Visa policy of Lebanon
The visa policy of Lebanon deals with the requirements which a foreign national wishing to enter the Republic of Lebanon must meet to be permitted to travel to, enter and remain in the country. Lebanese visas are documents issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its subsequent diplomatic missions abroad with the stated goal of regulating and facilitating migratory flows. Visitors to the Republic of Lebanon must obtain a visa from one of the Diplomatic missions of the Republic of Lebanon unless they come from one of the 7 visa-exempt countries and territories or one of the 79 other countries and territories whose citizens are eligible for a visa on arrival. Citizens of member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Jordan may travel to Republic of Lebanon without visa limits for a maximum stay of 6 months per year and 3 months per 6 months citizens of the 79 other countries and territories are granted a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket for a maximum stay of one month, extendable for 2 additional months.
Citizens of Brazil and Turkey are instead granted a multiple entry visa valid for a maximum stay of 1 month and 3 months respectively. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay and with two blank pages. An identity document is accepted in lieu of a passport for Jordanian citizens. Visa runs are not allowed, meaning that if foreigners wish to re-enter the Republic of Lebanon after their visa-free or VoA period has expired they should obtain a visa. Visitors who have been to Guinea and Sierra Leone are refused entry due to Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. Palestinian and Israeli citizens or any other person who holds any passport bearing stamps, visas, or seals issued by Israel are prohibited from entry to the Republic of Lebanon and may be subject to arrest or detention for further inspection; the following citizens do not require a visa to enter, reside and work indefinitely in the Republic of Lebanon without any immigration requirements: 1 – May enter with a national identity card, individual civil status record, expired passport or civil extract issued by the Republic of Lebanon to passengers of Lebanese descent holding a foreign passport2 – A law passed in 1995 prevents Palestinian Stateless persons and refugees in the Republic of Lebanon from working in over 70 jobs, including professional and administrative jobs Holders of passports of the following 7 countries and territories do not require a visa to visit the Republic of Lebanon up to 6 months per year for tourism or business purposes if there are no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket.
An identity document is accepted in lieu of a passport for Jordanian citizens: 1 – provided passport includes a national serial number.2 – UAE Government bans its citizens from traveling to Lebanon. Holders of the passports issued by the following 81 countries and territories are granted visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket for a maximum stay of one month, extendable for 2 additional months for tourism or business purposes: 1 – Can obtain a multiple entry visa on arrival valid for a maximum stay of 1 month for tourism and business purposed, extended up to a maximum validity of 90 days following the approval of the General Directorate of General Security2 – Can obtain a multiple-entry visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 3 months for tourism or business purposes. Extension of stay is possible for an additional 1-month after the date of expiry Citizens of the following 15 countries and territories can obtain a visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or any other port of entry only if there is no Israeli stamps, visas, or seals on their passport and provided holding, a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket, a copy of a reservation in a 3 to 5 star hotel or private residential address with telephone number in the Republic of Lebanon, at least USD 2,000 in cashVisa is granted on arrival for children under 15 years of age, travelling on a foreign passport and accompanied by at least one Lebanese parent holding a Lebanese Passport or a Lebanese ID card.
This however, does not apply for Palestinian refugees born to Lebanese mothers Visa is granted on arrival for a maximum stay of 11 months for Businessmen, Directors/General Managers, Physicians and Lawyers possessing a valid residence in the possessing a valid residence in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, provided that the term of the granted visa doesn’t exceed the validity of the concerned person's passport and residence. The airlines companies are in charge of checking the residence's validity prior to boarding; as for the wives and children of this category, they are granted visas according to the conditions concerning the entry of individuals of same nationalities in case that they do not possess a valid residence in the one of the Gulf Countries and are holding a telephone number, address in the Republic of Lebanon, a non-refundable return or circle trip ticket Visa is granted on arrival for tourist groups composed of a minimum of 8 people for stays of more than 3 days provided being sponsored by a registered tour operator in the Republic of Lebanon having sent their applocation at least two days prior to arrival for a maximum s
Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world; the city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009. Located in south-western Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.7 million people. Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect; the Barada River flows through Damascus. First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.
Today, it is all of the government ministries. As of 2018, Damascus has witnessed repeated conflicts and has been considered by Mercer as one of the most unfavorable places to live; the name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III as / T-m-ś-q in the 15th century BC. The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain, it is attested as Imerišú in Akkadian, T-m-ś-q in Egyptian, Dammaśq in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq in Biblical Hebrew. A number of Akkadian spellings are found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC: Dimasqa, Dimàsqì, Dimàsqa. Aramaic spellings of the name include an intrusive resh influenced by the root dr, meaning "dwelling". Thus, the English and Latin name of the city is "Damascus", imported from originated from "the Qumranic Darmeśeq, Darmsûq in Syriac", meaning "a well-watered land". In Arabic, the city is called Dimašqu š-Šāmi, although this is shortened to either Dimašq or aš-Šām by the citizens of Damascus, of Syria and other Arab neighbors and Turkey.
Aš-Šām is an Arabic term for "Levant" and for "Syria". Baalshamin or Ba'al Šamem, was a Semitic sky-god in Canaan/Phoenicia and ancient Palmyra. Hence, Sham refers to. Damascus was built in a strategic site on a plateau 680 m above sea level and about 80 km inland from the Mediterranean, sheltered by the Anti-Lebanon mountains, supplied with water by the Barada River, at a crossroads between trade routes: the north-south route connecting Egypt with Asia Minor, the east-west cross-desert route connecting Lebanon with the Euphrates river valley; the Anti-Lebanon mountains mark the border between Lebanon. The range has peaks of over 10,000 ft. and blocks precipitation from the Mediterranean sea, so that the region of Damascus is sometimes subject to droughts. However, in ancient times this was mitigated by the Barada River, which originates from mountain streams fed by melting snow. Damascus is surrounded by the Ghouta, irrigated farmland where many vegetables and fruits have been farmed since ancient times.
Maps of Roman Syria indicate that the Barada river emptied into a lake of some size east of Damascus. Today it is called Bahira Atayba, the hesitant lake, because in years of severe drought it does not exist; the modern city has an area of 105 km2, out of which 77 km2 is urban, while Jabal Qasioun occupies the rest. The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada, dry. To the south-east and north-east it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the Middle Ages: Midan in the south-west and Imara in the north and north-west; these neighborhoods arose on roads leading out of the city, near the tombs of religious figures. In the 19th century outlying villages developed on the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, overlooking the city the site of the al-Salihiyah neighborhood centered on the important shrine of medieval Andalusian Sheikh and philosopher Ibn Arabi; these new neighborhoods were settled by Kurdish soldiery and Muslim refugees from the European regions of the Ottoman Empire which had fallen under Christian rule.
Thus they were known as al-Muhajirin. They lay 2–3 km north of the old city. From the late 19th century on, a modern administrative and commercial center began to spring up to the west of the old city, around the Barada, centered on the area known as al-Marjeh or the meadow. Al-Marjeh soon became the name of what was the central square of modern Damascus, with the city hall in it; the courts of justice, post office and railway station stood on higher ground to the south. A Europeanized residential quarter soon began to be built on the road leading between al-Marjeh and al-Salihiyah; the commercial and administrative center of the new city shifted northwards towards this area. In the 20th century, newer suburbs developed north of the Barada, to some extent to the south, invading the Ghouta oasis. In 1956–1957 the new neighborhood of Yarmouk bec
2018 Lebanese general election
General elections were held in Lebanon on 6 May 2018. Although scheduled for 2013, the election was postponed three times in 2013, 2014 and 2017 under various pretexts, including the security situation, the failure of the Parliament to elect a new President, the technical requirements of holding an election. A new electoral law adopted in 2017 provides a proportional representation system for the first time in the history of the country. Hezbollah and its allies performed well in the elections, while the Future Movement of Prime Minister Saad Hariri saw its bloc shrink by 40%, from 33 to 20 MPs; the parliamentary bloc of the Lebanese Forces doubled from eight MPs to 15 MPs, but it was the Free Patriotic Movement who emerged as the largest bloc with 29 MPs, including 18 party members, six pro-FPM independents, five allies. FPM leader Gebran Bassil stated that FPM has won the elections in Lebanon by getting the largest bloc. Following the last parliamentary election of 2009, it took several months to form a new government.
