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Lebanon: the land of cedars and Phoenicians

Lebanon (Al-Jumūhrīya al-Lubnānīya) is a presidential republic in the Middle East, which is bordered to the north and east by Syria, to the south by Israel, to the west is washed from the Mediterranean Sea. The most important city is the capital Beirut, other cities are Tripoli, Saida (Sidon), Sur (Tyre).

GEOGRAPHY

The Lebanese territory is mainly mountainous. Along the coast there is a narrow plain, while in the interior rise two high parallel mountain ranges, those of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. These mountains are separated from each other by the Beqaa valley, a sinking tectonic pit. This valley is the northernmost part of the Rift Valley, that is, a continuation of the depression of the Red Sea and the Dead Sea.

In the mountain range of Lebanon there is the highest mountain in the country, the Qurnat as Sawda (3,088 meters). The border with Syria is marked by the Antiliban mountain range. Here the highest peak is Mount Hermon (Jabal ash Shaykh, 2,814 meters). The main rivers of Lebanon are the Nahr el Asi (Orontes) and the Litani (Leontes).

THE ECONOMY

Lebanon’s economy was severely damaged by the long civil war that destroyed the country between 1975 and 1990. Fortunately, the country is now peaceful and accessible again. Among the main resources there is above all agriculture, where vines, citrus fruits, fruit, olive trees, sesame, tobacco, bananas, vegetables and cereals are grown. Cattle breeding (goats, sheep and cattle) is also of some importance. The industry is active in the cement, oil refining, textile (silk, cotton) and chemical sectors. The country is an important financial center in the Middle East.

Lebanon’s climate.

  • Area: 10,452 sqkm. (Arable 29%, Pastures 1%, Forests and Woodlands 8%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 62%)
  • Population: 4,190,000 (2008 data)
  • State Capital: Beirut.
  • Languages: The official language is Arabic. The majority of Lebanese people speak French fluently.
  • Religion: Muslim 59% (Shi’a 29%, Sunni 24%, Druze 5%), Christian 40% (Maronites 20%, Greek Orthodox 8%).
  • Currency: Lebanese pound (LBP)
  • Time: UTC +2 hours (Summer UTC +3 hours)

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