Lebanon appears 70 times in the old Testament. It is the oldest country name in the world, remaining unchanged for more than 4000 years!
Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing a unique political system – confessionalism! Currently, we are "thawraging" this. (Thawra:Arabic for revolution + peaceful rage + ing=new English word=you're welcome).
The largest mosque in Lebanon-The Great Mosque El-Mansouri in Tripoli- was built in 693AH/1294AD
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”-President John Kennedy, 1961. This sentence was first written in 1925 by the Lebanese writer and artist Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883-1931).
We have one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world, according to the UNESCO. Visit the Qadisha valley to marvel at our beautiful monasteries.
Lebanon has been producing wine for over 6,000 years...and still going strong.
Lebanon is the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East...with sects you've probably never even heard of.
Lebanon has 40 daily newspapers (the UK, 20 times in size, has 68). Every Lebanese is a political analyst and expert.
An estimated 15 million Lebanese live outside Lebanon, while approximately 4 million live in Lebanon. Be it in Lebanon or expats, most Lebanese see themselves as global citizens.
Don’t take our word for it, we haven't conducted a census since 1932.
The largest Lebanese diaspora is in Brazil, followed by the US.
Don't like visa's at the desk... With already strained resources and infrastructure, we have the highest ratio of refugees per capita.
Our official language is Arabic, but French is considered the legal second language according to the constitution with English being the business language. Be ready to be greeted with "Hi, keefak, ca va?". Confused much? We did mention we're global citizens...
The male to female ratio is about 1:1, so bring your own date.
For a small country that is hardly seen on the map, Lebanon has 5 UNESCO world heritage sites: Baalbek, Tyre, Byblos, Aanjar, Kadisha Valley and our infamous Arz Cedars.
We have extremely diverse ruins all under one roof. Many civilizations visited Lebanon, including: the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Mamluks and Ottomans.
We have the largest fragment of ancient Rome outside of Rome. Oh, yes, Baalbak will take your breath away!
The only remaining Temple of Jupiter (one of the main Roman Gods) is in Baalback aka the City of Sun.
The Temple of Bacchus, is referred to as the "small temple". It is actually larger than the Parthenon in Athens (36m wide and 69m long compared to 31m and 69m). Hedonist vacay anyone?
Lebanon has a flourishing wine scene with over 90 wineries and independent labels. Watch out Napa Valley!
Jesus Christ made his miracle of turning water into wine in Sidon, Lebanon. Therefore, technically, we drank Jesus's first batch.
UNESCO named Beirut the "World Book Capital" in 2009.
It is believed that purple dye originated in Tyre, a city in the South of Lebanon. This ancient Phoenician city is also known as the birthplace of Dido (Queen of Carthage) and Europa (Queen of Crete). In other words, we gave birth to Europe.
We have 185 historical monuments in just one city (Tripoli). Imagine what the rest of our cities have to offer.
We have more than 10 fortresses in Lebanon. The Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles (8,000m²/86111.28ft² ) in Tripoli is the largest and was built by the Crusaders.
We have 32 universities stretching across 10,452 km² (4035 sq. mi.).
We like options.
We celebrate 20 nationally recognized holidays a year, not just yours.
We have one doctor for every 10 people, and that doesn’t include our Teta (grandma in Arabic). Although she must be considered a doctor because Teta knows best.
Voted best nightclub in the world in 2009, Sky Bar is still considered one of the best entertainment experiences in the world with nightlife enthusiasts travelling specifically for the experience.
We turn 80's bomb shelters into nightclubs. Make sure B018 is on your nightlife checklist, It's positively explosive.
What started in 1956, is now the oldest cultural event in the Middle East with Roman Temples as the backdrop. Welcome to Baalbeck International Festival! A triumph of the senses. Don't miss it this summer!
We like summer festivals. We have one in almost every major city: the Baalbeck International Festival, Byblos International Festival, Tripoli International Festival, Zouk Mikael International Festival, Tyre International Festival, Batroun International Festival, Jounieh International Festival. it's more like love.
The Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1998 and its first rehearsals occurring in January of 2000. The LPO plays music every Friday from October to June at the St. Joseph Church in Monot for the public for free. How can you not like the tune of that!
Lebanon is home to the first Music Hall (2003), which features one of the best night entertainment experiences in the country; a rich eclectic melange of late-night dining plus live musical acts from around the world. Guaranteed to dance your feet off.
Casino du Liban first opened in 1959. It is one of the most exclusive Casinos in the world only allowing entry to individuals of a set income. It occupies an area of about 35,000 sq. ft meters and has about 400 slot machines & 60 gaming tables with five gourmet restaurants, a showroom, theater, night club and banquet facility. Alongside of hosting the prestigious Miss Lebanon competitions, it has also hosted six Miss Europe competitions in a row (1960-1965). Lebanon was the first country (outside Europe) to ever host the event.
We love to eat! Like really. really. really. love. to. eat. All our social encounters revolve around elaborate feasting. Not only that, but people will meet you and in seconds start to feed you. Don't be alarmed, but come prepared... come hungry!
One of our national dishes- Kebbeh- is a family of dishes featuring a mix of grain and meat or vegetables (for ex. potato) or pulses (for ex.lentils). The star of the mezze table is raw kebbeh, a Levantine steak tartare delicacy, eaten with fresh onions, mint & olive oil.
One of our other national dishes is the now infamous Tabbouleh. A dish known by many guises across the Levant and usually more burghul centric, we lightened it up by increasing the parsley to burghul ratio. Perfectly zesty and satiating, some Lebanese claim they can live on it alone!