Saad Hariri became prime minister in a March 14 Alliance government formed in November 2009. About a year Walid Jumblatt's PSP broke away from the March 14 alliance and withdrew its ministers. Jumblatt traveled to Syria for the first time in decades and met President Bashar al-Assad. After the government fell over the issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a new government was formed by Najib Mikati that consisted of March 8 Alliance parties, as well as the PSP. Over the course of the Syrian Civil War, fissures started to grow in Lebanon as March 14 parties supported the opposition in Syria while March 8 parties were ostensibly supportive of the Syrian government in the early stages; the March 8 parties therefore faced accusation from the opposition and its affiliated media of kowtowing to the Syrian government. As the conflict started to spill over into Lebanon, both via refugees and Lebanon's own diverse demographics that are broadly reflective of Syria's own diversity, tensions started to grow.
A spate of sectarian kidnappings and threats followed. On 22 March 2013, Mikati resigned citing a negative climate over the appointment of a committee to oversee the election and the extension of Internal Security Forces head Ashraf Rifi, expected to retire in April. On 5 April, a new March 14-backed consensus candidate for prime minister was announced, Tammam Salam. A new President should have been elected by Parliament. However, there was a deadlock which resulted in fourteen fruitless attempts to choose a head of state. Therefore, Parliament decided on November 2014 to extend its term by 2 years and 7 months; the deadlock was perceived to arise from failure to reach quorum due to the voluntary absence of members from the ex- March 8 alliance. In June 2017 a new electoral law was passed, replacing the previous system under which the 128 members of parliament were elected from 26 multi-member constituencies in which voters cast as many votes as there were seats in their constituency and the candidates with the highest number of votes within each religious community were elected with a new electoral law instituting proportional representation in 15 multi-member constituencies while still maintaining the confessional distribution.
However, the 7 out of the 15 of the electoral districts are divided into 2 or more'minor districts'. Where applicable, preference vote is counted on the'minor district' level. Individuals could submit their candidacy for parliament until midnight of March 6, 2018. 976 candidates were registered, including 111 women. Candidates were obliged to join lists, which had to be finalized by March 26, 2018; the Shia electorate constituted the majority of registered voters in Bekaa III, South II and South III, together accounting for 79% of the total Shia electorate. The Sunni electorate constituted the majority of registered voters in three electoral districts. 97% of the Druze voters were registered in districts from which Druze parliamentarians were elected.96% of Alawite voters were registered in either the North I or North II electoral districts, which elected one Alawite parliamentarian each. Maronite Christians constituted the majority of voters in Mount Lebanon I and North III. North III hosted the largest concentration of Greek Orthodox Christian voters, representing around a fifth of all Greek Orthodox voters throughout the country.
According to 2017 data, the Greek Orthodox constituted 58% of the voters in the Koura minor district of North III. Bekaa I hosted the largest concentration of Greek Catholic voters, about a fifth of the nationwide Greek Catholic vote. Beirut I hosted the largest concentrations of Armenians, both Armenian Orthodox and Armenian Catholic voters, who elected 4 out of the 6 Armenian parliamentarians; the Minorities seat was now in Beirut I. Jewish voters were found in Beirut II, where they constituted 1.31% of the electorate. However, in the 2009 election only five Jews cast their votes in the Beirut III electoral district. Below is a summary of the demographics of the Lebanese electorate with data from 2017, divided by the qada administrative districts (or
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
The Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire concerning Syria and Lebanon. The mandate system was supposed to differ from colonialism, with the governing country acting as a trustee until the inhabitants would be able to stand on their own. At that point, the mandate would terminate and an independent state would be born. During the two years that followed the end of the war in 1918—and in accordance with the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed by Britain and France during the war—the British held control of most of Ottoman Mesopotamia and the southern part of Ottoman Syria, while the French controlled the rest of Ottoman Syria, Lebanon and other portions of southeastern Turkey. In the early 1920s, British and French control of these territories became formalized by the League of Nations' mandate system, on 29 September 1923 France was assigned the League of Nations mandate of Syria, which included the territory of present-day Lebanon and Alexandretta in addition to Syria proper.
The administration of the region under the French was carried out through a number of different governments and territories, including the Syrian Federation, the State of Syria and the Syrian Republic, as well as smaller states: the State of Greater Lebanon, the Alawite State and Jabal Druze State. Hatay was annexed by Turkey in 1939; the French mandate lasted until 1943, when two independent countries emerged and Lebanon. French troops left Syria and Lebanon in 1946. With the defeat of the Ottomans in Syria, British troops, under General Sir Edmund Allenby, entered Damascus in 1918 accompanied by troops of the Arab Revolt led by Faisal, son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca. Faisal established the first new postwar Arab government in Damascus in October 1918, named Ali Rida Pasha ar-Rikabi a military governor; the new Arab administration formed local governments in the major Syrian cities, the pan-Arab flag was raised all over Syria. The Arabs hoped, with faith in earlier British promises, that the new Arab state would include all the Arab lands stretching from Aleppo in northern Syria to Aden in southern Yemen.
