Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lebanon's Independance day!

For those who do not know today we celebrate our country's Independance Day from the French mandate which lasted from 1922 until around the end of WWII in 1943. The last of the French troop withrdrew from Lebanon in 1946. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the League of Nations had mandated the five provinces that make up present-day Lebanon to the direct control of France... more details here:
A little summary about My Beloved Lebanon:
  • Located on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Bordered by Syria and Israel
  • Land area: 10,452 km2
  • Population: 3.5 millions
  • Formed by: A narrow coastal plain, The Bekaa Valley, The Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains
  • Literacy rate: 92.4%
  • Capital: Beirut
  • Languages: Arabic, French, English & Armenian
  • Subtropical Climate: Mild to Cool: Wet winter & Dry Summers, Temperatures: 23-30°C (Aug.), 11-17° C (Jan.), 300 sunny days/year, 899 mm of rain in Beirut
  • Winter Ski Destination: Qornet es Saouda (3,090 m), from December to May
    Examples: Faqra, Faraya, The Cedars, Laklouk, Zaarour Qanat Bakish
  • The Capital Beirut: The City that Would Not Die, Once Known as “The Paris of the Middle East”, Five Universities, Flourishing Art Scene (theater, filmmaking, music, plastic arts)… City on the move!, Natural venue for international, regional or local conferences and conventions, Ancient City, Numerous archeological sites
  • Several Religious Communities: ­11 Christian groups: 6 Catholic, 4 Orthodox and 1 Protestant (Maronites, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, other Christian minorities), ­5 Islamic groups: Shiite, Sunni, Isma’ilite, Alaoui, Druze…, Judaism
  • Three Social Classes: Multitude of cultures and traditions, Muslims mostly part of poor communities, Three social classes: Lower, Middle & Higher, Middle class slowly but surely disappearing
  • Byblos, Tyre & Beirut Are Some of the Important Ancient Phoenician Cities:
    •Lebanese people are proud of Phoenician heritage
    •Semitic & European civilizations owe alphabet to Phoenicians
    •Mythological figures: Beautiful Adonis, Europa who gave name to Europe
    •Colonies: Carthage, Corsica, Marseille,…
  • “Old History” Lebanon: The biblical “Land of Milk and Honey”: Settlers: 10,000 BC onwards, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Neo-Babylonians, Persians, Romain province of Syria, Byzantine Empire, Umayyad, Abbasids, Fatimid Dynasty, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamelukes, Ottoman Empire, Turkish military rule, French Rule (1918)
  • “New History”:
    •1975 – War broke out because of Muslim/Christian conflict, displaced Palestinians (500,000 currently),…
    •Syrian intervention
    •Israel set up surrogate militia to protect from PLO
    •UN set up Peacekeepers
    •1988 – Attempt to expel Syria
    •1993 – Operation Grapes of Wrath
    •2000 – Israeli retreat
    •Conflicting players in Middle East use Lebanon as turf to fight their battles: PLO, Syrians, Iranians, Israelis, UN
  • The Governmental System: Independent Sovereignty since 1946, Democratic Country, Parliamentary system headed by the Prime Minister, Separation of executive, legislative & judicial powers, President elected for 6 years, 128 members of Parliament for 4 years, Half Christian & half Muslim (TAIF agreement)
  • The Republic: October 1989 – TAIF Agreement: ­MPs: half Christians & half Muslims,
    ­Executive power of state transferred from president to cabinet of ministers, ­Lebanon proclaimed Arabic country, Religion of ministers and president laid down in constitution (1926) in proportion to demographics, No state religion, Personal freedom & freedom of the press guaranteed and protected
  • Current Situation With Syria: ­35,000 Syrian troops stationed in Lebanon (civil clothes), Syrian will not leave until agreement signed between Palestine & Israel, ­Parliamental and Presidential elections pre-decided by Syria: Lebanon NOT sovereign or independent country, ­1989 - TAIF agreement redistributed power between Christian & Muslim, gave Syria chance to institutionalize hold over Lebanon
  • Current Situation With Israel: ­Embargo, ­Total naval blockades imposed by Israel on ports
    ­1993 – Grapes of Wrath operation, ­2000 – Israeli withdrawal from the South, Bombardments of electricity power plants in Christian area usually beginning of summer, summer war July 2006:
    –Kill touristic season
    –Discourage potential investors
    –Show that Syria alliance ineffective to defend Lebanese people or territory

the above might need a bit of updating ;)

No comments:

Naharnet Lebanon News

Marketing in Lebanon