Lebanon (GPS: 33 50 N, 35 50 E) located in Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria. The country’s area measurements are total: 10,400 sq km; land: 10,230 sq km, water: 170 sq km. This sovereign state is about one-third the size of Maryland. The total irrigated land is 1,040 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Lebanon: Smallest country in continental Asia. Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East, not crossing an international boundary. Rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Beirut’s GPS coordinates are 33 52 N 35 30 E. Beirut’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French demarcated the region of Lebanon in 1920 and granted this area independence in 1943. Since independence, the country has been marked by periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on its position as a regional center for finance and trade. The country’s 1975-90 civil war, which resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities, was followed by years of social and political instability. Sectarianism is a key element of Lebanese political life.
Neighboring Syria has historically influenced Lebanon’s foreign policy and internal policies, and its military occupied Lebanon from 1976 until 2005. The Lebanon-based Hizballah militia and Israel continued attacks and counterattacks against each other after Syria’s withdrawal and fought a brief war in 2006. Lebanon’s borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.
Lebanon’s names conventional long form: the Lebanese Republic, traditional short way: Lebanon, local extended state: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah, local short form: Lubnan, former: Greater Lebanon, etymology: derives from the Semitic root “lbn” meaning “white” and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon. Derives from the Semitic root “lbn,” meaning “white,” and snow-capped Mount Lebanon.
Lebanon’s terrain is typically narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains. The country’s mean elevation: 1,250 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Mediterranean Sea 0 m, highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m.
The general climate in the country; Mediterranean: mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers: the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows.
The total number of border countries is 2, Israel 81 km, Syria 403 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Lebanon’s coastline is 225 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 63.3%; arable land 11.9%; permanent crops 12.3%; permanent pasture 39.1%; forest: 13.4%; other: 23.3% (2011 estimate).
The population in Lebanon 6,100,075 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 87.8% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: BEIRUT (capital) 2.226 million (2015), while Lebanon has the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density. Their spoken languages are Arabic (official language), French, English, Armenian.
Main religions in Lebanon are Muslim 54% (27% Sunni, 27% Shia), Christian 40.5% (includes 21% Maronite Catholic, 8% Greek Orthodox, 5% Greek Catholic, 6.5% other Christian), Druze 5.6%, tiny numbers of Jews, Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons. Note: 18 religious sects recognized (2012 estimate). The nation uses mixed legal system of civil law based on the French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status, marriage, divorce, and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities. It is a(n) parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 22 November (1943).
Economic overview for the country: Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, complex customs procedures, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and inadequate intellectual property rights protection. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; the main growth sectors include banking and tourism. The 1975-90 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon’s economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and derailed Lebanon’s position as a Middle Eastern banking hub. Following the civil war, Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily, mostly from domestic banks, which saddled the government with a huge debt burden.
Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the 2000s have mostly gone unfulfilled, including those made during the Paris III Donor Conference in 2007, following the July 2006 war. The “CEDRE” investment event hosted by France in April 2018 again rallied the international community to assist Lebanon with concessional financing and some grants for capital infrastructure improvements, conditioned upon long-delayed structural economic reforms in fiscal management, electricity tariffs, and transparent public procurement, among many others. The Syria conflict cut off one of Lebanon’s major markets and a transport corridor through the Levant. The influx of nearly one million registered and an estimated 300,000 unregistered Syrian refugees have increased social tensions and heightened competition for low-skill jobs and public services.
Lebanon continues to face several long-term structural weaknesses that predate the Syria crisis, notably, weak infrastructure, poor service delivery, institutionalized corruption, and bureaucratic over-regulation. Chronic fiscal deficits have increased Lebanon’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the third-highest globally; Most of the debt is held internally by Lebanese banks. These factors combined to slow economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-2017, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Weak economic growth limits tax revenues, while the most massive government expenditures remain debt servicing, government workers’ salaries, and transfers to the electricity sector. These limitations constrain government spending, limiting its ability to invest in necessary infrastructure improvements, such as water, electricity, and transportation. In early 2018, the Lebanese government signed long-awaited contract agreements with an international consortium for petroleum exploration and production as part of its first offshore licensing round. An investigation is expected to begin in 2019.
Lebanon’s natural resources: limestone, iron ore, salt, the water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land.
Main export partners for Lebanon, Middle East are Saudi Arabia 12.1%, UAE 10.6%, Iraq 7.6%, Syria 7.1%, South Africa 6.6% (2015) for jewelry, base metals, chemicals, consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper, while the main import partners for the country are: China 11.5%, Italy 7.1%, Germany 6.8%, France 6%, US 5.7%, Russia 4.6%, Greece 4.4% (2015) for petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals.
When you visit this country in the Middle East, consider the natural hazards in Lebanon: Dust storms, sandstorms, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Lebanon faces the following environmental issues: Deforestation, Soil deterioration, erosion, Desertification, Species loss, Air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes, pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills, waste-water management.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Lebanon around its total: 484 km border, like Israel, Syria.