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Lebanon

HISTORY
GEOGRAPHY
PEOPLE & SOCIETY
ECONOMY
GOVERNMENT
NATIONAL SECURITY
REFERENCE

Lebanon - Acknowledgments

Lebanon

The authors are grateful to individuals in various agencies of the United States government and private organizations in Washington, D.C., who gave of their time, research materials, and special knowledge of Lebanese affairs to provide data and perspective. The authors also wish to express their gratitude to members of the Federal Research Division who contributed directly to the preparation of the manuscript. These include Helen C. Metz and Richard F. Nyrop, who reviewed the text; Marilyn Majeska, who managed production; and Barbara Edgerton and Izella Watson, who performed word processing. Others involved in preparation of the book included Ruth Nieland and Richard Kollodge, who edited chapters; Andrea T. Merrill, who performed the prepublication review. The Library of Congress Composing Unit, prepared the camera-ready copy under the supervision of Peggy Pixley.

Special thanks are owed to those responsible for the excellent graphic work in the book. These include David P. Cabitto, who oversaw the entire process; Kimberly A. Lord, who designed the cover and chapter illustrations and who performed the page layout; Greenhorne and O'Meara, which produced the maps; and Harriett R. Blood, who prepared the topography and drainage map. The inclusion of photographs in this study was made possible by the generosity of individuals and private and public agencies. The authors acknowledge their indebtedness to those who provided original work not previously published.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Preface

Lebanon

Lebanon: A Country Study replaces the Area Handbook for Lebanon published in 1973. Like its predecessor, the present book is an attempt to treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant historical, social, economic, political, and national security aspects of contemporary Lebanon. But, like the country, which has undergone radical changes since the mid-1970s, the present study bears little resemblance to the old book; it has been completely revised to reflect the current situation. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, and monographs; official reports and documents of governments and international organizations; foreign and domestic newspapers and periodicals; and interviews with Lebanese officials and individuals with special competence in Lebanese affairs. Because so much of the literature is polemical, the authors took special pains to separate fact from bias. In addition, because the turmoil that has occurred since 1975 has precluded comprehensive and accurate accounting of economic and demographic statistics, most data should be viewed as rough estimates.

Much of the recent history and much of the political situation in Lebanon are associated with armed conflict. Accordingly, detailed information on these topics is likely to be found in the national security chapter rather than in the chapters on history or government and politics.

The transliteration of Arabic words and phrases posed a particular problem. For many words--such as Muhammad, Muslim, and Quran--the authors followed a modified version of the system adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Permanent Committee on Geographic Names for British Official Use, known as the BGN/PCGN system. The modification entails the omission of diacritical markings and hyphens. In numerous instances, however, the names of persons or places are so well known by another spelling that to have used the BGN/PCGN system may have created confusion. For example, the reader will find Beirut, Sidon, and Tyre rather than Bayrut, Sayda, and Sur. Furthermore, because press accounts generally use French in the spelling of personal names, the alternate French version is often given when such a name is introduced in each chapter.

Lebanon

Lebanon - History

Lebanon

LIKE OTHER AREAS of the Middle East, Lebanon has a heritage almost as old as the earliest evidence of mankind. Its geographic position as a crossroads linking the Mediterranean Basin with the great Asian hinterland has conferred on it a cosmopolitan character and a multicultural legacy.

At different periods of its history, Lebanon has come under the domination of foreign rulers, including Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, and French. Although often conquered, the Lebanese take pride in their rebellions against despotic and repressive rulers. Moreover, despite foreign domination, Lebanon's mountainous terrain has provided it with a certain protective isolation, enabling it to survive with an identity all its own.

Its proximity to the sea has ensured that throughout its history Lebanon has held an important position as a trading center. This tradition of commerce began with the Phoenicians and continued through many centuries, remaining almost unaffected by foreign rule and the worst periods of internal strife.

Lebanon has an Arab culture colored by Western influences. Although Lebanon traditionally considered itself the only Christian country in the Arab world, by the 1970s the Muslim population was greater than that of the Christians, a situation that led to sectarian unrest and struggles for political and economic power.

Lebanon

Lebanon - ANCIENT TIMES

Lebanon

The Phoenicians

The area now known as Lebanon first appeared in recorded history around 3000 B.C. as a group of coastal cities and a heavily forested hinterland. It was inhabited by the Canaanites, a Semitic people, whom the Greeks called "Phoenicians" because of the purple (phoinikies) dye they sold. These early inhabitants referred to themselves as "men of Sidon" or the like, according to their city of origin, and called the country "Lebanon." Because of the nature of the country and its location, the Phoenicians turned to the sea, where they engaged in trade and navigation.

Each of the coastal cities was an independent kingdom noted for the special activities of its inhabitants. Tyre and Sidon were important maritime and trade centers; Gubla (later known as Byblos and now as Jubayl) and Berytus (present-day Beirut) were trade and religious centers. Gubla was the first Phoenician city to trade actively with Egypt and the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom (2686-2181 B.C.), exporting cedar, olive oil, and wine, while importing gold and other products from the Nile Valley.

Before the end of the seventeenth century B.C., LebaneseEgyptian relations were interrupted when the Hyksos, a nomadic Semitic people, conquered Egypt. After about three decades of Hyksos rule (1600-1570 B.C.), Ahmose I (1570-45 B.C.), a Theban prince, launched the Egyptian liberation war. Opposition to the Hyksos increased, reaching a peak during the reign of the pharaoh Thutmose III (1490-36 B.C.), who invaded Syria, put an end to Hyksos domination, and incorporated Lebanon into the Egyptian Empire.

Toward the end of the fourteenth century B.C., the Egyptian Empire weakened, and Lebanon was able to regain its independence by the beginning of the twelfth century B.C. The subsequent three centuries were a period of prosperity and freedom from foreign control during which the earlier Phoenician invention of the alphabet facilitated communications and trade. The Phoenicians also excelled not only in producing textiles but also in carving ivory, in working with metal, and above all in making glass. Masters of the art of navigation, they founded colonies wherever they went in the Mediterranean Sea (specifically in Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, and Carthage) and established trade routes to Europe and western Asia. Furthermore, their ships circumnavigated Africa a thousand years before those of the Portuguese. These colonies and trade routes flourished until the invasion of the coastal areas by the Assyrians.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Assyrian Rule

Lebanon

Assyrian rule (875-608 B.C.) deprived the Phoenician cities of their independence and prosperity and brought repeated, unsuccessful rebellions. In the middle of the eighth century B.C., Tyre and Byblos rebelled, but the Assyrian ruler, Tiglath-Pileser, subdued the rebels and imposed heavy tributes. Oppression continued unabated, and Tyre rebelled again, this time against Sargon II (722-05 B.C.), who successfully besieged the city in 721 B.C. and punished its population. During the seventh century B.C., Sidon rebelled and was completely destroyed by Esarhaddon (681-68 B.C.), and its inhabitants were enslaved. Esarhaddon built a new city on Sidon's ruins. By the end of the seventh century B.C., the Assyrian Empire, weakened by the successive revolts, had been destroyed by Babylonia, a new Mesopotamian power.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Babylonian Rule and the Persian Empire

Lebanon

Revolts in the Phoenician cities became more frequent under Babylonian rule (685-36 B.C.). Tyre rebelled again and for thirteen years resisted a siege by the troops of Nebuchadnezzar (587-74 B.C.). After this long siege, the city capitulated; its king was dethroned, and its citizens were enslaved.

The Achaemenids ended Babylonian rule when Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire, captured Babylon in 539-38 B.C. and Phoenicia and its neighbors passed into Persian hands. Cambyses (529-22 B.C.), Cyrus's son and successor, continued his father's policy of conquest and in 529 B.C. became suzerain of Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt. The Phoenician navy supported Persia during the GrecoPersian War (490-49 B.C.). But when the Phoenicians were overburdened with heavy tributes imposed by the successors of Darius I (521-485 B.C.), revolts and rebellions resumed in the Lebanese coastal cities.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Alexander the Great

Lebanon

The Persian Empire eventually fell to Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia. He attacked Asia Minor, defeated the Persian troops in 333 B.C., and advanced toward the Lebanese coast. Initially the Phoenician cities made no attempt to resist, and they recognized his suzerainty. However, when Alexander tried to offer a sacrifice to Melkurt, Tyre's god, the city resisted. Alexander besieged Tyre in retaliation in early 332 B.C. After six months of resistance, the city fell, and its people were sold into slavery. Despite his early death in 323 B.C., Alexander's conquest of the eastern Mediterranean Basin left a Greek imprint on the area. The Phoenicians, being a cosmopolitan people amenable to outside influences, adopted aspects of Greek civilization with ease.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Seleucid Dynasty

Lebanon

After Alexander's death, his empire was divided among his Macedonian generals. The eastern part--Phoenicia, Asia Minor, northern Syria, and Mesopotamia--fell to Seleucus I, founder of the Seleucid dynasty. The southern part of Syria and Egypt fell to Ptolemy, and the European part, including Macedonia, to Antigonus I. This settlement, however, failed to bring peace because Seleucus I and Ptolemy clashed repeatedly in the course of their ambitious efforts to share in Phoenician prosperity. A final victory of the Seleucids ended a forty-year period of conflict.

The last century of Seleucid rule was marked by disorder and dynastic struggles. These ended in 64 B.C., when the Roman general Pompey added Syria and Lebanon to the Roman Empire. Economic and intellectual activities flourished in Lebanon during the Pax Romana. The inhabitants of the principal Phoenician cities of Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre were granted Roman citizenship. These cities were centers of the pottery, glass, and purple dye industries; their harbors also served as warehouses for products imported from Syria, Persia, and India. They exported cedar, perfume, jewelry, wine, and fruit to Rome. Economic prosperity led to a revival in construction and urban development; temples and palaces were built throughout the country, as well as paved roads that linked the cities.

Upon the death of Theodosius I in A.D. 395, the empire was divided in two: the eastern or Byzantine part with its capital at Constantinople, and the western part with its capital at Rome. Under the Byzantine Empire, intellectual and economic activities in Beirut, Tyre, and Sidon continued to flourish for more than a century. However, in the sixth century a series of earthquakes demolished the temples of Baalbek and destroyed the city of Beirut, leveling its famous law school and killing nearly 30,000 inhabitants. To these natural disasters were added the abuses and corruptions prevailing at that time in the empire. Heavy tributes and religious dissension produced disorder and confusion. Furthermore, the ecumenical councils of the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. were unsuccessful in settling religious disagreements. This turbulent period weakened the empire and made it easy prey to the newly converted Muslim Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula.

Lebanon

Lebanon - THE ARAB PERIOD

Lebanon

The Arab Conquest, 634-36

The followers of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, embarked on a movement to establish their religious and civil control throughout the eastern Mediterranean from their base in the Arabian Peninsula. Their determination to conquer other lands resulted both from economic necessity and from religious beliefs, which imbued them with contempt for death.

Calling for a jihad (holy war) against non-Muslims, the Prophet's successor, Caliph Abu Bakr (632-34), brought Islam to the area surrounding Lebanon. Dividing his forces into three groups, he ordered one to move in the direction of Palestine, one toward Damascus, and one toward the Jordan River. The Arab groups under General Khalid ibn al Walid defeated the forces from in 636 at the Battle of Yarmuk in northwestern Jordan.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Umayyads

Lebanon

After the Battle of Yarmuk, Caliph Umar appointed the Arab Muawiyah, founder of the Umayyad dynasty, as governor of Syria, an area that included present-day Lebanon. Muawiyah garrisoned troops on the Lebanese coast and had the Lebanese shipbuilders help him construct a navy to resist any potential Byzantine attack. He also stopped raids by the Marada, a powerful people who had settled in the Lebanese mountains and who were used by the Byzantine rulers to prevent any Arab invasion that would threaten the Byzantine Empire. Concerned with consolidating his authority in Arabia and Iraq, Muawiyah negotiated an agreement in 667 with Constantine IV, the Byzantine emperor, whereby he agreed to pay Constantine an annual tribute in return for the cessation of Marada incursions. During this period some of the Arab tribes settled in the Lebanese and Syrian coastal areas.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Abbasids

Lebanon

The Abbasids, founded by the Arab Abul Abbas, replaced the Umayyads in early 750. They treated Lebanon and Syria as conquered countries, and their harshness led to several revolts, including an abortive rebellion of Lebanese mountaineers in 759. By the end of the tenth century, the amir of Tyre proclaimed his independence from the Abbasids and coined money in his own name. However, his rule was terminated by the Fatimids of Egypt, an independent Arab Muslim dynasty.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Impact of Arab Rule

Lebanon

Arab rule under the Umayyads and Abbasids had a profound impact on the eastern Mediterranean area and, to a great degree, was responsible for the composition of modern Lebanese society. It was during this period that Lebanon became a refuge for various ethnic and religious groups. The presence of these diverse, cohesive groups led to the eventual emergence of the Lebanese confessional state, whereby different religious communities were represented in the government according to their numerical strength.

The ancestors of the present-day Maronites were among the Christian communities that settled in Lebanon during this period. To avoid feuds with other Christian sects in the area, these followers of Saint John Maron moved from the upper valley of the Orontes River and settled in the picturesque Qadisha Valley, located in the northern Lebanon Mountains, about twenty-five kilometers southeast of Tripoli.

Lebanon also became the refuge for a small Christian group called Melchites, living in northern and central Lebanon. Influenced by the Greek Christian theology of Constantinople, they accepted the controversial decrees of the Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council of the church held in 451. As a result of missionary activity by the Roman Catholic Church, some were later drawn away from this creed and became known as Greek Catholics because Greek is the language of their liturgy. They lived mainly in the central part of the Biqa Valley.

During the Arab era, still another religious faith found sanctuary in Lebanon. After Al Hakim (996-1021), the Fatimid caliph of Egypt, proclaimed himself an incarnation of God, two of his followers, Hamza and Darazi, formulated the dogmas for his cult. Darazi left Egypt and continued to preach these tenets after settling in southern Lebanon. His followers became known as Druzes; along with Christians and Muslims, they constitute major communities in modern Lebanon.

Under the Abbasids, philosophy, literature, and the sciences received great attention, especially during the caliphate of Harun ar Rashid and that of his son, Al Mamun. Lebanon made a notable contribution to this intellectual renaissance. The physician Rashid ad Din, the jurist Al Awazi, and the philosopher Qusta ibn Luqa were leaders in their respective disciplines. The country also enjoyed an economic boom in which the Lebanese harbors of Tyre and Tripoli were busy with shipping as the textile, ceramic, and glass industries prospered. Lebanese products were sought after not only in Arab countries but also throughout the Mediterranean Basin.

In general, Arab rulers were tolerant of Christians and Jews, both of whom were assessed special taxes and were exempted from military service. Later, under the Ottoman Empire, the practice developed of administering non-Muslim groups as separate communities called millets. In the late-1980s, this system continued; each religious community was organized under its own head and observed its own laws pertaining to matters such as divorce and inheritance.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Crusades

Lebanon

The occupation of the Christian holy places in Palestine and the destruction of the Holy Sepulcher by Caliph Al Hakim led to a series of eight campaigns, known as the Crusades, undertaken by Christians of western Europe to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. The first Crusade was proclaimed by Pope Urban II in 1095 at the Council of Clermont-Ferrand in France. After taking Jerusalem, the Crusaders turned their attention to the Lebanese coast. Tripoli capitulated in 1109; Beirut and Sidon, in 1110. Tyre stubbornly resisted but finally capitulated in 1124 after a long siege.

Although they failed to establish a permanent presence, the Crusaders left their imprint on Lebanon. Among the conspicuous results of the Crusades, which ended with the fall of Acre in 1291, are the remains of many towers along the coast, ruins of castles on hills and mountain slopes, and numerous churches.

Of all the contacts established by the Crusaders with the peoples of the Middle East, those with the Maronites of Lebanon were among the most enduring. They acquainted the Maronites with European influences and made them more receptive to friendly approaches from Westerners. During this period the Maronites were brought into a union with the Holy See, a union that survived in the late 1980s. France was a major participant in the Crusades, and French interest in the region and its Christian population dates to this period.

Bitter conflicts among the various regional and ethnic groups in Lebanon and Syria characterized the thirteenth century. The Crusaders, who came from Europe, the Mongols, who came from the steppes of Central Asia, and the Mamluks, who came from Egypt, all sought to be masters in the area. In this hard and confused struggle for supremacy, victory came to the Mamluks.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Mamluks

Lebanon

The Mamluks were a combination of Turkoman slaves from the area east of the Caspian Sea and Circassian slaves from the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. They were brought in by the Muslim Ayyubid sultans of Egypt to serve as their bodyguards. One of these slaves, Muez-Aibak, assassinated the Ayyubid sultan, Al Ashraf Musa, in 1252 and founded the Mamluk sultanate, which ruled Egypt and Syria for more than two centuries.

From the eleventh to the thirteenth century, the Shia Muslims migrated from Syria, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula and to the northern part of the Biqa Valley and to the Kasrawan Region in the mountains northeast of Beirut. They and the Druzes rebelled in 1291 while the Mamluks were busy fighting European Crusaders and Mongols, but after repelling the invaders, the Mamluks crushed the rebellion in 1308. To escape from repression and massacres by the Mamluks, the Shias abandoned Kasrawan and moved to southern Lebanon.

The Mamluks indirectly fostered relations between Europe and the Middle East even after the fall of the Byzantine Empire. The Europeans, accustomed to luxury items from the Middle East, strongly desired both its raw materials and its manufactured products, and the people of the Middle East wished to exploit the lucrative European market. Beirut, favored by its geographical location, became the center of intense trading activity. Despite religious conflicts among the different communities in Lebanon, intellectual life flourished, and economic prosperity continued until Mamluk rule was ended by the Ottoman Turks.

Lebanon

Lebanon - OTTOMAN RULE

Lebanon

The Ottoman Turks were a Central Asian people who had served as slaves and warriors under the Abbasids. Because of their courage and discipline they became the masters of the palace in Baghdad during the caliphate of Al Mutasim (833-42). The Ottoman sultan, Salim I (1516-20), after defeating the Persians, conquered the Mamluks. His troops, invading Syria, destroyed Mamluk resistance in 1516 at Marj Dabaq, north of Aleppo.

During the conflict between the Mamluks and the Ottomans, the amirs of Lebanon linked their fate to that of Ghazali, governor (pasha) of Damascus. He won the confidence of the Ottomans by fighting on their side at Marj Dabaq and, apparently pleased with the behavior of the Lebanese amirs, introduced them to Salim I when he entered Damascus. Salim I, moved by the eloquence of the Lebanese ruler Amir Fakhr ad Din I (1516-44), decided to grant the Lebanese amirs a semiautonomous status. The Ottomans, through two great Druze feudal families, the Maans and the Shihabs, ruled Lebanon until the middle of the nineteenth century. It was during Ottoman rule that the term Greater Syria was coined to designate the approximate area included in present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Maans

Lebanon

The Maan family, under orders from the governor of Damascus, came to Lebanon in 1120 to defend it against the invading Crusaders. They settled on the southwestern slopes of the Lebanon Mountains and soon adopted the Druze religion. Their authority began to rise with Fakhr ad Din I, who was permitted by Ottoman authorities to organize his own army, and reached its peak with Fakhr ad Din II (1570-1635).

Although Fakhr ad Din II's aspirations toward complete independence for Lebanon ended tragically, he greatly enhanced Lebanon's military and economic development. Noted for religious tolerance and suspected of being a Christian, Fakhr ad Din attempted to merge the country's different religious groups into one Lebanese community. In an effort to attain complete independence for Lebanon, he concluded a secret agreement with Ferdinand I, duke of Tuscany in Italy, the two parties pledging to support each other against the Ottomans. Informed of this agreement, the Ottoman ruler in Constantinople reacted violently and ordered Ahmad al Hafiz, governor of Damascus, to attack Fakhr ad Din. Realizing his inability to cope with the regular army of Al Hafiz, the Lebanese ruler went to Tuscany in exile in 1613. He returned to Lebanon in 1618, after his good friend Muhammad Pasha became governor of Damascus.

Following his return from Tuscany, Fakhr ad Din, realizing the need for a strong and disciplined armed force, channeled his financial resources into building a regular army. This army proved itself in 1623, when Mustafa Pasha, the new governor of Damascus, underestimating the capabilities of the Lebanese army, engaged it in battle and was decisively defeated at Anjar in the Biqa Valley. Impressed by the victory of the Lebanese ruler, the sultan of Constantinople gave him the title of Sultan al Barr (Sultan of the Mountain).

In addition to building up the army, Fakhr ad Din, who became acquainted with Italian culture during his stay in Tuscany, initiated measures to modernize the country. After forming close ties with the dukes of Tuscany and Florence and establishing diplomatic relations with them, he brought in architects, irrigation engineers, and agricultural experts from Italy in an effort to promote prosperity in the country. He also strengthened Lebanon's strategic position by expanding its territory, building forts as far away as Palmyra in Syria, and gaining control of Palestine. Finally, the Ottoman sultan Murad IV of Constantinople, wanting to thwart Lebanon's progress toward complete independence, ordered Kutshuk, then governor of Damascus, to attack the Lebanese ruler. This time Fakhr ad Din was defeated, and he was executed in Constantinople in 1635. No significant Maan rulers succeeded Fakhr ad Din II.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Shihabs

Lebanon

The Shihabs succeeded the Maans in 1697. They originally lived in the Hawran region of southwestern Syria and settled in Wadi at Taim in southern Lebanon. The most prominent among them was Bashir II, who was much like his predecessor, Fakhr ad Din II. His ability as a statesman was first tested in 1799, when Napoleon besieged Acre, a well-fortified coastal city in Palestine, about forty kilometers south of Tyre. Both Napoleon and Al Jazzar, the governor of Acre, requested assistance from the Shihab leader; Bashir, however, remained neutral, declining to assist either combatant. Unable to conquer Acre, Napoleon returned to Egypt, and the death of Al Jazzar in 1804 removed Bashir's principal opponent in the area.

When Bashir II decided to break away from the Ottoman Empire, he allied himself with Muhammad Ali, the founder of modern Egypt, and assisted Muhammad Ali's son, Ibrahim Pasha, in another siege of Acre. This siege lasted seven months, the city falling on May 27, 1832. The Egyptian army, with assistance from Bashir's troops, also attacked and conquered Damascus on June 14, 1832.

Ibrahim Pasha and Bashir II at first ruled harshly and exacted high taxes. These practices led to several revolts and eventually ended their power. In May 1840, despite the efforts of Bashir, the Maronites and Druzes united their forces against the Egyptians. In addition, the principal European powers (Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia), opposing the pro-Egyptian policy of the French, signed the London Treaty with the Sublime Porte (the Ottoman ruler) on July 15, 1840. According to the terms of this treaty, Muhammad Ali was asked to leave Syria; when he rejected this request, Ottoman and British troops landed on the Lebanese coast on September 10, 1840. Faced with this combined force, Muhammad Ali retreated, and on October 14, 1840, Bashir II surrendered to the British and went into exile.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Religious Conflicts

Lebanon

On September 3, 1840, Bashir III was appointed amir of Mount Lebanon by the Ottoman sultan. Geographically, Mount Lebanon represents the central part of present-day Lebanon, which historically has had a Christian majority. Greater Lebanon, on the other hand, created at the expense of Greater Syria, was formally constituted under the League of Nations mandate granted to France in 1920 and includes the Biqa Valley, Beirut, southern Lebanon (up to the border with Palestine/Israel), and northern Lebanon (up to the border with Syria). In practice, the terms Lebanon and Mount Lebanon tend to be used interchangeably by historians until the formal establishment of the Mandate.

Bitter conflicts between Christians and Druzes, which had been simmering under Ibrahim Pasha's rule, resurfaced under the new amir. Hence, the sultan deposed Bashir III on January 13, 1842, and appointed Umar Pasha as governor of Mount Lebanon. This appointment, however, created more problems than it solved. Representatives of the European powers proposed to the sultan that Lebanon be partitioned into Christian and Druze sections. On December 7, 1842, the sultan adopted the proposal and asked Assad Pasha, the governor (wali) of Beirut, to divide the region, then known as Mount Lebanon, into two districts: a northern district under a Christian deputy governor and a southern district under a Druze deputy governor. this arrangement came to be known as the Double Qaimaqamate. Both officials were to be responsible to the governor of Sidon, who resided in Beirut. The Beirut-Damascus highway was the dividing line between the two districts.

This partition of Lebanon proved to be a mistake. Animosities between the religious sects increased, nurtured by outside powers. The French, for example, supported the Christians, while the British supported the Druzes, and the Ottomans fomented strife to increase their control. Not surprisingly, these tensions led to conflict between Christians and Druzes as early as May 1845. Consequently, the European powers requested that the Ottoman sultan establish order in Lebanon, and he attempted to do so by establishing a majlis (council) in each of the districts. Each majlis was composed of members who represented the different religious communities and was intended to assist the deputy governor.

This system failed to keep order when the peasants of Kasrawan, overburdened by heavy taxes, rebelled against the feudal practices that prevailed in Mount Lebanon. In 1858 Tanyus Shahin, a Maronite peasant leader, demanded that the feudal class abolish its privileges. When this demand was refused, the poor peasants revolted against the shaykhs of Mount Lebanon, pillaging the shaykhs' land and burning their homes.

Foreign interests in Lebanon transformed these basically sociopolitical struggles into bitter religious conflicts, culminating in the 1860 massacre of about 10,000 Maronites, as well as Greek Catholics and Greek Orthodox, by the Druzes. These events offered France the opportunity to intervene; in an attempt to forestall French intervention, the Ottoman government stepped in to restore order.

On October 5, 1860, an international commission composed of France, Britain, Austria, Prussia, and the Ottoman Empire met to investigate the causes of the events of 1860 and to recommend a new administrative and judicial system for Lebanon that would prevent the recurrence of such events. The commission members agreed that the partition of Mount Lebanon in 1842 between Druzes and Christians had been responsible for the massacre. Hence, in the Statue of 1861 Mount Lebanon was separated from Syria and reunited under a non-Lebanese Christian mutasarrif (governor) appointed by the Ottoman sultan, with the approval of the European powers. The mutasarrif was to be assisted by an administrative council of twelve members from the various religious communities in Lebanon.

Direct Ottoman rule of Lebanon remained in effect until the end of World War I. This period was generally characterized by a laissez-faire policy and corruption. However, a number of governors, such as Daud Pasha and Naum Pasha, ruled the country efficiently and conscientiously.

Restricted mainly to the mountains by the mutasarrifiyah (district governed by a mutasarrif) arrangement and unable make a living, many Lebanese Christians emigrated to Egypt and other parts of Africa and to North America, South America, and East Asia. Remittances from these Lebanese emigrants send to their relatives in Lebanon has continued to supplement the Lebanese economy to this day.

In addition to being a center of commercial and religious activity, Lebanon became an intellectual center in the second half of the nineteenth century. Foreign missionaries established schools throughout the country, with Beirut as the center of this renaissance. The American University of Beirut was founded in 1866, followed by the French St. Joseph's University in 1875. An intellectual guild that was formed at the same time gave new life to Arabic literature, which had stagnated under the Ottoman Empire. This new intellectual era was also marked by the appearance of numerous publications and by a highly prolific press.

The period was also marked by increased political activity. The harsh rule of Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909) prompted the Arab nationalists, both Christians and Muslims, in Beirut and Damascus to organize into clandestine political groups and parties. The Lebanese, however, had difficulties in deciding the best political course to advocate. Many Lebanese Christians were apprehensive of Turkish pan-Islamic policies, fearing a repetition of the 1860 massacres. Some, especially the Maronites, began to contemplate secession rather than the reform of the Ottoman Empire. Others, particularly the Greek Orthodox, advocated an independent Syria with Lebanon as a separate province within it, so as to avoid Maronite rule. A number of Lebanese Muslims, on the other hand, sought not to liberalize the Ottoman regime but to maintain it, as Sunni Muslims particularly liked to be identified with the caliphate. The Shias and Druzes, however, fearing minority status in a Turkish state, tended to favor an independent Lebanon or a continuation of the status quo.

Originally the Arab reformist groups hoped their nationalist aims would be supported by the Young Turks, who had staged a revolution in 1908-1909. Unfortunately, after seizing power, the Young Turks became increasingly repressive and nationalistic. They abandoned many of their liberal policies because of domestic opposition and Turkey's engagement in foreign wars between 1911 and 1913. Thus, the Arab nationalists could not count on the support of the Young Turks and instead were faced with opposition by the Turkish government.

Lebanon

Lebanon - WORLD WAR I

Lebanon

The outbreak of World War I in August 1914 brought Lebanon further problems, as Turkey allied itself with Germany and AustriaHungary . The Turkish government abolished Lebanon's semiautonomous status and appointed Jamal Pasha, then minister of the navy, as the commander in chief of the Turkish forces in Syria, with discretionary powers. Known for his harshness, he militarily occupied Lebanon and replaced the Armenian mutasarrif, Ohannes Pasha, with a Turk, Munif Pasha.

In February 1915, frustrated by his unsuccessful attack on the British forces protecting the Suez Canal, Jamal Pasha initiated a blockade of the entire eastern Mediterranean coast to prevent supplies from reaching his enemies and indirectly caused thousands of deaths from widespread famine and plagues. Lebanon suffered as much as, or more than, any other Ottoman province. The blockade deprived the country of its tourists and summer visitors, and remittances from relatives and friends were lost or delayed for months. The Turkish Army cut down trees for wood to fuel trains or for military purposes. In 1916 Turkish authorities publicly executed twenty-one Syrians and Lebanese in Damascus and Beirut, respectively, for alleged anti-Turkish activities. The date, May 6, is commemorated annually in both countries as Martyrs' Day, and the site in Beirut has come to be known as Martyrs' Square.

Relief came, however, in September 1918 when the British general Edmund Allenby and Faysal I, son of Sharif Husayn of Mecca, moved into Palestine with British and Arab forces, thus opening the way for the occupation of Syria and Lebanon. At the San Remo Conference held in Italy in April 1920, the Allies gave France a mandate over Greater Syria. France then appointed General Henri Gouraud to implement the mandate provisions.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The French Mandate

Lebanon

On September 1, 1920, General Gouraud proclaimed the establishment of Greater Lebanon with its present boundaries and with Beirut as its capital. The first Lebanese constitution was promulgated on May 23, 1926, and subsequently amended several times; it was still in effect as of late 1987. Modeled after that of the French Third Republic, it provided for a unicameral parliament called the Chamber of Deputies, a president, and a Council of Ministers, or cabinet. The president was to be elected by the Chamber of Deputies for one six-year term and could not be reelected until a six-year period had elapsed; deputies were to be popularly elected along confessional lines. The first and only complete census that had been held in Lebanon as of 1987 took place in 1932 and resulted in the custom of selecting major political officers according to the proportion of the principal sects in the population. Thus, the president was to be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies a Shia Muslim. Theoretically, the Chamber of Deputies performed the legislative function, but in fact bills were prepared by the executive and submitted to the Chamber of Deputies, which passed them virtually without exception. Under the Constitution, the French high commissioner still exercised supreme power, an arrangement that initially brought objections from the Lebanese nationalists. Nevertheless, Charles Dabbas, a Greek Orthodox, was elected the first president of Lebanon three days after the adoption of the Constitution.

At the end of Dabbas's first term in 1932, Bishara al Khuri (also cited as Khoury) and Emile Iddi (also cited as Edde) competed for the office of president, thus dividing the Chamber of Deputies. To break the deadlock, some deputies suggested Shaykh Muhammad al Jisr, who was chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Muslim leader of Tripoli, as a compromise candidate. However, French high commissioner Henri Ponsot suspended the constitution on May 9, 1932, and extended the term of Dabbas for one year; in this way he prevented the election of a Muslim as president. Dissatisfied with Ponsot's conduct, the French authorities replaced him with Comte Damien de Martel, who, on January 30, 1934, appointed Habib as Saad as president for a one-year term (later extended for an additional year).

Emile Iddi was elected president on January 30, 1936. A year later, he partially reestablished the Constitution of 1926 and proceeded to hold elections for the Chamber of Deputies. However, the Constitution was again suspended by the French high commissioner in September 1939, at the outbreak of World War II.

Lebanon

Lebanon - World War II and Independence

Lebanon

After the Vichy government assumed power in France in 1940, General Henri-Fernand Dentz was appointed high commissioner of Lebanon. This appointment led to the resignation of Emile Iddi on April 4, 1941. Five days later, Dentz appointed Alfred Naqqash (also given as Naccache or Naccash) as head of state. The Vichy government's control ended a few months later when its forces were unable to repel the advance of French and British troops into Lebanon and Syria. An armistice was signed in Acre on July 14, 1941.

After signing the Acre Armistice, General Charles de Gaulle visited Lebanon, officially ending Vichy control. Lebanese national leaders took the opportunity to ask de Gaulle to end the French Mandate and unconditionally recognize Lebanon's independence. As a result of national and international pressure, on November 26, 1941, General Georges Catroux, delegate general under de Gaulle, proclaimed the independence of Lebanon in the name of his government. The United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, the Arab states, and certain Asian countries recognized this independence, and some of them exchanged ambassadors with Beirut. However, even though the French technically recognized Lebanon's independence, they continued to exercise authority.

General elections were held, and on September 21, 1943, the new Chamber of Deputies elected Bishara al Khuri as president. He appointed Riyad as Sulh (also cited as Solh) as prime minister and asked him to form the first government of independent Lebanon. On November 8, 1943, the Chamber of Deputies amended the Constitution, abolishing the articles that referred to the Mandate and modifying those that specified the powers of the high commissioner, thus unilaterally ending the Mandate. The French authorities responded by arresting a number of prominent Lebanese politicians, including the president, the prime minister, and other cabinet members, and exiling them to the Castle of Rashayya (located about sixty-five kilometers east of Sidon). This action united the Christian and Muslim leaders in their determination to get rid of the French. France, finally yielding to mounting internal pressure and to the influence of Britain, the United States, and the Arab countries, released the prisoners at Rashayya on November 22, 1943; since then, this day has been celebrated as Independence Day.

The ending of the French Mandate left Lebanon a mixed legacy. When the Mandate began, Lebanon was still suffering from the religious conflicts of the 1860s and from World War I. The French authorities were concerned not only with maintaining control over the country but also with rebuilding the Lebanese economy and social systems. They repaired and enlarged the harbor of Beirut and developed a network of roads linking the major cities. They also began to develop a governmental structure that included new administrative and judicial systems and a new civil code. They improved the education system, agriculture, public health, and the standard of living. Concurrently, however, they linked the Lebanese currency to the depreciating French franc, tying the Lebanese economy to that of France. This action had a negative impact on Lebanon. Another negative effect of the Mandate was the place given to French as a language of instruction, a move that favored Christians at the expense of Muslims.

The foundations of the new Lebanese state were established in 1943 by an unwritten agreement between the two most prominent Christian and Muslim leaders, Khuri and Sulh. The contents of this agreement, later known as the National Pact or National Covenant (al Mithaq al Watani), were approved and supported by their followers.

The National Pact laid down four principles. First, Lebanon was to be a completely independent state. The Christian communities were to cease identifying with the West; in return, the Muslim communities were to protect the independence of Lebanon and prevent its merger with any Arab state. Second, although Lebanon is an Arab country with Arabic as its official language, it could not cut off its spiritual and intellectual ties with the West, which had helped it attain such a notable degree of progress. Third, Lebanon, as a member of the family of Arab states, should cooperate with the other Arab states, and in case of conflict among them, it should not side with one state against another. Fourth, public offices should be distributed proportionally among the recognized religious groups, but in technical positions preference should be given to competence without regard to confessional considerations. Moreover, the three top government positions should be distributed as follows: the president of the republic should be a Maronite; the prime minister, a Sunni Muslim; and the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, a Shia Muslim. The ratio of deputies was to be six Christians to five Muslims.

From the beginning, the balance provided for in the National Pact was fragile. Many observers believed that any serious internal or external pressure might threaten the stability of the Lebanese political system, as was to happen in 1975.

Lebanon became a member of the League of Arab States (Arab League) on March 22, 1945. It also participated in the San Francisco Conference of the United Nations (UN) and became a member in 1945. On December 31, 1946, French troops were completely withdrawn from the country, with the signing of the Franco-Lebanese Treaty.

Lebanon

Lebanon - INDEPENDENT LEBANON

Lebanon

The history of Lebanon during the 1943-76 period was dominated by prominent family networks and patron-client relationships. Each sectarian community had its prominent family: the Khuris, Shamuns, Shihabs, Franjiyahs, and Jumayyils for the Maronites; the Sulhs, Karamis, and Yafis for the Sunnis; the Jumblatts, Yazbaks, and Arslans for the Druzes; and the Asads and Hamadahs for the Shias.

The Khuri Era, 1943-52

Lebanon's first president after independence was Bishara al Khuri, elected in 1943 for a six-year term; reelected in 1949 for a second term, he became increasingly imperial in his actions. According to his opponents, his regime was characterized by a narrow political structure supported by a strictly sectarian framework, and it did little to improve the economy.

In June 1952 an organization called the Social National Front (SNF) was formed by nine deputies led by Kamal Jumblatt (also given as Junblatt), head of the Progressive Socialist Party; Camille Shamun (also given as Chamoun), former ambassador to Britain; Emile Bustani, a self-made millionaire businessman; and other prominent personalities. This front dedicated itself to radical reform, demanding that the authorities end sectarianism and eradicate all abuses in the governmental system. The SNF founders were encouraged by people claiming to be dissatisfied with the favoritism and corruption thriving under the Khuri regime.

On May 17, 1952, the front held a meeting at Dayr al Qamar, Shamun's native town. The meeting was attended by about 50,000 people and turned into a mass rally. The speakers criticized the regime and threatened rebellion if the president did not resign. On July 23 the Phalange Party, led by Pierre Jumayyil (also given as Gemayel), also voiced its discontent with the regime. On September 11 the SNF called for a general strike to force the president to resign; the appeal brought all activities in the major cities to a standstill. This general strike is sometimes referred to as the "Rosewater Revolution" because of its nonviolence. President Khuri appealed to General Fuad Shihab (also given as Chehab) the army chief of staff, to end the strike. However, Shihab refused to become involved in what he considered a political matter, and on September 18, Khuri finally resigned.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Shamun Era

Lebanon

On September 23, 1952, the Chamber of Deputies elected Camille Shamun to succeed Khuri. In the spring of 1953, relations between President Shamun and Jumblatt deteriorated as Jumblatt criticized Shamun for accommodating himself to the traditional pattern of Lebanese politics and for toning down the radical ideals that had led to the change of government in 1952. The balance between religious communities, provided for in the National Pact, was precariously maintained, and undercurrents of hostility were discernible. The Muslim community criticized the regime in which Christians, alleging their numerical superiority, occupied the highest offices in the state and filled a disproportionate number of civil service positions. Accordingly, the Muslims asked for a census, which they were confident would prove their numerical superiority. The Christians refused unless the census were to include Lebanese emigrants who were mainly Christians, and they argued that Christians contributed 80 percent of the tax revenue.

The 1956-58 period brought many pressures to bear on Lebanon. First, there was general unrest in the Arab world following the Suez Canal crisis and the abortive attacks on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel. More specifically, however, political struggles occurred in two fields: rivalry among Lebanese political leaders who were linked to religious or clan groups and their followers; and the ideological struggle causing polarization between Lebanese nationalism and growing pan-Arabism.

President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt became the symbol of panArabism after the 1956 Suez crisis and the 1958 merger of Egypt with Syria to form the United Arab Republic. He had great influence on Lebanese Muslims, who looked to him for inspiration. In this period of unrest, the Lebanese authorities, most of whom were Christians, insisted on two things: maintaining the country's autonomy and cooperating with the West. Christians considered their friendly relations with the West as the only guarantee of Lebanon's independence. President Shamun's refusal to respond favorably to pan-Arab pressures was in direct opposition to the stand of several prominent Sunni leaders, who devoted themselves to Nasser and the pan-Arab cause.

In 1957 the question of the reelection of Shamun was added to these problems of ideological cleavage. In order to be reelected, the president needed to have the Constitution amended to permit a president to succeed himself. A constitutional amendment required a two-thirds vote by the Chamber of Deputies, so Shamun and his followers had to obtain a majority in the May-June 1957 elections.

Shamun's followers did obtain a solid majority in the elections, which the opposition considered "rigged," with the result that some non-Christian leaders with pan-Arab sympathies were not elected. Deprived of a legal platform from which to voice their political opinions, they sought to express them by extralegal means. The conflict between Shamun and the pan-Arab opposition gained in intensity when Syria merged with Egypt. Pro-Nasser demonstrations grew in number and in violence until a full-scale rebellion was underway. The unrest was intensified by the assassination of Nassib Matni, the Maronite anti-Shamun editor of At Talagraph, a daily newspaper known for its outspoken panArabism . The revolt almost became a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims.

This state of turmoil increased when, in the early hours of July 14, 1958, a revolution overthrew the monarchy in Iraq and the entire royal family was killed. In Lebanon jubilation prevailed in areas where anti-Shamun sentiment predominated, with radio stations announcing that the Shamun regime would be next. Shamun, realizing the gravity of his situation, summoned the ambassadors of the United States, Britain, and France on the morning of July 14. He requested immediate assistance, insisting that the independence of Lebanon was in jeopardy.

Furthermore, he invoked the terms of the Eisenhower Doctrine, which Lebanon had signed the year before. According to its terms the United States would "use armed forces to assist any [Middle East] nation . . . requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism." Arguing that Lebanese Muslims were being helped by Syria, which had received arms from the Soviet Union, Shamun appealed for United States military intervention. The United States responded, in large measure because of concern over the situation in Iraq and the wish to reassure its allies, such as Iran and Turkey, that the United States could act. United States forces began arriving in Lebanon by mid-afternoon of July 15 and played a symbolic rather than an active role. In the course of the 1958 Civil War, in which United States forces were not involved, between 2,000 and 4,000 casualties occurred, primarily in the Muslim areas of Beirut and in Tripoli. At the end of the crisis, the Chamber of Deputies elected General Fuad Shihab, then commander in chief of the Lebanese Army, to serve as president.

Lebanon

Lebanon - President Shihab

Lebanon

President Shihab, having cultivated nonpartisanship during the 1958 Civil War, enjoyed considerable support from the various political factions. However, his initial appointment to the cabinet of a large number of Muslim leaders, such as Rashid Karami, Sunni leader from Tripoli, whom he asked to form a reconciliation government, led to sharp reactions by the Phalange Party. Shihab was obliged to reapportion the balance in the cabinet on the basis of "no victors, no vanquished." He instituted electoral reform and increased the membership of the Chamber of Deputies from sixty-six to ninety-nine, thus enabling leaders of the various factions in the civil war to become active members of the legislature. He was determined to observe the terms of the National Pact and to have the government serve Christian and Muslim groups equally. This policy, combined with Shihab's concept of an enlightened president as one who strengthened the role of the executive and the bureaucracy at the expense of the zuama (sing., zaim), or traditional leaders, was later referred to as "Shihabism." Shihab also concentrated on improving Lebanon's infrastructure, developing an extensive road system, and providing running water and electricity to remote villages. Hospitals and dispensaries were built in many rural areas, although there was difficulty in staffing them.

In foreign affairs, one of Shihab's first acts was to ask the United States to withdraw its troops from Lebanon starting on September 27, 1958, with the withdrawal to be completed by the end of October. He pursued a neutral foreign policy with the object of maintaining good relations with Arab countries as well as the West. Many observers agree that his regime brought stability and economic development to Lebanon and that it demonstrated the need for compromise if the Lebanese confessional system of government were to work. At the same time, however, it showed that in times of crisis the only solution might be to call on an outside power to restore equilibrium.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Hilu Era

Lebanon

Shihab was succeeded by Charles Hilu (also seen as Helou), who was selected president by the Chamber of Deputies on August 18, 1964. President Hilu, a journalist, jurist, and diplomat, was known for his high moral and intellectual qualities. Despite his efforts to promote Lebanon's development, during his tenure the ArabIsraeli June 1967 War, in which Lebanon did not participate, had serious repercussions on all aspects of Lebanese life. The most significant impact was the increased role of Palestinian guerrilla groups in the struggle against Israel and the groups' use of Lebanon as a base of operations. The Palestinian presence impinged on the effort to maintain the confessional balance, for it tended to pit Muslim Lebanese against Christian Lebanese. On the whole, the former group initially viewed the Palestinian guerrillas as upholding a sacred cause that deserved full-scale support. The latter, who strongly favored Lebanese independence, tended to be more concerned with the effects of unrestricted guerrilla activity on Lebanese security and development. They feared both Israeli reprisals and the general undermining of governmental authority within Lebanon if curbs were not imposed on the guerrillas. The Hilu government did its best to satisfy the conflicting demands made on it by guerrillas, Arab governments, Israel, and the internal political and religious elements.

The Chamber of Deputies elections of 1968 and the subsequent disagreements over forming a cabinet had already receded into the background when Israel launched a raid on Beirut International Airport on December 28, 1968. This attack set the stage for the government crises that marked Lebanese life for the next five years, until the Arab-Israeli October 1973 War. Moreover, it highlighted the delicate balance of internal political forces in Lebanon and the connection between that balance and the extent to which Lebanese identified with the Arab position in the ArabIsraeli conflict.

Periodic clashes between the guerrillas and the Lebanese Army continued throughout the late spring, summer, and fall of 1969. In the late summer of 1969, several guerrilla groups moved to new bases, better located for attacks against Israel. Israel regularly raided these bases in reprisal for guerrilla raids on its territory. In October the Lebanese Army attacked some guerrilla camps in order to restrict their activity, an action that led to several demonstrations in support of the guerrillas.

On November 2, 1969, the Lebanese commander in chief and Yasir Arafat, the head of Al Fatah, the leading faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), agreed in Cairo to a cease-fire. The secret Cairo Agreement set limits on Palestinian guerrilla operations in Lebanon and helped to restore calm.

The Lebanese government's efforts to curtail guerrilla activities continued through late 1969 and 1970. Migration from southern Lebanon, particularly of large numbers of Shias, increased, primarily because of inadequate security against Israeli shelling and raids along with lack of economic opportunity. In Beirut the migrants, estimated to exceed 30,000, often could not find adequate shelter and met with indifference on the part of predominantly Christian military leaders. These problems resulted in occasional clashes between the migrants and government forces.

To deal with the problems caused by the fighting in the south, a governmental committee was formed, and funds were allocated for Al Janub Province. On January 12, 1970, the government announced a plan to arm and train Lebanese civilians in southern villages and to fortify the villages against Israeli raids. This action was apparently the result of an intentional government policy to avoid committing the army to action in southern Lebanon, presumably for fear of polarizing the religious groups that composed the army-- mainly Christian Maronite officers and Muslim or Druze enlisted personnel. But the problem was exacerbated by increasing activity by Palestinian guerrillas operating from southern Lebanon into Israel and by Israeli reprisals.

On January 7, 1970, General Emil Bustani, the army commander, was replaced by General Jean Njaim, suggesting a government effort to take a harder line toward the guerrillas and to defend southern Lebanon more actively. Clashes between the army and the guerrillas recurred, but southern Lebanese villagers continued to protest governmental inaction. After several bloody clashes between the guerrillas and the Lebanese Army and a nationwide general strike in May 1970, the government approved additional appropriations for the defense of the south, and it pressed the guerrillas to abide by the Cairo Agreement and to limit their activity.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Franjiyah Era

Lebanon

By the summer of 1970, attention turned to the upcoming presidential election of August 17. Sulayman Franjiyah (also cited as Franjieh), who had the backing of the National Bloc Party and the center bloc in the Chamber of Deputies, was elected president by one vote over Ilyas Sarkis, head of the Central Bank, who had the support of the Shihabists (those favoring a strong executive with ties to the military). Franjiyah was more conservative than his predecessor, Hilu. A Maronite leader from northern Lebanon, he had a regional power base resulting from clan allegiance and a private militia. Although Franjiyah had a parochial outlook reflecting a lack of national and international experience, he was the choice of such persons as Kamal Jumblatt, who wanted a weaker president than Sarkis would have been. Franjiyah assumed office on September 23, 1970, and in the first few months of his term the general political atmosphere improved.

The expulsion of large numbers of Palestinian guerrillas from Jordan in late 1970 and 1971, as a result of severe clashes between the Jordanian army and the PLO, had serious repercussions for Lebanon, however. Many of the guerrillas entered Lebanon, seeing it as the most suitable base for launching raids against Israel. The guerrillas tended to ally themselves with existing leftist Lebanese organizations or to form various new leftist groups that received support from the Lebanese Muslim community and caused further splintering in the Lebanese body politic. Clashes between the Palestinians and Lebanese right-wing groups, as well as demonstrations on behalf of the guerrillas, occurred during the latter half of 1971. PLO head Arafat held discussions with leading Lebanese government figures, who sought to establish acceptable limits of guerrilla activity in Lebanon under the 1969 Cairo Agreement.

The Chamber of Deputies elections in April 1972 also were accompanied by violence. The high rate of inflation and unemployment, as well as guerrilla actions and retaliations, occasioned demonstrations, and the government declared martial law in some areas. The government attempted to quiet the unrest by taking legal action against the protesters, by initiating new social and economic programs, and by negotiating with the guerrilla groups. However, the pattern of guerrilla infiltration followed by Israeli counterattacks continued throughout the Franjiyah era. Israel retaliated for any incursion by guerrillas into Israeli territory and for any action anywhere against Israeli nationals. An Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon, for example, was made in retaliation for the massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich in September 1972. Of particular significance was an Israeli commando raid on Beirut on April 10, 1973, in which three leaders of the Palestinian Resistance Movement were assassinated. The army's inaction brought the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Saib Salam, a Sunni Muslim leader from Beirut.

In May armed clashes between the army and the guerrillas in Beirut spread to other parts of the country, resulting in the arrival of guerrilla reinforcements from Syria, the declaration of martial law, and a new secret agreement limiting guerrilla activity.

The October 1973 War overshadowed disagreements about the role of the guerrillas in Lebanon. Despite Lebanon's policy of noninvolvement, the war deeply affected the country's subsequent history. As the PLO's military influence in the south grew, so too did the disaffection of the Shia community that lived there, which was exposed to varying degrees of unsympathetic Lebanese control, indifferent or antipathetic PLO attitudes, and hostile Israeli actions. The Franjiyah government proved less and less able to deal with these rising tensions, and by the onset of the Civil War in April 1975, political fragmentation was accelerating.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Civil War

Lebanon

The spark that ignited the war occurred in Beirut on April 13, 1975, when gunmen killed four Phalangists during an attempt on Pierre Jumayyil's life. Perhaps believing the assassins to have been Palestinian, the Phalangists retaliated later that day by attacking a bus carrying Palestinian passengers across a Christian neighborhood, killing about twenty-six of the occupants. The next day fighting erupted in earnest, with Phalangists pitted against Palestinian militiamen (thought by some observers to be from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). The confessional layout of Beirut's various quarters facilitated random killing. Most Beirutis stayed inside their homes during these early days of battle, and few imagined that the street fighting they were witnessing was the beginning of a war that was to devastate their city and divide the country.

Despite the urgent need to control the fighting, the political machinery of the government became paralyzed over the next few months. The inadequacies of the political system, which the 1943 National Pact had only papered over temporarily, reappeared more clearly than ever. For many observers, at the bottom of the conflict was the issue of confessionalism out of balance--of a minority, specifically the Maronites, refusing to share power and economic opportunity with the Muslim majority.

The government could not act effectively because leaders were unable to agree on whether or not to use the army to stop the bloodletting. When Jumblatt and his leftist supporters tried to isolate the Phalangists politically, other Christian sects rallied to Jumayyil's camp, creating a further rift. Consequently, in May Prime Minister Rashid as Sulh and his cabinet resigned, and a new government was formed under Rashid Karami. Although there were many calls for his resignation, President Franjiyah steadfastly retained his office.

As various other groups took sides, the fighting spread to other areas of the country, forcing residents in towns with mixed sectarian populations to seek safety in regions where their sect was dominant. Even so, the militias became embroiled in a pattern of attack followed by retaliation, including acts against uninvolved civilians.

Although the two warring factions were often characterized as Christian versus Muslim, their individual composition was far more complex. Those in favor of maintaining the status quo came to be known as the Lebanese Front. The groups included primarily the Maronite militias of the Jumayyil, Shamun, and Franjiyah clans, often led by the sons of zuama. Also in this camp were various militias of Maronite religious orders. The side seeking change, usually referred to as the Lebanese National Movement, was far less cohesive and organized. For the most part it was led by Kamal Jumblatt and included a variety of militias from leftist organizations and guerrillas from rejectionist Palestinian (nonmainstream PLO) organizations.

By the end of 1975, no side held a decisive military advantage, but it was generally acknowledged that the Lebanese Front had done less well than expected against the disorganized Lebanese National Movement. The political hierarchy, composed of the old zuama and politicians, still was incapable of maintaining peace, except for occasional, short-lived cease-fires. Reform was discussed, but little headway was made toward any significant improvements. Syria, which was deeply concerned about the flow of events in Lebanon, also proved powerless to enforce calm through diplomatic means. And, most ominous of all, the Lebanese Army, which generally had stayed out of the strife, began to show signs of factionalizing and threatened to bring its heavy weaponry to bear on the conflict.

Syrian diplomatic involvement grew during 1976, but it had little success in restoring order in the first half of the year. In January it organized a cease-fire and set up the High Military Committee, through which it negotiated with all sides. These negotiations, however, were complicated by other events, especially Lebanese Front-Palestinian confrontations. That month the Lebanese Front began a siege of Tall Zatar, a densely populated Palestinian refugee camp in East Beirut; the Lebanese Front also overran and leveled Karantina, a Muslim quarter in East Beirut. These actions finally brought the main forces of the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA), into the battle. Together, the PLA and the Lebanese National Movement took the town of Ad Damur, a Shamun stronghold about seventeen kilometers south of Beirut.

In spite of these setbacks, through Syria's good offices, compromises were achieved. On February 14, 1976, in what was considered a political breakthrough, Syria helped negotiate a seventeen-point reform program known as the Constitutional Document. Yet by March this progress was derailed by the disintegration of the Lebanese Army. In that month dissident Muslim troops, led by Lieutenant Ahmad Khatib, mutinied, creating the Lebanese Arab Army. Joining the Lebanese National Movement, they made significant penetrations into Christian-held Beirut and launched an attack on the presidential palace, forcing Franjiyah to flee to Mount Lebanon.

Continuing its search for a domestic political settlement to the war, in May the Chamber of Deputies elected Ilyas Sarkis to take over as president when Franjiyah's term expired in September. But Sarkis had strong backing from Syria and, as a consequence, was unacceptable to Jumblatt, who was known to be antipathetic to Syrian president Hafiz al Assad and who insisted on a "military solution." Accordingly, the Lebanese National Movement successfully pressed assaults on Mount Lebanon and other Christian-controlled areas.

As Lebanese Front fortunes declined, two outcomes seemed likely: the establishment in Mount Lebanon of an independent Christian state, viewed as a "second Israel" by some; or, if the Lebanese National Movement won the war, the creation of a radical, hostile state on Syria's western border. Neither of these possibilities was viewed as acceptable to Assad. To prevent either scenario, at the end of May 1976 Syria intervened militarily against the Lebanese National Movement, hoping to end the fighting swiftly. This decision, however, proved ill conceived, as Syrian forces met heavy resistance and suffered many casualties. Moreover, by entering the conflict on the Christian side Syria provoked outrage from much of the Arab world.

Despite, or perhaps as a result of, these military and diplomatic failures, in late July Syria decided to quell the resistance. A drive was launched against Lebanese National Movement strongholds that was far more successful than earlier battles; within two weeks the opposition was almost subdued. Rather than crush the resistance altogether, at this time Syria chose to participate in an Arab peace conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 16, 1976.

The Riyadh Conference, followed by an Arab League meeting in Cairo also in October 1976, formally ended the Lebanese Civil War; although the underlying causes were in no way eliminated, the fullscale warfare stopped. Syria's presence in Lebanon was legitimated by the establishment of the Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) by the Arab League in October 1976. In January 1977 the ADF consisted of 30,000 men, of whom 27,000 were Syrian. The remainder were token contingents from Saudi Arabia, the small Persian Gulf states, and Sudan; Libya had withdrawn its small force in late 1976. Because of his difficulties in reforming the Lebanese Army, President Sarkis, the ADF's nominal commander, requested renewal of the ADF's mandate a number of times.

Thus, after more than one and one-half years of devastation, relative calm returned to Lebanon. Although the exact cost of the war will never be known, deaths may have approached 44,000, with about 180,000 wounded; many thousands of others were displaced or left homeless, or had migrated. Much of the once-magnificent city of Beirut was reduced to rubble and the town divided into Muslim and Christian sectors, separated by the so-called.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Sarkis Administration

Lebanon

In December 1976 Sarkis appointed as prime minister Salim al Huss (also spelled Hoss), who chose a cabinet of technocrats that was authorized to rule by decree for six months (later extended). One of the first tasks this government faced was the reorganization of the army, most of whose members had deserted during the Civil War to join one of the various factions. Although the intention of the Cairo Agreement was to station Lebanese military units in southern Lebanon, instead the ADF controlled the area only to the Litani River, leaving the region south of it in the hands of the Palestinians. So strong was their presence that certain areas became known as Fatahland, after the main PLO grouping. Relations with Syria and the problem of the Palestinians in southern Lebanon remained central concerns for Lebanon throughout the period from 1976 to 1982.

The degree of cooperation between the Sarkis administration and Syrian authorities varied, depending on external circumstances in the region. Initially, recognizing its dependence on Syria and Syrian military forces to preserve the peace, the Lebanese government generally cooperated. By late 1977, however, as a result of the Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations and Syria's consequent rapprochement with the PLO, Lebanese-Syrian relations cooled. In its own role and in its use of the ADF, Syria found itself in an awkward position because it could not fully exert its authority in Lebanon unless it succeeded in disarming both the Lebanese Christian militias and the PLO. However, it was not prepared to pay the political and military price for doing so and consequently was obliged to maintain a large army in Lebanon, causing a serious drain on Syria's economy.

Relations between Lebanon and Syria deteriorated further when fighting occurred between the ADF and the Lebanese Army in East Beirut in February 1978, followed by a massive ADF bombardment of Christian sectors of Beirut in July. President Sarkis resigned in protest against the latter action but was persuaded to reconsider. Syrian bombardments of East Beirut ended in October 1978 as a result of a UN Security Council cease-fire resolution that indirectly implicated Syria as a party to the Lebanese Civil War. To strengthen its influence over the Sarkis government, Syria threatened several times, in late 1978 and early 1979, to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. But after a relatively cordial meeting between presidents Sarkis and Assad in Damascus in May 1979, Syria stated that the ADF--which by then had become a totally Syrian force--would "remain in Lebanon as long as the Arab interests so require."

From early 1980 onward, Syria became increasingly preoccupied with its domestic difficulties, leaving the Sarkis administration with a freer hand. However, significant ADF action against the Phalange Party militia, headed by Bashir Jumayyil, took place around Zahlah (fifty kilometers east of Beirut) in late 1980 and April 1981. This military threat to its Christian ally caused Israel to intervene, and it shot down two Syrian helicopters over Lebanon. Syria, in turn, introduced SA-2 and SA-6 surface-to-air missiles into Lebanon; the resulting "missile crisis" threatened to cause a regional war, but this possibility was averted through the mediation efforts of other Arab nations and the United States.

Relations with the Palestinians were complex and interrelated with influences in southern Lebanon. In the early days of the Civil War, the relative peace in southern Lebanon had attracted Lebanese refugees from other areas. After the Palestinians left the area to fight elsewhere, Christian militias, led by Lebanese Army officers supported by Israel, took control of a large part of the south. Israel had forged this link in 1977 with Lebanese officers as part of its "Good Fence" policy to prevent a Palestinian presence near Israel's northern border.

However, conflicting interests were at work in southern Lebanon. On the one hand, the Sarkis government saw an opportunity to regain control of the area. On the other hand, the Palestinians, who objected to Syrian efforts to confiscate their heavy weapons and control their activities in the rest of Lebanon, felt they would have greater freedom to operate in the south. For their part, the Syrians wished to eliminate Israeli influence there, while the Israelis wanted direct contact with the population of southern Lebanon and wished to keep both the Syrians and the Palestinians out of the area.

As early as 1977, fighting occurred in the south between the Christian militia under Major Saad Haddad and the Palestinians, who had reinfiltrated the area and were receiving Syrian assistance. The resulting large-scale destruction in the southern area, which Haddad had renamed "Free Lebanon" and which was inhabited mainly by Shia Muslims and Maronite Christians, caused the migration of approximately 200,000 people, or one-third of the population.

To clarify the provisions of the October 1976 Cairo Agreement (preceded by an earlier 1969 agreement) concerning Palestinian activity in southern Lebanon, representatives of Lebanon, Syria (in the guise of the ADF), and the Palestinians held a conference at Shtawrah in July and August 1977. The resulting Shtawrah Accord basically endorsed the Syrian position, which called for the Palestinians to withdraw fifteen kilometers from the Israeli border, with this area to be occupied by the Lebanese Army, and charged the ADF with protecting the southern coastal area. Execution of the agreement, however, was difficult because neither the Palestinians nor the Lebanese Army wished to make the first move, and Israel was apprehensive of increased Syrian influence in the area.

The situation in the south was exacerbated by the entry of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) into southern Lebanon in retaliation for a March 11, 1978, Palestinian guerrilla attack on an Israeli bus near Tel Aviv, in which several people were killed. The IDF staged an all-out attack, and over 25,000 troops occupied positions as far north as the Litani River and remained in Lebanon for three months. The UN called on Israel to withdraw, and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon was sent to replace the Israelis, who withdrew in stages. When Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in June, Haddad's South Lebanon Army (SLA--formerly the Free Lebanon Army) took over most of the areas Israel previously controlled.

Throughout the Sarkis administration, various shifts were also occurring in domestic politics. Prime Minister Huss, a moderate Sunni Muslim, was unable to form a national unity government, as requested by Sarkis in the spring of 1978, but remained in office for two more years. In October 1980, Shafiq al Wazzan, another moderate Sunni and chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council, became prime minister. His government experienced even greater difficulties in holding office, with more than half of the Chamber of Deputies refusing to endorse his cabinet. The inability of the Lebanese Army to maintain any effective control over the country was a major factor contributing to the weakness of these Lebanese governments.

Additional shifts occurred among Lebanese military and political groups. The Shias continued to grow in importance, and in 1980 clashes broke out in the south between Amal, the Shia military arm, which was becoming increasingly a political instrument, and Fatah, a part of the PLO. On the Christian side, the Lebanese Front experienced severe internal disagreements. In July 1980 Bashir Jumayyil and his Phalangist militia scored a resounding triumph over the Tigers, the militia of the National Liberals under Camille Shamun and his son Dani. This victory paved the way for Jumayyil's subsequent prominence. Israeli support of the Lebanese Front was curtailed in 1981, as a condition set by the Lebanese National Movement and by Syria for any attempt at an overall resolution of the Lebanese situation.

Lebanon's security deteriorated significantly in late 1981 and the first half of 1982. There were continuous clashes in West Beirut, Tripoli, and southern Lebanon during this period. In September automible bombings occurred in West Beirut, Sidon, and Tripoli, along with a campaign of terror against foreign diplomats. These violent incidents were followed by terrorist attacks against Muslim and Christian religious leaders in April 1982. The result of these large-scale breaches of the peace was a growing disillusionment on the part of Lebanese Muslims with the ability of the Lebanese National Movement, the PLO, or Syria (through the ADF) to control matters in areas where they were nominally in charge. As a consequence, more moderate and conservative Sunni and Shia figures gained leadership opportunities; a number of them overtly favored the Lebanese government's reestablishing its authority over the country. Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shams ad Din (also seen as Chamseddine), vice chairman of the Higher Shia Islamic Council, for example, requested that the Lebanese Army be sent in to quell fighting between the Shia Amal and the PLO in the south, the Biqa Valley, and parts of West Beirut. Clashes in Tripoli, the largest Sunni city, during this period also resulted in requests that the Lebanese Army enter the area.

The general discontent with the situation on the part of various elements of the population provided a favorable opportunity for the Phalange Party's efforts in the 1982 presidential campaign. Bashir Jumayyil saw himself as a leading candidate because the Phalange Party had established its political power by overwhelming the Shamun militia in 1980 and had the largest Lebanese militia, by that time called the Lebanese Forces. However, Bashir's close ties to Israel and his proposals for eliminating both the ADF and the PLA from the Lebanese scene understandably met with sharp opposition from Assad and Arafat, both of whom considered Jumayyil's brother Amin more acceptable. This, then, was the situation in Lebanon when Israel invaded on June 6, 1982, in retaliation for the assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador to London.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Geography

Lebanon

Lebanon's mountainous terrain, proximity to the sea, and strategic location at a crossroads of the world were decisive factors in shaping its history. The political, economic, and religious movements that either originated in the region or crossed through to leave an imprint upon Lebanese society give form to that history.

The country's role in the region, as indeed in the world at large, was shaped by trade. The area, formerly part of the region known as Greater Syria, served as a link between the Mediterranean world and India and East Asia. The merchants of the region exported oil, grain, textiles, metal work, and pottery through the port cities to Western markets. The linkage role of Lebanon was further enhanced by the nomads of the Syrian and Arabian deserts who visited the cities of Syria to trade. The caravans developed limited routes that often led to the coastal cities of Tripoli, Beirut, Sidon, or Tyre. This created a merchant class and brought wealth to the inhabitants of the region. The trade between East and West led to the development of a cosmopolitan culture in Lebanon's port cities, whose inhabitants became known for their multilingualism, flexibility, moderation, and commercial acumen.

Lebanon was also affected by regional political conflicts and social movements. The wealth of the region attracted powerful rulers who coveted its resources. The strategic location was also attractive; it was used either as a defensive position against enemies approaching the Arab hinterland or as a stepping-stone toward Lebanon's neighbors. Over the centuries, members of the nomadic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula sought a more prosperous life in Lebanon. To this day, many Lebanese families take pride in tracing their descent to ancient tribes of Arabia. Moreover, refugees belonging to minority sects have settled in its virtually inaccessible mountain valleys. Hence, the region became a melting pot of cultural and social interaction among diverse groups. In a social culture where blood lineage assumed primacy as a source of identification and affiliation, the contrast between the new Arab immigrant tribes and the settled inhabitants of the land frequently produced conflicts.

<>Land
<>Climate
<>Rivers and Lakes

Lebanon

Lebanon - Land

Lebanon

The area of Lebanon is approximately 10,452 square kilometers. The country is roughly rectangular in shape, becoming narrower toward the south and the farthest north. Its widest point is 88 kilometers, and its narrowest is 32 kilometers; the average width is about 56 kilometers.

The physical geography of Lebanon is influenced by natural systems that extend outside the country. Thus, the Biqa Valley is part of the Great Rift system, which stretches from southern Turkey to Mozambique in Africa. Like any mountainous country, Lebanon's physical geography is complex. Land forms, climate, soils, and vegetation differ markedly within short distances. There are also sharp changes in other elements of the environment, from good to poor soils, as one moves through the Lebanese mountains.

A major feature of Lebanese topography is the alternation of lowland and highland that runs generally parallel with a north-to-south orientation. There are four such longitudinal strips between the Mediterranean Sea and Syria: the coastal strip (or the maritime plain), western Lebanon, the central plateau, and eastern Lebanon.

The extremely narrow coastal strip stretches along the shore of the eastern Mediterranean. Hemmed in between sea and mountain, the sahil, as it is called in Lebanon, is widest in the north near Tripoli, where it is only 6.5 kilometers wide. A few kilometers south at Juniyah the approximately 1.5-kilometer-wide plain is succeeded by foothills that rise steeply to 750 meters within 6.5 kilometers from the sea. For the most part, the coast is abrupt and rocky. The shore line is regular with no deep estuary, gulf, or natural harbor. The maritime plain is especially productive of fruits and vegetables.

