Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic (Al-Jumhuriyah al-Lubnaniyah), is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Let’s learn more about it with these interesting facts that talk about its history, culture, geography, people, government and more…
Fact 1. Lebanon is the smallest recognized country on the entire mainland Asian continent.
Fact 2. Lebanon was referred to as the “Switzerland of the East” during the 1960s because of its financial soundness and diversity.
Fact 3. Lebanon ranks the highest among the other countries in the Arab world in Human Development Index and GDP per capita.
Fact 4. Mount Lebanon is a mountain range in Lebanon which averages above 2500 m in elevation. The name of the country, in fact, comes from this mountain range.
Fact 5. Alexander the Great once conquered what is now Lebanon in 332 BCE.
Fact 6. Between 1516 and 1918, Lebanon was a part of the Ottoman Empire.
Fact 7. In Lebanon no census has been undertaken since 1932 due to political sensitivity over religious affiliation.
Fact 8. The country underwent Civil War between 1975 and 1990 due to the fights between Christians and Muslims in the region.
Fact 9. Syria and Israel were actively involved in the Civil War fought in Lebanon. Both these countries sent their troops in the region.
Fact 10. Israel withdrew its troops from the region in May, 2000 and Syria followed suit in April, 2005.
Related: facts about Syria
Fact 11. The country’s parliament is equally divided among religious groups. Note that their president must be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of Parliament a Shiite Muslim.
Fact 12. They have seven main political parties.
Fact 13. The country operated less a President for more than a year. This has happened due to the movement of large flocks of Christians out of the country and they cannot have someone who is not a Maronite Christian as their president. However, Michel Aoun, the current president of Lebanon, was elected by parliament in October 2016.
Fact 14. Lebanon’s Parliament has 18 recognized sects and 128 seats. In fact, all 18 recognized religious sects in Lebanon are recognized in Parliament.
Fact 15. An extremely fertile flatland about 16 km wide and 129 km long from north to south, the Bekaa Valley, lies to the east of the Mount Lebanon Range.
Fact 16. Lebanon receives almost 80% of its yearly rainfall between November and March.
Fact 17. Lebanon has over 3,000 species of flora.
Lebanon on Map
Fact 18. In Lebanon a piece of land can have two legal owners. Yes, this is true. The piece of land is owned by one and the crop growing on the land is owned by other. So if you were to buy the piece of land, you would need to pay both these parties before you become the sole owner of the land.
Fact 19. Testimony from a pigeon clapper is not valid in court in Lebanon. As the work of this nature is considered unethical in Lebanon, people who do this job are considered inadequate for marriage, as well.
Fact 20. Since 1945, it is illegal to raise any foreign flag in Lebanon.
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Fact 21. Lebanon is an important commercial hub for the Middle East.
Fact 22. Lebanon is also the first Arab country to permit private radio and TV.
Fact 23. Lebanon is currently shelter to some 450,000 refugees living in the country. Majority of these live in the 12 refugee camps set up in Lebanon. These refugees suffer from poverty, unemployment, bad infrastructure and poor housing conditions.
Fact 24. An estimated 8-14 million Lebanese live outside Lebanon than those within – approximately, 4.5 million.
Fact 25. Currently, Lebanon has 60% Muslim and 40% Christian population.
Fact 26. You can find the largest concentration of Lebanese outside Lebanon in Brazil, which is estimated to be around 6 million. Countries including Argentina, mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Dominican Republic have large Lebanese communities.
Fact 27. Lebanese people living abroad sent an estimate 9 billion US dollars to their family members in Lebanon in 2014.
Fact 28. Lebanon is the only Middle Eastern country without a desert. They do not even have indigenous camels.
Fact 29. There are 21 major daily newspapers that serve the audience in Lebanon. However, the media is at the mercy of political parties for funding, which is also why most of which are biased.
Fact 30. The country also has the largest population of Christians of any Middle Eastern country.
Flag of Lebanon
Quick facts about Lebanon
|Total area||10,400 sq km|
|Population||6,237,738 (July 2016 est.)|
|Independence||22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)|
|National anthem||"Kulluna lil-watan" (All Of Us, For Our Country!)|
|National symbol||cedar tree
|National colors||red, white, green|
|Government type||parliamentary republic|
|Borders||Israel and Syria|
|Currency||Lebanese pound (LBP)|
|Religion||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%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons (est. 2012)|
|Life expectancy||77.6 Years (2016)|
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$18,200 (2015 est.)|
|Industries||banking, tourism, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating|
|Exports - commodities||jewelry, base metals, chemicals, consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper|
|Imports - commodities||petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals
|Climate||Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows|
|Terrain||narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains|
|Natural resources||limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land|
|Birth rate||14.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)|
|Death rate||4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)|
|Sex ratio||1.05 male(s)/female|
|Time Zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|Internet country code||.lb|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Holidays||New Year's Day, 1 January; Arab League Day, 22 March; Independence Day, 22 November; Evacuation Day, 31 December.
Christian religious holidays include Feast of St. Maron, 9 February; Good Friday; Easter Monday; Ascension; Assumption, 15 August; All Saints' Day, 1 November; and Christmas, 25 December.
Muslim religious holidays include 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', and Milad an-Nabi.