Lebanon Country Overview

By | November 15, 2021

Lebanon, officially Arabic Al-Djumhurijja al-Lubnanijja [-d ʒ ʊ m-], German Lebanese Republic, state in the Middle East, on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea with (2018) 6.8 million residents; The capital is Beirut.

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Development since 2000

For the first time, residents of the former security zone were able to take part in an election in Lebanon in September 2000. In the two southern provinces, Hezbollah, which was critical of the government, prevailed over the Amal movement, which was also Shiite but loyal to the state. On September 20, 2000, the Maronite-Christian Bishops’ Conference issued a public declaration calling for the 30,000 Syrian soldiers stationed in Lebanon to be withdrawn. While President Lahoud defended the Syrian military presence, Prime Minister Hariri joined the bishops’ criticism. On April 9, 2001, the Lebanese army leadership banned all unauthorized anti-Syrian gatherings and demonstrations.

In September 2004 the parliament decided – through a constitutional amendment – to extend the term of office of President Lahoud by three years. Differences between him and Prime Minister Hariri prompted the head of government to resign a little later; he was followed in October by O. Karame(already Prime Minister 1990–92) in office, which formed a government that was considered to be pro-Syrian – without the participation of the Druze and Christian opposition. At the same time, international criticism of Syria’s influence on Lebanese politics and of the Syrian military presence in the country increased. In September 2004 UN resolution 1559 was passed, calling for the restoration of complete sovereignty in Lebanon and for the disarmament or dissolution of the militias (especially the Hezbollah militias) in the country.

In a bomb attack on February 14, 2005, the former Prime Minister Hariri and numerous other people were killed. Accompanied by large demonstrations in Beirut, the anti-Syrian opposition, which Hariri had previously approached, assigned responsibility for the murder to the occupying power. The withdrawal of the Syrian troops stationed in Lebanon began in March 2005 (completed at the end of April). Under pressure from ongoing protests, v. a. New elections were held in May / June 2005 against the government that is considered to be pro-Syrian (including resignation of Prime Minister Karamé in April). From these it was about the son of the murdered Rafik al-Hariri, Saad al-Hariri , formed anti-Syrian alliance emerged victorious and provided the head of government with F. Siniora. Hezbollah also took part in the government for the first time, but opposed the disarming of its militias controlling the south of the country in accordance with UN resolution 1559.

Main Cities in Lebanon


Tripoli, Arabic Tarabulus asch-Scham, Trablos, city ​​in northern Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, trade and transport center of the northern part of the country and with (2017) 450,000 residents the second largest city in the country.

Seat of a Maronite and a Melkite archbishop; Museum, theater; Textile industry, soap factories; 3 km northwest on a headland the port of Al-Mina and the oil port at the end of the pipelines (which have been closed since 1982) from the Iraqi oil fields (especially Kirkuk), with oil refinery.

The castle of Saint-Gilles and the remains of the former cathedral Sainte-Marie-de-la-Tour (converted into the Great Mosque in the 14th century; the Lombard-style bell tower now serves as a mihrab) date from the Crusader period (12th century). The Teilani (also Tainal) mosque was built in the 14th century around a former 12th century Carmelite church. Various madrasas are also important, v. a. the Kartavija madrasah, built in the 14th century on the plan of the former baptistery of the cathedral (facade with rich marble mosaic), and the Burtasijat madrasah (1360) in Mameluke style (mihrab with rich gold mosaic); at the harbor the »lion tower«, a watchtower built in 1441 by the Mamluks.

Tripoli was a Phoenician trading post (Greek Tripoli); In the Middle Ages, under the rule of the Arabs, it developed into a commercial and industrial town; 1109 – after seven years of siege – captured by the crusaders, then the seat of a county, recaptured in 1289 by the Mamluk sultan Kalaun (1279–90). 1516–1918 part of the Ottoman Empire.


Saida, [ za ɪ da], provincial capital in southern Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast, (2017) 250 000 residents.

Seat of a Maronite bishop and a Melkite archbishop; Monastery library of the Melkite Basilians (including around 2,500 manuscripts); Fruit trade (cultivation in the area), handicrafts.

On the rock in front of the coast remains of a crusader castle (Kalat al-Bakr; with a well-preserved watchtower) built in 1228 (for Frederick II), which is connected to the city by a dam. Two former caravanserais (17th century) near the port; the mosques date from the 16th to 17th centuries. Century, the Great Mosque (Djami al-Kebur) is built on the foundations of the Johanniterspital of the 13th century. To the south of the city are the ruins of the crusader castle of Saint Louis, probably built over the ancient city of Sidon.


Sahla [ zaxla], Zahle, French Zahle [za le], city in Lebanon, 1,050 meters above sea level, on the eastern edge of Mount Lebanon in the Beka, in the metropolitan area (2017) 140 000 residents.

Provincial administration; Seat of a Melkite archbishop, Syrian Orthodox theological seminary; important viticulture, fruit growing (apples); Arrack distillery; Summer freshness.


Sur, Sour [su ː r], city in southern Lebanon, on a peninsula (formerly an island) on the Mediterranean Sea, around (2017) 125,000 residents.

Small port; Fishing.

Sur, in Phoenician Sor, is ancient Tire.

Lebanon Country Overview