Lebanon - Provinces & Cities
Lebanon officially known as the Lebanese Republic is a country in Western Asia.It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus lies west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has contributed to its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2 (4,036 mi2), it is one of the smallest recognized sovereign states in the Asian continent.As the country’s official language is Arabic spoken Lebanese Arabic is used alongside Modern Standard Arabic in daily life.Lebanon, country located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea; it consists of a narrow strip of territory and is one of the world’s smaller sovereign states. The capital is Beirut.
Though Lebanon, particularly its coastal region, was the site of some of the oldest human settlements in the world—the Phoenician ports of Tyre (modern Ṣur), Sidon (Ṣayda), and Byblos (Jubayl) were dominant centres of trade and culture in the 3rd millennium BCE—it was not until 1920 that the contemporary state came into being. In that year France, which administered Lebanon as a League of Nations mandate, established the state of Greater Lebanon. Lebanon then became a republic in 1926 and achieved independence in 1943.Lebanon shares many of the cultural characteristics of the Arab world, yet it has attributes that differentiate it from many of its Arab neighbours. Its rugged, mountainous terrain has served throughout history as an asylum for diverse religious and ethnic groups and for political dissidents. Lebanon is one of the most densely populated countries in the Mediterranean area and has a high rate of literacy. Notwithstanding its meagre natural resources, Lebanon long managed to serve as a busy commercial and cultural centre for the Middle East.
Despite Lebanon’s small size Lebanese culture is renowned both in the Arab world and globally, powered by its large and influential diaspora.Prior to the civil war, the country enjoyed a diversified economy that included tourism, agriculture, commerce, and banking.Its financial power and stability through the 1950s and 1960s earned Lebanon the name of “Switzerland of the East” while its capital, Beirut, attracted so many tourists that it was known as “the Paris of the Middle East”.Since the end of the war, there have been extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.While still recovering from the political and economic effects of the conflict, Lebanon remains a cosmopolitan and developing country, with one of the highest levels of Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world outside of the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.