However, in accordance with the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement between Britain and France, General Allenby assigned to the Arab administration only the interior regions of Syria. Palestine was reserved for the British. On 8 October, French troops disembarked in Beirut and occupied the Lebanese coastal region south to Naqoura, replacing British troops there; the French dissolved the local Arab governments in the region. France demanded full implementation of the Sykes–Picot Agreement, with Syria under its control. On 26 November 1919, British forces withdrew from Damascus to avoid confrontation with the French, leaving the Arab government to face France. Faisal had travelled several times to Europe, since November 1918, trying to convince France and Britain to change their positions, but without success. France's determination to intervene in Syria was shown by the naming of General Henri Gouraud as high commissioner in Syria and Cilicia. At the Paris Peace Conference, Faisal found himself in an weaker position when the European powers decided to ignore the Arab demands.
In May 1919, elections were held for the Syrian National Congress. 80% of seats went to conservatives. However, the minority included dynamic Arab nationalist figures such as Jamil Mardam Bey, Shukri al-Kuwatli, Ahmad al-Qadri, Ibrahim Hanano, Riyad as-Solh; the head was moderate nationalist Hashim al-Atassi. In June 1919, the American King–Crane Commission arrived in Syria to inquire into local public opinion about the future of the country; the commission's remit extended from Aleppo to Beersheba. They visited 36 major cities, met with more than 2,000 delegations from more than 300 villages, received more than 3,000 petitions, their conclusions confirmed the opposition of Syrians to the mandate in their country as well as to the Balfour Declaration, their demand for a unified Greater Syria encompassing Palestine. The conclusions of the commission were ignored by Britain. Unrest erupted in Syria when Faisal accepted a compromise with French Prime Minister Clemenceau and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann over the issue of Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Anti-Hashemite demonstrations broke out, Muslim inhabitants in and around Mount Lebanon revolted in fear of being incorporated into a new Christian, state of Greater Lebanon. A part of France's claim to these territories in the Levant was that France was a protector of the minority Christian communities. In March 1920, the Congress in Damascus adopted a resolution rejecting the Faisal-Clemenceau accords; the congress declared the independence of Syria in her natural borders, proclaimed Faisal the king of all Arabs. Faisal invited Ali Rida al-Rikabi to form a government; the congress proclaimed political and economic union with neighboring Iraq and demanded its independence as well. On 25 April, the supreme inter-Allied council, formulating the Treaty of Sèvres, granted France the mandate of Syria, granted Britain the Mandate of Palestine, Iraq. Syrians reacted with violent demonstrations, a new government headed by Hashim al-Atassi was formed on 7 May 1920; the new government began forming an army.
These decisions provoked adverse reactions by Franc
Lebanon known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent; the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established; as the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome; the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon; the French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon during the independence, Riad El-Solh, first Lebanese prime minister and Emir Majid Arslan II, first Lebanese minister of defence, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence.
Foreign troops withdrew from Lebanon on 31 December 1946, although the country was subjected to military occupations by Syria that lasted nearly thirty years before being withdrawn in April 2005 as well as the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon for fifteen years. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture and banking; because of its financial power and diversity in its heyday, Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, its capital, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world after the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as of the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning "white" from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon upon its independence in 1943; the borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states.
As part of the Levant, it was part of numerous succeeding empires throughout ancient history, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Achaemenid Persian, Hellenistic and Sasanid Persian empires. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires; the crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and
Free Patriotic Movement
The Free Patriotic Movement known as the Aounist party, is a Lebanese political party, led by Gebran Bassil. It is the largest party in the Lebanese parliament, its parliamentary coalition, the Strong Lebanon Bloc has 29 out of the 128 seats in parliament. The FPM party promotes the rights of Lebanese expatriates and a high minimum wage; the party's support base is overwhelmingly from Lebanon's Christian community, but includes a small number of Shia Muslims. The Free Patrioitic movement follows a civic nationalist ideology. For many years, while Aoun was exiled in Paris, he led the FPM from abroad, he returned to Lebanon on 7 May 2005 after the Cedar Revolution forced the withdrawal of the Syrian forces, contested the legislative elections held in late May in early June although it placed him on the head of the largest Christian group of deputies. Therefore, the Free Patriotic Movement was established in 2005. Aoun contested the Cedar Revolution which itself gave him the opportunity to come back to Lebanon.
