Lebanon

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This article is about the country. Lebanon_sentence_0

For other uses of "Lebanon", see Lebanon (disambiguation), Liban (disambiguation), and Libnan (disambiguation). Lebanon_sentence_1

Lebanon_table_infobox_0

Lebanese Republic

al-Jumhūrīyah al-LubnānīyahLebanon_header_cell_0_0_0

Capital

and largest cityLebanon_header_cell_0_1_0

BeirutLebanon_cell_0_1_1
Official languagesLebanon_header_cell_0_2_0 ArabicLebanon_cell_0_2_1
Recognised languagesLebanon_header_cell_0_3_0 FrenchLebanon_cell_0_3_1
Local vernacularLebanon_header_cell_0_4_0 Lebanese ArabicLebanon_cell_0_4_1
ReligionLebanon_header_cell_0_5_0 Lebanon_cell_0_5_1
Demonym(s)Lebanon_header_cell_0_6_0 LebaneseLebanon_cell_0_6_1
GovernmentLebanon_header_cell_0_7_0 Unitary parliamentary confessionalist constitutional republicLebanon_cell_0_7_1
PresidentLebanon_header_cell_0_8_0 Michel AounLebanon_cell_0_8_1
Prime MinisterLebanon_header_cell_0_9_0 Hassan DiabLebanon_cell_0_9_1
Speaker of the ParliamentLebanon_header_cell_0_10_0 Nabih BerriLebanon_cell_0_10_1
LegislatureLebanon_header_cell_0_11_0 ParliamentLebanon_cell_0_11_1
EstablishmentLebanon_header_cell_0_12_0
Greater LebanonLebanon_header_cell_0_13_0 1 September 1920Lebanon_cell_0_13_1
ConstitutionLebanon_header_cell_0_14_0 23 May 1926Lebanon_cell_0_14_1
Independence declaredLebanon_header_cell_0_15_0 22 November 1943Lebanon_cell_0_15_1
French mandate endedLebanon_header_cell_0_16_0 24 October 1945Lebanon_cell_0_16_1
Withdrawal of French forcesLebanon_header_cell_0_17_0 17 April 1946Lebanon_cell_0_17_1
Syrian and Israeli occupationsLebanon_header_cell_0_18_0 1976–2005Lebanon_cell_0_18_1
Israeli troops withdrawnLebanon_header_cell_0_19_0 24 May 2000Lebanon_cell_0_19_1
Syrian troops withdrawnLebanon_header_cell_0_20_0 30 April 2005Lebanon_cell_0_20_1
Area Lebanon_header_cell_0_21_0
TotalLebanon_header_cell_0_22_0 10,452 km (4,036 sq mi) (161st)Lebanon_cell_0_22_1
Water (%)Lebanon_header_cell_0_23_0 1.8Lebanon_cell_0_23_1
PopulationLebanon_header_cell_0_24_0
2018 estimateLebanon_header_cell_0_25_0 6,859,408 (109th)Lebanon_cell_0_25_1
DensityLebanon_header_cell_0_26_0 560/km (1,450.4/sq mi) (21st)Lebanon_cell_0_26_1
GDP (PPP)Lebanon_header_cell_0_27_0 2020 estimateLebanon_cell_0_27_1
TotalLebanon_header_cell_0_28_0 $91 billionLebanon_cell_0_28_1
Per capitaLebanon_header_cell_0_29_0 $11,562 (66th)Lebanon_cell_0_29_1
GDP (nominal)Lebanon_header_cell_0_30_0 2020 estimateLebanon_cell_0_30_1
TotalLebanon_header_cell_0_31_0 $18 billion (82nd)Lebanon_cell_0_31_1
Per capitaLebanon_header_cell_0_32_0 $2,745Lebanon_cell_0_32_1
GiniLebanon_header_cell_0_33_0 50.7

highLebanon_cell_0_33_1

HDI (2018)Lebanon_header_cell_0_34_0 0.730

high · 93rdLebanon_cell_0_34_1

CurrencyLebanon_header_cell_0_35_0 Lebanese pound (LBP)Lebanon_cell_0_35_1
Time zoneLebanon_header_cell_0_36_0 UTC+2 (EET)Lebanon_cell_0_36_1
Summer (DST)Lebanon_header_cell_0_37_0 UTC+3 (EEST)Lebanon_cell_0_37_1
Driving sideLebanon_header_cell_0_38_0 rightLebanon_cell_0_38_1
Calling codeLebanon_header_cell_0_39_0 +961Lebanon_cell_0_39_1
ISO 3166 codeLebanon_header_cell_0_40_0 LBLebanon_cell_0_40_1
Internet TLDLebanon_header_cell_0_41_0 .lbLebanon_cell_0_41_1

Lebanon (/ˈlɛbənɒn, -nən/ (listen); Arabic: لبنان‎, romanized: Lubnān, Lebanese Arabic pronunciation: [lɪbˈneːn), officially known as the Lebanese Republic (Arabic: الجمهورية اللبنانية‎, romanized: al-Jumhūrīyah al-Lubnānīyah, Lebanese Arabic pronunciation: [lˈʒʊmhuːrijje lˈlɪbneːnijje), is a country in the Levant region of Western Asia, and the transcontinental region of the Middle East. Lebanon_sentence_2

It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus lies west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon_sentence_3

Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has contributed to its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. Lebanon_sentence_4

At just 10,452 km (4,036 mi), it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent. Lebanon_sentence_5

The official language, Arabic, is the most common language spoken by the citizens of Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_6

The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon_sentence_7

Lebanon was home to the Phoenicians, a maritime culture that flourished for almost three thousand years (c. Lebanon_sentence_8

3200–539 BC). Lebanon_sentence_9

In 64 BC, the Roman Empire conquered the region, and eventually became one of its leading centers of Christianity. Lebanon_sentence_10

The Mount Lebanon range saw the emergence of a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church. Lebanon_sentence_11

As the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their religion and identity. Lebanon_sentence_12

However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. Lebanon_sentence_13

During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome. Lebanon_sentence_14

These ties have influenced the region into the modern era. Lebanon_sentence_15

Lebanon was conquered by the Ottomans in the 16th century and remained under their rule for the next 400 years. Lebanon_sentence_16

Following the empire's collapse after World War I, the five provinces constituting modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate. Lebanon_sentence_17

The French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, which was predominately Maronite and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon_sentence_18

Upon independence in 1943, Lebanon established a unique confessionalist form of government, with the major religious sects apportioned specific political powers. Lebanon_sentence_19

President Bechara El Khoury, prime minister Riad El-Solh, and minister of defence Emir Majid Arslan II are considered the founders of modern Lebanon and national heroes for their role in independence. Lebanon_sentence_20

Lebanon initially enjoyed political and economic stability, which was shattered by the bloody Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) between various political and sectarian factions. Lebanon_sentence_21

The war partially led to military occupations by Syria (1975 to 2005) and Israel (1985 to 2000). Lebanon_sentence_22

Despite Lebanon's small size, Lebanese culture is renowned both in the Arab world and globally, powered by its large and influential diaspora. Lebanon_sentence_23

Prior to the civil war, the country enjoyed a diversified economy that included tourism, agriculture, commerce, and banking. Lebanon_sentence_24

Its financial power and stability through the 1950s and 1960s earned Lebanon the name of "Switzerland of the East", while its capital, Beirut, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". Lebanon_sentence_25

Since the end of the war, there have been extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. Lebanon_sentence_26

While still recovering from the political and economic effects of the conflict, Lebanon remains a cosmopolitan and developing country, with the highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world outside of the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf. Lebanon_sentence_27

Lebanon was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and is a member of the Arab League (1945), the Non-Aligned Movement (1961), Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (1969), and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (1973). Lebanon_sentence_28

Etymology Lebanon_section_0

The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn () meaning "white", apparently from its snow-capped peaks. Lebanon_sentence_29

Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Lebanon_sentence_30

The name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn (𓂋𓏠𓈖𓈖𓈉), where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon_sentence_31

Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit (as opposed to the mountain range) that was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate (Arabic: متصرفية جبل لبنان‎; Turkish: Cebel-i Lübnan Mutasarrıflığı), continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon (Arabic: دولة لبنان الكبير‎ Dawlat Lubnān al-Kabīr; French: État du Grand Liban) in 1920, and eventually in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon (Arabic: الجمهورية اللبنانية‎ al-Jumhūrīyah al-Lubnānīyah) upon its independence in 1943. Lebanon_sentence_32

History Lebanon_section_1

Main article: History of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_33

Geography Lebanon_section_2

Main article: Geography of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_34

Lebanon is located in Western Asia between latitudes 33° and 35° N and longitudes 35° and 37° E. Lebanon_sentence_35

Its land straddles the "northwest of the Arabian plate". Lebanon_sentence_36

The country's surface area is 10,452 square kilometres (4,036 sq mi) of which 10,230 square kilometres (3,950 sq mi) is land. Lebanon_sentence_37

Lebanon has a coastline and border of 225 kilometres (140 mi) on the Mediterranean Sea to the west, a 375 kilometres (233 mi) border shared with Syria to the north and east and a 79 kilometres (49 mi) long border with Israel to the south. Lebanon_sentence_38

The border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights is disputed by Lebanon in a small area called Shebaa Farms. Lebanon_sentence_39

Lebanon is divided into four distinct physiographic regions: the coastal plain, the Lebanon mountain range, the Beqaa valley and the Anti-Lebanon mountains. Lebanon_sentence_40

The narrow and discontinuous coastal plain stretches from the Syrian border in the north where it widens to form the Akkar plain to Ras al-Naqoura at the border with Israel in the south. Lebanon_sentence_41

The fertile coastal plain is formed of marine sediments and river deposited alluvium alternating with sandy bays and rocky beaches. Lebanon_sentence_42

The Lebanon mountains rise steeply parallel to the Mediterranean coast and form a ridge of limestone and sandstone that runs for most of the country's length. Lebanon_sentence_43

The mountain range varies in width between 10 km (6 mi) and 56 km (35 mi); it is carved by narrow and deep gorges. Lebanon_sentence_44

The Lebanon mountains peak at 3,088 metres (10,131 ft) above sea level in Qurnat as Sawda' in North Lebanon and gradually slope to the south before rising again to a height of 2,695 metres (8,842 ft) in Mount Sannine. Lebanon_sentence_45

The Beqaa valley sits between the Lebanon mountains in the west and the Anti-Lebanon range in the east; it is a part of the Great Rift Valley system. Lebanon_sentence_46

The valley is 180 km (112 mi) long and 10 to 26 km (6 to 16 mi) wide, its fertile soil is formed by alluvial deposits. Lebanon_sentence_47

The Anti-Lebanon range runs parallel to the Lebanon mountains, its highest peak is in Mount Hermon at 2,814 metres (9,232 ft). Lebanon_sentence_48

The mountains of Lebanon are drained by seasonal torrents and rivers foremost of which is the 145 kilometres (90 mi) long Leontes that rises in the Beqaa Valley to the west of Baalbek and empties into the Mediterranean Sea north of Tyre. Lebanon_sentence_49

Lebanon has 16 rivers all of which are non navigable; 13 rivers originate from Mount Lebanon and run through the steep gorges and into the Mediterranean Sea, the other three arise in the Beqaa Valley. Lebanon_sentence_50

Climate Lebanon_section_3

Main article: Climate of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_51

Lebanon has a moderate Mediterranean climate. Lebanon_sentence_52

In coastal areas, winters are generally cool and rainy whilst summers are hot and humid. Lebanon_sentence_53

In more elevated areas, temperatures usually drop below freezing during the winter with heavy snow cover that remains until early summer on the higher mountaintops. Lebanon_sentence_54

Although most of Lebanon receives a relatively large amount of rainfall, when measured annually in comparison to its arid surroundings, certain areas in north-eastern Lebanon receives only little because of the rain shadow created by the high peaks of the western mountain range. Lebanon_sentence_55

Environment Lebanon_section_4

Main article: Wildlife of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_56

In ancient times, Lebanon was covered by large forests of cedar trees, the national emblem of the country. Lebanon_sentence_57

Millennia of deforestation have altered the hydrology in Mount Lebanon and changed the regional climate adversely. Lebanon_sentence_58

As of 2012, forests covered 13.4% of the Lebanese land area; they are under constant threat from wildfires caused by the long dry summer season. Lebanon_sentence_59

As a result of longstanding exploitation, few old cedar trees remain in pockets of forests in Lebanon, but there is an active program to conserve and regenerate the forests. Lebanon_sentence_60

The Lebanese approach has emphasized natural regeneration over planting by creating the right conditions for germination and growth. Lebanon_sentence_61

The Lebanese state has created several nature reserves that contain cedars, including the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, the Jaj Cedar Reserve, the Tannourine Reserve, the Ammouaa and Karm Shbat Reserves in the Akkar district, and the Forest of the Cedars of God near Bsharri. Lebanon_sentence_62

In 2010, the Environment Ministry set a 10-year plan to increase the national forest coverage by 20%, which is equivalent to the planting of two million new trees each year. Lebanon_sentence_63

The plan, which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by the U.S. Lebanon_sentence_64 Forest Service (USFS), through the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI), was inaugurated in 2011 by planting cedar, pine, wild almond, juniper, fir, oak and other seedlings, in ten regions around Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_65

As of 2016, forests covered 13.6% of Lebanon, and other wooded lands represented a further 11%. Lebanon_sentence_66

Since 2011, more than 600,000 trees, including cedars and other native species, have been planted throughout Lebanon as part of the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI). Lebanon_sentence_67

Environmental issues Lebanon_section_5

Main article: Marine environmental issues in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_68

Beirut and Mount Lebanon have been facing a severe garbage crisis. Lebanon_sentence_69

After the closure of the Bourj Hammoud dump in 1997, the al-Naameh dumpsite was opened by the government in 1998. Lebanon_sentence_70

The al-Naameh dumpsite was planned to contain 2 million tons of waste for a limited period of six years at the most. Lebanon_sentence_71

It was designed to be a temporary solution, while the government would have devised a long-term plan. Lebanon_sentence_72

Sixteen years later al-Naameh was still open and exceeded its capacity by 13 million tons. Lebanon_sentence_73

In July 2015 the residents of the area, already protesting in the recent years, forced the closure of the dumpsite.The inefficiency of the government, as well as the corruption inside of the waste management company Sukleen in charge of managing the garbage in Lebanon, have resulted in piles of garbage blocking streets in Mount Lebanon and Beirut. Lebanon_sentence_74

In December 2015, the Lebanese government signed an agreement with Chinook Industrial Mining, part owned by Chinook Sciences, to export over 100,000 tons of untreated waste from Beirut and the surrounding area. Lebanon_sentence_75

The waste had accumulated in temporary locations following the government closure of the county's largest land fill site five months earlier. Lebanon_sentence_76

The contract was jointly signed with Howa International which has offices in Holland and Germany. Lebanon_sentence_77

The contract is reported to cost $212 per ton. Lebanon_sentence_78

The waste, which is compacted and infectious, would have to be sorted and was estimated to be enough to fill 2,000 containers. Lebanon_sentence_79

Initial reports that the waste was to be exported to Sierra Leone have been denied by diplomats. Lebanon_sentence_80

In February 2016, the government withdrew from negotiations after it was revealed that documents relating to the export of the trash to Russia were forgeries. Lebanon_sentence_81

On 19 March 2016, the Cabinet reopened the Naameh landfill for 60 days in line with a plan it passed few days earlier to end the trash crisis. Lebanon_sentence_82

The plan also stipulates the establishment of landfills in Bourj Hammoud and Costa Brava, east and south of Beirut respectively. Lebanon_sentence_83

Sukleen trucks began removing piled garbage from Karantina and heading to Naameh. Lebanon_sentence_84

Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk announced during a chat with activists that more than 8,000 tons of garbage had been collected so far as part of the government's trash plan in only 24 hours. Lebanon_sentence_85

The plan's execution is still ongoing. Lebanon_sentence_86

In 2017, Human Rights Watch found that Lebanon's garbage crisis, and open burning of waste in particular, was posing a health risk to residents and violating the state's obligations under international law. Lebanon_sentence_87

In September 2018, Lebanon's parliament passed a law that banned open dumping and burning of waste. Lebanon_sentence_88

Despite penalties set in case of violations, Lebanese municipalities have been openly burning the waste, putting the lives of people in danger. Lebanon_sentence_89

In October 2018, Human Rights Watch researchers witnessed the open burning of dumps in al-Qantara and Qabrikha. Lebanon_sentence_90

Lebanon forest fire 2019 Lebanon_section_6

Main article: Lebanon forest fire 2019 Lebanon_sentence_91

On Sunday 13 October 2019 at night, a series of about 100 forest fires according to Lebanese Civil Defense, broke out and spread over large areas of Lebanon's forests. Lebanon_sentence_92

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri confirmed his contact with a number of countries to send assistance via helicopters and firefighting planes, Cyprus, Jordan, Turkey and Greece participated in firefighting. Lebanon_sentence_93

According to press reports on Tuesday (15 October), fire has decreased in different places due to the rains, after churches and mosques called on citizens to perform raining prayers. Lebanon_sentence_94

Government and politics Lebanon_section_7

Main articles: Politics of Lebanon and Human rights in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_95

Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy that includes confessionalism, in which high-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups. Lebanon_sentence_96

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 and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eastern Orthodox. Lebanon_sentence_97

This system is intended to deter sectarian conflict and to represent fairly the demographic distribution of the 18 recognized religious groups in government. Lebanon_sentence_98

Until 1975, Freedom House considered Lebanon to be one of only two (together with Israel) politically free countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Lebanon_sentence_99

The country lost this status with the outbreak of the Civil War, and has not regained it since. Lebanon_sentence_100

Lebanon was rated "Partly Free" in 2013. Lebanon_sentence_101

Even so, Freedom House still ranks Lebanon as one of the most democratic nations in the Arab world. Lebanon_sentence_102

Until 2005, Palestinians were forbidden to work in over 70 jobs because they did not have Lebanese citizenship. Lebanon_sentence_103

After liberalization laws were passed in 2007, the number of banned jobs dropped to around 20. Lebanon_sentence_104

In 2010, Palestinians were granted the same rights to work as other foreigners in the country. Lebanon_sentence_105

Lebanon's national legislature is the unicameral Parliament of Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_106

Its 128 seats are divided equally between Christians and Muslims, proportionately between the 18 different denominations and proportionately between its 26 regions. Lebanon_sentence_107

Prior to 1990, the ratio stood at 6:5 in favor of Christians; however, the Taif Agreement, which put an end to the 1975–1990 civil war, adjusted the ratio to grant equal representation to followers of the two religions. Lebanon_sentence_108

The Parliament is elected for a four-year term by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation. Lebanon_sentence_109

The executive branch consists of the President, the head of state, and the Prime Minister, the head of government. Lebanon_sentence_110

The parliament elects the president for a non-renewable six-year term by a two-thirds majority. Lebanon_sentence_111

The president appoints the Prime Minister, following consultations with the parliament. Lebanon_sentence_112

The president and the prime minister form a cabinet, which must also adhere to the sectarian distribution set out by confessionalism. Lebanon_sentence_113

In an unprecedented move, the Lebanese parliament has extended its own term twice amid protests, the last being on 5 November 2014, an act which comes in direct contradiction with democracy and article #42 of the Lebanese constitution as no elections have taken place. Lebanon_sentence_114

Lebanon was without a President between May 2014 and October 2016. Lebanon_sentence_115

Nationwide elections were finally scheduled for May 2018. Lebanon_sentence_116

As of August 2019, the Lebanese cabinet included two ministers directly affiliated with Hezbollah, in addition to a close but officially non-member minister. Lebanon_sentence_117

Law Lebanon_section_8

There are 18 officially recognized religious groups in Lebanon, each with its own family law legislation and set of religious courts. Lebanon_sentence_118

The Lebanese legal system is based on the French system, and is a civil law country, with the exception for matters related to personal status (succession, marriage, divorce, adoption, etc.), which are governed by a separate set of laws designed for each sectarian community. Lebanon_sentence_119

For instance, the Islamic personal status laws are inspired by the Sharia law. Lebanon_sentence_120

For Muslims, these tribunals deal with questions of marriage, divorce, custody, and inheritance and wills. Lebanon_sentence_121

For non-Muslims, personal status jurisdiction is split: the law of inheritance and wills falls under national civil jurisdiction, while Christian and Jewish religious courts are competent for marriage, divorce, and custody. Lebanon_sentence_122

Catholics can additionally appeal before the Vatican Rota court. Lebanon_sentence_123

The most notable set of codified laws is the Code des Obligations et des Contrats promulgated in 1932 and equivalent to the French Civil Code. Lebanon_sentence_124

Capital punishment is still de facto used to sanction certain crimes, but no longer enforced. Lebanon_sentence_125

The Lebanese court system consists of three levels: courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation. Lebanon_sentence_126

The Constitutional Council rules on constitutionality of laws and electoral frauds. Lebanon_sentence_127

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. Lebanon_sentence_128

Foreign relations Lebanon_section_9

Main article: Foreign relations of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_129

Lebanon concluded negotiations on an association agreement with the European Union in late 2001, and both sides initialed the accord in January 2002. Lebanon_sentence_130

It is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer. Lebanon_sentence_131

Lebanon also has bilateral trade agreements with several Arab states and is working toward accession to the World Trade Organization. Lebanon_sentence_132

Lebanon enjoys good relations with virtually all of the other Arab countries (despite historic tensions with Libya and Syria), and hosted an Arab League Summit in March 2002 for the first time in more than 35 years. Lebanon_sentence_133

Lebanon is a member of the Francophonie countries and hosted the Francophonie Summit in October 2002 as well as the Jeux de la Francophonie in 2009. Lebanon_sentence_134

Military Lebanon_section_10

Main article: Lebanese Armed Forces Lebanon_sentence_135

The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has 72,000 active personnel, including 1,100 in the air force, and 1,000 in the navy. Lebanon_sentence_136

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_sentence_137

Lebanon is a major recipient of foreign military aid. Lebanon_sentence_138

With more than $400 million since 2005, it is the second largest per capita recipient of American military aid behind Israel. Lebanon_sentence_139

Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the Lebanese army of torture. Lebanon_sentence_140

LGBT rights Lebanon_section_11

Main article: LGBT rights in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_141

Male homosexuality is illegal in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_142

Discrimination against LGBT people in Lebanon is widespread. Lebanon_sentence_143

According to 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, 80% of Lebanese respondents believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society. Lebanon_sentence_144

Administrative divisions Lebanon_section_12

Main articles: Governorates of Lebanon, Districts of Lebanon, and Municipalities of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_145

Lebanon is divided into eight governorates (muḥāfaẓāt, Arabic: محافظات‎; singular muḥāfaẓah, Arabic: محافظة‎) which are further subdivided into twenty-six districts (aqdyah Arabic: أقضية‎; singular: qadāʾ Arabic: قضاء‎). Lebanon_sentence_146

The districts themselves are also divided into several municipalities, each enclosing a group of cities or villages. Lebanon_sentence_147

The governorates and their respective districts are listed below: Lebanon_sentence_148

Lebanon_unordered_list_0

Economy Lebanon_section_13

Main article: Economy of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_149

Lebanon's constitution states that 'the economic system is free and ensures private initiative and the right to private property'. Lebanon_sentence_150

Lebanon's economy follows a laissez-faire model. Lebanon_sentence_151

Most of the economy is dollarized, and the country has no restrictions on the movement of capital across its borders. Lebanon_sentence_152

The Lebanese government's intervention in foreign trade is minimal. Lebanon_sentence_153

The Lebanese economy went through a significant expansion after the war of 2006, with growth averaging 9.1% between 2007 and 2010. Lebanon_sentence_154

After 2011 the local economy was affected by the Syrian civil war, growing by a yearly average of 1.7% on the 2011-2016 period and by 1.5% in 2017. Lebanon_sentence_155

In 2018, the size of the GDP was estimated to be $54.1 billion. Lebanon_sentence_156

Lebanon has a very high level of public debt and large external financing needs. Lebanon_sentence_157

The 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. Lebanon_sentence_158

At the end 2008, finance minister Mohamad Chatah stated that the debt was going to reach $47 billion in that year and would increase to $49 billion if privatization of two telecoms companies did not occur. Lebanon_sentence_159

The Daily Star wrote that exorbitant debt levels have "slowed down the economy and reduced the government's spending on essential development projects". Lebanon_sentence_160

The urban population in Lebanon is noted for its commercial enterprise. Lebanon_sentence_161

Emigration has yielded Lebanese "commercial networks" throughout the world. Lebanon_sentence_162

Remittances from Lebanese abroad total $8.2 billion and account for one-fifth of the country's economy. Lebanon_sentence_163

Lebanon has the largest proportion of skilled labor among Arab States. Lebanon_sentence_164

The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon was established with the aim of promoting investment in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_165

In 2001, Investment Law No.360 was enacted to reinforce the organisation's mission. Lebanon_sentence_166

The agricultural sector employs 12% of the total workforce. Lebanon_sentence_167

Agriculture contributed to 5.9% of the country's GDP in 2011. Lebanon_sentence_168

Lebanon's proportion of cultivable land is the highest in the Arab world, Major produce includes apples, peaches, oranges, and lemons. Lebanon_sentence_169

