Lebanon’s Struggle for Peace
and Independence
About Lebanon
History of Lebanon
Lebanese Civil War
Political Structure
The Cedar Revolution
About Lebanon
About Lebanon
 Official Language –
 Spoken Languages –
Arabic, French,
English, Armenian
 Capital – Beirut
 Population – 3.8
 Area – 4,036 sq. mi.
 National Emblem –
Lebanon Cedar
 National Anthem
‫الجمهور ّية اللبنان ّية‬
History of Lebanon
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
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.
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 twentyfirst 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
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
 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
# of Seats
Maronite Christians
Sunni Muslims
Shia’a Muslims
Greek Orthodox
Greek Catholics
Armenian Orthodox
Armenian Catholics
Other Christian
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
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
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
 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
 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.”
 Google Images
 http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&ta
 MSN Encarta
 http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_7
 Patterns of Interaction, Textbook
 Wikipedia.org
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanon

Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution