For the words homonymies, to see Lebanon (homonymy).
The Lebanon (rear RTL لبنان, Loubnän) is a country of the the Middle East, formerly the Phénicie antique. It divides its borders with two countries, the Syria, in the East, with 376 km of common border, and Israel, in the South, with 79 km of border. It is bordered by the Mediterranean, in the West, with 240 km of coasts. Beirut is the capital of the Lebanese République . The official language is the Arab and the currency the Lebanese Livre, however, half of Lebanese are French-speaking and the English language is largely used.
Lebanon is strong of its culture, its 18 confessions and its geographical diversity. Moreover, Lebanon is one of the large witnesses of the history of humanity: it was occupied during the centuries by various civilizations. Lebanon is also a political space of tension and nun important like showed it the civil war.
- the official name of the country is Lebanese République . Lebanon comes from the Semitic root white Lubnan meaning, in reference to the snowy coat which recovers the Lebanese mountains in winter, a landscape more than singular in this arid and overdrawn water area which is the the Middle East.
the emblem of the country, which is reproduced on its flag, is the Cèdre Lebanon , ( Cedrus libani Pinacée S). Its wood, imputrescible and very light, was used inter alia with construction of the Temple as Solomon to Jerusalem. It was also used for the phenicians for construction of their legendary ships.
See also: History of Lebanon, chronological History of Lebanon
August 1st In edge of the sea the Mediterranean, the Lebanon was as of the occupation phenician a cultural and commercial crossroads. On its territory, communities of various confessions coexisted as of the first centuries of the Christian era. To the the Middle East, Lebanon thus presented an original face of a State pluriconfessionel, whose development was ensured a long time by a banking system among most powerful the world, which been worth to him the title of Suisse of the Middle East
August 1st Lebanon is a parliamentary republic, governed by the constitution of May 23rd, 1926, which was modified six foix since, most important being the agreements of Taef which reorganizes the division of the capacity between the various religious communities. The constitution stipulates that the President, obligatorily Maronite, are elected by the Parliament (Majlis Al Nuwab or House of Commons) in the majority of the 2/3 and for 6 years. It is not directly re-eligible except modification of article 49 of the Constitution. Its capacities were however reduced to the profit of the 1st Minister since the agreements of Taef. This last must be Moslem sunnite and is responsible in front of the deputies as well as the president for the National Assembly, which must be to him Moslem Shiite. The National Assembly comprises 128 seats, distributed between Christians and Moslems, who are elected by the universal direct suffrage.
Tensions between communities
The Lebanese diaspora as well as the Palestinian establishment in Lebanon are two sources of Community conflicts. The Christians claim the participation of the diaspora mainly Christian in the Lebanese political life while allowing him to exert its right to vote. The sunnites, as for them, encourage the naturalization of Palestinian what would have like consequence to increase the Lebanese number of sunnites considerably. The Shiite community as for it opposes the one and the other of these projects: on the one hand she is opposed to the right to vote of the Lebanese diaspora because that would categorically reinforce the capacity of the Christians in Lebanon and on the other hand she is opposed to naturalization Palestinian because that would represent a gift for the Israeli enemy.
See also: Subdivisions of Lebanon
Lebanon, country of Raising (the Middle East), is a narrow strip of land bordered by the Mediterranean on 240 km of coasts. Length of 250 km and broad of 25 with 60 km, it extends between the Syria on 376 km and Israel in the South on 79 km. Its surface is of 10 452 km ².
ReliefThe relief is very varied: on the 65kms which Lebanon makes, the relief is between 3089m at the top highest and 0m. The mountain occupies most of the territory.
One distinguishes 4 zones successive , parallel to directed the shore:
- the narrow alluvial coastal plain, limited by a coast cut of favorable rock headlands, since Phéniciens, to the installation of ports.
- the solid mass of the Mont Lebanon ( Jabal Lubnan ) is inclined slowly towards the south to the Galileo mounts and culminates with 3.090 meters in Qurna Al-Saouda. Rivers dig deep throats in the mountain. The Western slope is covered with forests of pines and cedars.
- the high interior plain of Bekaa - 900 meters of altitude - irrigated well, is the attic of the area since antiquity, it is prolonged by the Akkar in north. The river Oronte moves towards north and the Litani runs there in direction of the south.
- finally the solid mass of the Anti Lebanon, desert plate installed with 2.300 meters of altitude, is prolonged in the south by the Mont Hermon and constitutes a natural border with the Syria.
ClimateThe harder in mountains, soft Mediterranean climate hot, wet winters with hot and dry summers; the Lebanese mountains know heavy snowfalls.
The most favorable seasons: April-June and September-October. Temperature of the sea around 28° in summer
See also: Economy of Lebanon
On the coast, one cultivates citrus fruits; on the slopes in terrace of the mountains (Lebanon Mounts…) push fruit trees, vine, forests of pines. Bekaa is the field of the irrigated cultures. Following the excessive cuts, the Scrubland and it grazing ground supplanted the forests of cedars.
Before 1975, Lebanon was a money market of great importance and was called Switzerland of the Middle East . One spoke then about prosperity and “Lebanese economic miracle”. Fifteen years of war (1975-1990) ruined the country of the cedar, which today must import 85% of the products of first need, live of an underground economy and must support the burden of a debt and a budget deficit considerable.
The war of July 2006 had heavy consequences on the Lebanese economy, of which all the figures have being re-examined with the fall. The cost of the war and the rebuilding increased the debt of the country; the growth, which should have reached 6% in 2006, should finally be null; the tourist sector again bent…
In an investigation of the IMF classifying 155 countries in term of attractivity, Lebanon arrives in 95e position.
- Tyr : registered with the world heritage of UNESCO. Old port phenician, Roman and Byzantine roads, necropolis, hippodromes Roman, Roman aqueducts, ramparts of the city.
- Anjar : Large palace, ruins of the Mosque, and Petit Palais.
- Baalbek : the Large Citadel, the temple of Bacchus (God of the vine), the Venus temple, the Jupiter temple devoted to 3 divinities (Hadad, God of the paradise, Atargates, its wife and Mercury, their son).
- Beiteddine : known for its palates, its museums and gardens, Beiteddine is one of major tourist attractions of Lebanon.
- Beirut : 5 Roman columns, Roman thermal baths and public baths, today exposed Byzantine mosaics with the National Museum of Beirut, the Large Seraglio, the Othoman Military hospital, the Tower of the Clock, Large Mosque Al-Omari (initially known under the name of Midsummer's Day Cathedral), Zawiyat ibn Al-Arraq (1517), the Mosque Emir Assaf, the Mosque Emir Mounzer, the Greek Cathedral orthodoxe Saint-Georges (1867).
- Bcharré : town of Khalil Gibran. Located in the mountains at 1400 m of altitude, on the edge of the valley of Kadisha. It is near the forest of the thousand-year-old cedars of Lebanon. In Bcharré one practices the Alpine skiing on the snow-covered high mountains and the ski touring in the wooded paths as well as the parapente the summer. One can visit the museum of Gibran to see his fabrics (original). One can also see his tomb as well as a tomb phenician located in the vicinity. While going to the cedars one can come to see the cave of Kadisha and to admire the abundance of water in the area.
- Byblos : this city, true archaeological and tourist “jewel”, with in particular the “primitive Wall” and the foundations of temple Al-Shaped, the 9 tombs royal…
- Deir-el-Qamar : city of the Emirs.
- Tibnine : large castle, principal base of Finul in the south Lebanon.
Jeita : extraordinary caves of Jeita on a distance of 650 meters and two levels.
- Jezzine : one of the oldest cities in Lebanon. It was compared to Phéniciens the attic where they hid their treasures during the wars. Jezzine is the administrative and political center of a caza which extends on a wooded site and often visited by the tourists. Jezzine is famous for its cascade and its cutlery which constitutes a single craft industry in its kind in the world.
- Saida (Sidon) was one of most famous the city-State of Phénicie. But unfortunately, of many elements of its past remain a mystery today because of multiple plunderings and confusions of which it was victim during time.
- Tripoli : the citadel Saint-Gilles, the Church Midsummer's Day, the Large Mosque (1294), the mosque Taynal (1336), mosque Al-Mualaq (middle of the 16th century), the mosque Burtasiyat Madrassa (14th century), the hammam izz ED-Dines (1298) in restoration, the hammam el-Abed (17th century), hammam Al-Jadid or “new bath” (1740), souk Al-haraj (XIVe century), the Tower of the Lion built with (15th century). In the north of Tripoli, Syrian side, the Krak of the Knights.
See also: Demography of Lebanon
Its geographical site, its wealth of water, its mountains dominating the Middle East, its opening over the Mediterranean and its moderated climate, give him an high importance strategic, economic, political and military. Therefore it was the place of a mixing of a multitude of civilizations and cultures.
It is estimated that Lebanon counts a population of 4 million inhabitants. The figures which appear below are not official (there no was Recensement since the Protectorat French in 1932). At the time, there was 55% of Christians compared with 45% of Moslems with sunnite majority.
See also: Culture of Lebanon
Regarded at one time as the Swiss of the Middle East, Lebanon divides with this one, in addition to its mountains and its intensive banking, the refinement which usually develops in the countries being used as cultural and financial turntables.
The reason is inter alia history: those of the Cross ones which had taken taste with the climate of Lebanon and there had made stock learned quickly that Coran prohibited the loan with interest. Eastern Christianity not being opposed to it a its side, and the financing needs existing in all the countries of the world, they thus developed activities of bank and finance, these even which were refused in the East by the Moslems and Occident… by Western Christianity. The Christians thus occupied in Lebanon very exactly the crenel which many Jews in Europe had and which the Protestants will have later there, and that for the same reason: bent frank with respect to the regulations of the dominant religion.
See also: Lebanese Kitchen
See also: Lebanese Literature
See also: Religion in Lebanon, Christian of Lebanon, Moslem of Lebanon
This list relates to only the communities recognized by the State. Other religions exist on the Lebanese ground (exits of immigration) without having official statute. However freedom of worship is recognized including for the religions not enjoying an official statute.
Events and festivals
- the Festival of Lebanese Film
- the international festival of baalbeck
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