- Ali Jihad Racy
Country in the Middle East. It has a population of 3.29 million (2000 estimate) and an area of 10,452 km² and is bordered by Syria to the north and east, the Mediterranean Sea to the west and Israel to the south. Several major cities, including the capital, Beirut, are located on Lebanon's coastal strip west of the Mt Lebanon range. Further to the east is the fertile Biqa valley, and on the border with Syria is another mountain range, known as the Anti-Lebanon. Its population lives in rural villages and in cities, to which many village dwellers have migrated in recent decades. Its economy, which was adversely affected by the Lebanese civil war (1975–1990), is based on agriculture, commerce and tourism; Lebanon enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. The official language is Arabic, and the country's population includes Christians, Muslims and Druzes, as well as members of other faiths. Lebanon has been noted for its openness to the West over many centuries and its highly cosmopolitan social life....