, high taxes, tariffs and fees, and archaic legislation, although foreign investment is not restricted.

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Syrian refugees have increased the labor supply, but are blamed for pushing more Lebanese into unemployment. The population of Lebanon is approximately 6.


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The average life expectancy is Beirut, Tripoli, and Sidon are the most populous cities. There are three levels of education in Lebanon: primary, basic and secondary. Primary education is similar to kindergarten, for ages Basic, divided into two levels, consists of elementary and intermediary. These two groups are for children grades Secondary education is for grades Primary and basic education is mandatory, but much fewer attend secondary school.

On average, children stay in school for 14 years 14 for men, 15 for women. There are 41 nationally accredited universities in Lebanon, including the American University of Beirut AUB , which was the first English-language school to open in the country. In addition to the larger universities, there are smaller technical and vocational schools. Women have equal representation in universities and careers in most specialties. Healthcare in Lebanon is slowly improving after being decimated because of the civil war. Most of the public health infrastructure was destroyed during the conflict, and the Lebanese government has increasingly relied on private facilities to provide healthcare.

The Lebanese government often transfers state hospital patients to private hospitals, which have better resources and technology. Arabic is the official language of Lebanon, but many Lebanese citizens also speak French. English is also becoming increasingly more popular, especially among the young. There are 18 officially recognized religious sects in Lebanon. There are distinct offshoots grouped within those numbers. Christians make up about A Christian monk named Maron began preaching his own interpretation of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which emphasized the connection of all creation with God.

Many subscribed to his teachings, and the Maronite church began to form. There are approximately , Lebanese Maronites according to estimates from In addition, the Druze constitute 5. In the 11th century, Muhammad bin Ismail Nashtakin ad-Darazi founded the Druze religion as an alternative interpretation of Shia Islam. This religious sect emphasizes strict adherence to the unity and transcendence of God and strips away all titles or descriptions of God. There are about 22, Druze in Lebanon; more than , have emigrated in the past several years.

This all-encompassing representation has allowed disagreements between groups to be resolved through politic channels rather than through violence. Lebanese food is massively popular because it is both healthful and delicious.

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History of Lebanon

Lebanese cuisine is generally synonymous with Levantine cuisine. For most of its past, Lebanon was ruled by foreign powers that left lasting influences on Lebanese cuisine. The Ottoman Turks introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese diet, including olive oil, fresh bread, baklava , laban homemade yogurt , stuffed vegetables, and a variety of nuts.

Fruit, vegetables, rice, and bread outweigh the amount of meat eaten in the average Lebanese meal. The national dish, kibbeh or kibbe , consists of a ground meats, spices, and bulgur. The Lebanese diet is centered around herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients. Mint, parsley, thyme, oregano, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the most common seasonings. Rose water is another common flavor used in desserts. Clothing in Lebanon is westernized, particularly in the cities. Early art in Lebanon was influenced by the empire in control of the Levant at any given time, and the many cultures that traded in the area.

Among the earliest people to settle Lebanon were the Phoenicians, who became renowned for their use of royal purple dye in pottery and textiles. Around BCE, Phoenician seal makers adopted the scarab from the Egyptians, for whom it was a symbol of regeneration. The seals were shaped like scarabs while the flat undersides featured carved images of Egyptian and Greek mythology. The Phoenicians were also known for their ivory carvings.

Like the scarab seals, the carvings sometimes featured Egyptian themes with the addition of Phoenician elements. One of the early forms of art indigenous to Lebanon was the creation of religious icons by the Maronite Christians. These icons usually depicted holy objects on a flat painting, but were also made from metal, carved in stone, and embroidered or incorporated into mosaics and frescoes. This form of religious art is still practiced today. One famous iconographer is Christine Habib El-Daye, who specializes in painting.

Many of the early contemporary artists in Lebanon went to European countries for training in classical painting, although this changed in with the establishment of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. One of the early artists was Omar Onsi, an impressionist who helped train later generations of Lebanese artists. Onsi went to France to train further in his art, and upon his return painted watercolors of the Lebanese landscape. Chaouki Chamoun is another well-known Lebanese painter whose work has been featured in New York and Europe.

He often paints large scenes featuring small people, and he leans toward the abstract in many of his works. Raad is known for weaving war narratives into his pictures and addressing the repercussions of civil war and sectarian conflict in Lebanon. As is the case in many Middle Eastern countries, Lebanese music has been influenced by popular genres from around the world but has also retained aspects of traditional music. Dabke is a traditional style of music to which the national dance is performed. It is played using the oud a pear-shaped, guitar-like instrument , a derbake a hand drum and the ney a flute.

Dabke songs are often similar rhythmically, but feature different lyrics depending on the occasion and the dancers. This style remains popular throughout Lebanon, though dabke may vary greatly from community to community.