Religion in Lebanon
60% of Lebanese are Muslims, 40% are Christians. Among Muslims, Shiites predominate, Sunnis make up about 1/3 of Muslims, and there are also Druze communities. More than half of Lebanese Christians are Maronites, the rest are Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants.
Transport in Lebanon
The best way to get from Russia to Lebanon is by plane. You can also get into the country from Europe, from where planes fly to Beirut, and ferries depart from countries located on the coast and islands of the Mediterranean Sea. It is worth remembering that the Lebanese border with Israel is closed to tourists. Buses are the main means of transportation in the country, as there are no railways in Lebanon and no domestic airlines. A network of bus routes links more than just Beirut International Airport with large cities and resorts, as well as almost all settlements of the country, but also local cities with neighboring countries. Bus tickets can be purchased at the bus station or from the driver. Ferries run between major coastal cities in Lebanon.For trips within cities, you can also use buses or taxi services. The price of a taxi ride should be negotiated with the driver before boarding.
There are car rentals in Beirut and Tripoli. In order to rent a car, you must have an international driving license, be over 21 years old and have a driving experience of 3 years.
Plant and Animal World in Lebanon
Palm trees, cypresses, figs, as well as entire groves of olive, citrus and fruit trees grow in the coastal regions of the country. The foothills are dominated by oak, carob, holly, laurel, juniper, wild olive and evergreen shrubs. On the slopes of the mountains, sycamore, maple, cypress, Aleppo pine and spruce are common. Also, at altitudes from 1000 to 2000 m, there are Lebanese cedars under state protection, which have become a national symbol. In the southern part of the Bekaa Valley, there are numerous agricultural lands and vineyards. In its northern part there are rocky deserts, among which maples, poplars, ash-trees, hornbeams, dogwoods and wild nuts grow along the banks of the Orontes River.
Of the large mammals in Lebanon, chamois, deer, hyenas, jackals and the rare Syrian bear live. On the territory of the country there is a huge variety of rodents and birds of prey. Snakes live in the mountains and desert areas.
Minerals in Lebanon
From minerals, limestone, iron ore, lead and salt are mined in small quantities.
Banks in Lebanon
Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 16:00, on Saturday – from 8:00 to 13:00.
Money in Lebanon
The national currency of Lebanon is the Lebanese pound (Lebanese lira). 1 Lebanese pound is divided into 100 piastres. In circulation there are denominations of 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 and 100000 pounds and coins of 250 and 500 pounds.
You can exchange foreign currency in banks, exchange offices and hotels. But it is best to take US dollars with you on a trip, they are accepted for payment everywhere. In restaurants, shops and hotels, all prices are duplicated in US currency. If you are going to pay in US dollars, then you need to make sure that you always have small bills in denominations from 1 to 20 dollars. Major hotels, shops and restaurants also accept credit cards. ATMs are located in Beirut and other major cities. It is worth noting that only certain types of traveler’s checks are cashed in banks and exchange offices, so it is not recommended to take them with you on a trip.
Rate: 10000 Lebanese Pound (LBP) = 5.98 USD
POLITICAL STATUS in Lebanon
The official name of the country is the Lebanese Republic. According to politicsezine, this is an independent democratic republic, in which state power is built on the principle of confessionalism, which implies a balance between representatives of various religious communities in the ruling circles. Confessionalism originated in the middle of the 20th century. Since then, a Maronite Christian has become the president of the country, a Sunni Muslim has become the prime minister, and the number of seats in parliament is divided equally between Christians and Muslims. The head of state is the president. He is elected for a 6-year term and is not eligible to remain in office for a second term. Executive power is vested in the President and the Cabinet of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the consent of the Lebanese Parliament – the National Assembly, which has legislative power.
There are many political parties in the country, which are formed on a religious and clan basis. Only 40 MPs out of 128 belong to one political party or another. Of the largest parties in Lebanon, known throughout the world, one can single out the Shiite Amal and Hezbollah. Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization in Western countries, however, it has seats in the Lebanese parliament and greatly influences the political situation in the country.
Administratively, Lebanon is divided into 6 provinces (governances): Beirut, Mount Lebanon, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, Beqaa and Nabatiyah.
Population in Lebanon
95% of the country’s inhabitants are Arabs, 4% are Armenians, and the remaining 1% are Greeks, Turks and Kurds.
The official state language is Arabic. Arabs who are educated also speak French or English.
Cuisine in Lebanon
Lebanese cuisine is dominated by traditional Arabic dishes. The first is usually served with lentil soup “hinbi”, soup-puree of tomatoes, rice and sweet peppers and various broths. Mezze appetizers are served before meat dishes, consisting of ten or even fifty dishes. Meat dishes are prepared mainly from chicken, lamb and veal. Be sure to try the lamb meat pate with crushed wheat “kibbe”, kebab (chopped meat of a young lamb with spices), lamb with onions, peppers and tomatoes “lam-mishvi”, charcoal-fried lamb cutlets with greens “kafta”, baked on grilled lamb chop “castaleta”, lamb meatballs “daud-basha”, as well as traditional shawarma and dolma, the finest bread “khabiz-libneni”.
Coastal towns offer a rich selection of seafood dishes. From vegetable dishes in Lebanon, parsley and onion salad “wara-orish”, baked eggplants with butter, garlic and lemon “babaganuzh”, lentils with rice and onions “mzhaddara”, porridge from coarsely ground wheat “burgul”, pureed Turkish peas with sesame oil “hommos” and a salad of greens and tomatoes with “tabbouleh” oil. Desserts include all kinds of baklava and oriental sweets, mchalabie semolina pudding, sweet cheese or fruit.
It is customary to finish the meal with strong Arabic coffee or mint tea. Juices with ice, compotes and sour-milk drink “Ayran” are also common among drinks.
Lebanese wines, which have been produced here since the time of the Phoenicians, are known all over the world. In addition, local alcoholic drinks are represented by “arakom”, “Laziza” beer and “Ksara” cognac.