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Lebanon profile
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
Lebanon history
Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French separated out the region of Lebanon in 1920, and granted this area independence in 1943. A lengthy civil war (1975-90) devastated the country, but Lebanon has since made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions. Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater voice in the political process while institutionalizing sectarian divisions in the government. Since the end of the war, Lebanon has conducted several successful elections. Most militias have been reduced or disbanded, with the exception of Hizballah, designated by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and Palestinian militant groups. During Lebanon's civil war, the Arab League legitimized in the Ta'if Accord Syria's troop deployment, numbering about 16,000 based mainly east of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley. Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000 and the passage in September 2004 of UNSCR 1559 - a resolution calling for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon and end its interference in Lebanese affairs - encouraged some Lebanese groups to demand that Syria withdraw its forces. The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq HARIRI and 22 others in February 2005 led to massive demonstrations in Beirut against the Syrian presence ("the Cedar Revolution"), and Syria withdrew the remainder of its military forces in April 2005. In May-June 2005, Lebanon held its first legislative elections since the end of the civil war free of foreign interference, handing a majority to the bloc led by Sa'ad HARIRI, the slain prime minister's son. In July 2006, Hizballah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers leading to a 34-day conflict with Israel in which approximately 1,200 Lebanese civilians were killed. UNSCR 1701 ended the war in August 2006, and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) deployed throughout the country for the first time in decades, charged with securing Lebanon's borders against weapons smuggling and maintaining a weapons-free zone in south Lebanon with the help of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The LAF in May-September 2007 battled Sunni extremist group Fatah al-Islam in the Nahr al-Barid Palestinian refugee camp, winning a decisive victory, but destroying the camp and displacing 30,000 Palestinian residents. Lebanese politicians in November 2007 were unable to agree on a successor to Emile LAHUD when he stepped down as president, creating a political vacuum until the election of LAF Commander Gen. Michel SULAYMAN in May 2008 and the formation of a new unity government in July 2008. Legislative elections in June 2009 again produced victory for the bloc led by Sa'ad HARIRI, but a period of prolonged negotiation over the composition of the cabinet ensued. A national unity government was finally formed in November 2009 and approved by the National Assembly the following month. Inspired by the popular revolts that began in late 2010 against dictatorships across the Middle East and North Africa, marches and demonstrations in Lebanon were directed instead against sectarian politics. Although the protests gained some traction, they were limited in size and unsuccessful in changing the system. Opposition politicians collapsed the national unity government under Prime Minister Sa'ad HARIRI in February 2011. After several months in caretaker status, the government named Najib MIQATI Prime Minister.
interesting Lebanon facts
Conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
Conventional short form: Lebanon
Local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
Local short form: Lubnan
Formerly known as: Greater Lebanon
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Lebanon's capital city is Beirut
amazing Lebanon facts
Lebanon Constitution:
23 May 1926
Lebanon facts for kids
Lebanon population growth rate: -0.38%
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Lebanon highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m
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Lebanon lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
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About 16% of Lebanon's land is arable.
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Litani River is the Longest River in Lebanon
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Lebanon birth rate is 15 births/1,000 population
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Lebanon infant mortality rate is 15 deaths/1,000 live births
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Lebanon fertility rate is 1.75 children born/woman
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Lebanon climate:
Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows
interesting Lebanon facts
Top 10 cities of Lebanon with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Beirut: 1,916,100
2. Tripoli: 730,000
3. Sidon: 463,554
4. Tyre: 60,204
5. Nabatieh: 50,000
6. Zahle: 45,000
7. Jounieh: 35,500
8. Batroun: 35,312
9. Habbouch: 28,433
10. Baalbeck: 10,392
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Lebanon ethnic groups:
Arab - 95%
Armenian - 4%
Other 1%
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Lebanon Exports:
jewelry, base metals, chemicals, miscellaneous consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper
interesting Lebanon facts
Lebanon Imports:
petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals
interesting Lebanon facts
unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Nuwab (Arabic) or Assemblee Nationale (French) (128 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
There are 6 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Beqaa, Beyrouth (Beirut), Liban-Nord, Liban-Sud, Mont-Liban, Nabatiye
Political parties and leaders:
14 March Coalition: Democratic Left [Ilyas ATALLAH]; Democratic Renewal Movement [Nassib LAHUD]; Future Movement Bloc [Sa'ad al-HARIRI]; Kataeb Party [Amine GEMAYEL]; Lebanese Forces [Samir JA'JA]; Tripoli Independent Bloc 8 March Coalition: Development and Resistance Bloc [Nabih BERRI, leader of Amal Movement]; Free Patriotic Movement [Michel AWN]; Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc [Mohammad RA'AD] (includes Hizballah [Hassan NASRALLAH]); Nasserite Popular Movement [Usama SAAD]; Popular Bloc [Elias SKAFF]; Syrian Ba'th Party [Sayez SHUKR]; Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Ali QANSO]; Tashnaq [Hovig MEKHITIRIAN] Independent: Democratic Gathering Bloc [Walid JUNBLATT, leader of Progressive Socialist Party]; Metn Bloc [Michel MURR]