The western range, the second major region, is the Lebanon Mountains, sometimes called Mount Lebanon, or Lebanon proper before 1920. Since Roman days the term Mount Lebanon has encompassed this area. Antilibanos (Anti-Lebanon) was used to designate the eastern range. Geologists believe that the twin mountains once formed one range. The Lebanon Mountains are the highest, most rugged, and most imposing of the whole maritime range of mountains and plateaus that start with the Amanus or Nur Mountains in northern Syria and end with the towering massif of Sinai. The mountain structure forms the first barrier to communication between the Mediterranean and Lebanon's eastern hinterland. The mountain range is a clearly defined unit having natural boundaries on all four sides. On the north it is separated from the Nusayriyah Mountains of Syria by An Nahr al Kabir (the great river); on the south it is bounded by Al Qasimiyah River, giving it a length of 169 kilometers. Its width varies from about 56.5 kilometers near Tripoli to 9.5 kilometers on the southern end. It rises to alpine heights southeast of Tripoli, where Al Qurnat as Sawda (the black nook) reaches 3,360 meters. Of the other peaks that rise east of Beirut, Jabal Sannin (2,695 meters) is the highest. Ahl al Jabal (people of the mountain), or simply jabaliyyun, has referred traditionally to the inhabitants of western Lebanon. Near its southern end, the Lebanon Mountains branch off to the west to form the Shuf Mountains.

The third geographical region is the Biqa Valley. This central highland between the Lebanon Mountains and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains is about 177 kilometers in length and 9.6 to 16 kilometers wide and has an average elevation of 762 meters. Its middle section spreads out more than its two extremities. Geologically, the Biqa is the medial part of a depression that extends north to the western bend of the Orontes River in Syria and south to Jordan through Al Arabah to Al Aqabah, the eastern arm of the Red Sea. The Biqa is the country's chief agricultural area and served as a granary of Roman Syria. Biqa is the Arabic plural of buqaah, meaning a place with stagnant water.

Emerging from a base south of Homs in Syria, the eastern mountain range, or Anti-Lebanon (Lubnan ash Sharqi), is almost equal in length and height to the Lebanon Mountains. This fourth geographical region falls swiftly from Mount Hermon to the Hawran Plateau, whence it continues through Jordan south to the Dead Sea. The Barada gorge divides Anti-Lebanon. In the northern section, few villages are on the western slopes, but in the southern section, featuring Mount Hermon (286 meters), the western slopes have many villages. Anti-Lebanon is more arid, especially in its northern parts, than Mount Lebanon and is consequently less productive and more thinly populated.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Climate

Lebanon

Lebanon has a Mediterranean climate characterized by a long, hot, and dry summer, and cool, rainy winter. Fall is a transitional season with a gradual lowering of temperature and little rain; spring occurs when the winter rains cause the vegetation to revive. Topographical variation creates local modifications of the basic climatic pattern. Along the coast, summers are hot and humid, with little or no rain. Heavy dews form, which are beneficial to agriculture. The daily range of temperature is not wide, although temperatures may reach above 38░ C in the daytime and below 16░ C at night. A west wind provides relief during the afternoon and evening; at night the wind direction is reversed, blowing from the land out to sea.

Winter is the rainy season, with major precipitation falling after December. Rainfall is generous but is concentrated during only a few days of the rainy season, falling in heavy cloudbursts. The amount of rainfall varies greatly from one year to another. Occasionally, there are frosts during the winter, and about once every fifteen years a light powdering of snow falls as far south as Beirut. A hot wind blowing from the Egyptian desert called the khamsin (Arabic for fifty), may provide a warming trend during the fall, but more often occurs during the spring. Bitterly cold winds may come from Europe. Along the coast the proximity to the sea provides a moderating influence on the climate, making the range of temperatures narrower than it is inland, but the temperatures are cooler in the northern parts of the coast where there is also more rain.

In the Lebanon Mountains the gradual increase in altitude produces colder winters with more precipitation and snow. The summers have a wider daily range of temperatures and less humidity. In the winter, frosts are frequent and snows heavy; in fact, snow covers the highest peaks for much of the year. In the summer, temperatures may rise as high during the daytime as they do along the coast, but they fall far lower at night. Inhabitants of the coastal cities, as well as visitors, seek refuge from the oppressive humidity of the coast by spending much of the summer in the mountains, where numerous summer resorts are located. Both the khamsin and the north winter wind are felt in the Lebanon Mountains. The influence of the Mediterranean Sea is abated by the altitude and, although the precipitation is even higher than it is along the coast, the range of temperatures is wider and the winters are more severe.

The Biqa Valley and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains are shielded from the influence of the sea by the Lebanon Mountains. The result is considerably less precipitation and humidity and a wider variation in daily and yearly temperatures. The khamsin does not occur in the Biqa Valley, but the north winter wind is so severe that the inhabitants say it can "break nails." Despite the relatively low altitude of the Biqa Valley (the highest point of which, near Baalbek, is only 1,100 meters) more snow falls there than at comparable altitudes west of the Lebanon Mountains.

Because of their altitudes, the Anti-Lebanon Mountains receive more precipitation than the Biqa Valley, despite their remoteness from maritime influences. Much of this precipitation appears as snow, and the peaks of the Anti-Lebanon, like those of the Lebanon Mountains, are snow-covered for much of the year. Temperatures are cooler than in the Biqa Valley.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Rivers and Lakes

Lebanon

Although the country is well watered and there are many rivers and streams, there are no navigable rivers, nor is any one river the sole source of irrigation water. Drainage patterns are determined by geological features and climate. Although rainfall is seasonal, most streams are perennial. Most rivers in Lebanon have their origins in springs, which are often quite large. These springs emerge from the permeable limestone strata cropping out at the 915- to 1,524-meter level in the Lebanon Mountains. In the Anti-Lebanon Mountains few springs emerge in this manner. Other springs emerge from alluvial soil and join to form rivers. Whatever their source, the rivers are fast moving, straight, and generally cascade down narrow mountain canyons to the sea.

The Biqa Valley is watered by two rivers that rise in the watershed near Baalbek: the Orontes flowing north (in Arabic it is called Nahr al Asi, the Rebel River, because this direction is unusual), and the Litani flowing south into the hill region of the southern Biqa Valley, where it makes an abrupt turn to the west and is thereafter called the Al Qasmiyah River. The Orontes continues to flow north into Syria and eventually reaches the Mediterranean in Turkey. Its waters, for much of its course, flow through a channel considerably lower than the surface of the ground. The Nahr Barada, which waters Damascus, has as its source a spring in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains.

Smaller springs and streams serve as tributaries to the principal rivers. Because the rivers and streams have such steep gradients and are so fast moving, they are erosive instead of depository in nature. This process is aided by the soft character of the limestone that composes much of the mountains, the steep slopes of the mountains, and the heavy rainstorms. The only permanent lake is Buhayrat al Qirawn, about ten kilometers east of Jazzin. There is one seasonal lake, fed by springs, on the eastern slopes of the Lebanon Mountains near Yammunah, about forty kilometers southeast of Tripoli.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Society

Lebanon

SINCE THE MID-1970s, Lebanon has been convulsed by the protracted tragedy of civil strife among the numerous segments and factions of its multiethnic and multisectarian society. The violent civil war of the mid-1970s was followed by incursions, invasions, and occasional occupation by the armed forces of foreign powers and organizations. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s scores of thousands of Lebanese fled their homeland, thousands more were killed, and the warring communities tended to become ever more intransigent in their demands for social autonomy. In the late 1980s the social systems remained severely fragmented, and a national society could not be said to exist. Prior to the 1975 Civil War some features of social change reflected an underlying trend toward modernization. Decline of kinship ties, social differentiation, rapid urbanization, and an improvement in living standards were all at play, but only within a fragmented social context in which the process of modernization lacked national uniformity. Furthermore, the tension between the forces of continuity and change retarded the pace of modernization, especially when the Lebanese political system did not adapt by expanding the scope of political representation and expression.

Generally speaking, Lebanese society was a traditional one that was exposed to forces of modernization in its urban centers. While some parts of the capital, Beirut, were undergoing a rapid process of modernization, a great influx of villagers to the cities created a "ruralizing" effect. Not only were the forces of change weakened by the value systems of the newcomers, but migration also led to social alienation in the so-called "belt of misery." This area was inhabited mostly by Shias who were driven out of southern Lebanon in the 1960s by the deteriorating political and security conditions resulting from the Israeli-Palestinian war of attrition. Moreover, the prosperity of Beirut and prospects of jobs lured skilled and unskilled laborers.

Lebanon did not come into existence until 1920, when the French--governing the region under a League of Nations mandate-- annexed the peripheral coastal area, the Biqa Valley, the northern region, and Jabal Amil (southern Lebanon) to the mutasarrifiyah of Mount Lebanon to create Greater Lebanon. Before the creation of the republic, Lebanon was politically and socially fragmented among the various Ottoman vilayets (provinces) and the confessional communities that sought refuge in its rugged mountains to avoid persecution.

Lebanese society is divided into numerous sects that are separated from each other by recognizable geographical lines of demarcation and perhaps even more by fear and suspicion. Some communal groups have resisted the changes associated with secularization and modernity by identifying more closely with their own sects and by vehemently opposing the existing political system. In 1987, after twelve years of civil war, Lebanon continued to be confessionally organized. Furthermore, the military battles had reinforced the distances between sects by causing demographic changes through the eviction of members of a whole sect from one region to another. This movement has not only affected Christian-Muslim relations, but also sects of the same faith.

Finally, the war had weakened the loose bonds of national loyalty and the feeling of belonging to one society. Although some Lebanese still believed in the efficacy of restoring the unity of a society that would comprise all sects, voices of religious fanaticism and self-interest rejected national and political integration within a system of mutual tolerance. This lack of consensus on national issues partly accounted for the continuation of war and conflict in Lebanon in the late 1980s.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Population

Lebanon

The lack of official statistics makes a demographic analysis of Lebanese society a difficult task. Because of the precarious and delicate sectarian arrangement in the body politic, the government has deliberately avoided conducting a comprehensive update of the 1932 census. Christian communities, primarily the Maronites, fear that the numerical preponderance of Muslims would eventually strip them of their privileges by changing the foundations of political representation. When the French Mandate government conducted the 1932 census, it enumerated 861,399 Lebanese, including those living abroad, most of whom were identified as Christians. The distribution of parliamentary seats among the confessions was based on the findings of the 1932 census; the ratio of six Christians to five Muslims, including Druzes, has been retained.

The government has published only rough estimates of the population since 1932. The estimate for 1956, for example, showed that in a total population of 1,411,416, Christians accounted for 54 percent and Muslims, 44 percent. The estimate was seriously contested because it was based on figures derived from a government welfare program that tended not to include Muslims in areas distant from Beirut. After the 1950s, the government statistical bureau published only total population estimates that were not subdivided according to sect. Consequently, the census became a highly charged political issue in Lebanon, because it constituted the ostensible basis for communal representation.

Conducting a census during the 1970s and 1980s was clearly impossible because of the war. The United States Department of State 1983 estimate for the population of Lebanon was 2.6 million. The figures included Lebanese nationals living abroad and excluded Palestinian refugees, of whom there were nearly 400,000. A 1986 estimate by the United States Central Intelligence Agency of the confessional distribution of the population showed 27 percent Sunnis, 41 percent Shias, 7 percent Druzes, 16 percent Maronites, 5 percent Greek Orthodox, and 3 percent Greek Catholics. However, these data were, at best, informed estimates subject to revision.

In the absence of a reliable country-wide population census, the most useful data on population was a 1984 survey conducted in the Greater Beirut region by a team of specialists from the American University of Beirut. An examination of the age composition of the resident population of Beirut in the 1983-84 period revealed a relatively young population with 41.5 percent less than twenty years of age. There appeared to be a decline in fertility over the last decade for the resident population of Beirut.

The sex distribution of the 1983-84 Beirut resident population indicated an overall sex ratio of 95.5 males per 100 females. The extreme deficiency observed for males in the age group twenty through forty-nine may be the result of two factors: the large emigration of men in these ages, mostly to Persian Gulf countries, and a high rate of war-related mortality.

A 1983 World Bank study contained some statistics on the demographic characteristics of Lebanon for the period 1960 through 1981, the last year for which figures were available in 1987. Although the reliability of the figures could not be established, the figures revealed some interesting trends. During this period, the crude birth rate declined perceptibly as did the crude death rate. Surprisingly, life expectancy rose despite the war. The fertility rate continued to decline during the war, but there was little change in the age structure of the population. Total population increased, although at a slower rate than in the prewar period, and there was a dramatic increase in urban population because of the continued influx to the cities. The rate of increase of population density slowed, however, as a result of the war and the consequent emigration of large numbers of Lebanese.

Although accurate figures of Beirut's population in the mid1980s were lacking, the city's dominant demographic position was unquestioned. Beirut has featured prominently in Lebanese society as a port city throughout its history and as the major population center of the country since at least the beginning of the Mandate period in 1920. Its role in maritime trade brought prosperity to its inhabitants. The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 benefited Beirut, which replaced the port of Haifa as a center for Arab trade with the West. Until the 1950s, Beirut was inhabited primarily by non-Maronite Christians and Sunni Muslims. In the 1950s a wave of immigrants from all parts of Lebanon and from all sects sought the lure of economic prosperity and the readily available government services of Beirut. The civil strife that began the 1970s has reinforced the sectarian demographic divisions in the city.

Other major cities in Lebanon include Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, Baalbek, and Zahlah. Tripoli, the capital of Ash Shamal Province, has a majority Sunni population and a Christian minority. Sidon, in Al Janub Province, also has a Sunni majority, with a sizable Christian community. Tyre, in Al Janub Province, has a diverse sectarian composition. Although the majority of its inhabitants are Shias, the city has always included Christians of various sects. Baalbek, in Al Biqa Province, has a Shia majority and a Christian minority. Zahlah, also in Al Biqa Province, has a predominantly Christian population.

<>Migration
<>War and Displacement in Beirut
<>The Palestinian Element



Updated population figures for Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Migration

Lebanon

An important characteristic of the Lebanese is their migratory spirit, which can be traced back to the Phoenicians who were known for their exploratory expeditions. Substantial emigration occurred between 1860 and 1914. During this period, approximately 330,000 Lebanese emigrated from what is now Syria and Lebanon. Between 1900 and 1914 the annual rate was about 15,000. The rate dropped sharply during World War I and immediately thereafter, but resumed a net annual emigration rate of about 3,000 between 1921 and 1939. Those who had emigrated by 1932 included 123,397 Maronites, 57,031 Greek Orthodox, and 26,627 Melkites, but only 36,865 Muslims and Druzes. Following World War II the rate decreased somewhat until 1975; thereafter the Civil War caused the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese. In much of the pre-Civil War period, the proportion of Christian Lebanese emigrants to Muslims and Druzes was as high as six to one.

Rural to urban migration has also been a strong social force within Lebanon. Villagers have moved to the cities, Beirut in particular, to seek improved living conditions or to escape the horrors of war and poverty. The new city dwellers were known for maintaining ties to their home villages. Because of Lebanon's small size and short travel distances, many could continue to spend vacations and weekends in their villages, especially during harvest time. The newcomer to Beirut usually took up residence near fellow villagers and coreligionists. In the case of many Shias, the massive movement to the so-called "belt of misery," which denoted the southern and, until 1976, the eastern suburbs of Beirut, led to deep social resentment since affluent Maronite districts were adjacent to poor Shia districts. In fact, one of the first fronts of the war in 1975 was that between the Shia neighborhood of Shayah and the Christian neighborhood of Ayn ar Rummanah. The road that separated these neighborhoods became known as the Green Line, which in the 1980s designated the line separating Christian East Beirut from predominantly Muslim West Beirut.

More than twelve years of turmoil have resulted in considerable compulsory and voluntary displacement of ordinary people. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese left their country, some as permanent emigrants, others for what they hoped would be temporary exile. How many left is not known, but Lebanon has the dubious distinction of being the only developing country which the World Bank believes has actually witnessed a negative population growth rate in recent years. Lebanon's inability to hold a proper census, even in time of peace, means there are only estimates for the country's population. Whereas the population was thought by World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) sources to have grown by around 70 percent to 2.77 million over the 25 years to 1975, by 1984 the population was thought to have declined to 2.64 million.

There has been considerable internal migration as well. Again, it is not possible to quantify this precisely. But the repeated redrawing of militia lines of control, and the repeated fears of members of one community living in enclaves dominated by people of a different religious, national or political persuasion, make it not unreasonable to suppose that as much as a third of the country's inhabitants in mid-1987 had moved to new homes since 1975. It might also be argued that as many as half the people have at some stage moved away from their family homes for a while to escape the persistent violence. Such developments have had profound socioeconomic consequences. A disproportionate number of males have emigrated, while men presumably also account for the majority of those who have died in the years of conflict. Thus there has been a steady increase in the number of women entering the workforce and in female-headed households.


Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon - War and Displacement in Beirut

Lebanon

On the eve of the Civil War in 1975, it was evident that the demographic expansion of Beirut and its suburbs had occurred at the expense of the rest of the country. Between 1960 and 1975 the population of Greater Beirut increased almost threefold, from 450,000 to 1,250,000. In 1959, 27.7 percent of all Lebanese lived in Beirut, but this figure ballooned to more than 50 percent in 1975. Lebanon's service-based economy acted as an agent for Western industries and Arab markets alike, leading to the centralization of firms and resources in Beirut, which served as a transit point.

Two factors changed the demographic composition of Beirut in the 1970s. The first was the dramatic growth, starting in 1973, of labor emigration to the Persian Gulf countries. At one point, the outflow included about half the entire work force of Beirut. The second was the series of battles that engulfed the city in a ferocious war. As for the levels of internal migration of various sectarian and ethnic groups at different times during the Civil War, three patterns can be discerned in terms of scope and duration: heavy migration, fast and temporary (the exodus from Beirut when it was besieged by the Israeli army in 1982); heavy migration, fast and permanent (the eviction of Palestinians and Shias from East Beirut in 1976 and the eviction of Christians from the Shuf Mountains in 1983); and the slow and intermittent migration of individuals and families.


Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Palestinian Element

Lebanon

After the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, between 100,000 and 170,000 Palestinian refugees entered Lebanon. They were mostly Muslims and nearly all Arabs, but they also included some Armenians, Greeks, and Circassians. During their first two decades in Lebanon, the Palestinian refugees emerged as politically powerful players. The number of Palestinians in Lebanon swelled as a result of the war between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian Armed Forces and the subsequent expulsion of several thousand Palestinian guerrillas from Jordan in 1970.

In 1987 a large number of Palestinians still lived in or around camps administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees in the Near East. In 1975 there were sixteen officially designated UNRWA camps in Lebanon, but in 1975-76 the Maronite militias evicted thousands of Palestinians from the suburbs of East Beirut and demolished their camps. By 1986 there were only eleven camps in Lebanon. Many relatively well-off Palestinians lived outside the camps. In 1984 the United States Department of State estimated that 400,000 Palestinians were living in Lebanon, whereas the PLO claimed the figure to be as high as 600,000.


Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon - SECTARIANISM

Lebanon

In 1987 the dominant culture among the various communities was an Arab culture influenced by Western themes. Lebanon's shared language, heritage, history, and religion with its Arab neighbors, however, tended to minimize the distinctiveness of the Lebanese culture. Ethnically, most Lebanese are Arabs, many of whom can trace their lineage to ancient tribes in Arabia. This ethnic majority constitutes more than 90 percent of the population. Muslim and Christian Lebanese speak Arabic, and many of their families have lived in what is now Lebanon for centuries. Moreover, the difference in dialects in Lebanon is a function of geographical location and not of confessional affiliation. Minority non-Arab ethnic groups include Armenians, Kurds, and Jews, although some members of these groups have come to speak the language and identify with the culture of the majority.

Despite the commonalities in Lebanese society, sectarianism (or confessionalism) is the dominant social, economic, and political reality. Divisiveness has come to define that which is Lebanon. Sects should not be viewed as monolithic blocs, however, since strife within confessional groups is as common as conflict with other sects. Even so, the paramount schismatic tendency in modern Lebanon is that between Christian and Muslim.

Sectarianism is not a new issue in Lebanon. The disintegrative factors in society preceded the creation of modern Lebanon in 1920. Before that date, historical Lebanon, or Mount Lebanon, was shared primarily between the Druzes and the Maronites. The two communities, distinguished by discrete religious beliefs and separate cultural outlooks, did not coexist in peace and harmony. Rather, the Druzes and Maronites often engaged in fierce battles over issues ranging from land ownership, distribution of political power, foreign allegiances, and petty family feuds. At least twice in the last century, the conflicts between the two confessional communities developed into full-scale civil wars, which were only ended by the intervention of foreign powers. The Lebanese sectarian problem became more acute in 1920, when the French authorities annexed territories to Mount Lebanon to form Greater Lebanon. Although the new state comprised diverse confessional communities, a political system favoring the majority Christians was established by the French.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Lebanese Confessional Societies

Lebanon

The Lebanese confessional societies reflect the tensions at the heart of Lebanese society. While Muslims and Christians have lived together in Lebanon for over a century, their deep disagreements over the Lebanese political formula and state make it unrealistic to treat all Lebanese as members of one social unit.

Since the creation of the republic, the Lebanese have disagreed over the identity of the new state. Although Muslims, specifically the Sunnis, were inclined toward a close association with Greater Syria and the Arab world, Christians, particularly the Maronites, opted for linking Lebanon culturally and politically to the Western world. Christians were not opposed to economic cooperation with Arab countries, to which Lebanon exported most of its products, but they insisted on distinguishing Lebanon's foreign policy from that of its Arab neighbors. The question was not whether Lebanon should be Arab, since as early as 1943 the National Pact (the governing formula) declared Lebanon as having "an Arab face." Rather, the postindependence debate was really over how Arab Lebanon should be. This debate was exacerbated in the 1950s by former Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser's pan-Arab activism on the one hand, and former Lebanese President Camille Shamun's (also seen as Chamoun) pro-Western administration on the other.

The controversy over the identity of Lebanon extended beyond the political realm to encompass questions of culture and literature as these were presented in school textbooks. Muslims in general, as well as the Greek Orthodox, insisted that Arab and Islamic culture and literature should be emphasized, whereas Uniate Christians refused to commit Lebanese education to what they considered an inferior culture. The Maronite political movement viewed Lebanon's culture as distinctively Lebanese in its origins and values.

Regardless of sectarian affiliation, Lebanon has no civil code for personal matters. Lebanese citizens therefore live and die according to sectarian stipulations. Each sect has its own set of personal status laws that encompass such matters as engagement, marriage, dowry, annulment of marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance. These laws are binding on the individual, whether one is a practicing member of the sect or not. The confessional system of personal-status laws strengthens the role of communal religious leaders and impedes the evolution of Lebanese nationalist or universalist secular ideas.

