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Lebanon

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Lebanon
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The Flag and Coat of Arms of Lebanon

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The location of Lebanon in the Middle East

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Lebanese kids inspect a US made M129 E2 Leaflet Dispenser.
Srs bidness.

Background

Lebanon is a small, largely mountainous country located in the Middle East, located at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. Due to its sectarian diversity, Lebanon follows a special political system, known as confessionalism, meant to distribute power as evenly as possible among different sects.

The flag of Lebanon features a cedar in green against a white backdrop, bounded by two horizontal red stripes along the top and bottom. This, and the very name of the country itself, are in reference to the verses of the Old Testament (mostly in Psalms) that speak of "Arzei HaL'vanon," or "Cedars of Lebanon." This is clearly extremely interesting.

The Civil War

Until the Lebanese Civil War, the country enjoyed relative calm and prosperity, driven by the tourism, agriculture, and banking sectors of the economy. It is considered the banking capital of the Arab world and was widely known as the "Switzerland of the Middle East" due to its financial power. Lebanon also attracted large numbers of tourists, to the point that the capital Beirut became widely referred to as the "Paris of the Middle East."

Immediately following the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. By early 2006, a considerable degree of stability had been achieved throughout much of the country, Beirut's reconstruction was almost complete, and an increasing number of foreign tourists were pouring into Lebanon's resorts. Meanwhile, Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamic paramilitary organization, had established a firm foothold in Southern Lebanon and was conducting attacks on Israel without the consent of the Beirut government. The 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah brought mounting civilian and military casualties, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure, and massive population displacement from July 12, 2006 until a ceasefire went into effect on August 14, 2006.

Future Developments

Lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms area in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; the roughly 2,000-strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been in place since 1978. The only British Army memnbers of UNIFIL were the Queen's Dragoon Guards in the 1980s. It is likely that the immediate history of Lebanon will be liberally sprinkled with the blood of innocents.

“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
                                              - Oscar Wilde

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