The commodities market in Lebanon includes substantial gold coin production, however according to International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards, they must be declared upon exportation to any foreign country. Lebanon_sentence_170

Oil has recently been discovered inland and in the seabed between Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt and talks are underway between Cyprus and Egypt to reach an agreement regarding the exploration of these resources. Lebanon_sentence_171

The seabed separating Lebanon and Cyprus is believed to hold significant quantities of crude oil and natural gas. Lebanon_sentence_172

Industry in Lebanon is mainly limited to small businesses that reassemble and package imported parts. Lebanon_sentence_173

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. Lebanon_sentence_174

Nearly 65% of the Lebanese workforce attain employment in the services sector. Lebanon_sentence_175

The GDP contribution, accordingly, amounts to roughly 67.3% of the annual Lebanese GDP. Lebanon_sentence_176

However, dependence on the tourism and banking sectors leaves the economy vulnerable to political instability. Lebanon_sentence_177

Lebanese banks are high on liquidity and reputed for their security. Lebanon_sentence_178

Lebanon was one of the only seven countries in the world in which the value of the stock markets increased in 2008. Lebanon_sentence_179

On 10 May 2013 the Lebanese minister of energy and water clarified that seismic images of the Lebanese's sea bed are undergoing detailed explanation of their contents and that up till now, approximately 10% have been covered. Lebanon_sentence_180

Preliminary inspection of the results showed, with more than 50% probability, that 10% of Lebanon's exclusive economic zone contained up to 660 million barrels of oil and up to 30×10 cu ft of gas. Lebanon_sentence_181

The Syrian crisis has significantly affected Lebanese economic and financial situation. Lebanon_sentence_182

The demographic pressure imposed by the Syrian refugees now living in Lebanon has led to competition in the labour market. Lebanon_sentence_183

As a direct consequence unemployment has doubled in three years, reaching 20% in 2014. Lebanon_sentence_184

A loss of 14% of wages regarding the salary of less-skilled workers has also been registered. Lebanon_sentence_185

The financial constraints were also felt: the poverty rate increased with 170,000 Lebanese falling under the poverty threshold. Lebanon_sentence_186

In the period between 2012 and 2014, the public spending increased by $1 billion and losses amounted to $7.5 billion. Lebanon_sentence_187

Expenditures related only to the Syrian refugees were estimated by the Central Bank of Lebanon as $4.5 billion every year. Lebanon_sentence_188

History Lebanon_section_14

In the 1950s, GDP growth was the second highest in the world. Lebanon_sentence_189

Despite not having oil reserves, Lebanon, as the banking center of the Middle East and one of the trading centers, had a high national income. Lebanon_sentence_190

The 1975–1990 civil war heavily damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a West Asian entrepôt and banking hub. Lebanon_sentence_191

The subsequent period of relative peace enabled the central government to restore control in Beirut, begin collecting taxes, and regain access to key port and government facilities. Lebanon_sentence_192

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. Lebanon_sentence_193

Until July 2006, Lebanon enjoyed considerable stability, Beirut's reconstruction was almost complete, and increasing numbers of tourists poured into the nation's resorts. Lebanon_sentence_194

The economy witnessed growth, with bank assets reaching over 75 billion US dollars, Market capitalization was also at an all-time high, estimated at $10.9 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2006. Lebanon_sentence_195

The month-long 2006 war severely damaged Lebanon's fragile economy, especially the tourism sector. Lebanon_sentence_196

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. Lebanon_sentence_197

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. Lebanon_sentence_198

Major contributors to the reconstruction of Lebanon include Saudi Arabia (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. Lebanon_sentence_199

Tourism Lebanon_section_15

Main article: Tourism in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_200

The tourism industry accounts for about 10% of GDP. Lebanon_sentence_201

Lebanon managed to attract around 1,333,000 tourists in 2008, thus placing it as rank 79 out of 191 countries. Lebanon_sentence_202

In 2009, The New York Times ranked Beirut the No. Lebanon_sentence_203

1 travel destination worldwide due to its nightlife and hospitality. Lebanon_sentence_204

In January 2010, the Ministry of Tourism announced that 1,851,081 tourists had visited Lebanon in 2009, a 39% increase from 2008. Lebanon_sentence_205

In 2009, Lebanon hosted the largest number of tourists to date, eclipsing the previous record set before the Lebanese Civil War. Lebanon_sentence_206

Tourist arrivals reached two million in 2010, but fell by 37% for the first 10 months of 2012, a decline caused by the war in neighbouring Syria. Lebanon_sentence_207

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Japan are the three most popular origin countries of foreign tourists to Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_208

The recent influx of Japanese tourists has caused the recent rise in popularity of Japanese Cuisine in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_209

Infrastructure Lebanon_section_16

Education Lebanon_section_17

Main article: Education in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_210

Listed by the World Economic Forum's 2013 Global Information Technology Report, Lebanon has been ranked globally as the fourth best country for math and science education, and as the tenth best overall for quality of education. Lebanon_sentence_211

In quality of management schools, the country was ranked 13th worldwide. Lebanon_sentence_212

The United Nations assigned Lebanon an education index of 0.871 in 2008. Lebanon_sentence_213

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. Lebanon_sentence_214

All Lebanese schools are required to follow a prescribed curriculum designed by the Ministry of Education. Lebanon_sentence_215

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. Lebanon_sentence_216

The first eight years of education are, by law, compulsory. Lebanon_sentence_217

Lebanon has forty-one nationally accredited universities, several of which are internationally recognized. Lebanon_sentence_218

The American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) were the first Anglophone and the first Francophone universities to open in Lebanon, respectively. Lebanon_sentence_219

Universities in Lebanon, both public and private, largely operate in French or English. Lebanon_sentence_220

The top-ranking universities in the country are the American University of Beirut (#220 worldwide, #2 in the Middle East as of 2021), University of Balamand (#501 worldwide as of 2021 Lebanese American University(#551 worldwide as of 2021), Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth (#541 worldwide as of 2021), Université Libanaise (#3,826 worldwide) and Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (#600s worldwide as of 2020). Lebanon_sentence_221

Notre Dame University-Louaize NDU #701 as of 2021 Lebanon_sentence_222

Health Lebanon_section_18

Main article: Health in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_223

In 2010, spending on healthcare accounted for 7.03% of the country's GDP. Lebanon_sentence_224

In 2009, there were 31.29 physicians and 19.71 nurses per 10,000 inhabitants. Lebanon_sentence_225

