Everything You Need To Know About Lebanon
The Republic of Lebanon is a small country (10,452 sq km or 4076 sq mi in an area with 3.7 million inhabitants) within the Middle East region with its capital being Beirut. It has a long coastline on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and shares a long land border with its much larger neighbor Syria to the north and the east, a much shorter (and currently "hot") border with Israel to the south.
Lebanon is a country with a long and rich history. Roman ruins are scattered about the country and are easily accessible. Byblos, Beirut, and Sidon are among the oldest continuously populated cities in the world. There are Roman baths in Beirut, as well as the Cardio Maximus - to name a few. Byblos is also rich in Roman ruins and for a small fee, you can view them (they are located near the bazaar). There are a lot of ancient mosques, synagogues, and churches in Lebanon. Also be sure to visit the Place des Martyrs (Martyrs' Square) in Beirut, a statue erected in memory of the Lebanese nationalists who were hanged by the Ottomans for revolting during World War 1 (the statue is now riddled with bullet holes from the civil war, but is still beautiful).
The people of Lebanon comprise a wide variety of ethnic groups and religions, with the majority split between Christian (Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Greek-Catholic Melkites, Armenians, Protestant, Coptic Christians) and Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Alawites). Other smaller groups include a large number (over 250,000) of Palestinian refugees in the country. The population increases dramatically in the Summer months (June to September), due to the large influx of tourists and the temporary return of a large number of the Lebanese diaspora.
People are very easy-going and welcoming. You should not be scared of talking to people on the streets and asking for information since most of them will do their best to help you. In general, though, avoid any comment on politics and religion.
Lebanon is populated by a very open and highly educated people. They are known for their love of life, generosity and wild spirit. They tend to neglect regulation and insist on respecting all others. Lebanon had once been called Switzerland and Paris of the East. The recent wars have diminished this status but the Lebanese have always acted in unexpected ways. Their pursuit of happiness and fun overshadows their financial capabilities and political problems.