The economic history of Lebanon has been marred by an unequal distribution of national income and misallocation of benefits and funds. The central government tended to regard the regions that were annexed to what was Mount Lebanon in 1920 as marginal parts of Lebanon. Furthermore, the centralization of government in Beirut worsened the conditions of the rural areas, luring many Lebanese to crowded, confessional community, poverty belts around the metropolitan center. The central government's neglect of southern Lebanon, particularly, contributed to a feeling of humiliation by the Shias, who in 1987 constituted the largest sectarian community.

The economic situation in peripheral Lebanon, which geographically comprises the provinces of Al Janub and, Al Biqa, and the Akkar region in Ash Shamal Province, differed sharply from that around Beirut. Economic exploitation was more evident in these areas, with the dominance of feudalistic production patterns. The land was divided among a small elite, and working conditions on the large estates were harsh. In addition, state services were scarce outside the capital. Beirut and its suburbs became politically and socially explosive when people from the impoverished periphery migrated to the city and came in contact with the affluent city dwellers.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Sectarian and Clan Consciousness

Lebanon

Lebanon's somewhat peculiar political system has reinforced sectarian identification and consciousness. The tendency of the individual to identify with his sect as the major political unit has characterized the sectarian composition of political parties. That most militias in the 1980s were organized along purely sectarian lines, or that the army's brigades were also divided among the sects, indicates the primacy of sectarian consciousness.

In the mid-1980s there were other associational affiliations in Lebanon. Shia families in the Biqa were organized into clans (ashair) that have existed for centuries. The politics of the region entailed typical clan feuds, alliances, and themes of revenge, which local politicians exploited. The rise in sectarian consciousness among Lebanese generally did not necessarily conflict with clan solidarity. Another pervasive primordial tie that characterized the Lebanese was their fealty to a group of traditional leaders (zuama; sing., zaim). The system of fealty involves utmost allegiance and loyalty (including support in election times) by a certain family to a certain zaim, in return for services and access to powerbrokers. The relationship between the two parties is maintained by a system of obligations and political commitment. This system, a vestige of feudal Lebanon, fostered a bond of fidelity between peasants and the feudal lord. Zaim clientelism provides the individual zaim with undisputed leadership of a local community, which sometimes encompasses a whole sect (such as the zuama of Al Assad in southern Lebanon in the first half of the twentieth century). In the 1980s the zuama were in many cases the direct descendants of the great feudal families of the past.

A new development in Lebanon after 1975 was the rise of an elite that included a new stratum of emerging street leaders who enjoyed power by virtue of sheer military force, individual charisma, or even direct descent from zuama families. All three characteristics applied to the late Bashir Jumayyil (also seen as Gemayel). This stratum typically included young and dynamic sons of zuama, street thugs, and a rising elite of Muslim religious clerics.

Lebanon

Lebanon - RELIGION

Lebanon

Divisions within the Christian and Muslim faiths were considerable, but most observers accepted the Christian-Muslim dichotomy as the most salient in Lebanese society. Even so, identification by religious affiliation often blurs subtle social and economic considerations.

Religion in Lebanon is not merely a function of individual preference reflected in ceremonial practice of worship. Rather, religion is a phenomenon that often determines social and political identification. Hence, religion is politicized by the confessional quota system in distributing power, benefits, and posts.

A sectarian group binds its members together on the basis of their professed allegiance to the teaching of the faith and their common location within the sectarian social and political map. Ethnicity does not strictly apply to Lebanon's confessional communities, since more than 90 percent of all Lebanese are ethnically and linguistically Arabs. But the distinctiveness of Lebanon's confessional communities approximates the notion of sect to that of ethnicity. The exceptions are Kurds, Armenians, and Jews, who constitute ethnic groups in the classical sense. In sum, an understanding of the Lebanese mosaic requires an awareness of ethnicity and confessionalism because the similarity between the two concepts has become clearer in present-day Lebanon, where each sectarian group has its own agenda, political culture, and leaders.

The exact number of Lebanon's sects has always been disputed. In 1936, the French Mandate established the first official law regarding sects in Syria and Lebanon. The sects were enumerated as follows: nine patriarchal sects, one Latin church, the Protestant sect (including eleven Christian denominations) and five Muslim sects (Sunni, Shia, Druze, Alawi, and Ismaili). At that time, the Muslims rejected their division into separate sects, and consequently they were excluded from the appendix of the law.

Following independence, only non-Muslims were included in a 1951 law enumerating officially recognized sects in the following order: Maronites, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholics, Armenian Orthodox (Gregorian), Armenian Catholics, Syrian Orthodox (Jacobites), Syrian Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, Nestorian Assyrians, Latins (Roman Catholics), Protestants, and Jews. The law specified that each sect was free to manage its waqf (religious endowment) properties, as well as its personal status laws for its members. The Alawi and Ismaili sects were considered numerically insignificant, which left them without legally sanctioned institutions. Other Muslim sects, Sunnis, Shias, and Druzes were considered still covered by the provisions of Ottoman Law.

<>Tenets of Islam
<>Sunni
<>Twelver or Imami Shias
<>Ismailis
<>Alawis
<>Druzes
<>Maronites
<>Greek Catholics
<>Roman Catholics
<>Greek Orthodox
<>Jacobites
<>Armenian Orthodox or Gregorian
<>Assyrian or Nestorian Church
<>Protestants
<>Jews

Lebanon

Lebanon - Tenets of Islam

Lebanon

In A.D. 610 Muhammad (later known as the Prophet), a merchant belonging to the Hashimite branch of the ruling Quraysh tribe in the Arabian town of Mecca, began to preach the first of a series of revelations granted him by God through the angel Gabriel. A fervent monotheist, Muhammad denounced the polytheism of his fellow Meccans. Because, the town's economy was based largely on the thriving pilgrimage business to the Kaabah shrine and numerous polytheist religious sites located there, this vigorous censure eventually earned him the bitter enmity of the town's leaders. In 622 he and a group of followers were invited to the town of Yathrib, which came to be known as Medina (from Madinat an Nabi--The Prophet's City). The move, or hijra (known in the West as the Hegira) marks the beginning of the Islamic era and of Islam as a force in history. The Muslim calendar, based on the lunar year, begins in 622. In Medina, Muhammad continued to preach, eventually defeated his detractors in battle, and consolidated both the temporal and the spiritual leadership of all Arabia in his person. He entered Mecca in triumph in 630.

After Muhammad's death in 632, his followers compiled those of his words regarded as coming directly and literally from God as the Quran, the holy scripture of Islam. His other sayings and teachings and precedents of his personal behavior, recalled by those who had known him during his lifetime, became the hadith. Together they form the sunna, a comprehensive guide to the spiritual, ethical, and social life of the orthodox Muslim. The shahada (literally, testimony or creed) succinctly states the central belief of Islam: "There is no god but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Prophet of God." This simple profession of faith is repeated on many ritual occasions, and its recital in full and unquestioning sincerity designates one a Muslim.

Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is a monotheistic religion that acknowledges the absolute sovereignty of God. Islam means submission (to God), and one who submits is a Muslim. Muhammad is the "seal of the prophets;" his revelation is said to complete for all time the series of revelations received by Jews and Christians.

The duties of the Muslim form the five pillars of the faith. These are the recitation of the creed (shahada), daily prayer (salat), almsgiving (zakat), fasting (sawm), and pilgrimage (haj). These religious obligations apply to all Muslims, although there are slight variants in the beliefs of Shias as opposed to Sunnis. The believer is to pray in a prescribed manner after purification through ritual ablutions each day at dawn, midday, midafternoon, sunset, and nightfall. Prescribed body movements accompany the prayers, which the worshiper recites while facing toward Mecca. Whenever possible, men pray in congregation at the mosque under a prayer leader or imam and on Friday, the holy day, are obliged to do so. In the early days of Islam, the authorities imposed zakat as a tax on personal property proportionate to one's wealth; this was distributed to the mosques and to the needy. The fourth pillar occurs in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Ramadan, a period of obligatory fasting throughout the daylight hours in commemoration of Muhammad's receipt of God's revelation, the Quran. Finally, all Muslims at least once in their lifetime should if possible make the haj to the holy city of Mecca to participate in special rites held there during the twelfth month of the lunar calendar.

A Muslim stands in a personal relationship to God; there is no clergy in orthodox Islam. Those who lead prayers, preach sermons, and interpret the law do so by virtue of their superior knowledge and scholarship rather than because of any special prerogative conferred by ordination.

Sunni and Shia Muslims differ over the fundamental issue of succession. The Prophet neither designated his successor nor decreed how a successor should be chosen. Some members of the Muslim community (umma) believed Muhammad's successor should be a close blood relative of the Prophet, i.e., Ali, who was a member of the Hashimite line, the Prophet's cousin, and the husband of Fatima, Muhammad's sole surviving daughter. Other Muslims believed such kinship was not a necessary prerequisite and held that the caliph (from khalifa--successor) should be chosen by the community. A split in the ideally egalitarian and harmonious umma developed over this issue. The rift subsequently generated the two major divisions of Islam: Shia, from Shiat Ali (the party of Ali), and Sunni, from men of the Sunna and Jamaa (i.e., those who favored a leader chosen by the community).

Lebanon

Lebanon - Sunni

Lebanon

Orthodox Sunni Muslims are those who regard the Quran, supplemented by the traditions of the Prophet, as the sole and sufficient embodiment of the Muslim faith. They do not recognize the need for a priesthood to mediate the faith to the community of believers. Thus, Sunnis have no "church" and no liturgy. The Sunnis, especially the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, stand for the original simplicity of Islam and its practices against later innovations.

Religious leadership of the Sunni community in Lebanon is based on principles and institutions deriving partly from traditional Islam and partly from French influence. Under the Mandate, the French established a Supreme Islamic Council at the national level, headed by a Grand Mufti and a national Directorate of Waqfs; these institutions continued to exist in the mid-1980s. The French also established local departments of waqfs, which staffed and maintained hospitals, schools, cemeteries, and mosques. In addition, the waqfs managed the funds that supported these operations. The funds were obtained partly from direct donations and partly from income derived from real property given to the community as an endowment.

Shaykh is an honorary title given to any Muslim religious man in Lebanon. As a result of the 1975 Civil War and the intensification in sectarian mobilization and identification, the religious leaders of the Sunni community assumed a more political role, especially with the advent of Islamic fundamentalism in Lebanon. As of 1987, the Sunni mufti, Shaykh Hasan Khalid, was the most powerful Sunni leader; he headed what was called the Islamic Grouping, which was composed of all Sunni traditional leaders. The Sunni ulama (learned religious men) of Lebanon emulated the Shia practice of combining temporal and religious power in the person of the imam.

In 1987 the majority of Lebanese Sunnis resided in urban centers. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of them lived in Beirut, Sidon, and Baalbek. The few rural Sunnis lived in the Akkar region, the western Biqa Valley, around Baalbek, and in the Shuf Mountains. Their typical occupations were in the realms of trade, industry, and real estate. Large Sunni families enjoyed political and social significance. The most prominent of them were the Sulh, Bayhum, Dauq, Salam, and Ghandur in Beirut; the Karami, Muqaddam, and Jisr in Tripoli; and the Bizri in Sidon. It is estimated that approximately 595,000 or 27 percent of the Lebanese population as of 1986 were Sunnis.

The Kurds are non-Arab Sunnis of whom there are only a few in Lebanon, concentrated mainly in Beirut. They originated in the Taurus and Zagros Mountains of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. The Kurds of Lebanon tended to settle there permanently because of Lebanon's pluralistic society. Although they are Sunni Muslims, Kurds speak their own language.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Twelver or Imami Shias

Lebanon

Leadership of the Shia community is held by the imam, a lineal male descendant of Ali. A son usually inherited the office from his father. In the eighth century, however, succession became confused when the Imam, Jafar as Sadiq, first named his eldest son, Ismail, his successor, then changed his mind and named a younger son, Musa al Kazim. Ismail died before his father and thus never had an opportunity to assert his claim. When Jafar died in 765, the imamate devolved on Musa. Those Shia who followed Musa are known to Western scholars as the Imami or Twelver Shias. The part of the community that refused to acknowledge Musa's legitimacy and insisted on Ismail's son's right to rule as imam became known as Ismailis. The appellation "Twelver" derives from the disappearance of the twelfth imam, Muhammad al Muntazar, in about 874. He was a child, and after his disappearance he became known as a messianic figure, Ali Mahdi, who never died but remains to this day hidden from view. The Twelver Shias believe his return will usher in a golden era.

In the mid-1980s the Shias generally occupied the lowest stratum of Lebanese society; they were peasants or workers except for a small Shia bourgeoisie. The Shias were concentrated chiefly in the poor districts of southern Lebanon and the Biqa. From these rural areas, stricken by poverty and neglected by the central government, many Shias migrated to the suburbs of Beirut. Some Shias emigrated to West Africa in search of better opportunities. As of 1987, the Shias constituted the single most numerous sect in the country, estimated at 919,000, or 41 percent of the population.

Shias of Lebanon, most of whom were Twelver or Imami Shias, lacked their own state-recognized religious institutions, independent of Sunni Muslim institutions, until 1968 when Imam Musa as Sadr, an Iranian-born cleric, created the Higher Shia Islamic Council. Sadr was elected chairman of the council, which was supposed to represent Lebanese Shias both at the political and religious levels. The council included as members all Shia clerics, as well as deputies, state employees, ministers, writers, professionals, and most noted Shias residing in Lebanon. Sadr, as chairman for life, continued to head the council until 1978, when he "disappeared" in Libya while on a state visit. He reportedly was kidnapped and killed by Libyan authorities for unknown reasons. Shia leaders in Lebanon as of 1987 still refused to acknowledge Sadr's death. While the chairmanship of the council was preserved for Sadr's awaited "return," in 1987 Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Shams ad Din (also seen as Chamseddine) was the vice chairman of the Higher Shia Islamic Council. Moreover, a new Shia leader emerged in the early 1980s in Lebanon. Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, the spiritual guide of Hizballah (Party of God), became the most important religious and political leader among Lebanon's Shias.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Ismailis

Lebanon

In the mid-1980s there were only a few hundred Ismailis in various parts of Lebanon. The Ismailis are Shias known as Seveners because they believe Ismail was the seventh Imam.

The Ismaili sect is divided into two branches: the Mustalian branch is found primarily in North Yemen, and the Nizari branch is found in the Iranian district of Salamiya, Afghanistan, Soviet Central Asia, India, the hitral and Gilgit areas of Pakistan, and East Africa. The Ismailis split into two branches over a succession dispute. The current Nizari Imam is a revealed ruler and is well known, even in the West, as the Agha Khan.

Ismaili beliefs are complex and syncretic, combining elements from the philosophies of Plotinus, Pythagoras, Aristotle, gnosticism, and the Manichaeans, as well as components of Judaism, Christianity, and Eastern religions. Ismaili tenets are unique among Muslims. Ismailis place particular emphasis on taqiyya, the practice of dissimulation about one's beliefs to protect oneself from harassment or persecution. Ismaili beliefs about the creation of the world are idiosyncratic, as is their historical ecumenism, toleration of religious differences, and religious hierarchy. Furthermore, the secrecy with which they veil their religious beliefs and practices (together with the practice of taqiyya) makes it extremely difficult to establish what their actual religious beliefs are. Their conceptions of the imamate also differ greatly from those of other Muslims.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Alawis

Lebanon

Several thousand Alawis were scattered throughout northern Lebanon in 1987. Lebanese Alawis have assumed more significance since the rise to power of the Alawi faction in Syria in 1966, and especially since the Syrians established a military presence in Lebanon in 1976.

The Alawis are also known as "Nusayris" because of their concentration in the Nusayriyah Mountains in western Syria. They appear to be descendants of people who lived in this region at the time of Alexander the Great. When Christianity flourished in the Fertile Crescent, the Alawis, isolated in their little communities, clung to their own pre-Islamic religion. After hundreds of years of Ismaili influence, however, the Alawis moved closer to Islam. Furthermore, contacts with the Byzantines and the Crusaders added Christian elements to the Alawis' new creeds and practices. For example, Alawis celebrate Christmas, Easter, and the Epiphany, and use sacramental wine in some ceremonies. For several centuries, the Alawis enjoyed autonomy within the Ottoman Empire, but, in the midnineteenth century, the Ottomans imposed direct rule. Regarding the Alawis as infidels, the Ottomans consistently persecuted them and imposed heavy taxation. During the French Mandate, the Alawis briefly gained territorial autonomy, but direct rule was reimposed in 1936.

Alawis claim they are Muslims, but conservative Sunnis do not recognize them as such. In the early 1970s, however, Imam Musa as Sadr declared the Alawi sect a branch of Shia Islam. Like Ismaili Shias, Alawis believe in a system of divine incarnation. Unlike Ismailis, Alawis regard Ali as the incarnation of God. Because many of the tenets of the faith are secret, Alawis have refused to discuss their faith with outsiders. Only an elect few learn the religion after a lengthy initiation process; youths are initiated into the secrets of the faith in stages. Alawis study the Quran and recognize the five pillars of Islam.

Alawis do not set aside a particular building for worship. In the past, Sunni government officials forced them to build mosques, but these were invariably abandoned. Only the men take part in worship.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Druzes

Lebanon

In 1987, more than half of Lebanese Druzes resided in rural areas. Druzes were found in the Shuf, Al Matn, Hasbayya, and Rashayya Regions; those who chose to live in an urban setting resided in Beirut and its suburbs in confessionally marked neighborhoods. The Druze elite consisted of large landowning families.

The religion of the Druzes may be regarded as an offshoot of Ismaili Islam. Historically it springs from the Fatimid caliph of Egypt, Hakim (996-1021 A.D.), who considered himself the final incarnation of God. His close associates and followers Hamza and Darazi (hence the name Druze) spread the new doctrine among the inhabitants of southern Lebanon, and founded among them a sect which non-Druzes called "Druze" and Druzes called "Unitarian." The Druzes believe that Hakim is not dead but absent and will return to his people. Like the Ismailis, they also believe in emanations of the deity, in supernatural hierarchies, and in the transmigration of souls.

The Druzes are religiously divided into two groups. Those who master the secrets and teaching of the sect and who respect its dictates in their daily life, are referred to as uqqal (the mature) and are regarded as the religious elite. Believers who are not entitled to know the inner secrets of the religion and who do not practice their religion are called juhhal (the ignorant).

The leadership of the Druze community in Lebanon traditionally has been shared by two factions: the Jumblatt (also seen as Junblatt) and the Yazbak family confederations. The community has preserved its cultural separateness by being closely knit socially. The Druzes constituted about 7 percent of the population (153,000) in 1987. Shaykh Muhammad Abu Shaqra was the highest Druze religious authority in Lebanon in 1987, holding the title of Shaykh al Aql.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Maronites

Lebanon

The Maronites are the largest Uniate or Eastern church in Lebanon and represent an indigenous church. Maronite communion with the Roman Catholic Church was established in 1182, broken thereafter, and formally reestablished in the sixteenth century. In accordance with the terms of union, they retain their own rites and canon law and use Arabic and Aramaic in their liturgy as well the Karshuni script with old Syriac letters. Their origins are uncertain. One version traces them to John Maron of Antioch in the seventh century A.D.; another points to John Maron, a monk of Homs in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. The words maron or marun in Syriac mean "small lord."

In the late seventh century, as a result of persecutions from other Christians for the heterodox views they had adopted, the Maronites withdrew from the coastal regions into the mountainous areas of Lebanon and Syria. During the Ottoman era (1516-1914) they remained isolated and relatively independent in these areas. In 1857 and 1858 the Maronite peasants revolted against the large landowning families. The revolt was followed by a further struggle between the Druzes and Maronites over land ownership, political power, and safe passage of community members in the territory of the other. The conflict led France to send a military expedition to the area in 1860. The disagreements diminished in intensity only after the establishment of the Mandate and a political formula whereby all sects achieved a degree of political representation.

The Maronite sect has been directed and administered by the Patriarch of Antioch and the East. Bishops are generally nominated by a church synod from among the graduates of the Maronite College in Rome. In 1987, Mar Nasrallah Butrus Sufayr (also spelled Sfeir) was the Maronite Patriarch.

Besides the Beirut archdiocese, nine other archdioceses and dioceses are located in the Middle East: Aleppo, Damascus, Jubayl-Al Batrun, Cyprus, Baalbek, Tripoli, Tyre, Sidon, and Cairo. Parishes and independent dioceses are situated in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, the United States, Canada, Mexico, the C˘te d'Ivoire, and Senegal. There are four minor seminaries in Lebanon (Al Batrun, Ghazir, Ayn Saadah, and Tripoli) and a faculty of theology at the University of the Holy Spirit at Al Kaslik, which is run by the Maronite Monastic Order. The patriarch is elected in a secret ceremony by a synod of bishops and confirmed by the Pope.

In 1986 it was estimated that there were 356,000 Maronites in Lebanon, or 16 per cent of the population. Most Maronites have historically been rural people, like the Druzes; however, unlike the Druzes, they are scattered around the country, with a heavy concentration in Mount Lebanon. The urbanized Maronites reside in East Beirut and its suburbs. The Maronite sect has traditionally occupied the highest stratum of the social pyramid in Lebanon. Leaders of the sect have considered Maronite Christianity as the "foundation of the Lebanese nation." The Maronites have been closely associated with the political system of independent Lebanon; it was estimated that in pre-Civil War Lebanon members of this sect held 20 percent of the leading posts.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Greek Catholics

Lebanon

Greek Catholics are the second largest Uniate community in Lebanon. They emerged as a distinct group in the early eighteenth century when they split from the Greek Orthodox Church. Although they fully accept Catholic doctrines as defined by the Vatican, they have generally remained close to the Greek Orthodox Church, retaining more of the ancient rituals and customs than have the Maronites. They use Arabic and follow the Byzantine rite. In Lebanon, when one speaks of Catholics, one is referring to this group, not to Roman Catholics or the Maronites.

The highest official of the church since 1930 has been the Patriarch of Antioch, who resides at Ayn Traz, about twenty-four kilometers southeast of Beirut. The patriarch is elected by bishops in a synod and confirmed by the Pope in Rome, who sends him a pallium (a circular band of white wool worn by archbishops) in recognition of their communion. Greek Catholic churches, like those of the Greek Orthodox, contain icons but no statues.

