General

Etymology:

Many historigraphers tried to trace the source of the name “Lebanon” and they had reached the following conclusions:

1-      The name Lebanon comes from the Semitic root LBN, meaning “white”, likely a reference to the snow-capped Mount Lebanon.

2-      Or it is derived from the word “Leban” which means the tree of incense, well known of its pleasant smell.

3-      Or it is a Syriac name composed of two syllables: “Leb” and “Anan” meaning “The Heart of God”, due to the fact that the ancients had considered  mountains of Lebanon as homeland of Gods.

Occurrences of the name have been found in different texts from the library of Ebla, which date to the third millennium BC, nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh (perhaps as early as 2100 BC).

Besides, the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L

Location: Located on the East coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon is at the meeting point of three continents: Europe , Asia and Africa . Lebanon has been the crossroad of many civilizations ; the traces of which can still be seen today. Its countryside is a place of rocks, cedar trees and magnificent ruins that look down from the mountains to the sea.

Area: 4000 sq m (10452 sq km), Water constitutes 1.8% of the total area.

Demographics:

  • The population of Lebanon was estimated to be 4,125,247 in July 2010. The Lebanese “are descended from many different peoples who have occupied, invaded, or settled this corner of the world,” making Lebanon, “a mosaic of closely interrelated cultures.
  • Millions of people of Lebanese descent are spread throughout the world, especially in Latin America, for example Brazil has the largest expatriate population. Large numbers of Lebanese migrated to West Africa, particularly to the Ivory Coast (home to over 100,000 Lebanese) and Senegal (roughly 30,000 Lebanese). Australia is home to over 270,000 Lebanese (1999 estimation and nowadays they are much more).

Language

Article 11 of Lebanon’s Constitution states that “Arabic is the official national language. A law determines the cases in which the French language may be used”. The majority of Lebanese people speak Lebanese Arabic, while Modern Standard Arabic is mostly used in magazines, newspapers, and formal broadcast media. Almost 40% of Lebanese are considered francophone, and another 15% “partial francophone,” and 70% of Lebanon’s secondary schools use French as a second language of instruction. By comparison, English is used as a secondary language in 30% of Lebanon’s secondary schools. The use of French is a legacy of the post-World War I League of Nations mandate over Lebanon given to France; It should be noted, however Lebanon’s educated youth speak fluently Arabic, French and English.

English is increasingly used in science and business interactions. Lebanese people of Armenian, Assyrian, or Greek descent often speak Armenian, Neo-Aramaic, or Greek with varying degrees of fluency. There are currently around 150,000 Armenians in Lebanon, or around 5% of the population

GDP(Nominal/2011 estimation):

Total: 39039 Billion $, Per Capita: 9862 $

Currency: Lebanese Lira.

Culture

The culture of Lebanon is the cross culture of various civilizations over thousands of years. Originally home to the Phoenicians, and then subsequently conquered and occupied by the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks and most recently the French, Lebanese culture has over the millennia evolved by borrowing from all of these groups. Lebanon’s diverse population, composed of different ethnic and religious groups, has further contributed to the country’s festivals, musical styles and literature as well as cuisine.

Despite the ethnic, linguistic, religious and denominational diversity of the Lebanese, they “share an almost common culture”. Lebanese Arabic is universally spoken while food, music, and literature are deep-rooted “in wider Mediterranean and Levantine norms”

 

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