The life expectancy at birth was 72.59 years in 2011, or 70.48 years for males and 74.80 years for females. Lebanon_sentence_226

By the end of the civil war, only one-third of the country's public hospitals were operational, each with an average of only 20 beds. Lebanon_sentence_227

By 2009 the country had 28 public hospitals, with a total of 2,550 beds, while currently the country had an approximate of 25 public hospitals. Lebanon_sentence_228

At public hospitals, hospitalized uninsured patients pay 5% of the bill, in comparison with 15% in private hospitals, with the reimbursing the remainder. Lebanon_sentence_229

The Ministry of Public Health contracts with 138 private hospitals and 25 public hospitals. Lebanon_sentence_230

In 2011, there were 236,643 subsidized admissions to hospitals; 164,244 in private hospitals, and 72,399 in public hospitals. Lebanon_sentence_231

More patients visit private hospitals than public hospitals, because the private beds supply is higher. Lebanon_sentence_232

According to the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon, the top 10 leading causes of reported hospital deaths in 2017 were: malignant neoplasm of bronchus or lung (4.6%), Acute myocardial infarction (3%), pneumonia (2.2%), exposure to unspecified factor, unspecified place (2.1%), acute kidney injury (1.4%), intra-cerebral hemorrhage (1.2%), malignant neoplasm of colon (1.2%), malignant neoplasm of pancreas (1.1%), malignant neoplasm of prostate (1.1%), malignant neoplasm of bladder (0.8%). Lebanon_sentence_233

Recently, there has been an increase in foodborne illnesses which has put an emphasis on the importance of the safety of the food chain in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_234

This raised the illues public awareness. Lebanon_sentence_235

More restaurants are seeking information and compliance with International Organization for Standardization. Lebanon_sentence_236

Demographics Lebanon_section_19

Main article: Demographics of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_237

See also: Lebanese people Lebanon_sentence_238

The population of Lebanon was estimated to be 6,859,408 in 2018; however, no official census has been conducted since 1932 due to the sensitive confessional political balance between Lebanon's various religious groups. Lebanon_sentence_239

Identifying all Lebanese as ethnically Arab is a widely employed example of panethnicity since in reality, the Lebanese "are descended from many different peoples who are either indigenous, or have occupied, invaded, or settled this corner of the world", making Lebanon, "a mosaic of closely interrelated cultures". Lebanon_sentence_240

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". Lebanon_sentence_241

The fertility rate fell from 5.00 in 1971 to 1.75 in 2004. Lebanon_sentence_242

Fertility rates vary considerably among the different religious groups: in 2004, it was 2.10 for Shiites, 1.76 Sunnis and 1.61 for Maronites. Lebanon_sentence_243

Lebanon has witnessed a series of migration waves: over 1,800,000 people emigrated from the country in the 1975–2011 period. Lebanon_sentence_244

Millions of people of Lebanese descent are spread throughout the world, mostly Christians, especially in Latin America. Lebanon_sentence_245

Brazil and Argentina have large expatriate population. Lebanon_sentence_246

(See Lebanese people). Lebanon_sentence_247

Large numbers of Lebanese migrated to West Africa, particularly to the Ivory Coast (home to over 100,000 Lebanese) and Senegal (roughly 30,000 Lebanese). Lebanon_sentence_248

Australia is home to over 270,000 Lebanese (1999 est.). Lebanon_sentence_249

In Canada, there is also a large Lebanese diaspora of approximately 250,000–700,000 people having Lebanese descent. Lebanon_sentence_250

(see Lebanese Canadians). Lebanon_sentence_251

Another region with a significant diaspora is the Persian Gulf, where the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar (around 25,000 people), Saudi Arabia and UAE act as host countries to many Lebanese. Lebanon_sentence_252

As of 2012, Lebanon was host to over 1,600,000 refugees and asylum seekers: 449,957 from Palestine, 8,000 from Iraq, over 1,100,000 from Syria, and 4,000 from Sudan. Lebanon_sentence_253

According to the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia of the United Nations, among the Syrian refugees, 71% live in poverty. Lebanon_sentence_254

A 2013 estimate by the United Nations put the number of Syrian refugees at more than 1,250,000. Lebanon_sentence_255

In the last three decades, lengthy and destructive armed conflicts have ravaged the country. Lebanon_sentence_256

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. Lebanon_sentence_257

In total, almost the entire population (96%) has been affected in some way – either personally or because of the wider consequences of armed conflict. Lebanon_sentence_258

Religion Lebanon_section_20

Main article: Religion in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_259

See also: Christianity, Islam, Irreligion, and Secularism in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_260

Lebanon is the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East. Lebanon_sentence_261

As of 2014 the CIA World Factbook estimates the following: Muslim 54% (27% Sunni Islam, 27% Shia Islam), Christian 40.5% (includes 21% Maronite Catholic, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Melkite Catholic, 1% Protestant, 5.5% other Christian), Druze 5.6%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons. Lebanon_sentence_262

A study conducted by the Lebanese Information Center and based on voter registration numbers shows that by 2011 the Christian population was stable compared to that of previous years, making up 34.35% of the population; Muslims, the Druze included, were 65.47% of the population. Lebanon_sentence_263

The World Values Survey of 2014 put the percentage of atheists in Lebanon at 3.3%. Lebanon_sentence_264

It is believed that there has been a decline in the ratio of Christians to Muslims over the past 60 years, due to higher emigration rates of Christians, and a higher birth rate in the Muslim population. Lebanon_sentence_265

When the last census was held in 1932, Christians made up 53% of Lebanon's population. Lebanon_sentence_266

In 1956, it was estimated that the population was 54% Christian and 44% Muslim. Lebanon_sentence_267

A demographic study conducted by the research firm Statistics Lebanon found that approximately 27% of the population was Sunni, 27% Shia, 21% Maronite, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Druze, 5% Melkite, and 1% Protestant, with the remaining 6% mostly belonging to smaller non-native to Lebanon Christian denominations. Lebanon_sentence_268

Other sources like Euronews or the Madrid-based diary La Razón estimate the percentage of Christians to be around 53%. Lebanon_sentence_269

Because the relative size of confessional groups remains a sensitive issue, a national census has not been conducted since 1932. Lebanon_sentence_270

There are 18 state-recognized religious sects – four Muslim, 12 Christian, one Druze, and one Jewish. Lebanon_sentence_271

The Sunni residents primarily live in Tripoli, Western Beirut, the Southern coast of Lebanon, and Northern Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_272

