Geography

Geography
Area: 10,452 sq. km. (4,015 sq. km.) about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut.
Cities: Capital--Beirut (pop. 1.5 million). Other cities--Tripoli/Trablus (210,000), Zahle (60,000),
Sidon/Sayda (50,000), Tyre/Sur (20,000), Byblos/Jbail (10,000).
Terrain: Narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains.
Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows.

 

 

People and Economy

People
Nationality: noun and adjective--Lebanese (singular and plural).
Population (2010 est., IMF): 3,908,000.
Population growth rate (2010 est., IMF): 1.3%.
Major ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1% (note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians).
Religions: Muslim 60% (Shia, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ili, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Copt, Protestant), other 1%.
Languages: Arabic (official), English, French, Armenian.
Education: Years compulsory--8. Attendance--99%. Literacy (2007 est.)--89.6%; 93.4% male, 85.96% female.
Health (2009 est.): Infant mortality rate--11.1/1,000. Life expectancy--72; 70 male, 74 female.
Work force (2009 est.): 1.4 million (World Bank - World Development Indicators).

Economy
GDP (2010 est.): $39.2 billion.
GDP growth rate (2010 est.): 7.5%.
Per capita GDP (2010 est.): $10,044.
Natural resources: limestone, iron ore, salt.
Agriculture: Products--citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats. Arable land (2008)--14.1%.
Industry: Types--banking, tourism, food processing, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating.
Trade: Exports--$4.253 billion (2010, f.o.b.): authentic jewelry, electrical equipment and products, base metals, food products, chemicals products, paper and paper products.Major markets--Switzerland, U.A.E., France. Imports--$17.964 billion (2010, f.o.b.): mineral products, electrical equipment and products, transport vehicles, chemical products, metal and metal products, food products, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, tobacco. Major suppliers--U.S., China, Italy.

 

Government

Government
Type: Republic.
Independence: November 22, 1943.
Constitution: May 23, 1926.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), deputy prime minister, cabinet. Legislative--unicameral national assembly. Judicial--four Courts of Cassation, Constitutional Council, Supreme Council.
Administrative subdivisions: 8 governorates.
Political parties: Amal Movement, Ba'ath Party, Democratic Left, Democratic Renewal Movement, Free Patriotic Movement, Future Movement, Hizballah, Kataeb Party, Kataeb Reform Movement, Lebanese Forces, National Bloc, Marada Movement, Nasserite Popular Movement, National Liberal Party, Popular Bloc, Progressive Socialist Party, Qornet Shehwan Gathering, Syrian Social National Party, Tachnaq Party.
Suffrage: 21; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at 21 with elementary education.

 

 

Lebanon

Blackface, Staple of Arab Comedy, Faces Surge of Criticism (Sun, 18 Aug 2019)
The racist comedy trope, unacceptable in the West, is alive and well in mainstream Arab media.
>> Read more

Erotic Tapestries, a Kyoto Inn Inspired by Sweets and More (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
T’s roundup of people, places and things to know now.
>> Read more

A Canadian Citizen Held in Syrian Prisons is Set Free (Fri, 09 Aug 2019)
Lebanese security officials helped negotiate the release of Kristian Lee Baxter, who had traveled to Syria last year in search of adventure.
>> Read more

Lebanon’s Blasphemy Wars Strike a Popular Rock Band (Thu, 08 Aug 2019)
The decision to cancel a concert by Mashrou’ Leila is jolting the Lebanese out of their complacency about the withering of their country’s freedoms.
>> Read more

Lebanese Band’s Concert Is Canceled After It’s Accused of Blasphemy (Wed, 31 Jul 2019)
Critics denounced Mashrou’ Leila, and a festival canceled an upcoming concert by the group, raising concerns about freedom of expression in the relatively moderate, multi-sectarian country.
>> Read more

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