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Lebanon’s Struggle for Peace and Independence. Outline. About Lebanon History of Lebanon Lebanese Civil War Political Structure The Cedar Revolution. About Lebanon. About Lebanon. الجمهوريّة اللبنانيّة. Official Language – Arabic Spoken Languages – Arabic, French, English, Armenian
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Outline • About Lebanon • History of Lebanon • Lebanese Civil War • Political Structure • The Cedar Revolution
About Lebanon الجمهوريّة اللبنانيّة • Official Language – Arabic • Spoken Languages – Arabic, French, English, Armenian • Capital – Beirut • Population – 3.8 Million • Area – 4,036 sq. mi. • National Emblem – Lebanon Cedar • National Anthem
History of Lebanon • Lebanon is one of the fifteen present-day countries that comprise what is considered to be the Cradle of Humanity. It is the historic home of the Phoenicians, Semitic traders whose maritime culture flourished there for more than 2,000 years. The region was a territory of the Roman Empire and during the Middle Ages was involved in the Crusades. It was then taken by the Ottoman Empire. • Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the League of Nations mandated the five provinces that make up present-day Lebanon to France. • Modern Lebanon's constitution, drawn up in 1926, specified a balance of political power among the major religious groups. • The country gained independence in 1943, and French troops withdrew in 1946. Lebanon's history has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade.
Lebanese Civil War • Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, was called the Paris of the Middle East before the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War.
Lebanese Civil War • After the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon became home to more than 110,000 Palestinian refugees who had fled from Israel. By 1975, they numbered more than 300,000, led by Yassir Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In the early 1970s, difficulties arose over the presence of Palestinian refugees, and full-scale civil war broke out in April 1975, leaving the nation with no effective central government. Jerusalem
Lebanese Civil War • On one side were a number of mostly Maronite militias. The other side comprised a coalition of Palestinians, Sunni, and Druze forces. By early 1976, the war was going poorly for the Maronites, and Syria sent 40,000 troops into the country to prevent them from being overrun. By 1978, many of the Maronites had become convinced that the Syrians were really occupying Lebanon for reasons of their own, and by September of that year, they were openly feuding. The Syrian forces remained in Lebanon, effectively dominating its government, into the first years of the twenty-first century.
Lebanese Civil War • A multinational force landed in Beirut on August 20, 1982 to oversee the PLO withdrawal from Lebanon and U.S. mediation resulted in the evacuation of Syrian troops and PLO fighters from Beirut. • This period saw the rise of radicalism among the country's different factions, and a number of landmark terrorist attacks against American forces, including the destruction of the United States Embassy by a truck bomb and an even deadlier attack on the U.S. Marines barracks. Concurrently, in 1982 Hezbollah was created.
Lebanese Civil War • 1988 and 1989 were years of unprecedented chaos. As a result, Lebanon was left with no President, and two rival governments that feuded for power, along with more than forty private militias. • The Arab League-sponsored Taif Agreement of 1989 marked the beginning of the end of the war. In all, it is estimated that more than 100,000 were killed, and another 100,000 handicapped by injuries, during Lebanon's 15 year war.
Political Structure • Lebanon is a republic in which the three highest offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups: • the President must be a Maronite Christian, • the Prime Minister must be a Sunni Muslim, and • the Speaker of the National Assembly must be a Shi'a Muslim. • This arrangement is part of the "National Pact", an unwritten agreement which was established in 1943 during meetings between Lebanon's first president (a Maronite) and its first prime minister (a Sunni), although it was not formalized in the Constitution until 1990, following the Taif Agreement.
Political Structure • The parliament composition is based on more ethnic and religious identities rather than ideological features. The distribution of parliament seats has been modified recently.
Political Structure • Lebanon's judicial system is based on the Napoleonic Code. • Juries are not used in trials. • The Lebanese court system has three levels - courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation. • There also is a system of religious courts having jurisdiction over personal status matters within their own communities, with rules on matters such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
The Cedar Revolution, or Intifada of Independence • On February 14, 2005, after 10 years of relative political stability, Lebanon was shaken by the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in a car-bomb explosion.
The Cedar Revolution, or Intifada of Independence • Accusations of responsibility were directed at Syria, Israel, and local gangsters. Both Syria and Israel denied any involvement. • Anger at Syria was particularly widespread, because of its extensive military and intelligence presence in Lebanon, as well as the public rift between Hariri and Syria over the extension of President Lahoud's term. • Up to this point, no person or party has been directly accused of the murder.
The Cedar Revolution, or Intifada of Independence • The assassination resulted in huge anti-Syrian protests by Lebanese citizens in Beirut demanding the resignation of the pro-Syrian government. • On February 28, 2005, as over 70,000 people demonstrated in Martyrs' Square, Prime Minister Omar Karami and his Cabinet resigned.
The Cedar Revolution, or Intifada of Independence • In response, Hezbollah, deemed a terrorist group by the U.S., organized a large counter demonstration, staged on March 8 in Beirut, supporting Syria and accusing Israel and the United States of meddling in internal Lebanese affairs. • News agencies estimated the crowd to be anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000.
The Cedar Revolution, or Intifada of Independence • On March 14, approximately one million protestors rallied in Martyrs' Square, in the largest gathering to date. • Protestors of all sects (even including a number of Shiites) marched for the truth of Hariri's murder and for what they call independence from Syrian occupation.
The Cedar Revolution, or Intifada of Independence • On April 26, 2005 international news agencies and the UN reported the last Syrian troops and intelligence agents had crossed the border in withdrawal from Lebanon. • On April 27, 2005, the Washington Post reported that “Syria has not withdrawn a significant part of its intelligence presence in Lebanon, undermining its claim yesterday to have ended its 29-year intervention in its western neighbor, U.S., European and U.N. officials said.”
Sources • Google Images • http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi&q • MSN Encarta • http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761564963/Lebanon_(country).html • Patterns of Interaction, Textbook • Wikipedia.org • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon