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lauantai 1. elokuuta 2015

Lebanon, Cool Facts #54

<= 53. Palestine                                                                                                          55. Kuwait => 

1. Lebanon and Syria

After the World War I, Lebanon as a part of Syria was mandated under French control. France separated then Lebanon from Syria and got the support of the local Lebanese Christians.

In 1943 Lebanon was declared independent and in the following decades Lebanon prospered and it was compared to Switzerland. The capital Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East, because it attracted so many tourists.

The economy was driven by tourism, agriculture, commerce and banking but the good and peaceful times ended in 1975 when the civil war started.


2. Power between Religious Groups

When Lebanon declared independence in 1943 their unwritten Nation Pact required that the Lebanese president must be Maronite Christian, the speaker of the parliament must be a Shiite Muslim, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the Depute Speaker of the parliament and Deputy Prime Minister a Greek Orthodox. Like this they wanted to avoid conflicts between the different religious groups.

President: Maronite Christian
Prime Minister: Sunni Muslim
Deputy Prime Minister: Greek Orthodox
Speaker of the parliament: Shiite Muslim
Deputy speaker of the parliament: Greek Orthodox

3. Civil War 1975-1990

The tension between Christians and Muslims was intense for a long time in Lebanon. The situation got worse when the PLO, Palestinian Liberation Organization arrived in southern Lebanon.
There were incidents where Palestinians abducted and shot Christians.

This caused the war between the Palestinians and Christian Falangists. The Lebanese Muslims interfered the war.
Later Lebanese government asked even Syria join the war to help the Christians. There was simultaneously the conflict of Israel and Palestine which affected Lebanon also.

The Lebanese Muslims wanted to join the Arab countries fighting against Israel but the Christians wanted to join the western countries. Israel attacked Lebanon three times during the civil war to eliminate the guerrillas of the PLO.

Picture taken during the civil war

4. Lebanese abroad

There are about 12 million Lebanese living abroad. That's nearly 3 times more than in Lebanon itself. A lot of Lebanese emigrated especially to Latin America, Western Africa and Persian Gulf. 

The population hasn't been counted since 1932 because the political distribution of power between the religious groups is so sensitive that the new numbers about different population groups could cause problems. 

The famous singer Shakira is Lebanese by her father's side ! 

The biggest Lebanese population in the world: 

Ivory Coast
Saudi Arabia

The Lebanese diaspora

5. Lebanese unique geography 

- Lebanon has four ski resorts in their mountaintops covered with snow
- In Lebanon tt's possible to go skiing in the morning and swimming in the warm Mediterranean Sea in the afternoon
- Lebanon is divided into the coastal plain, the Lebanon mountain range, the Beqaa valley and the Anti-Lebanon mountains considering their environment 
- Large forests of cedar tree grew in Lebanon in ancient times, this is why the cedar tree has been Lebanon's symbol since ancient times 
- Nowadays the forests cover only 13% of the land 


2000-600 BC The Phoenicians rule the Mediterranean
395 Lebanon belongs to Byzantium as the Roman Empire splits into two
600s Islam displaces Christianity in Lebanon
1000-1200 Christian crusaders fight against the Arabs in the Holy Land
1200s The Mamluks conquer the areas of the crusaders states
1516 Lebanon is attached to the Ottoman Empire
1697 Chehab Dynasty defeats the Maanid Dynasty
1840 The Druses and Maronites fight against the power and the European powers make the Turkish sultan found an autonomic province in libanonvuoret
1861 The Maronites take a flag with a cedar tree as their symbol 
1918 Ottoman Empire falls, Lebanon is part of Grand Syria
1920 UK gets Palestine and France Syria, France separates Lebanon from Syria 
1943 Lebanon becomes independent
1967 Refugee wave from Israel comes to Lebanon
1970 Palestinians are expelled from Jordan to Lebanon
1975 Civil war begins 
1982 Israel supports the Christians and attacks the PLO and Syria away from Lebanon
1990 Civil war ends 
2005 Prime minister Rafik Harir dies in a car bomb accident
2006 Hisbollah and Israel fights
2011Civil war in Syria drove over million Syrians to seek refuge from Lebanon

Maailman liput maat ja historia by Kimmo Kiljunen

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