At the time of the 2005 elections, the FPM came up with a detailed political program which contained economic and political reform plans and gained the support of many Lebanese Christians. The FPM won 21 seats in the parliament, formed the second biggest bloc in the Lebanese Parliament. Being the leading Christian bloc after the election, it joined the March 8 Alliance. In 2006, the FPM signed a memorandum of understanding with Hezbollah organizing their relation and discussing Hezbollah's disarmament, given some conditions; the second and third conditions for disarmament were the return of Lebanese prisoners from Israeli jails and the elaboration of a defense strategy to protect Lebanon from the Israeli threat. The agreement discussed the importance of having normal diplomatic relations with Syria and the request for information about the Lebanese political prisoners in Syria and the return of all political prisoners and diaspora in Israel. On 1 December 2006, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun declared to a crowd of protesters that the current government of Lebanon was unconstitutional, claiming that the government had "made corruption a daily affair" and called for the resignation on the government.
Hundred of thousands of supporters of this party, Amal Movement, Hezbollah, according to the Internal Security Forces, gathered at Downtown Beirut trying to force Fouad Siniora to abdicate. On 11 July 2008, FPM members, Issam Abu Jamra as deputy-prime minister, Gebran Bassil as minister of telecommunications, Mario Aoun as minister of social affairs were appointed to the cabinet, it was the Movement's first participation in the Lebanese Government. Despite the strong media and political war against the Free Patriotic Movement, the results of the 2009 Elections granted the FPM 27 parliamentary seats; the FPM's bloc is the second largest in the Lebanese parliament. The FPM gained 7 more seats than in the 2005 elections, earning at least triple the number of deputies of any other Christian-based bloc in the parliament due to geographical distribution; the total seats won were 57 out of 128, which led to a defeat for the FPM. In November 2009, the Free Patriotic Movement nominated five ministers to join the first government headed by Saad Hariri.
The five ministers included: Gebran Bassil as Minister of Energy and Water Charbel Nahas as Minister of Telecommunications Youssef Saade as Minister of State Abraham Dadayan as Minister of Industry Fadi Abboud as Minister of Tourism The Free Patriotic Movement launched its own broadcasting channel on 20 July 2007, their own radio station called Sawt Al Mada on 1 June 2009. In June 2011, the Change and Reform bloc led by Aoun nominated eleven ministers to join the second government headed by Najib Mikati, gaining more than double the share they had in the former government The eleven ministers are: Ministers with Portfolios: Shakib Qortbawi as Minister of Justice Fayez Ghosn as Minister of Defense Gebran Bassil as Minister of Energy Nicolas Sehnaoui as Minister of Telecommunications Vrej Sabounjian as Minister of Industry Fadi Aboud as Minister of Tourism Charbel Nahas as Minister of Labour Gaby Layoun as Minister of Culture Marwan Charbel as Minister of Interior and Municipalities Ministers without Portfolios: Salim Karam Panos Manjian In February 2014, the Change and Reform bloc led by Michel Aoun nominated four ministers to join the national unity government headed by Prime Minister Tammam Salam.
The Free Patriotic Movement had two ministers: Gebran Bassil as Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Elias Bou Saab as Minister of Education Arthur Nazarian as Minister of Energy Ronnie Arayji as Minister of Culture On 17 August 2015, Minister Gebran Bassil was chosen by General Michel Aoun as the new leader for the Free Patriotic Movement. No elections were done because it could have led to fracturing the party, so Alain Aoun stepped down from candidacy in order for Bassil to be assigned as the new leader. On February 28, the party elected his political bureau members: Mireille Aoun, Naji Hayek, Jimmy Jabbour, Rindala Jabbour, Naaman Mrad, Ziad Najjar. Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Free Patriotic Movement Founder MP Michel Aoun turned a historic page in intra-Christian relations when the former March 14 presidential nominee endorsed on Monday Aoun's candidacy for the presidency. "I announce after long consideration and deliberations between members of the executive body of the Lebanese Forces, our endorsement of the candidacy of General Michel Aoun for th