Lebanon - HowStuffWorks

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Country (long form) Lebanese Republic
Capital Beirut
Total Area 4,015.46 sq mi
10,400.00 sq km
(about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut)
Population 3,627,774 (July 2001 est.)
Estimated Population in 2050 4,940,731
Languages Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Literacy 86.4% total, 90.8% male, 82.2% female (1997 est.)
Religions Muslim 70% (including Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 30% (including Orthodox Christian, Catholic, Protestant), Jewish negligible%
Life Expectancy 69.13 male, 74.03 female (2001 est.)
Government Type republic
Currency 1 Lebanese pound = 100 piasters
GDP (per capita) $5,000 (2000 est.)
Industry banking; food processing; jewelry; cement; textiles; mineral and chemical products; wood and furniture products; oil refining; metal fabricating
Agriculture citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats
Arable Land 18%
Natural Resources limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land
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Geography of Lebanon

Lebanon, or Lebanese Republic, a country in southwestern Asia. It lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Israel and Syria, and occupies most of the area that made up ancient Phoenicia.

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History of Lebanon

In ancient times the cedars of Lebanon were prized by the Egyptians, who maintained a trading post at Byblos, a port north of present-day Beirut.