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Lebanon was at one time known as a nation that rose above sectarian hatred; Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. All of that was blown apart by senseless religious wars, financed and exploited in part by those who sought power and wealth. If women had been in charge, would they have been more sensible? It's a theory.
Roger Ebert born April 1942, died June 2013. Film critic for the 'Chicago Sun-Times'.
September 2012 saw the 25th anniversary of one of the seminal moments in recent Lebanese history, the 1975 massacre of the inhabitants of the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps by Falangist (Christian) militia with the support of Israeli troops lead by Ariel Sharon. The then leader of the Palestinians, Yasser Arafat had warned that the retreat of the Fedayeen militias, the camps’ refugees had become increasingly vulnerable. This melancholy anniversary served as a sharp reminder to the Lebanese of their country’s exposure to the cross currents of regional disputes.
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- Political structure
- Main cities
- Languages spoken
- Industry and manufacturing
- Financial markets
- Banking and insurance
- Dress codes
- Entry requirements
- Health (for visitors)
- Credit cards
- Public holidays
- Working hours
- Social customs and useful tips
- Getting there
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Official name: Jumhouriya al Lubnaniya (Republic of Lebanon)
Head of State: There is no president currently. Michel Sulayman’s term expired on 25 May 2014; the prime minister and his cabinet are temporarily assuming the duties of the president.
Head of government: Prime Minister Tamam Salam (from 14 Feb 2014))
Ruling party: On 15 February 2014, Salam announced a national unity government of 24 ministers including March 8 and March 14 alliances, and independents.
Area: 10,452 square km
Population: 4.51 million (2014)*
Official language: Arabic
Currency: Lebanese pound (LL) = 100 piastres
Exchange rate: LL1,512.70 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$11,068 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 2.00% (2014)*
GDP: US$49.92 billion (2014)*
Inflation: 1.85% (2014)*
Balance of trade: -US$15.17 billion (2013)
* estimated figure