The Shi'a residents primarily live in Southern Beirut, the Beqaa Valley, and Southern Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_273

The Maronite residents primarily live in Eastern Beirut and the mountains of Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_274

They are the largest Christian community in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_275

The Greek Orthodox, the second largest Christian community in Lebanon, primarily live in Koura, Beirut, Rachaya, Matn, Aley, Akkar, in the countryside around Tripoli, Hasbaya and Marjeyoun. Lebanon_sentence_276

They are a minority of 10% in Zahle. Lebanon_sentence_277

The Greek Catholics live mainly in Beirut, on the eastern slopes of the Lebanon mountains and in Zahle which is predominantly Greek Catholic. Lebanon_sentence_278

In the Christian village of Hadat, there has been a municipal ban on Muslims from buying or renting property. Lebanon_sentence_279

It has been claimed that it is due to an underlying fear of mixing with one another's salvation since for three decades, the village of Hadat has been predominantly Christian. Lebanon_sentence_280

The Lebanese government tend to count its Druze citizens as part of its Muslim population, even though most Druze do not identify as Muslims, and they do not accept the five pillars of Islam. Lebanon_sentence_281

Language Lebanon_section_21

See also: Lebanese Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, and French language in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_282

Article 11 of Lebanon's Constitution states that "Arabic is the official national language. Lebanon_sentence_283

A law determines the cases in which the French language is to be used". Lebanon_sentence_284

The majority of Lebanese people speak Lebanese Arabic, which is grouped in a larger category called Levantine Arabic, while Modern Standard Arabic is mostly used in magazines, newspapers, and formal broadcast media. Lebanon_sentence_285

Lebanese Sign Language is the language of the Deaf community. Lebanon_sentence_286

Almost 40% of Lebanese are considered francophone, and another 15% "partial francophone", and 70% of Lebanon's secondary schools use French as a second language of instruction. Lebanon_sentence_287

By comparison, English is used as a secondary language in 30% of Lebanon's secondary schools. Lebanon_sentence_288

The use of French is a legacy of France's historic ties to the region, including its League of Nations mandate over Lebanon following World War I; as of 2005, some 20% of the population used French on a daily basis. Lebanon_sentence_289

The use of Arabic by Lebanon's educated youth is declining, as they usually prefer to speak in French and, to a lesser extent, English, which are seen as more fashionable. Lebanon_sentence_290

English is increasingly used in science and business interactions. Lebanon_sentence_291

Lebanese citizens of Armenian, Greek, or Assyrian descent often speak their ancestral languages with varying degrees of fluency. Lebanon_sentence_292

As of 2009, there were around 150,000 Armenians in Lebanon, or around 5% of the population. Lebanon_sentence_293

Culture Lebanon_section_22

Main article: Culture of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_294

The culture of Lebanon reflects the legacy of various civilizations spanning thousands of years. Lebanon_sentence_295

Originally home to the Canaanite-Phoenicians, and then subsequently conquered and occupied by the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Fatimids, the Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks and most recently the French, Lebanese culture has over the millennia evolved by borrowing from all of these groups. Lebanon_sentence_296

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. Lebanon_sentence_297

Despite the ethnic, linguistic, religious and denominational diversity of the Lebanese, they "share an almost common culture". Lebanon_sentence_298

Lebanese Arabic is universally spoken while food, music, and literature are deep-rooted "in wider Mediterranean and Arab Levantine norms". Lebanon_sentence_299

Arts Lebanon_section_23

In visual arts, Moustafa Farroukh was one of Lebanon's most prominent painters of the 20th century. Lebanon_sentence_300

Formally trained in Rome and Paris, he exhibited in venues from Paris to New York to Beirut over his career. Lebanon_sentence_301

Many more contemporary artists are currently active, such as Walid Raad, a contemporary media artist currently residing in New York. Lebanon_sentence_302

In the field of photography, the Arab Image Foundation has a collection of over 400,000 photographs from Lebanon and the Middle East. Lebanon_sentence_303

The photographs can be viewed in a research center and various events and publications have been produced in Lebanon and worldwide to promote the collection. Lebanon_sentence_304

Literature Lebanon_section_24

In literature, Khalil Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. Lebanon_sentence_305

He is particularly known for his book The Prophet (1923), which has been translated into more than twenty different languages and is the second best selling book in the 20th century behind the Bible. Lebanon_sentence_306

Ameen Rihani was a major figure in the mahjar literary movement developed by Arab emigrants in North America, and an early theorist of Arab nationalism. Lebanon_sentence_307

Mikha'il Na'ima is widely recognized as one of the most important figures in modern Arabic letters and one of the most important spiritual writers of the 20th century. Lebanon_sentence_308

Several contemporary Lebanese writers have also achieved international success; including Elias Khoury, Amin Maalouf, Hanan al-Shaykh, and Georges Schehadé. Lebanon_sentence_309

Music Lebanon_section_25

Main article: Music of Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_310

While traditional folk music remains popular in Lebanon, modern music reconciling Western and traditional Arabic styles, pop, and fusion are rapidly advancing in popularity. Lebanon_sentence_311

Lebanese artists like Fairuz, Wadih El Safi, Sabah, Julia Boutros or Najwa Karam are widely known and appreciated in Lebanon and in the Arab world. Lebanon_sentence_312

Radio stations feature a variety of music, including traditional Lebanese, classical Arabic, Armenian and modern French, English, American, and Latin tunes. Lebanon_sentence_313

Media and cinema Lebanon_section_26

The cinema of Lebanon, according to film critic and historian, Roy Armes, was the only cinema in the Arabic-speaking region, other than Egypt's, that could amount to a national cinema. Lebanon_sentence_314

Cinema in Lebanon has been in existence since the 1920s, and the country has produced over 500 films. Lebanon_sentence_315

The media of Lebanon is not only a regional center of production but also the most liberal and free in the Arab world. Lebanon_sentence_316

According to Press freedom's Reporters Without Borders, "the media have more freedom in Lebanon than in any other Arab country". Lebanon_sentence_317

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". Lebanon_sentence_318

Holidays and festivals Lebanon_section_27

Main article: Public holidays in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_319

Lebanon celebrates national and both Christian and Muslim holidays. Lebanon_sentence_320

Christian holidays are celebrated following both the Gregorian Calendar and Julian Calendar. Lebanon_sentence_321

Greek Orthodox (with the exception of Easter), Catholics, Protestants, and Melkite Christians follow the Gregorian Calendar and thus celebrate Christmas on 25 December. Lebanon_sentence_322

