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

War Zone Stories, Liberated via Social Networking (Wed, 09 Oct 2019)
Vivian Yee and Hwaida Saad, who cover the Middle East, have found Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube vital to getting information out of Syria.
>> Read more

Huguette Caland, 88, Dies; Celebrated Freedom in Art and Life (Mon, 30 Sep 2019)
She left her husband and children in Beirut to flex her artistic muscles in Paris. Her desire to live without restrictions was her defining theme.
>> Read more

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Gave $16 Million to South African Model (Mon, 30 Sep 2019)
Saad Hariri did not make the payments while he was prime minister, South African court records show, but the revelation is likely to tarnish his image.
>> Read more

Arabic Readers in Israel Have to Hope the Border Guards Are Sloppy (Fri, 20 Sep 2019)
Books by famed Arab authors, and Arabic translations of writers like Orwell and Joyce, are scarce because of an Israeli ban on imports from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
>> Read more

Here Comes the Bride. And the Bride. And the Bride. Mass Weddings Boom in Lebanon. (Sun, 15 Sep 2019)
As economic pressures prevent young couples from affording marriage ceremonies, powerful benefactors have stepped in to sponsor mass weddings. What’s in it for them? Children for the cause.
>> Read more

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