Where is Lebanon located?

What countries border Lebanon?

Lebanon Weather

What is the current weather in Lebanon?


Lebanon Facts and Culture

What is Lebanon famous for?

  • Food and Recipes: Guests should at least try food served by host before refusing it, but politely declining a full meal can be... More
  • Fashion: Western-style clothing is common in urban areas. However traditional Muslim clothing, such as a woman's "chador" (long dress) is also... More
  • Visiting: Hosts usually serve guests something to drink; usually coffee or tea and is prepared and served without asking the guests.... More
  • Recreation: Soccer, basketball and volleyball are popular. Cross-country running in the mountains and martial arts are also enjoyed. Many Lebanese also... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Attitudes vary greatly among the people. Life in Lebanon is still fairly relaxed and slow paced. People tend to care... More
  • Dating: Traditionally, neither Christians nor Muslims dated each other. Many marriages are arranged by the family. Today, Christians and many urban... More
  • Diet: Stews are popular in Lebanon. The cuisine is often spicy and hot. But because of the warm climate, many dishes... More

Lebanon Facts

What is the capital of Lebanon?

Capital Beirut
Government Type parliamentary republic
Currency Lebanes Pouind (LBP)
Total Area 4,015 Square Miles
10,400 Square Kilometers
Location Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria
Language Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
GDP - real growth rate 2%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $18,600.00 (USD)

Lebanon Demographics

What is the population of Lebanon?

Ethnic Groups Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
Nationality Adjective Lebanese
Nationality Noun Lebanese (singular and plural)
Population 5,469,612
Population Growth Rate -0.04%
Population in Major Urban Areas BEIRUT (capital) 2.022 million
Predominant Language Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Urban Population 87.2%

Lebanon Government

What type of government does Lebanon have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: President Michel AWN (since 31 October 2016) head of government: Prime Minister Hassan DIAB (since 21 January 2020) cabinet:... More
  • Suffrage: 21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at age 21 with elementary education; excludes military personnel More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: no citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Lebanon dual citizenship recognized: yes residency requirement for... More
  • National Holiday: Independence Day, 22 November (1943) More
  • Constitution: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926; amended several times, last in 2004 More
  • Independence: 22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration) More

Lebanon Geography

What environmental issues does Lebanon have?

  • Overview: Lebanon is renowned for its scenic beauty, although uncontrolled development and exploitation mar many areas. Along the Mediterranean there... More
  • Climate: From May through October, sunny weather prevails and rain is infrequent. Temperatures rarely go above 90°F in the summer. Fall... More
  • Border Countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 km More
  • Environment - Current Issues: deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal... More
  • Environment - International Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,... More
  • Terrain: narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains More

Lebanon Economy

How big is the Lebanon economy?

  • Economic Overview: Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the... More
  • Industries: banking; food processing; jewelry; cement; textiles; mineral and chemical products; wood and furniture products; oil refining; metal fabricating More
  • Currency Name and Code: Lebanes Pouind (LBP) More
  • Export Partners: UAE 11%, Switzerland 9.1%, Saudi Arabia 8.2%, US 6.2%, Jordan 4.2% More
  • Import Partners: Italy 11.3%, France 10.7%, Germany 8.3%, US 5.6%, Syria 5.4%, China 4.8%, Belgium 4.5%, UK 4.2% More

Lebanon News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Lebanon?
Source: Google News

Interesting Lebanon Facts

What unique things can you discover about Lebanon?

  • A special food served by Christians at Easter and Muslims on their feast days is maamul, a pastry filled with dates, pistachios and almonds, and sprinkled with icing sugar.
  • An herbal tea made from sugar, spices and walnuts is sometimes prepared for a new mother and her baby to drink. The tea is thought to increase the mother's milk supply and cure a baby's colic.
  • As elsewhere in Arabic countries, Lebanese greetings are formal and lengthy. The expression for goodbye (allah ma'ak) means "Go in peace, God be with you." Guests may be welcomed into a home with the expression ahlan wa sahlan, meaning "you are in your family on a ground without stumbling stones."
  • Both Lebanese and tourists shop at souqs, the traditional Arab markets. Many Lebanese also shop at huge shopping malls that are as modern as any in North America.
  • In 1993, Lebanese novelist Amin Maalouf, who has lived in France since 1976, won France's most prestigious literary prize, the Priz Goncourt, for his novel Le rocker de Tanios (The Rock of Tanios), a love story set in 19th century Lebanon.
  • Lebanese enjoy car racing, and the country holds two major rallies annually. Currently, Lebanon is bidding to become the home of the first Middle East Formula One Grand Prix.
  • Lebanon has been called "the playground of the Middle East" because of its inviting beaches and mountains. Few countries offer the opportunity to swim in the warm sea in the morning and downhill ski in the afternoon.
  • Lebanon has four film schools and is a major center of film production. The Lebanese director Maroun Bagdadi won a prize at the 1991 Cannes Festival for Hors de Vie (Out of Life).
  • Newspapers flourish in Lebanon. Nearly every political party publishes a newspaper. Currently, the country publishes 40 dailies, plus many weekly and monthly publications.
  • Since before Biblical times, Lebanon has been famous for its cedar trees. The Temple of Solomon was built by Lebanese workers using cedar from Lebanon. Lebanese cedar was also found in the tombs of the Pharaohs of Egypt. The trees can grow up to 24 meters.
  • Some churches and mosques exist in the same building, with only a wall dividing them.
  • Street vendors in Lebanon often sell fruit juice that is fresh-squeezed on the spot. In Tripoli, a specialty fruit drink is jellab, which is made from raisins.
  • The ancient city of Byblos, known by Arabs today as Jbeil, is the world's oldest continuously inhabited city. Its name is thought to come from the Greek word for papyrus (bublos). In Phoenician times, Byblos was a stopping point for papyrus shipments from Egypt to Greece. The Greek word biblion (meaning book) is the origin of the English word Bible.
  • The cedar tree on Lebanon's flag symbolizes strength, holiness and eternity. The white background stands for peace, and the red bands represent sacrifice.
  • The Phoenician alphabet, which was in use around 1600 BC, is widely considered the foundation for alphabetic writing in the West and Middle East. The Phoenicians were also magnificent sailors who navigated by the North Star, then known as the Phoenician Star.
  • The sixth pillar of Islam for Shi'ite Muslims is the jihad, which is often mistranslated as "holy war." The jihad is a striving against the godless, which can mean godless people, but more commonly means the unholy or sinful aspects of oneself
  • Tripoli has long been known for its art of soap making. Soap is created with natural ingredients, using an olive oil base infused with honey, herbs and essential oils.
  • When a child loses a tooth they throw their tooth into the sea or a field and say
    "Oh sun, oh sun, take the mouse's tooth and give me a gold tooth."

Lebanon Travel Information

What makes Lebanon a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

The Republic of Lebanon is a parliamentary republic. Political power is concentrated in the office of the President, Speaker of Parliament, and Prime Minister, each representing one of Lebanon's three largest religious sects (Maronite Christians, Shia and Sunni Muslims, respectively). Since 1973, Lebanon has been in a state of war with Israel; UN peacekeeping forces are present in Lebanon to monitor the ceasefire that went into effect with the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Crime

The crime rate in Lebanon is moderate, and both car theft and burglaries occur. Violent crime and sexual assault are rare, but do happen. The Embassy receives regular reports, however, of domestic abuse. Petty theft -- such as pick pocketing and purse snatching -- is common in crowded public areas. Police are responsive but often unable to affect a positive outcome. There are no special concerns with regard to targeted victimization of U.S. citizens in scams or confidence schemes.

There have been incidents involving a theft ring that appear to target foreigners using service cars. Service cars are privately owned vehicles bearing red license plates that act as public transportation for multiple passengers at one time. Typically, a service car that already contained two people (the driver and one passenger), picked up the potential passenger. The driver then took the victim to a more isolated area or the freeway where the first “passenger” robbed the second passenger by threatening him/her with a gun. Because of the risks inherent in using any unknown transportation, U.S. citizens should be wary of these service cars and carry the number of a reputable taxi company in case of emergencies.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Lebanon, you are subject to all Lebanese laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. For example, you may be taken in for questioning if you do not have your passport with you. It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings, including some government buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States; for example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Lebanon your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not where you are going.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

n Beirut and the surrounding areas, modern medical care and medicines are widely available. Modern facilities are not always available in outlying areas, although no location in the country is more than three hours from the capital. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services, and without such payment, may deny service even in emergency cases. A list of doctors who speak English and a list of hospitals are available from the U.S. Embassy and at the Embassy's website.

Safety and Security

The current Department of State Travel Warning advises U.S. citizens against travel to Lebanon. U.S. citizens who visit or reside in Lebanon despite the Travel Warning should be aware that there are a number of serious security concerns, and should consult the Travel Warning for up-to-date information.

U.S. citizens traveling to Lebanon should also be aware that personnel from the U.S. Embassy are not able to travel in all areas of Lebanon. In the case of an emergency involving a U.S. citizen in areas where it is unsafe for Embassy personnel to travel, the Embassy may not be able to render assistance.

In the event that the security climate in the country worsens, U.S. citizens will be responsible for arranging their own travel out of Lebanon. U.S. citizens with special medical or other needs should be aware of the risks of remaining given their condition and should be prepared to seek treatment in Lebanon if they cannot arrange for travel out of the country.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Lebanon is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

An international driver’s license is required for visitors to Lebanon. Drivers in Lebanon often maneuver aggressively and pay little regard to traffic lights and stop signs. Lanes are generally unmarked and roads outside the capital may be poorly lighted. Pedestrians should exercise particular caution. Intercity directional signs and street markers are slowly improving throughout the country, but side roads are often not signposted at all. Public transportation is generally safe.

While there is limited enforcement, the laws of Lebanon prohibit both drunk driving as well as cell phone usage when driving.

Emergency services in Lebanon are adequate. In case of a road accident, emergency numbers are “140” for the Red Cross and “125” for the emergency civil police.

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