Country profile for Lebanon

The Lebanon map

The Middle East has benefited greatly from Lebanon's significant commercial hub status thanks to its high literacy rate and traditional mercantile culture.

Despite its small size, it has frequently been at the epicenter of Middle Eastern conflicts due to its borders with Syria and Israel as well as its exceptionally complex communal makeup.

In a nation that has long served as a haven for the region's minorities, Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Christians, and Druze make up the majority of the population.

  • : capital. Beirut.
  • Area:. 10,452 sq km.
  • Population:. Five two million.
  • Languages:. French, Arabic.
  • Expected lifespan: (Men) 76 years; (Women) 80 years.

Presidency: vacant.

The position is open right now. The powers of the presidency would be transferred to the council of ministers as a whole, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of Lebanon, which forbids the appointment of an interim president, according to prime minister Najib Mikati after Michel Aoun vacated the office in 2022.

Najib Mikati is the prime minister.

Lebanese PM Najib Mikati

The richest man in Lebanon, Najib Mikati, took office again as prime minister in September 2021 after previously holding the position twice.

As the nation battled a collapsing economy and nearly two years of protests demanding comprehensive political reform, his appointment put an end to months of political paralysis.

Since Hassan Diab resigned in August 2020, when a large blast destroyed Beirut port and the surrounding area, Lebanon had been without a government.

Beirut restaurant with TV screen

The pluralism and divisions of the nation are reflected in Lebanon's dynamic, diverse, and well-developed broadcasting scene.

It was the first Arab nation to allow commercial radio and television. These platforms rule the media landscape and broadcast some of the most controversial TV talk shows in the area.

Websites with news have become important sources of information.

Downtown Beirut
After the civil war destroyed much of downtown Beirut, it has since been rebuilt in large portions.

Several significant dates in Lebanon's history are as follows:.

1516-1918 . - The Ottoman Empire included Lebanon.

1920 . - France receives the mandate from the League of Nations for Lebanon and Syria, and together with the provinces of Mount Lebanon, north Lebanon, south Lebanon, and the Bekaa, they establish the State of Greater Lebanon.

1926. - The constitution is approved by the Lebanese Representative Council, and the declaration of the united Lebanese Republic under French rule is made.

1944 . - France consents to hand over power to the Lebanese administration.

1958 . President Camille Chamoune asks the US to send troops to Lebanon to protect its independence as a result of growing opposition that turns into a civil war. US marines are dispatched.

1967 . Despite having no direct involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon will be impacted by its aftermath because Palestinians will use Lebanon as a base for attacks against Israel.

1975 . - Phalangist gunmen ambush a bus in Beirut's Ayn-al-Rummanah neighborhood, killing 27 people, mostly Palestinians, and claiming that nearby churches had been attacked by guerrillas earlier. The 1975–1990 civil war in Lebanon begins with these clashes.

1976 . - Syrian troops invade Lebanon to restore peace and to control the Palestinians after Christian militias in Beirut with ties to Syria kill thousands of them during a siege of the Tel al-Zaatar camp.

1978 . - Israel launches a significant invasion of southern Lebanon in retaliation for a Palestinian attack. It turns over control of the South Lebanon Army, a predominantly Christian militia, to its proxy after withdrawing from all but a small border region.

1982 . - Israel launches a full-scale invasion of Lebanon in response to a Palestinian splinter group's attempted assassination of Israel's UK ambassador.

1982 . - The assassination of Bachir Gemayel, a president-elect who backed Israel. West Beirut is occupied by Israel. Thousands of Palestinians are killed by phalanx militia in the Sabra and Shatila camps. Arrival in Beirut of a US, French, and Italian peacekeeping force.

1983 . - In April, 63 people were killed in a suicide attack on the US embassy; in October, 241 US and 58 French soldiers were killed in a similar attack on the peacekeeping headquarters. US military forces leave in 1984.

1985 . - All Israeli troops leave the area, with the exception of a "security zone" in the south.

1988 - . After unsatisfactory presidential elections, outgoing President Amine Gemayel appoints an interim military administration in East Beirut led by Maronite commander Michel Aoun. In West Beirut, Prime Minister Selim el-Hoss establishes a rival government that is predominately Muslim.

1989 . - Parliament convenes in Taif, Saudi Arabia, to approve a Charter of National Reconciliation that increases the proportion of Muslim MPs and transfers much of the president's power to the cabinet.

1990 . Aoun flees after the Syrian air force attacks the Presidential Palace in Baabda. The civil war is now officially over.

1991 . - With the exception of the potent Shia organization Hezbollah, the National Assembly orders the dissolution of all militias. The PLO is vanquished by the Lebanese army, and Sidon, a port in the south, is taken over.

1992 . - Rafik Hariri, a successful businessman, is elected prime minister following the first elections since 1972.

2000 -. Israel leaves southern Lebanon.

2005 . - In Beirut, a car bomb kills former prime minister Rafik Hariri, setting off anti-Syrian protests and a political crisis.

2006. - After Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers, Israel responds by attacking. In the 34-day conflict, there have been numerous civilian casualties and extensive damage. For the first time in decades, Lebanese army troops deploy along the southern border alongside the UN peacekeeping force.

2008 . - Lebanon and Syria establish diplomatic ties for the first time since their respective independences.

2012 . - Clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in Tripoli and Beirut are caused by the Syrian civil war, which started in March 2011, which has spread to Lebanon.

2013 . - The Hezbollah military wing is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union.

2014. - According to the UN, there are currently over a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

2020 . - The government resigns following months of unrest over currency value declines, the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown, and rioting following a significant chemical explosion in Beirut's port.

Lebanese coast scene
The Lebanese economy depends heavily on tourism and leisure.

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