In some Arabic dialects, the word for bread means ‘life’ or "Aysh". This is why you will find flatbreads served with almost every meal. Would you like some life with your hummus?
Za’atar is a catch-all term for a family of herbs indigenous to the region that vary in characteristics between oregano, thyme and marjoram
While za'atar, the blend, is an icon of the Lebanese table, sumac and allspice are the most commonly used spices in cooking; They are our authentic fairy dust.
Our ancestors have been hailing the za'atar blend as a smartness booster for years and Lebanese parents rush to feed it to their children before exams... Turns out, not only is za'atar- the herb-anti-aging but the addition of toasted sesame seeds in the blend in fact makes you smarter! Thanks Science.
We have influenced one of the largest fast food chains in Brazil (Habib's). It serves kebbe and hummus.
We believe to have perfected the "mouneh" tradition (provisions) and we're so serious about it, some households often have mouneh rooms. We preserve everything from seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers to meats, cheeses, and fish for use throughout the year.
While the concept of mezze was not invented here... mezze was certainly refined here. Lebanese cuisine is so popular and attracts many tourists, that some non-Lebanese restaurants will claim the namesake. Our culinary execution is just that good.
Our national spirit is Arak which translates to sweat in Arabic... But don't sweat it, it's an aniseed liquor and essential to the mezze table. It's what helps you digest so you can eat more!
Did you know that Lebanon actually has 2 airports? Although only one is currently in use.
We have the second largest gold reserve in the Middle East.
We're just too modest to show it off.
The Lebanese Amal Alamuddin Clooney, famous international human rights lawyer, would have a field day in court with our politicians.
Remember Apple's iPod? It's key creator and production manager was Tony Fadell. He was behind the iPhone too. He's now the founder of Nest. You guessed it, he's also Lebanese.
The Lebanese Rocket Society (nope, not a society for the destructive kind of rockets) was established by only 7 students from Haigazian University... Thanks to them, Lebanon was the first country in the Arab world to send rockets into space in 1960.
Hassan Kamel Al-Sabbah (1895-1935), a Lebanese inventor, was one of the first to patent solar energy inventions (he had 27 patents). One of his inventions (a solar cell) was later developed by Bell Labs (1955).
She is a singer and one of the most admired and influential singers in the Arab world. An icon of Levantine music, she has sold over 150 million records worldwide, placing her in the top 2 best-selling artists of the Middle East. Her songs are constantly heard across the region, her voice instantly recognisable. She is Lebanese and she is the one and only Fairuz!
You've probably seen or shared many of his quotes on Instagram and read many of his internationally best-selling works such as The Prophet. Here's one of our favourite quotes from him 'In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.' Gibran Khalil Gibran 1883-1931. Timeless.
We are the third largest producer of hashish in the world. According to experts, it's of the highest quality too. We export 6% of the world's consumption. Don’t light up just yet, it's still illegal here!
We produce some of the most delicious apples, grapes, citrus fruits, tomatoes, vegetables, and olives in the world. We're still working on producing the best politicians too.
Lebanon is a Free Market Economy and one of the most liberal investment climates in the Middle East. It takes a non-interventionalist stance towards private investments with no restrictions on the movement of capital, profits, and dividends.
Lebanon has industries in tourism, banking, food processing, jewellery, textiles, mineral and chemical products, cement, oil refining, metal fabricating, and wood and furniture products.
The Tourism sector is one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors, representing a major source of income and employment, accounting for 7% of Lebanon’s GDP.
Lebanon is rich in natural resources such as limestone, iron ore, salt. It is a water-surplus state in a water-deficit region with arable land.
63.3% Agricultural land! Makes it an ideal place for sustainable agri-tourism reform and diversity.
As cliche as it is, it's true! You can swim and ski on the same day.
Qurnat as Sawdā’, which translates to "Black Corner' is the highest point in Lebanon and the Levant, at 3,088m (10,131 feet) above sea level.
Lebanon is the only Arab and Asian country that doesn't have a desert. You can still have your camel photo-op though.
The Shouf Cedars are our largest Nature Reserve with an approximate area of 16,000
Ha; the smallest are the “Palm Island” and the “Tyre Coast” Nature Reserves with an area of around 500 Ha each.
Combined with others, we have a total of 200 km² of Protected Areas in Lebanon.
The striped Hyena is the national animal of Lebanon. They very much like melons and only live alone or in pairs.
Lebanon has 225 kilometers (140 miles) of coastline.
It's not all about the coast! We also have 240km of Mountain line stretching from the North to South!
Our coordinates are 33 50 N, 35 50 E (we got this from the CIA website)
We are the smallest recognized country on the entire mainland Asian continent & the thirds smallest country in the Middle East. It's not about how big we are but rather how we use it!
We may be small in area (10452 sq km) but look past the flat measuring tape and consider landmass... Lebanon is loaded with nice surprises. Come explore its dramatic valleys and mountains.
Two mountain ranges run parralel through Lebanon. Mount Lebanon and, wait for it, Anti-Mount Lebanon!
Over 3,000 species of flora... and just as much folktales to keep you entertained.
Lebanon has just over 2,000 natural springs.
Lebanon has 22 rivers ... you’ll be dammed if you can navigate them.
Travel books call our two large rocks in the middle of the Mediterranean, Pigeon Rocks. We just call them Raouche, a corruption of the French word rocher, which also means rock.