Armenian Apostolic Christians celebrate Christmas on 6 January, as they follow the Julian Calendar. Lebanon_sentence_323

Muslim holidays are followed based on the Islamic lunar calendar. Lebanon_sentence_324

Muslim holidays that are celebrated include Eid al-Fitr (the three-day feast at the end of the Ramadan month), Eid al-Adha (The Feast of the Sacrifice) which is celebrated during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and also celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to God, the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad, and Ashura (the Shiite Day of Mourning). Lebanon_sentence_325

Lebanon's National Holidays include Workers Day, Independence day, and Martyrs Day. Lebanon_sentence_326

Music festivals, often hosted at historical sites, are a customary element of Lebanese culture. Lebanon_sentence_327

Among the most famous are Baalbeck International Festival, Byblos International Festival, Beiteddine International Festival, , Broumana Festival, , , Dhour Chwer Festival and Tyr Festival. Lebanon_sentence_328

These festivals are promoted by Lebanon's Ministry of Tourism. Lebanon_sentence_329

Lebanon hosts about 15 concerts from international performers each year, ranking 1st for nightlife in the Middle East, and 6th worldwide. Lebanon_sentence_330

Cuisine Lebanon_section_28

Main article: Lebanese cuisine Lebanon_sentence_331

Lebanese cuisine is similar to those of many countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, such as Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. Lebanon_sentence_332

The Lebanese national dishes are the kibbe, a meat pie made from finely minced lamb and burghul (cracked wheat), and the tabbouleh, a salad made from parsley, tomatoes, and burghul. Lebanon_sentence_333

The national beverage is arak, a strong anise-flavored liquor made from fermented grape juice. Lebanon_sentence_334

It is usually drunk with water and ice, which turns the clear liquid milky-white, and usually accompanies food. Lebanon_sentence_335

Arak is a strong spirit similar to the Greek ouzo and the Turkish raki. Lebanon_sentence_336

Lebanese restaurant meals begin with a wide array of mezze - small savoury dishes, such as dips, salads, and pastries. Lebanon_sentence_337

The mezze are typically followed by a selection of grilled meat or fish. Lebanon_sentence_338

In general, meals are finished with Arabic coffee and fresh fruit, though sometimes a selection of traditional sweets will be offered as well. Lebanon_sentence_339

M'Juhdara, a thick stew of onions, rice, and lentils, is sometimes considered poor man's fare and is often eaten around Lent by people in the Lebanese diaspora. Lebanon_sentence_340

Beirut and its environs contain many restaurants of various national origins. Lebanon_sentence_341

At the same time, wine is growing in popularity and a number of vineyards currently exist in the Bekaa valley and elsewhere. Lebanon_sentence_342

Beer is also highly popular and Lebanon produces a number of local beers, of which almaza is perhaps the most popular. Lebanon_sentence_343

Sports Lebanon_section_29

Main article: Sport in Lebanon Lebanon_sentence_344

Lebanon has six ski resorts. Lebanon_sentence_345

Because of Lebanon's unique geography, it is possible to go skiing in the morning and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in the afternoon. Lebanon_sentence_346

At the competitive level, basketball and football are among Lebanon's most popular sports. Lebanon_sentence_347

Canoeing, cycling, rafting, climbing, swimming, sailing and caving are among the other common leisure sports in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_348

The Beirut Marathon is held every fall, drawing top runners from Lebanon and abroad. Lebanon_sentence_349

Rugby league is a relatively new but growing sport in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_350

The Lebanon national rugby league team participated in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, and narrowly missed qualification for the 2008 and 2013 tournaments. Lebanon_sentence_351

Lebanon also took part in the 2009 European Cup where, after narrowly failing to qualify for the final, the team defeated Ireland to finish 3rd in the tournament. Lebanon_sentence_352

Hazem El Masri, who was born in Tripoli, is considered to be the greatest Lebanese to ever play the game. Lebanon_sentence_353

He immigrated to Sydney, Australia from Lebanon in 1988. Lebanon_sentence_354

He became the greatest point-scorer in National Rugby League history in 2009 by scoring himself 2418 points while playing for Australian club, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs where he also holds the record for most first grade appearances for the club with 317 games and most tries for the club with 159 tries. Lebanon_sentence_355

At international level, He also hold the records as top-try scorer with 12 tries and top-point scorer with 136 points for the Lebanese national team. Lebanon_sentence_356

Lebanon participates in Basketball. Lebanon_sentence_357

The Lebanese National Team qualified for the FIBA World Championship 3 times in a row. Lebanon_sentence_358

Dominant Basketball teams in Lebanon are Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut, who are the current Arab and Asian champions, Club Sagesse who were able to earn the Asian and Arab championships before. Lebanon_sentence_359

Fadi El Khatib is the most decorated player in the Lebanese National Basketball League. Lebanon_sentence_360

Football is also one of the more popular sports in the country with the Lebanese Premier League, whose most successful clubs are the Al-Ansar Club and the Nejmeh SC, with notable players being Roda Antar and Youssef Mohamad, the first Arab to captain a European premier league team. Lebanon_sentence_361

In recent years, Lebanon has hosted the AFC Asian Cup and the Pan Arab Games. Lebanon_sentence_362

Lebanon hosted the 2009 Jeux de la Francophonie from 27 September to 6 October, and have participated in every Olympic Games since its independence, winning a total of four medals. Lebanon_sentence_363

Prominent Lebanese bodybuilders include Samir Bannout, Mohammad Bannout and Ahmad Haidar. Lebanon_sentence_364

Water sports have also shown to be very active in the past years, in Lebanon. Lebanon_sentence_365

Since 2012 and with the emergence of the Lebanon Water Festival NGO, more emphasis has been placed on those sports, and Lebanon has been pushed forward as a water sport destination internationally. Lebanon_sentence_366

They host different contests and water show sports that encourage their fans to participate and win big. Lebanon_sentence_367

Science and Technology Lebanon_section_30

Lebanon is a source for scientists, many known scientists had come from Lebanon like Hassan Kamel Al-Sabbah, Rammal Rammal, Edgar Choueiri... Lebanon_sentence_368

In 1960, a science club from a university in Beirut started with a Lebanese space program, thus "the Lebanese Rocket Society" was emerged. Lebanon_sentence_369

They achieved great success until 1966 where the program was stopped because of both war and external pressure. Lebanon_sentence_370

See also Lebanon_section_31

Lebanon_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon.