Lebanon (Arabic: لبنان), officially the Republic of Lebanon (الجمهوريّة البنانيّة), is a country in the Middle East, located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south.
In ancient times, the territory of today's Lebanon was inhabited by the Phoenicians, a Semitic tribe. The Phoenician script, which arose around the 12th century BC, is the first sub-phonetic writing system known to us. The Phoenicians established many trading colonies throughout the Mediterranean - the most important were Berit (present-day Beirut), Tire and Sidon (also in Lebanese territory), Carthage (in present-day Tunisia) and on the islands of Cyprus, Crete, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Majorca and Menorca. In later periods, the Phoenician cities maintained their independence until they fell under the rule of Alexander the Great in the 3rd century BC. After the death of Alexander, Phenicia was part of the Hellenistic kingdom of the Seleucids, before falling under Roman rule in the 1st century BC. and included in the province of Syria. In 395, Phenicia fell within the borders of the Eastern Roman Empire - Byzantium - and a large part of the Phoenicians accepted Christianity already in the first centuries after Christ. In the 7th century, the Muslim Arabs conquered the territory of Phoenicia, Islamizing and Arabizing in the following centuries the local predominantly Phoenician population, whose descendants are today the Shia and Sunni Lebanese. A part of the Christian Phoenician population also survived, whose descendants are today the Maronites and the Orthodox Lebanese. Later, the name of the territory was called Lebanon after the mountains of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, and from which comes the name of the resin for lamps in Christian temples, produced mainly in Lebanon from oak, which remains the name of the country to this day.
Part of the Arab Caliphate, Lebanon was recaptured by Byzantium during the reign of Emperor Basil I. But later the Arabs regained it, and in the Late Middle Ages it was the subject of the wars of the Crusaders, Seljuks and Mamluks. The County of Tripolitania was a crusader state covering the territories of today's Lebanon between 1105 – 1290, where the dynasty of the Counts of Saint Gilles was established. The Counts of Saint-Gilles, these are the Counts of Toulouse, the greatest lords in southern France. In the person of Raymond de Saint-Gilles, this dynasty was tied to the Cluniac Movement, whose main goal was to introduce the principle of monarchy in the Western Church.
From the beginning of the 16th century until the end of the First World War, Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire, and during most of the period it had a specific status (indirect Ottoman rule). In the fall of 1918, it was occupied by British and French troops. Since 1920, Lebanon has been a mandated territory of France. On May 26, 1926, the French High Commissioner promulgated a constitution declaring Lebanon a republic, but France retaining control over foreign relations and defense.
After the paragraphs in the constitution that limited the country's sovereignty were repealed, on November 22, 1943, Lebanon was officially declared an independent republic. In 1946, France withdrew its troops from Lebanon. In 1948, the country received more than 110 thousand refugees from Palestine. The presence of Palestinians in Lebanon leads to a number of problems for the Lebanese government and society. In 1967, the country was hit by a second large wave of Palestinian refugees. Lebanon is becoming a stronghold for Palestinian anti-occupation actions against Israel.The flourishing country in the 1960s and early 1970s became the arena of a bloody civil war in the period 1975-1990, which was largely the result of the interference of foreign powers in the country's internal political life.
After the "Black September" of 1970, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat took refuge in Lebanon. By the mid-1970s, the number of Palestinians in the country reached 300,000. This leads to an aggravation of relations in the Lebanese society - while the Muslims support the Palestinian cause, the Maronites (the main part of the Christians) are categorically in favor of expelling the Palestinians from Lebanon. Over time, the Palestine Liberation Organization managed to create a kind of state in the state of South Lebanon, which is actively used for actions against Israel.
Satellite image of Lebanon
The topography of Lebanon is mostly mountainous, apart from the narrow coastal strip and the Bekaa Valley, which plays a major role in Lebanese agriculture. In ancient times, the Lebanese inhabited the vast Lebanese cedar forests that are now depicted on their national flag. As a result of commercial activity, cutting them down for boat building and a careless attitude towards planting new trees, Lebanon has been deprived of its once dense cedar forests.
Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic republic, which is a prerequisite for a special system known as confessionalism. This system, aimed at preventing sectarian strife, attempts to fairly distribute the country's demographic differences in the governing body. As a result, religious communities are represented with certain quotas in parliament, the Council of Ministers and high positions in state administration. For example, the President must be a Maronite Catholic Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, the Deputy Minister an Orthodox Christian, and the Speaker of the Parliament a Shia Muslim.
The president is elected for a six-year term by the Lebanese parliament without the right to a second term. Although it is believed that it can be elected by a simple majority, in reality it is by consensus. The President, after consultation with representatives of the parliamentary groups, appoints the Prime Minister. The election and support of the cabinet by the parliament is binding. The president or prime minister convenes the cabinet, which also meets the requirements of confessionalism.
The Parliament is the legislative body in Lebanon. He is elected for a four-year term. Its main functions are to elect a president, approve the government, and approve the budget and laws.
The Lebanese legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code. Trials are not conducted by jury. The Lebanese legal system consists of three levels: the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation. There is also a system of religious courts that have jurisdiction over the family life of the followers of the respective religion such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. There is no civil marriage law in Lebanon