GENERAL /

Date Established: November 22, 1943

US Aid: Obligated: $45 million
Spent: $48 million

GOVERNMENT /

Chief of State: President Michel Awn

Head of Government: Prime Minister Hassan Diab

Government Type: Parliamentary Republic

Capital: Beirut

Legislature: Parliament of Lebanon

Judiciary: Mixed legal system of civil law based on French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities

Ambassador to US: Gabriel Issa

US Ambassador: Dorothy C. Shea

PEOPLE & SOCIETY /

Population: 5.5 million

Language: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian

Ethnicity: Arabs (95%), Armenian (4%), other (1%)

Religion: Sunni (30.6%), Shia (30.5%), Christian (majority Maronite Catholics) (33.7%), Druze (5.2%), small number of Jews, Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus

Christian Communities: Syriac Maronite, Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox, Greek (Melkite) Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Roman Catholic, Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic, Protestant

Lebanon

Lebanon

BACKGROUND

Lebanon is a small country in the Near East, bordering Syria to the north and the east, Israel to the south and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Since the 18th century, Mount Lebanon, the historical nucleus of the state of Lebanon, became a safe haven and homeland for many persecuted Christians from the Ottoman Empire. The Republic of Lebanon was born on September 1, 1920 in the aftermath of World War I, under the French mandate, to defend and protect Christian minorities from falling into subordination to a pan-Arab state where Muslims would be dominant. Lebanon gained its independence from the French on November 22, 1943.

Boasting a patchwork of religious diversity, Lebanon is home to 18 communities divided into Christians, Muslims (Sunnis and Shi`as) and Druzes. Amongst the Christian denominations, the Syriac Maronite Church is the largest, followed by the Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox Church. It is estimated that the Christians today constitute 33.7% of the Lebanese population. To this day, Lebanon remains the only country in the Arab world where the head of State is Christian.

LATEST NEWS

  • Talks begin to resolve disputed Lebanon-Israel maritime border: Talks have begun to resolve the long-running dispute about Israel and Lebanon’s shared Maritime border. The talks are being facilitated by the UN and the United States, and could lead to the development of natural gas fields under the disputed area. Both sides have agreed to meet again at the end of the month, despite still being in a state of war formally. - UN News

  • Beirut’s migrant workers persist in the shadow of the blast: The twin explosions in the Port of Beirut exacerbated Lebanon’s deepening economic crisis, stranding thousands of migrant workers without work or a route home. The Interntional Organization for Migration estimates 24,500 migrants lost their jobs, homes, or were directly affected in other ways by the blasts. The rising number of evictions has forced many migrants to sleep in the streets, causing a breeding ground for COVID-19. - Al Jazeera

  • Save the Children reports surge in sea crossings from Lebanon: Hundreds of people have attempted the dangerous crossing from Lebanon to Cyprus via the Mediterranean, and there was a significant increase in September. These dangerous journeys have claimed the lives of several people this year. - Info Migrants

Lebanon

Lebanon

GENERAL /

Date Established: November 22, 1943

US Aid: Obligated: $45 million
Spent: $48 million

GOVERNMENT /

Chief of State: President Michel Awn

Head of Government: Prime Minister Hassan Diab

Government Type: Parliamentary Republic

Capital: Beirut

Legislature: Parliament of Lebanon

Judiciary: Mixed legal system of civil law based on French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities

Ambassador to US: Gabriel Issa

US Ambassador: Dorothy C. Shea

PEOPLE & SOCIETY /

Population: 5.5 million

Language: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian

Ethnicity: Arabs (95%), Armenian (4%), other (1%)

Religion: Sunni (30.6%), Shia (30.5%), Christian (majority Maronite Catholics) (33.7%), Druze (5.2%), small number of Jews, Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus

Christian Communities: Syriac Maronite, Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox, Greek (Melkite) Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, Armenian Catholic, Roman Catholic, Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic, Protestant

BACKGROUND

Lebanon is a small country in the Near East, bordering Syria to the north and the east, Israel to the south and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. Since the 18th century, Mount Lebanon, the historical nucleus of the state of Lebanon, became a safe haven and homeland for many persecuted Christians from the Ottoman Empire. The Republic of Lebanon was born on September 1, 1920 in the aftermath of World War I, under the French mandate, to defend and protect Christian minorities from falling into subordination to a pan-Arab state where Muslims would be dominant. Lebanon gained its independence from the French on November 22, 1943.

Boasting a patchwork of religious diversity, Lebanon is home to 18 communities divided into Christians, Muslims (Sunnis and Shi`as) and Druzes. Amongst the Christian denominations, the Syriac Maronite Church is the largest, followed by the Greek (Antiochian) Orthodox Church. It is estimated that the Christians today constitute 33.7% of the Lebanese population. To this day, Lebanon remains the only country in the Arab world where the head of State is Christian.

LATEST NEWS

  • Talks begin to resolve disputed Lebanon-Israel maritime border: Talks have begun to resolve the long-running dispute about Israel and Lebanon’s shared Maritime border. The talks are being facilitated by the UN and the United States, and could lead to the development of natural gas fields under the disputed area. Both sides have agreed to meet again at the end of the month, despite still being in a state of war formally. - UN News

  • Beirut’s migrant workers persist in the shadow of the blast: The twin explosions in the Port of Beirut exacerbated Lebanon’s deepening economic crisis, stranding thousands of migrant workers without work or a route home. The Interntional Organization for Migration estimates 24,500 migrants lost their jobs, homes, or were directly affected in other ways by the blasts. The rising number of evictions has forced many migrants to sleep in the streets, causing a breeding ground for COVID-19. - Al Jazeera

  • Save the Children reports surge in sea crossings from Lebanon: Hundreds of people have attempted the dangerous crossing from Lebanon to Cyprus via the Mediterranean, and there was a significant increase in September. These dangerous journeys have claimed the lives of several people this year. - Info Migrants

  • Huge fire at Beirut port brought under control: A towering inferno at Beirut’s port caused widespread panic. While the fire has been brought under control, it is not yet extinguished. No injuries have been reported. - Al Jazeera

  • Lebanese army says shot down Israeli drone that crashed in Lebanon: Israel’s military claimed that one of its drones fell inside Lebanon during operational activity, while the Lebanese army said it was shot down. The Israeli army spokesman said there is no risk of a breach of information. - The Jerusalem Post

  • Lebanon’s central bank governor won’t step down, says he tried not to let the system ‘collapse’: Lebanon’s central bank governor said that he will not resign, and wants to help the country in its time of distress. He also does not take responsibility for the state Lebanon is in. - CNBC

  • Displaced Syrians look for a way out of a Lebanon in conflict: Displaced Syrians have escaped Syria, only to have death haunt them in Lebanon as well. As poverty and protests grow in Lebanon, finding official resources to assist displaced people is less of a priority. While some plan escapes to Turkey, it would be very risky. - DW