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

‘If There Were No Hashish Here, You Wouldn’t See a Single House’ (Mon, 19 Oct 2020)
A village in Lebanon, where cannabis grows everywhere, has long counted on hashish for income. But the country’s economic crisis has farmers reconsidering the crop.
>> Read more

The Beirut Blast Shattered Her Masterpieces. Now, the Rebuilding Starts. (Fri, 16 Oct 2020)
Over three decades as Lebanon’s premier stained-glass artist, Maya Husseini advanced a fragile medium in a country prone to violent shocks. Then came the big one.
>> Read more

Israel and Lebanon Begin Talks on Sea Border, With U.S. as Mediator (Wed, 14 Oct 2020)
Teams from the neighboring Middle Eastern countries are negotiating over their disputed frontier in the gas-rich Mediterranean Sea.
>> Read more

‘Call Me a Dreamer’: A Shattered Beirut Neighborhood Rebuilds (Sun, 11 Oct 2020)
Many worry that a full recovery won’t be possible, but residents of one of Beirut’s most diverse and cosmopolitan areas are moving back in and trying to repair the damage from the August explosion.
>> Read more

Lebanon and Israel, Officially Enemies, Agree to Talks on Sea Border (Thu, 01 Oct 2020)
The negotiations will be their first on nonsecurity issues in three decades but officials do not expect them to lead to peace talks.
>> Read more

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