The Greek Catholics live primarily in the central and eastern parts of the country, dispersed in many villages. Members of this sect are concentrated in Beirut, Zahlah, and the suburbs of Sidon. They have a relatively higher level of education than other sects. Proud of their Arab heritage, Greek Catholics have been able to strike a balance between their openness to the Arab world and their identification with the West, especially the United States. Greek Catholics constituted 3 percent of the population (72,000) in 1986.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Roman Catholics

Lebanon

Catholics who accept the full primacy of the Holy See and follow the Latin rite comprised less than 1 percent of the population in the 1980s. The Lebanese refer to them as Latins to distinguish them from Uniate groups. The Latin community is extremely variegated, since both laity and clergy, including large numbers of foreigners, are mainly Europeans. As Roman Catholics, they acknowledge the supreme authority of the Pope in Rome, venerate the Virgin Mary and the saints, and recognize the seven sacraments of baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist (the sacrament of the Lord's Supper), confession and penance, ordination, matrimony, and extreme unction (given when facing the danger of death). Members of the clergy are celibate.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Greek Orthodox

Lebanon

The Greek Orthodox adhere to the Orthodox Eastern Church, which is actually a group of autocephalous churches using the Byzantine rite. Historically, these churches grew out of the four Eastern Patriarchates (Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople) which, from the fifth century diverged from the Western Patriarchate of Rome over the nature of Christ. The final split took place after the fall of Constantinople in 1096. From that time, with the exception of a brief period of reunion in the fifteenth century, the Eastern Church has continued to reject the claim of the Roman patriarchate to universal supremacy, and has also rejected the concept of papal infallibility . Doctrinally, the main point at issue between the Eastern and Western Churches is that of the procession of the Holy Spirit. There are also divergences in ritual and discipline.

Originally a peasant community, the Greek Orthodox include many free- holders, and the community is less dominated by large landowners than other Christian denominations. In present-day Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox have become increasingly urbanized, and form a major part of the commercial and professional class of Beirut and other cities. Many are also found in the southeast and north, near Tripoli. They are both highly educated and well versed in finance. The sect has become known for its pan-Arab orientation, possibly because it exists in various parts of the Arab world. The church has often served as a bridge between Lebanese Christians and the Arab countries. Members of the sect constitute 5 percent of the population.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Jacobites

Lebanon

The Jacobites or Syrian Monophysites, often referred to as the Syrian Orthodox Church, take their name from Jacob Baradeus who spread the teachings of the church throughout Syria in the sixth century. The doctrinal position of the Jacobites is that after the incarnation, Christ had only one divine nature. This is contrary to the orthodox Christian position that states Christ had both a human and divine nature. The church follows the Syriac liturgy of St. James and has an independent hierarchy under the Patriarch of Antioch, whose seat was formerly at Mardin in Turkish Kurdistan and is now at Homs, Syria. As of 1987 there were only a few thousand Jacobites in Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Armenian Orthodox or Gregorian

Lebanon

The Gregorian Church was organized in the third century and became autocephalous as a national church in the fourth century. In the sixth century it modified the formulations of the Council of Chalcedon of 451 that confirmed the dual nature of Christ in one person. Instead the Gregorian Church adopted a form of Monophysitism that believes in the single divine nature of Christ, a belief which is slightly different from the belief of the Copts and the Syrian Orthodox Church. The Armenian Orthodox Church has five patriarchs, of whom the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin in Soviet Armenia is the most revered. It also has an Armenian liturgy.

The Armenians in Lebanon were refugees who had fled Turkey during and after World War I. In 1987 they resided in Beirut and its northern suburbs as well as in Anjar. They are admired for their skills as craftsmen and diligence, which have enabled them to gain prominent economic positions. Politically, Armenians advocate compromise and moderation.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Assyrian or Nestorian Church

Lebanon

The Assyrians are the remnants of the Nestorian Church that emerged with the Christological controversies in the fifth century. The Nestorians, who have a Syriac liturgy, stressed that Christ consisted of two separate persons, one human and one divine, as opposed to having two natures in one person. Their doctrine was condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. Subsequently, those Nestorians who accepted this doctrine formed an independent church, which has only a few thousand members in Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Protestants

Lebanon

The Protestants in Lebanon were converted by missionaries, primarily English and American, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They are divided into a number of denominations, the most important being Presbyterian, Congregational, and Anglican. Typically, Lebanese Protestants are educated and belong to the professional middle class. They constitute less than 1 percent of the population and live primarily in Beirut.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Jews

Lebanon

Lebanese Jews historically have been an integral part of the Lebanese fabric of confessional communities. In 1947, they were estimated to number 5,950. After the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, Lebanese Jews did not feel compelled to emigrate because they enjoyed a prosperous status in Lebanese society and had been granted equal rights by law with other citizens. Moreover, they suffered no harm during the anti-Zionist demonstrations of 1947 and 1948. However, the intensification of the Arab-Israeli conflict politicized attitudes toward local Jews, who were often associated with the policies of Israel. In the early 1950s their synagogue in Beirut was bombed, and the Lebanese Chamber of Deputies witnessed heated debates on the status of Lebanese Jewish army officers. The discussions culminated in a unanimous resolution to expel and exclude them from the Lebanese Army.

During the June 1967 War, Lebanese authorities stationed guards in Jewish districts, when hostility toward Lebanese Jews became overt. Several hundred chose to leave the country; until 1972 Jews were free to leave the country with their money and possessions. During the 1975 Civil War, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Lebanese leftist-Muslim forces posted militia in the Jewish neighborhood of Wadi Abu Jamil, that housed what remained of the dwindling Jewish community, estimated to number less than 3,000. Nevertheless, the rise of Muslim fundamentalists, especially in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of 1982, constituted a real threat to Lebanese Jews. Organizations such as the Khaybar Brigades and the Organization of the Oppressed of the Earth claimed responsibility for kidnapping and killing several Lebanese Jews between 1984 and 1987. As of 1987 it was estimated that only a dozen Jews remained in West Beirut, and some seventy others in the eastern sector of the city.

Lebanon

Lebanon - LANGUAGES

Lebanon

Arabic

Arabic is the official language, as well as the religious language for Muslims, Druzes, and some Christian communities. Like Hebrew and Aramaic, it is a Semitic language. One of the earliest recorded instances of Arabic is found in an Assyrian account of a war fought with Arabs between 853 and 626 B.C. Arabic inscriptions in various alphabets have been found on the Arabian Peninsula. By the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sixth century A.D.), Arabic had developed into a refined literary language. The Arab conquest brought it to Lebanon.

In Lebanon, as elsewhere in the Arab world, there are essentially two forms of Arabic--colloquial, of which there are many dialects, and classical. Classical Arabic, uniform throughout the Arab world, is chiefly a written language. It is also used for public speeches, poetry recitations, and radio and television broadcasts. A Modern Standard Arabic has been developed from the old classical language of the Quran, the Islamic scripture; the syntax has been slightly simplified, the vocabulary considerably expanded, and the literary style made less complex.

The classical Arabic language is the principal unifying factor in the Arab world. It is revered by Arabs as the symbol of their unity, as a sacred language, and as the vehicle of a great literature. They think of it as their original language and of their spoken dialects as corruptions.

Lebanese colloquial developed from the Syrian Arabic dialect, which includes the Arabic spoken by Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. It has been influenced by Aramaic, which preceded it in the area. Within Lebanon, the dialect changes from region to region, and the dialect of the Druzes is regarded as distinctive.

Colloquial dialects are seldom written, except for some novels, plays, and humorous writings. However, a call for the adoption of the spoken language to replace the classical as the national language emerged in the 1960s among Maronite political and intellectual circles. The movement, which was championed by the prominent Lebanese poet and political activist, Said Aql, attracted a number of supporters by 1975, with the rise of a right-wing trend to dissociate Lebanon from its Arab ties. Nevertheless, few took the movement seriously, apart from a handful of writers who wrote in colloquial Lebanese.

Proposals also exist for improving the Arabic alphabet and for updating Arabic vocabulary to include scientific and technological terms. In written Arabic, short vowels and doubled consonants are not indicated but must be supplied from the context.

Scholars tend to adopt foreign words without changing them and use them in both Arabic and Roman alphabets. The language academies in Cairo and Damascus, apprehensive of this practice, have achieved a certain amount of success in forming new words from old Arabic roots.

Other Languages

Armenian is an Indo-European language, distantly related to English, although a large part of its vocabulary is derived from Arabic and Turkish. When the Armenians were converted to Christianity in the fifth century, they acquired an alphabet based on Greek and developed a classical literature, which differed considerably from modern Armenian. Modern Armenian literature flourishes today in Soviet Armenia and to a lesser degree in Lebanon, where a printing and publishing industry is active. Armenians are strongly attached to their language, which is important as a means of maintaining their identity.

Assyrian, a Semitic language, is a modern spoken form of ancient Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic. The Assyrians increasingly use Arabic as their spoken language, but Syriac continues to be used for religious purposes.

French and English are the most widely used Western languages. Although French is not an official language, almost all government publications appear in French as well as in Arabic. Since World War II United States influence, and consequently the importance of English, has increased. Some Lebanese authors choose to write in French or English, and fluency in these languages generally marks the educated man and woman. The Lebanese dialect, particularly in Beirut, has acquired some French words. Arabic literary style, especially in poetry, has also been influenced by the style of Western languages.

Lebanon

Lebanon - STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY

Lebanon

In 1987, Lebanese society was riddled with deep social, economic, political, and sectarian divisions. Individual Lebanese were primarily identified with their family as the principal object of their loyalty and the basis of marriage and social relationships as well as the confessional system. This, in turn, tended to clash with national integration and cohesion. Society was divided not only into diverse sectarian communities but also into socioeconomic strata that cut across confessional lines.

<>The Family
<>Gender Roles
<>Marriage
<>Child-Rearing Practices
<>Impact of War on the Family

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Family

Lebanon

The Family

The primacy of the family manifests itself in all phases of Lebanese life including political, financial, and personal relationships. In the political sphere, families compete with each other for power and prestige, and kinsmen combine forces to support family members in their quest for leadership. In business, employers give preference to hiring relatives, and brothers and cousins often consolidate their resources in operating a family enterprise. Wealthy family members are expected to share with less prosperous relatives, a responsibility that commonly falls to expatriate and urban relatives who help support their village kin.

In the personal sphere, the family has an equally pervasive role. To a great extent, family status determines an individual's access to education and chances of achieving prominence and wealth. The family also seeks to ensure an individual's conformity with accepted standards of behavior so that family honor will be maintained. An individual's ambitions are molded by the family in accordance with the long-term interests of the group as a whole. Just as the family gives protection, support, and opportunity to its members, the individual member offers loyalty and service to the family.

The traditional form of the family is the three-generation patrilineal extended family, consisting of a man, his wife or wives, their unmarried children of both sexes, and their married sons, together with the sons' wives and children. Some of these groups live under one roof as a single household, which occurred in earlier generations, but most do not.

The family commands primary loyalty in Lebanese society. In a study conducted by a team of sociologists at the American University of Beirut in 1959, loyalty to the family ranked first among both Christians and Muslims, males and females, and among both politically active and noncommitted students. Next to the family in order of importance were religion, nationality or citizenship, ethnic group, and finally the political party. The results of this study probably reflected the attitudes of the Lebanese in 1987. If anything, primordial ties appear to have increased during the 1975 Civil War. The rise of Islamic and Christian fundamentalism encouraged the development of ethnic and familial consciousness. Among Maronites, there has always been an emphasis on the family; for example, the motto of the Phalange Party is "God, the homeland, the family."

The family in Lebanon has been a means through which political leadership is distributed and perpetuated. In the Chamber of Deputies of 1960, for example, almost a quarter of the deputies "inherited" their seats. In the 1972 Chamber, Amin Jumayyil (who became president in 1982) served with his father Pierre Jumayyil after inheriting the seat of his uncle Maurice Jumayyil. Because "political families" have monopolized the representation of certain sects for over a century, it has been argued that family loyalty hinders the development of a modern polity.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Gender Roles

Lebanon

The family in Lebanon, as elsewhere in the region, assigns different roles to family members on the basis of gender. The superior status of men in society and within the narrow confines of the nuclear family transcends the barriers of sect or ethnicity. Lebanese family structure is patriarchal. The centrality of the father figure stems from the role of the family as an economic unit, in which the father is the property owner and producer on whom the rest of the family depend. This notion prevails even in rural regions of Lebanon where women participate in peasant work. Although the inferior status of women is undoubtedly legitimized by various religious texts, the oppression of women in Arab society preceded the advent of Islam. The roles of women have traditionally been restricted to those of mother and homemaker. However, since the 1970s Arab societies have allowed women to play a more active role socially and in the work force, basically as a result of the manpower shortage caused by heavy migration of men to Persian Gulf countries. In Lebanon the percentage of women in the labor force has increased, although the Islamic religious revival that swept Lebanon in the 1980s, reasserted traditional cultural values. As a consequence, veils and abas (cloaks) have become more common among Muslim women. Among Christians, the war enabled women to assume more independent roles because of the absence of male family members involved in the fighting.

Notwithstanding the persistence of traditional attitudes regarding the role of women, Lebanese women enjoy equal civil rights and attend institutions of higher education in large numbers (for example, women constituted 41 percent of the student body at the American University of Beirut in 1983). Although women have their own organizations, most exist as subordinate branches of the political parties.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Marriage

Lebanon

In the past, marriage within the lineage, especially to first cousins or other close paternal kin, was the rule. This provided the woman the security of living among the people with whom she was raised and also tended to keep property inheritance within the family. Among Muslims, there is traditional preference for marriage to a patrilineal first cousin; in some conservative Muslim villages, the choice is considered obligatory. In Roman Catholic canon law the marriage of persons within the same bloodline or of persons within the third degree of collateral relationship is explicitly forbidden. In Lebanon a dispensation for such marriages can be obtained and they are not uncommon.

Although permitted under Muslim law, polygamy is generally regarded as both impractical and undesirable because of the additional economic burden it places upon the household and because of the personal complications it entails. Polygamous families consist of a man, up to four wives, and their children. A man rarely has more than two wives, one of whom is sometimes much younger than the other, and is married after the children of the first wife are almost fully grown. The two wives may live with their children in different rooms of the same house, or they may reside in separate abodes. A survey of families in Beirut, made in the early 1960s, indicated that there was more than one wife in only 3 percent of the Muslim families interviewed.

Other than the marriage of close relatives, such as first cousins, a factor that often enters into the choice of a marriage partner is interest in expanding family resources. A man from the leading family of a particular lineage, especially an influential and wealthy lineage, is apt to choose a wife from another such lineage within his own religious community to improve the position of his immediate family group.

The general practice in both Christian and Muslim villages is to find a partner within the village, preferably the closest eligible relative within the family. This practice has been considerably weakened in villages close to cities, where marriages outside the family and outside the village occur more often, and where first cousin marriage occurs only occasionally.

Marriage is more a matter of recognizing adult status and of joining interests than of romantic attachment. Men marry to have sons who will continue their lineage, work their land, and do honor to their house. Women marry to attain status and to bear sons for protection in their old age. Most women marry.

Age at marriage varies. In some villages girls tend to marry in their late teens; boys, in their early twenties. Urban youths marry somewhat later. Among educated families, young men frequently postpone marriage for many years, some of them waiting until their late thirties or early forties.

Christians and Druzes do not enter into a formal marriage contract; Muslims, however, do. After the announcement of the engagement of a Muslim couple, and before the wedding takes place, a formal contract is drawn up. The marriage is legal once the contract is signed. The contract notes the consent of the couple to marry and specifies the bride-price, a payment by the young man to his fiancÚe. In traditional Muslim society, the bride-price represented a substantial amount of money, or its equivalent in land, or a combination of both. In the 1980s, however, except in remote villages, only a token gift was made. The bride is expected to provide a dowry, usually in the form of furnishings for a new household.

Premarital and extramarital sexual relations are frowned upon throughout society. In the village there are strong sanctions against sexual relations outside marriage and such relationships are rare because every potential female partner is enmeshed in the network of kinship ties which reinforce these sanctions. Improper conduct toward an unmarried girl damages the honor of her lineage. Her father and brothers will seek redress, which can take the form of killing the girl and the man involved, killing the man or driving him from the village, or a settlement between the two lineages. If redress is not obtained, open strife between the two lineages may occur.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Child-Rearing Practices

Lebanon

The major reason for marrying is procreation. A wife without children, or even one without male children, is an object of sympathy. Also, among those Christians not under the Holy See and among Muslims, she is threatened with divorce. The importance placed on having sons is reflected in the festivities attendant upon birth. At the birth of a child, the father will give a feast; if the child is a boy, the feast will be more lavish and the guests more numerous. It is always made clear within the family that male children are preferred and are given special privileges.

When the first boy is born to a married couple, friends no longer address them by their given names alone but call them by the name of their son; for instance, "father of x" and "mother of x." They continue to be addressed by the name of their first-born son, even in the event of his death. With respect to naming children, traditionally one male in every generation is given the name of his grandfather to pay respect to the older man and to honor his memory after his death.

Child-rearing practices in Lebanon are characterized by the severe discipline imposed by the father and overprotection by the mother, who strives to compensate for the rigidity of the father. In Arab society parental control does not stop at age eighteen (when a child is considered independent in most Western societies), but continues as long as the child lives in the father's residence or until the child marries. Furthermore, the practice of the father and mother making major decisions on behalf of their offspring pertains to marriage, especially the son's marriage; the daughter comes under the control of her in-laws. Arranged marriages are still practiced widely across the socioeconomic and sectarian spectrum.

Children are not trained to be independent, and expect their father to care for them as long as they are loyal and obedient. Punishment can be in the form of intimidation (takhjil, literally to incite fear and shame) or physical punishment. A study of the impact of the war noted a decline in parental authority due to extensive involvement of young men in armed militias.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Impact of War on the Family

Lebanon

The protracted Civil War has made the task of conducting empirical research on marriage habits almost impossible. Available statistics indicate that familial and marital habits differ among sects. Christian families tend to be smaller than Muslim- -particularly Shia--families. According to a 1970 survey, the average Lebanese Christian family excluding Maronites had 3.57 children, the Sunni 4.38, and the Shia 5.01. A striking aspect of marriage habits in Lebanon, especially after 1975, was the impact of recession on marriage. The high cost of living and housing and the difficulty in finding employment caused men to marry later. In the past, Lebanese men and women married at an early age, but in the 1980s in Beirut the average age for marriage was 31 years for men and 22.5 for women. Economic difficulties also forced more families to resort to birth control, so that the size of the average Lebanese family has declined appreciably.

A study conducted in 1983 indicated, however, that marriage was common among the population of Greater Beirut, with only 10 percent or fewer of the population remaining single at ages above forty. The majority of females at age twenty-five or older were married; a majority of males at age thirty or older were also married. Moreover, very few adult males or females were separated or divorced. The percentage of widows forty years of age and less was considerably higher than that for males of the same age. Marriages based on personal choices of the spouses as opposed to familyarranged marriages increased with the gradual elimination of traditional boundaries between the sexes. However, family-arranged marriages continued to be practiced across geographical and social boundaries. They were preferred among the economic elite of the cities as a means of preserving wealth and status within the same extended family, or within the same social group.

One study conducted in the early 1980s on the impact of the war on family structure concluded that there was a clear decline in divorce. This probably occurred because of the huge costs involved: payment of deferred dowry, alimony for children, and support of the woman during the prescribed period during which she may not remarry.

Lebanon

Lebanon - LIVING CONDITIONS

Lebanon

Prewar Conditions

On the eve of the 1975 Civil War, Lebanon's general standard of living was comfortable and higher than that in any other Arab country. Regional variations existed in housing standards and sanitation and in quality of diet, but according to government surveys most Lebanese were adequately sheltered and fed. Known for their ingenuity and resourcefulness in trading and in entrepreneurship, the Lebanese have shown a marked ability to create prosperity in a country which is not richly endowed with natural resources. Economic gain was a strong motivating force in all social groups.

Many problems affecting the general welfare before the war stemmed from high prices and the massive rural exodus to the cities. This exodus has been linked to rapid soil erosion, fragmented landholdings, and a distinct preference of most Lebanese for urban living and for urban occupations. The population increase in the cities, especially in Beirut, created severe housing shortages for those unable to pay the high rents for modern apartments. It also aggravated the problems of urban transportation and planning. The high cost of living, which had been steadily rising since the 1950s, further diminished the purchasing power of small rural incomes and threatened the consumption patterns of lowand middle-income groups in the cities. Of special concern were high rents, school fees, and the price of food and clothing. Many urban households lived on credit, and indebtedness was widespread in some parts of the countryside.

In urban centers, where the Western influence was most apparent in the 1980s, there had been a tremendous increase in modern apartment buildings that had almost erased the scenes of traditional-style houses with red-tiled roofs. The government did not take action during the construction boom of the early 1970s to protect these remnants of Lebanon's culture. In rural Lebanon, houses with flat earthen roofs were the most common. The size and shape of the house indicated one's economic status.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Wartime Conditions

Lebanon

The disruption of Lebanon's modernization by the war has not been adequately measured. A social data sheet on Lebanon prepared by the World Bank in 1983, however, illustrated some trends. Women's share of the labor force progressed very slowly from 3.4 percent in 1960 to 19.9 percent in 1981, probably because of strong traditionalist resistance within the family. The same data indicated a sharp decline in the percentage of the labor force employed in agriculture, from 38 percent in 1960 to only 11 percent in 1980. There was no corresponding rise in industrial activity, however; the industrial labor force only increased from 23 percent to 27 percent. Most of the labor force was still employed in the service sector. Other indices such as energy consumption, passenger cars per thousand population, radios and television sets per thousand population, and newspaper circulation also documented Lebanon's pace of modernization. What these figures did not indicate was the disproportionate levels of modernization among various communities and regions.

As for the impact of the war in general on public life, radical adjustments had to be made by inhabitants of neighborhoods that were subjected to intense fighting. The people of Beirut, in particular, adjusted to shortages of all kinds: water, electricity, food, and fuel. The wartime living situation started to deteriorate in the spring of 1975. During lulls in the fighting, remnants of the central government attempted to resume services to the population, but the task was impossible because of the harassment by militia members. The government then resorted to rationing water and electricity. It was particularly hampered by the sharp decline in the payment of bills by consumers. According to one employee in the Beirut electric company, only 10 percent of all customers paid their bills. The rest either declined to pay or simply hooked up to utility supply cables.

One of the most difficult periods in the struggle for survival among Lebanese and Palestinians occurred during the siege of Beirut by Israel in 1982. To pressure the PLO to surrender the Israeli army, along with the Christian Lebanese Forces, ensured that no food or fuel entered the city.

The war scarcely left a house or building in Beirut intact or free from shrapnel damage. The Lebanese, however, soon adjusted to the new situation either by living in bombed-out apartments or by fixing damaged parts of their residence. Some displaced people from southern Lebanon who could not afford to rent in Beirut or even in its suburbs, chose to live in deserted apartments and hotels in areas close to the Green Line, which separated West from East Beirut. The situation in many Palestinian refugee camps was particularly oppressive. Some along the coastal road had come under Israeli fire during the invasion of 1982, and others in the Beirut area had been destroyed by Christian militias during the war or had come under Shia attack in the mid-1980s.

Lebanon

Lebanon - EDUCATION

Lebanon

The Lebanese, along with the Palestinians, had one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. The rate was estimated at nearly to 80 percent in the mid-1980s, but like most other spheres of Lebanese life, communal and regional disparities existed. In general, Christians had a literacy rate twice that of Muslims. Druzes followed with a literacy rate just above that of Sunnis. Shias had the lowest literacy rate among the religious communities.

The war adversely affected educational standards. Many private and public school buildings were occupied by displaced families and the state was unable to conduct official examinations on several occasions because of intense fighting. Furthermore, the departure of most foreign teachers and professors, especially after 1984, contributed to the decline in the standards of academic institutions. Admissions of unqualified students became a standard practice as a result of pressures brought by various militias on academic institutions. More important, armed students reportedly often intimidated--and even killed--faculty members over disputes demanding undeserved higher grades.

In the 1980s there were three kinds of schools: public, private tuition-free, and private fee-based. Private tuition-free schools were available only at the preprimary and primary levels, and they were most often sponsored by philanthropic institutions. Many private fee-based schools were run by religious orders.

Public schools were unevenly distributed among Lebanon's districts. The Beirut area had only 12.9 percent of the country's public schools, but a large number of Lebanon's private fee-based schools concentrated in or near Greater Beirut.

Primary Education

In 1987, five years of primary education was mandatory and available free to all Lebanese children. The curriculum of grades one through five was mostly academic, and Arabic was the major language of instruction. French and English were also major languages of instruction in private schools, although foreign languages were taught in public schools as well (see table _, Private Elementary Schools, Appendix). No certification was awarded upon completion of the primary cycle. At the end of the fifth grade, the student qualified for admission to the four-year intermediate cycle, or the seven-year secondary cycle.

Intermediate Education

Intermediate education was a four-year cycle, consisting of grades six through nine for intermediate schools and one through four for vocational schools. Three different tracks were offered at this level: lower secondary was a four-year academic course designed to prepare the student for the baccalaureate examination; the upper primary track consisted of three years similar to lower secondary and a fourth year of preparation for entering vocational schools or teacher training institutes; and vocational study was a three-year practical course for less skilled trades. At the end of this cycle, students received an academic, technical, or professional certificate.

Secondary Education

This consisted of grades eleven through thirteen for academic programs, or years one through three for vocational programs. Three tracks were available at this level. The secondary normal track consisted of three-year training programs for prospective primary and intermediate school teachers. A teaching diploma was awarded to normal school students who passed examinations at the end of the twelfth school year. The secondary vocational track prepared students for careers in such fields as business, commerce, tourism, hotel management, electronics, construction, advertising, nursing, telecommunications, automobile mechanics, and laboratory technology. Finally, the secondary academic track offered concentrations in philosophy (liberal arts curriculum), mathematics, and experimental sciences. The Baccalaureate I certificate was awarded to students who passed the official examination given at the end of the twelfth school year, and the Baccalaureate II was awarded to students who passed official examinations at the end of the thirteenth school year. The Baccalaureate II was necessary for admission to institutions of higher education in Lebanon. Many of the courses taken during the year were comparable to those at the college freshman level.

Technical and Vocational Education

There existed in Lebanon in 1987 around 130 technical and vocational training institutes. Seventeen of these were state run, and the remaining 113 were private. Eighty-six of the private schools were in the Greater Beirut area. Major public institutes included the Industrial Technical Institute, the Technical Institute for Tourism, and the Technical Teachers Institute.

Higher Education

In 1987 there were sixteen colleges and universities in Lebanon, and all but the Lebanese University were privately owned. The Lebanese University, established in 1952, was under the Ministry of Education. It had two main branches--one in East and the other in West Beirut--and smaller branches in the provinces of Ash Shamal, Al Janub, and Al Biqa. University faculties (departments) included law, political science and management, engineering, literature and humanities, education, social sciences, fine arts, journalism and advertising, business administration, and agriculture. The language of instruction was Arabic, and one foreign language was required by all faculties.

Beirut Arab University was established in 1960 and was officially an Egyptian-sponsored institution under the auspices of the Maqasid Society of Beirut. All affairs were controlled by Alexandria University in Egypt. Approximately 85 percent of the students enrolled at Beirut Arab University in the 1980s were non-Lebanese, coming primarily from Persian Gulf countries. Arabic was the primary language of instruction.

Saint Joseph University, established in 1875, was administered by the Society of Jesus and had strong ties to the University of Lyons in France. Saint Joseph University had branches in Tripoli, Sidon, and Zahlah. French was the primary language of instruction, although some courses were offered in English. Faculties in 1987 included theology, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, law and political science, economics and business administration, and letters and humanities.

The American University of Beirut (AUB) was initially established in 1866 by the Evangelical Mission to Syria. In 1987 final authority over the affairs of AUB rested with the Board of Trustees whose permanent office was in New York City. The university was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York. The faculty of arts and sciences awarded bachelors and masters degrees; the faculty of medicine awarded bachelors and masters degrees in science, masters degrees in public health, and certificates in undergraduate nursing and basic laboratory techniques; the faculty of engineering and architecture awarded bachelors and masters degrees in engineering as well as bachelors degrees in architecture; the faculty of agriculture and food sciences awarded masters degrees in all departments, as well as doctorates in agronomy. English was the language of instruction at AUB.

Lebanon

Lebanon - HEALTH

Lebanon

Before 1975 Lebanon boasted advanced health services and medical institutions that made Beirut a health care center for the entire Middle East region. The war, however, caused enormous problems. Emergency medicine and the treatment of traumatic injury overwhelmed the health care sector during the 1975 Civil War. Indeed, the problems in health care continued into the 1980s. A World Health Organization (WHO) study conducted in 1983 found that the private sector dominated health care services and that public sector health organizations were in chaos. The weakened Ministry of Public Health maintained little coordination with other public sector health agencies, and over two-thirds of the ministry's budget (US$58.5 million in 1982) flowed to the private sector through inadequately monitored reimbursements for private hospital services. As of 1983 there were about 3.2 hospital beds (0.23 of them public) for every 1,000 persons, but control over the quality of hospital and medical services was minimal, and many public and private hospital beds were unoccupied. There was about one doctor for every 1,250 inhabitants, but nurses and middle-level technical personnel were scarce. Furthermore, health personnel were concentrated in Beirut, with minimum care available in many outlying areas. The Ministry of Public Health as well as other government and private agencies operated small clinics and dispensaries, but few such centers existed in Beirut. Nowhere in Lebanon was there a health center which delivered a full range of primary health care services.

Although epidemiology is central to public health programs, the WHO delegation found that government health services in Lebanon lacked appropriate epidemiological techniques. At the local or community level, health personnel, especially doctors, rarely reported diseases to the health department, although they were legally obliged to do so for some diseases. A similar situation existed with respect to health establishments such as clinics, dispensaries, and hospitals. Consequently, not only was there a conspicuous absence of health records, but where available, they were often incomplete.

Because of the lack of adequate data, only cautious inferences based on partial data and observations and interviews by the WHO mission can be made concerning the incidence of disease. Upper respiratory tract infections and diarrheal diseases headed the list of causes of morbidity, and infectious diseases were endemic.

Malnutrition was reported to be restricted to groups living in particularly difficult situations, such as the Palestinian and Lebanese refugees. Studies on the growth and illness patterns of Lebanese children, initiated in 1960, indicated 10 percent of children under five had low weight and height for their age. Various sources reported a high incidence of mental retardation among children, with cases occurring in clusters and seemingly related to consanguineous marriages in certain communities.

Lebanon

Lebanon - THE ECONOMY

Lebanon

AS THE LEBANESE state fragmented, so too did the national economy. Many observers have argued that because of this fragmentation, there was not one economy in the late 1980s, but several. Areas held by some militia groups, most notably the Maronite Christian heartland controlled by the Lebanese Forces, appeared well on their way to becoming de facto ministates. These militias were successfully usurping basic functions of government such as taxation and defense.

Despite the fragmentation, there were still some shreds of the official economy. In late 1987 the main port of Beirut and Beirut International Airport were subject to intermittent government regulation. The Central Bank (also cited as Bank of Lebanon or Banque du Liban) maintained sizable financial reserves, although these declined sharply in the mid-1980s. There were spiraling budget deficits as the government attempted to reestablish the credibility of its security forces and maintain at least some social services.

Measuring the government's impact, however, was another matter. Although the government's financial role in the economy was growing, its role in the daily economic affairs of the Lebanese people was declining. The importance of the official economy in the late 1980s depended on where one lived and how one felt politically. But the economic collapse could not be separated from the human tragedy. For example, two of the most salient facts of life in Beirut in February 1987 were the collapse of the Lebanese pound to less than one-hundredth of a United States dollar and the request by Palestinian religious authorities for a ruling on whether or not it would be permissible for the besieged refugees in the camps at Burj al Barajinah and Shatila to eat their dead. In a country where violence had become endemic, where some 130,000 people had been killed and a further 1 million--a third of the population--had been injured, calculating the impact of the central government on the economy would be impossible.

In the years that followed the outbreak of the 1975 Civil War, political developments dominated economic affairs. Improved security conditions--such as from late 1976 to early 1978, or from September 1982 to January 1984--yielded considerable economic benefits, as relative peace enabled the recovery of commerce. Peacekeeping forces--Syrian, Israeli, United Nations, United States, and West European--brought with them favorable economic conditions in the communities where they were stationed. But the positive effects were frequently shortlived. For example, when Syrian troops entered Beirut in February 1987 (the first time a recognized power had attempted to enforce its authority in the capital since the February 1984 collapse of the Lebanese Army), there was a brief flurry of guarded economic optimism. The upswing of the Lebanese pound lasted only three weeks. But overall instability was the norm from 1975 to mid-1987, and it became clear that nothing short of a total change in the country's political and security structure--in effect, the end of sectarian partitions and militia rule--would lead to any sustained revival of what had once been one of the world's most vibrant economies.

By 1987 Lebanon had entered an era where reliable statistics on the state of the economy were usually absent. Lebanese economists were sometimes able to compile a few indicators, but the numbers were often based on incomplete data. But even without complete statistics, the downward trend of the national economy was obvious.

Bearing testimony to this trend, the Lebanese National Social Security Fund reported in May 1986 that 40 percent of the 500,000- strong private sector work force was unemployed. Industry was running at barely 40 percent of capacity, and per capita income was down to around US$250 a year in 1986, five times lower than eleven years earlier.

In 1985 estimates of the gross domestic product (GDP) varied from Lú30 billion to as high as Lú48.3 billion. In either case, GDP was no more than half of what it was in real terms in 1974.

Although the collapse of GDP began with the start of the Civil War, the fall of the Lebanese currency began much later. On the eve of the war, it required only Lú2.3 to buy a United States dollar. Currency values declined over the next several years, but it was not enough to destroy the basic Lebanese confidence in the pound, which was backed by substantial holdings of gold and foreign exchange. Whereas in 1981 the exchange rate had averaged Lú4.31 to the dollar, by the end of 1982, with the new government of President Amin Jumayyil (also spelled Gemayal) in office, the exchange rate was back to Lú3.81 to the dollar.

The pound, however, began depreciating rapidly in the aftermath of further Beirut clashes in early 1984 and the withdrawal of the Multinational Force (MNF) of peacekeeping troops from the capital. Although there was widespread currency speculation, the Central Bank could do little to investigate this problem became of Lebanon's tough banking secrecy laws.

Between January and December 1984, the pound lost just under half its value against the dollar, while in 1985 the trend gained speed, resulting in a further 60-percent erosion in value. The Central Bank was widely criticized, especially by the commercial banks, for failing to act decisively to halt the pound's slide. But even greater criticism was directed against commercial bankers and leading politicians, who were constantly accused of speculating against the national currency.

By 1986 the country was on the verge of hyperinflation as the pound lost almost 85 percent of its already shrunken value during the course of the year. On February 11, 1987, the currency crashed through the psychologically important barrier of Lú100 to the dollar and continued its fall. By August the pound was trading at more than Lú250 to the dollar. Compounding the problem was that these events occurred after a year in which the dollar had fallen sharply against most major international currencies.

The fundamental principle of the Lebanese banking system had been a freely convertible pound. Citizens were free to hold foreign currency accounts in their banks, and remittances received from friends and family living abroad could be processed with relative ease through banking channels. As the pound began its decline, the importance of foreign currencies (particularly the United States dollar) grew, and a "twin currency" economy emerged. Complex systems were soon set up to circumvent the banking system, not for fear of governmental interference but to prevent the loss of deposits or of letters of credit through bank robberies. In the twin currency economy, foreign cash and drafts on bank accounts held outside the country became increasingly common. It became impossible, however, to calculate how much foreign cash was entering the country once transfers began to bypass the banking system. But it was clear that most people were not receiving enough to retain their pre-1975 living standards.

By 1987 ordinary Lebanese were living in a very strange economy. Public services functioned according to the ability of the government to pay staff, the ability of different groups to tap into utilities (with or without official permission) and the ability of local groups (with or without official help) to keep services operational. The costs of basics, such as gasoline, home fuel oil, and cooking gas were all subject to government price restraints, yet prices could double or triple in times of shortages, as roads between refineries, gasoline pumps, and fuel depots were cut. People found the government price controls ineffective, and the struggle to secure vital goods and commodities reflected not so much a free market as a free-for-all. By 1987 a dozen years of conflict had shown them that economic control, as well as political power, came from the barrel of a gun.

By the late 1980s, years of conflict had distorted the economy. Total GDP was down, but the proportion of GDP contributed by the government was up. The national currency collapsed, and the country began sustaining balance of payments deficits. One commentator noted that 1986 marked the first time since the Civil War started in 1975 that Lebanon had suffered economic hardship to such an extent that it had affected the middle classes as well as the traditional urban poor. Another observer argued that Lebanon, once the model of modernity in the Middle East, was being threatened with "de-development."

Lebanon

Lebanon - RECENT ECONOMIC HISTORY

Lebanon

Civil War and Partial Recovery, 1974-82

Lebanon traditionally has had a dynamic economy. In the years leading up to the Civil War, the country enjoyed high growth rates, an influx of foreign capital, and steadily rising per capita income. Although imports were often five or six times greater than exports, earnings from tourism, transit trade, services, and remittances from abroad counterbalanced the trade deficit.

In 1973 (the last prewar year for which detailed figures were available in late 1987), GDP at current prices totaled US$2.7 billion, compared with just US$1.24 billion in 1966. In 1974 GDP rose to around US$3.5 billion because of an increase in the value of the Lebanese pound. Per capita GDP rose from around US$560 in 1966 to US$1,023 in 1973 because productivity increased faster than population growth and because the Lebanese pound gained ground against the dollar.

The Lebanese economy was healthy in the years leading up to the Civil War. The service sector grew fastest during this period. Commerce grew at almost the same rate and by 1973 accounted for almost one-third of GDP. The growth of commerce had important implications because customs duties were a major part of government revenues, sometimes amounting to nearly half of the government's total income. The Lebanese pound was strong, credit was easy, and there was a balance of skilled and unskilled labor. Internal markets were protected, and Lebanese industry was finding increasingly useful outlets abroad, notably in the Persian Gulf countries.

The petrodollar boom that followed oil price increases by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after the ArabIsraeli October 1973 War led to a period of expansion for Lebanon. Lebanese banks became major channels for soaring Arab oil revenues. In addition, Arab, West European, and American bankers bought shares in Lebanese financial institutions to secure a share of the profits.

Economic development, however, was uneven. The government was so wedded to free enterprise that it essentially failed to reduce economic and social inequities in various communities. President Fuad Shihab (also cited as Chehab) made some effort to remedy these inequities by pursuing development projects in the traditionally neglected south and north. But the center of the country--Beirut and the central Biqa Valley--was riding a seemingly never-ending economic boom.

The impetus for socially oriented economic development declined under Shihab's successor, Charles Hilu (also cited as Helou), and disappeared entirely under President Sulayman Franjiyah (also cited as Franjieh). The consequences of economic neglect were felt in the late 1970s and the 1980s, as Shias, who had migrated from the south and the outlying reaches of the Biqa Valley, made their increasingly militant presence felt in Beirut, transforming the southern half of the city into a new, Shia canton, to rank alongside overwhelmingly Christian East Beirut and predominantly Muslim (i.e., Sunni and Druze) West Beirut.

The first nineteen months of the Lebanese Civil War (April 1975-November 1976) witnessed widespread destruction of infrastructure and services, mostly in Beirut. Industry sustained direct damage valued at between Lú5 and Lú7 billion. Indirect damage was valued at between Lú972 million and Lú2.23 billion. Some 250 industries, capitalized at Lú1 billion, were destroyed, and as much as one-fifth of industry's fixed capital was lost. After the first nineteen months of fighting, losses amounted to Lú7.5 billion (Lú6.2 billion sustained by the private sector and Lú1.3 billion by the public sector), according to the Beirut Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Post-1976 recovery was limited, with industrial production approaching only two-thirds of prewar levels. Further clashes in l978 again hampered production. Although in 1980 industrial output in current financial terms appeared to exceed prewar levels, inflation had rendered such comparisons almost meaningless. In 1979 the newly established Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) unveiled a Lú22 billion reconstruction program to span five years, backed by Arab aid. Only some of the proposed reconstruction work was initiated, however.

Instability ruined the tourist industry. The Civil War included the notorious battle of the hotels, in which the Phoenicia, St. Georges, and Holiday Inn--all major luxury hotels--became fiercely contested militia strongpoints. A score of smaller establishments suffered the same fate, as fighting ripped through the heart of the capital. Because the hotels were close to the Green Line, which divided the warring factions, they were forced to remain closed for business when the fighting stopped.

After the war, there were indications that a less centralized industrial economy might emerge. The cities of Zahlah, Sidon, and Tripoli, for example, enjoyed a boom. But growth in these cities reflected fragmentation of the country as much as economic revival.

Lebanon's ability to export industrial goods was damaged by internal unrest and external pressures. The good reputation once enjoyed by Lebanese clothing manufacturers was undermined by imports of cheaper garments that were relabeled and reexported as "Lebanese." By the end of 1981, Iraq had halted all imports of Lebanese garments, and Egypt had frozen preferential terms for Lebanese industrial exports because of false labeling. Although the Egyptian and Iraqi measures were rescinded in 1982, they were symptomatic of the pressures that Lebanon faced throughout the 1980s.

Events elsewhere in the region also had an impact on Lebanon. A tripling of world fuel prices between 1973 and 1981 reduced the country's competitive edge. When Syria imposed restrictions on transit trade, freight forwarders found it increasingly uneconomic to ship goods to Persian Gulf destinations via Beirut. The prices of imported raw materials were higher than ever, while export markets were increasingly restricted. Thus, even before the Israeli invasion of 1982, the Lebanese economy was in bad shape.

<>Invasion and Trauma, 1982-87

Lebanon

Lebanon - ECONOMIC HISTORY - Invasion and Trauma, 1982-87

Lebanon

Lebanon, torn by its sectarian and political disputes, was further cursed by invasion and a seemingly endless intermingling of internally and externally inspired conflict from 1982 onward. Beirut suffered grievously between June 6, 1982, when Israeli troops first crossed the Lebanese border, and September 16, when they completed their seizure of West Beirut. Normal economic activity was brought to a standstill. Factories that had sprung up in the southern suburbs were damaged or destroyed, highways were torn up, and houses were ruined or pitted by artillery fire and rockets. Close to 40,000 homes--about one-fourth of all Beirut's dwellings--were destroyed. Eighty-five percent of all schools south of the city were damaged or destroyed. The protracted closure of Beirut's port and airport drastically affected commerce and industry. By 1984 the World Bank and the CDR agreed that Beirut would require some US$12 billion to replace or renovate damaged facilities and to restore services that had not been properly maintained since 1975.

In a December 31, 1982, national broadcast, President Amin Jumayyil called for the world to launch a new "Marshall Plan" to help reconstruct Lebanon. A series of conferences were held with major potential aid donors. A number of reconstruction projects were launched with support from the World Bank, the United States, and France. Roads began to be repaired, ports were cleared of debris, and schools and hospitals were built or rebuilt. But nothing was done on the grandiose scale Jumayyil had originally envisaged.

It became clear that Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries were not prepared to provide Lebanon with major reconstruction funds until the World Bank and other Western financial institutions had taken the lead in the reconstruction effort. And repeated breakdowns of fragile truces meant that from 1984 to 1987 there were no real opportunities for large-scale reconstruction efforts.

Still, financial and business circles were optimistic between September 1982 and January 1984 because Western-backed reconstruction plans seemed attainable under the presidency of Amin Jumayyil. But the mood did not last. Economic progress was insufficient to override the recurrence of sectarian strife, and the government seemed ineffective in reconstruction and reconciliation. When Beirut was again divided in February 1984, and the troops of the ill-fated MNF evacuated, a turning point was reached. From that point on, it became impossible to ignore the downward spiral of the Lebanese economy.

Foreign banks began selling and moving out. The decline of the Lebanese pound intensified, and hyperinflation set in. Public debt soared, and only drastic cutbacks in government purchases, which were virtually restricted to oil, ensured an overall balance of payments surplus in 1985. By 1986 the inflation rate was well over 100 percent. Government revenues from taxation and customs duties continued to erode. And one account declared that at the end of 1986 "currency speculation and black marketeering have become the principal areas of business activity." Economic control was falling into the hands of those who possessed hard currency. The militias' tight grip on customs revenues gave them increasing control over what was left of the national economy; and their strength increased as the central government's control over national finances weakened. Although the Central Bank was still the guardian of one of the highest volumes of per capita foreign assets in any developing country, the government's ability to use these assets to reconstruct the country's shattered financial system or national economy was doubtful.

Lebanon

Lebanon - AGRICULTURE

Lebanon

The variety of Lebanon's agricultural lands, from the interior plateau of the Biqa Valley to the narrow valleys sweeping down to the sea, enables farmers to grow both European and tropical crops. Tobacco and figs are grown in the south, citrus fruits and bananas along the coast, olives around the Shuf Mountains and in the north, and fruits and vegetables in the Biqa Valley. More exotic crops include avocados, grown near Jubayl, and hashish, a major crop in the Biqa Valley. Local wines, even those produced in times of war, have won international prizes. Since 1975, however, Lebanon's fertile land has not been fully exploited because of almost constant warfare. In addition, the livestock production, which had made up a significant part of total agricultural production before the war, fell off drastically, especially after the 1982 Israeli invasion.

Land and Irrigation

Almost one-fourth of Lebanon's of land is cultivable--the highest proportion in the Arab world. Most of these 240,000 hectares are rain fed, but in 1982 some 85,000 hectares were reported to be under irrigation, 20 percent more than in 1970. Another source estimated that in the mid-1980s 400,000 hectares (including marginal land) were cultivable, with about one-fourth of this irrigated. In 1981 the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that around 108,000 hectares were permanently cultivated and that 19,300 hectares had been reclaimed for cultivation since the inception of the 1963 Green Plan, a project designed to reclaim 15,000 hectares over 10 years. The FAO estimated that no less than 280,000 hectares of land in various parts of the country were reclaimable for agricultural production.

In the early 1980s, the government prepared plans to irrigate an additional 60,000 hectares, and by 1984 studies were under way on 6 major irrigation projects, all designed to be carried out as part of the 1982-91 reconstruction plan. The biggest project, to be implemented by the Litani Water Authority, was for irrigation of some 15,000 hectares of high land (between 500 and 800 meters above sea level) in southern Lebanon over an 8 year period, scheduled to start in 1990. Observers reported in 1986 that the government planned to increase the amount of irrigated land, through various dam and irrigation schemes, from 65,000 hectares to 125,000 hectares.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Lebanese officials reported that small tributaries of the Hasbani River were being diverted into Israel near the northern town of Metulla. Independent water analysts stated that after the 1982 invasion, Israel engaged in a much more serious diversion of Lebanese waters by attaching stopcocks at a pumping station on the Litani River. The stopcocks were designed to switch at least part of the flow-- which is generated entirely within Lebanon--to Israel via a specially constructed pipeline.

Lebanon's land tenure system is characterized by many small holdings, but the number has declined over the years. In 1961 about 127,000 farms were reported operating. The partial census of 1970, however, recorded some 75,000 farm holdings, of which 46 percent were smaller than 2 hectares while only 12 per cent had 10 hectares or more. In 1981-82 there were some 64,000 active farms, with only 50 in the 100-to 1,000-hectare range.

Landholding patterns were also affected by massive population movements in the 1970s and 1980s. Lebanon's internal refugees strove assiduously to maintain title to their lands, many of which came to be controlled by rival sectarian or political groups. A case in point was in southern Lebanon. After the 1978 Israeli invasion, many Muslim landholders fled to other parts of Lebanon, hoping to reclaim their land following Israel's withdrawal. But instead of handing the land over to the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL), as was expected, Israel turned it over to the Christian South Lebanon Army (SLA). The effect was to dispossess many of the former landholders.

Two important socioeconomic trends made it difficult to evaluate the farming structure in the 1980s. The first trend was consolidation of holdings, as Beirut-based professionals began buying up small farms before the 1975 fighting. The war may have slowed this development, however, because it complicated longdistance supervision of land. At the same time, the trend toward large families, especially in the south, made the old system of dividing holdings among male offspring less feasible, although in many cases this factor was offset by the migration of males to the city or emigration abroad. Even elderly farmers acknowledged that the old land inheritance system had to be changed. But the pace of such change could not be monitored easily in the troubled conditions of the 1980s.

The number of farms dropped during the war, resulting in more tracts of untilled land rather than in more ownership transfers. Small freeholders who choose to continue farming often lived in poverty. Even before the 1975 Civil War, the average annual income for the head of an agricultural household was estimated at Lú500, compared with Lú1,100 for a counterpart working in industry or Lú8,060 in the services sector. One report noted that 56 percent of those engaged in agriculture in southern Lebanon, most of whom were landowners, also had second jobs in the late 1960s.

Crop Production

The impact of war and sectarian politics on Lebanese agriculture was unclear. It is obvious, however, that the Civil War did take its toll on the production of most crops.

Although there was a recovery from 1979 to 1981, it was not sustained, as the 1982 Israeli invasion disrupted production in the southern half of the country, especially along Israel's so-called "security zone." Even in the relative calm between 1978 and 1981, about 1,100 hectares of tobacco were destroyed, 300 hectares of agricultural land were abandoned because of land mines, and 51,000 olive trees and 70,000 fruit trees were destroyed, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Regional politics also played a major role in the fortunes of Lebanon's crop production. For example, in 1984 fruit exports reached their lowest level since 1962, in part because Syria had restricted imports of Lebanese produce. Syria imposed these restrictions not only to prevent the sale in Syria of Israeli produce available in Al Janub Province but also to pressure the Lebanese government to abrogate its May 1983 peace agreement with Israel. Indeed, Israel's flooding of the market in Al Janub Province with various agricultural products, especially bananas, caused some to claim that Israel was "dumping" surplus produce on a market that could not afford produce imported from any other country.

The collapse of the Lebanese pound in 1984-85 also had a major impact on crop production. On the one hand, the collapse improved Lebanon's ability to compete in foreign markets; indeed, exports of agricultural products notably fruits and vegetables, increased in 1985. On the other hand, local consumption slumped as fruit and vegetable prices rose an average 85 percent during the year. The fall of the pound also sparked price increases for seeds, fertilizers, feeds, and insecticides.

Tobacco played a major role in the economy of southern Lebanon before the Civil War. The Administration for Tobacco and Tombacs (RÚgie des Tabacs et Tombacs), a state monopoly, dominated tobacco marketing. Claiming that the marketing arrangements benefited only the largest tobacco growers, in 1973 about 10,000 small planters demonstrated in Sidon against the low prices being paid for their crops. Economic conditions thus helped alienate from the state the predominantly Shia south, a factor that contributed to the troubles of the later 1970s and 1980s. Henceforth, restructuring of the monopoly became a persistent demand of the southern Lebanese, Shia and Christian alike.

The Israeli invasion of 1978 badly affected tobacco production for several years, as dividing lines between militia groups hampered gathering and marketing of the crop. Planters found it difficult to get their crops to the reception sheds set up by the Administration of Tobacco and Tombacs in Bint Jubayl because the sheds were in the center of the border strip from which Israeli forces had declined to withdraw following their pullout from southern Lebanon on June 13, 1978. According to some sources, SLA leader Saad Haddad, to whom Israel had formally handed over control of the border strip in 1979, sometimes seemed deliberately to hinder farmers from getting crops to market in areas controlled by the UNIFIL or Muslims.

The purchase prices of the Administration for Tobacco and Tombacs failed to keep pace with inflation. In 1985, for example, the government raised prices by only 10 percent, although production costs rose by at least 40 percent and the increase in the cost of living was even higher.

In addition to tobacco, citrus crops suffered from years of fighting. Citrus fruits are grown on the coast, particularly in the southern half of the country. Between 1965 and 1972, yields rose steadily from 19 to 27.4 tons per hectare. Citrus played a vital role in agriculture, accounting for as much as half of total agricultural output. But the Civil War destroyed some 4,000 hectares of orchards around Ad Damur, and urban sprawl led to the loss of orchards around Tyre and Sidon. Nonetheless, production increased to a record 365,000 tons in 1981. A three-year decline in production followed in the wake of the 1982 Israeli invasion and the loss of more citrus-growing land.

The Biqa Valley, with 40 percent of the country's cultivable land, is the most productive agricultural region. It, too, has suffered from war and foreign occupation. By 1987 Syrian troops had been in the Biqa Valley for more than eleven years. During that time, they clashed with Palestinians, Christians, Israelis, and Shias. The 1982 Israeli invasion and the arrival of the Iranian (Pasdaran) Revolutionary Guards also brought economic hardship to the valley.

Declining wheat production was one indication of the collapse of traditionally productive agriculture in the Biqa Valley. In ancient times, the valley had been part of Rome's Syrian granary, providing wheat for the empire's eastern provinces and for Rome itself. But as time went by, with arable land limited, pressure grew for intensive, high-value cropping. In modern times the amount of land devoted to wheat decreased--from 68,000 hectares in 1968 to around 50,000 hectares between 1972 and 1975. Still, some twothirds of the field crop acreage in the Biqa Valley was devoted to grains, primarily wheat and barley.

The 1975 Civil War prompted drastic changes in wheat production. From 1977 to 1979, the Lebanese devoted 45,000 hectares to wheat. In 1982 the amount fell to 23,000 hectares, in 1983 to 20,000 hectares, in 1984 to 17,000 hectaresin 1985 to 14,000 hectares, and in 1986 to 13,000 hectares. Production plummeted from a record 76,000 tons in 1974 to 9,000 tons in 1987. A major reason for declining wheat production was an increase in the production of profitable crops: hashish and opium poppies.

Hashish had long been grown in the region around Al Hirmil in the northern Biqa Valley. Before the Civil War, the government had encouraged local farmers to grow sunflowers instead, but these efforts were blunted by the onset of civil strife and by wealthy zuama (sing., zaim) and politicians who controlled the illegal export market. Hashish became a major cash crop in the 1970s and 1980s. Annual production rose from about 30,000 tons at the start of the Civil War to around 100,000 tons in the early 1980s, when hashish was grown on an estimated 80 percent of agricultural land around Baalbek and Al Hirmil.

By the mid-1980s Lebanon had became one of the world's most prominent narcotics trafficking centers. Before 1975 much of this trade was exported by air from small airstrips in the Biqa Valley. After the valley came under Syrian control, the drug crop left the country by sea through Christian-controlled ports to Cyprus or it went overland to Syria; sometimes it went through Israel to Egypt, reputed to be the world's largest hashish consumer.

The production and sale of hashish undoubtedly brought some prosperity to the Biqa Valley, but financial benefits and overall gains to the economy were not easily quantifiable. Before the 1982 Israeli invasion, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was believed to have been earning about US$300 million annually from hashish trafficking. Christian middlemen were profiting, as were Shia growers and Syrian smugglers. And one reporter argued that the crop was worth "billions of dollars to the worldwide Lebanese underworld network."

Growers not only planted more drug-producing crops but also sought to increase the value of their crop. By March 1987, according to a report prepared by the United States House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, the high profitability of opium had caused extensive replanting in the Biqa Valley. The report stated that "with the breakdown of law and order in Lebanon, production, processing, and trafficking are on the rise, and a great deal of hashish production in the [Biqa] Valley has been supplanted by opium, in recognition of the more lucrative heroin trade. It is estimated that up to half the land available for drug cultivation in the [Biqa] Valley is now being used for opium, where previously only marijuana was grown for hashish, largely destined for the Egyptian market. Numerous processing labs are known to exist, both in Lebanon and to a lesser extent in Syria." The report did not estimate the magneude of production but said, "It is clear that opium production in the [Biqa] Valley has increased dramatically while hashish production has dropped sharply."

Lebanon

Lebanon - INDUSTRY

Lebanon

The State of Industry

Lebanese industry expanded rapidly in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By 1974 industry accounted for an estimated 20 percent of GDP, up from 13 percent in 1968, and industrial exports amounted to 75 percent of total exports. This growth was characterized by a proliferation of small industries and was fueled by easy credit, a strong local currency, abundant and cheap supplies of skilled and unskilled labor, subsidized electric power, and trade protection at home and expanding markets abroad, particularly in the Persian Gulf countries.

By 1974 an estimated 130,000 people were employed in industry, and the total nominal capital of industrial establishments stood at around US$1.1 billion. The textile industry alone employed some 50,000 people. A further 20,000 were employed in the furniture and wood products industry and some 15,000 in the leather products industry.

Years of strife changed all this. In 1981 the Lebanese Industrialists Association reported a 25-percent decline in industrial capacity, and more than 70 percent of all industrial capacity was believed to have been idle for at least 500 days during the previous 6 years. Layoffs were heavy, with industrial employment in 1981 about half of what it was in 1974. The Union of Textiles Manufacturers estimated that in 1981 the industry employed only 12,000 workers and that less than half of the 1,200 prewar factories were still in business. One of the country's biggest factories, a knitting plant in the Beirut port duty-free zone that had once employed 10,000 workers, was destroyed. National Cotton Mill (Filature Nationale du Coton), the biggest weaving and spinning factory in the Middle East, laid off all but 450 of its workers. In Tripoli, Lebanon's largest compressed wood factory was closed in 1981, with the loss of 600 jobs. One of its problems was that it could not compete with the import of wooden products through the illegal ports.

Following the 1975-76 fighting, the government could no longer afford to try to revive the economy through export subsidies. Even when capital was available, industries were reluctant to use it to expand capacity or modernize machinery. One commentator noted that producers tended to concentrate on improving profits rather than productivity.

Civil strife and disorder continually hampered production, and the financial climate was rarely conducive to investment. The comparative calm of 1977-82 allowed considerable decentralization of Lebanese industry; and Zahlah, Shtawrah, Sidon, and the coastal strip under the control of the Phalange Party all enjoyed a limited economic boom. In the far north, remote villages in the Akkar region began to prosper because of their distance from the country's principal areas of conflict.

The collapse of business confidence that accompanied the political debacles of 1984 closed hopes for sustained recovery. The Central Bank's tight fiscal attitude limited the money available for investment. Capital investment in industry shrank rapidly in both real and nominal terms, which reflected pessimism over the future of Lebanese industry. For example, investment fell from US$147.4 million in 1980 to US$94 million in 1983. By 1984 investment was down to a meager US$34.9 million and to only US$10.6 million in 1985. In addition, industrial production fell 3.7 percent to US$250 million in 1984.

In April 1986, Central Bank governor Naim offered to allow the statutory reserves and treasury bonds held by specialized banks to be used as credit for industry. Although some industrial credits appeared to be available at reduced interest rates, it was clear that economic measures alone would not revitalize the nation's fragmented industries.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Cement

Lebanon

Cement was Lebanon's biggest single industrial export in 1980, accounting for 15.5 percent of industrial exports. Sales to Syria at that time accounted for about 40 percent of all cement exports. In early 1981, however, exports to that country came to a complete standstill because the Syrians, then in the middle of a major program to construct their own cement works, could not reach agreement with the two principal Lebanese cement works on the terms and conditions of cement sales. Thus cement exports to Syria in 1981 totaled only Lú34 million, down from Lú119 million a year earlier. Overall cement exports dropped to Lú201 million but recovered to Lú227 million in 1982 as alternative export markets were found. Lebanon's principal cement works in 1982 were situated in the north, away from the fighting around Beirut, so the industry could continue exporting by sea from Tripoli and overland by truck.

In early 1983, when the country's political status showed signs of stabilizing, the Lebanese Cement Company (SociÚtÚ des Ciments Libanaises--SCL) secured a US$36 million syndicated loan to finance a planned US$79.3 million expansion program. Production was expected to increase to 250,000 tons a year, and unit costs were expected to decrease through a change in power supply from oil to coal (with the company running its own generating stations). The reported purchase of a 30- percent stake in the company's parent, Eternit Libanaise, by Prince Abdallah al Faisal, eldest son of the former king of Saudi Arabia, heightened international confidence in the industry's prospects.

But Syria's decision to terminate Lebanese cement imports, the return of instability, and difficulties in finding fresh export markets destroyed prospects for the revival of the cement industry. In July 1983, SCL laid off 300 workers at its Shikka works as it became clear that the industry faced disaster. By the end of 1983, the scope of the disaster was starkly apparent: total cement exports amounted to only Lú27.5 million--an 88- percent drop from the 1982 level.

In the early 1980s, the Jumblatt family established the Siblin Cement Company, building a factory near Sidon to provide cement for the local construction industry. The Siblin plant, built with Romanian technical assistance and with a production capacity of 300,000 tons per year, was formally opened just before the Israeli invasion of June 1982. The plant was badly damaged during the fighting, and it was not until 1986 that work to get the plant back into commission could begin in earnest. A fresh injection of Lú15 million in capital from local entrepreneur Rafiq Hariri made the company Lebanon's largest shareholding venture.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Government

Lebanon

IN LATE 1987, after more than a dozen years of civil strife during which as many as 130,000 people may have died, Lebanese politics had become synonymous with bloodshed, and political power had come to be equated with firepower. Within this context, it was sometimes difficult to recall that Lebanon was once considered by some to be a model of pluralistic democracy in the Arab world.

Despite the widespread erosion of law and order and the reduced effectiveness of the central authorities, in 1987 some vestiges of the traditional political system persisted. The president, as provided for in the Constitution, had been elected by the legislature, or Chamber of Deputies. He presided over a carefully selected cabinet, commanded the Lebanese Armed Forces, and supervised the civil service. But at this point, much of the resemblance between this framework and the pre-1975 Civil War national-level political structure ceased. In 1987 the president controlled only a small portion of the country. The members of the Chamber of Deputies had been elected in 1972--as of 1987 the latest election--and some of the deputies no longer even lived in Lebanon. Many of the traditional zuama (sing., zaim) of the various sects who had formerly participated in Lebanon's many cabinets were dead. The confessionally split Lebanese Armed Forces were only the sixth or seventh most powerful military organization in the nation. And the civil service, which still collected taxes and provided services to some parts of the country, did so at greatly diminished levels.

Lebanon's political traditions--including its internal contradictions--can be traced back several centuries. Under Ottoman rule (1516-1916) Lebanon's multisectarian character was already in evidence as powerful Druze, Muslim, and Maronite feudal lords extended their control over certain tracts of land in Mount Lebanon. They enjoyed a high degree of autonomy as long as taxes were paid to the Ottoman authorities. Likewise, under the short period of Egyptian control (1832-40), rule was relatively tolerant, both within the region and toward outside powers. It was during this era that European penetration helped Maronite Christians make gains against Druze landlords, and after the British and the Ottoman Turks drove out the Egyptians, Druze-Maronite antipathy turned violent. At the urging of the European powers, in 1842 the Ottoman Empire divided Mount Lebanon administratively, creating a christian district in the north and an area under Druze control in the south. But this system, called the Double Qaimaqamate, did not change the fact that portions of the various populations were still integrated. For example, Maronite peasants worked for Druze overlords. In 1860, in response to peasant revolts, Maronite-Druze animosities again boiled over. Although both sides suffered, about 10,000 Maronites were massacred at the hands of the Druzes. As a result, at the instigation of the European powers, the Ottomans reunited the two sections of Mount Lebanon, this time under a single, non-Lebanese, Christian mutasarrif (governor) appointed by the Ottoman Sultar, assisted by a multisectarian council.

After World War I and the defeat of the Ottomans by the Allied Powers, the League of Nations granted France mandate authority over Greater Syria, an area that included present-day Lebanon. As a result of Lebanon's years under the French Mandate (1920-43), the Constitution enacted in 1926 is fashioned after that of the French Third Republic. Article 95, however, is unique in that it provides for "balanced" confessional representation in government. In 1943 the provisions of this article were spelled out more clearly by unwritten agreements between Maronite and Sunni leaders. These agreements came to be known as the National Pact. The balancing advocated in the National Pact was meant to be provisional and was to be discarded as the nation moved away from confessionalism.

This movement, however, never occurred; in fact, in the years between the National Pact and the start of the 1975 Civil War, sectarianism became even more entrenched, and the principle of balancing, which created multiple power centers, frequently inhibited the political process. Basic philosophical differences on political outlook often separated the various parties. Bickering among elites was common, not only between Christians and Muslims but also among sects within each religious group. Also during this period, the political system of zuama clientelism, whereby powerful heads of families (similar to the feudal warlords of the Ottoman era) who wielded considerable political influence and dispensed patronage, became institutionalized. As a consequence, loyalty to subnational entities, such as family or sect, took precedence over allegiance to the state.

Other problems impeded the smooth operation of government. Chief among them was that the National Pact was based on the 1932 census, which enumerated Christians (including even those who had emigrated) to Muslims in a six-to-five ratio. Because this census was never updated officially, the growing number of Muslims, especially Shias, was not taken into account, thus giving Christians disproportionate political power. Many observers believe that it was the inability of Lebanon's leaders to agree on a new power-sharing formula in line with demographic realities that led to the 1975 Civil War.

Although it no longer monopolized the means of coercion, the government survived this conflict. The destruction and brutality wrought by both sides were catastrophic, but, except for a few small extremist groups, none of the armed militias demanded the abolition of the state or the abrogation of the Constitution; instead, many of them called for meaningful reform.

To some extent, the state and governmental institutions were able to survive through the direct intervention of external powers. In 1976 Ilyas Sarkis was elected president while much of the country was subject to Syrian presence. Then, in 1982 Bashir Jumayyil (also cited as Gemayel) was elected president largely under pressure from Israel, whose forces occupied most of southern Lebanon and Beirut. Because of the presence of a variety of armed militias throughout the country and the resulting "cantonization" of the state, in 1987 the term government had relevance only within the context of sectarian politics.

<>THE BASIS OF GOVERNMENT
<>POLITICAL PARTIES
<>FOREIGN RELATIONS

Lebanon

Lebanon - THE BASIS OF GOVERNMENT

Lebanon

The Constitution and National Pact together form the framework of Lebanon's parliamentary democracy. The Constitution provides for three branches of government: an executive, a legislature, and an independent judiciary. The president of the republic, who appoints the prime minister, is elected by the Chamber of Deputies, the legislative body. Although this system resembles that of a Western democracy, because of the National Pact and its legitimization in the Constitution, the president, ministers, and deputies act as members of their respective confessional communities and not as atlarge representatives.

<>The Constitution
<>The National Pact
<>Zuama Clientelism
<>The President
<>The Prime Minister and the Cabinet
<>The Legislature
<>The Judiciary
<>The Bureaucracy

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Constitution

Lebanon

In the early 1920s, the League of Nations requested that the French Mandate authorities devise a law for Lebanon in cooperation with the native leaders and in harmony with the wishes and interests of the diverse religious sects. Accordingly, in July 1925 the French government appointed a commission, which by May 15, 1926, had prepared a draft constitution. The Representative Council, an elected body of Lebanese leaders sitting as a constituent assembly, adopted the draft constitution on May 23.

Although many Lebanese historians and politicians have claimed that the Constitution was designed primarily by local leaders to reflect purely Lebanese interests, the minutes of the constituent assembly reveal the major role of the French representative. He had the power to veto any modification to the draft, and he also controlled the agenda. In reaction to France's dominance, Muslim representatives made it clear during the meetings that they were against the very idea of expanding the limits of mostly Christian Mount Lebanon to create Greater Lebanon incorporating Muslim areas and insisted that the record show their reservations.

When completed, the Constitution was divided into six parts, one of which contained four articles relating to the French Mandate and the League of Nations. By these articles, France retained full political control over the country. In theory, France's high commissioner was charged with advisory and supervisory functions in normal times; in practice, he exercised supreme power. Army troops under French control were stationed throughout the country. Although their ostensible role was to keep the high commissioner informed of the local political situation, in fact they exerted a great deal of influence on the local administration. Thus, between 1926, when the Constitution was adopted, and 1946, when the French finally handed over all functions of state, France, not local officials, exercised control over implementation of the Constitution. The high commissioner, in fact, suspended the Constitution several times during the 1932-37 period and again at the beginning of World War II.

The Constitution stresses freedom and equality, although with some limitations. All Lebanese are guaranteed the freedoms of speech, assembly, and association "within the limits established by law." There are also provisions for freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, as long as the dignity of the several religions and the public order are not affected.

Clearly, there are inherent contradictions within the Constitution. Even though articles 7 and 12 provide for equality of civil and political rights and equal access to public posts based on merit, Article 95 affirms the state's commitment to confessionalism, but without setting forth how it is to be applied. Article 95, in effect, legitimizes the National Pact.

Amendments to the Constitution may be initiated by the president of the republic or by a resolution of at least ten members of the Chamber of Deputies. The Chamber of Deputies, by a two-thirds majority, can recommend an amendment. However, the president and his cabinet, who together constitute the Council of Ministers, have veto powers, which can be overridden only by a complex procedure of the Chamber of Deputies. The most significant amendments were promulgated in 1943, when all references to the French Mandate were expunged and Arabic was designated the nation's official language.

Attempts to amend the Constitution have met with both favor and controversy. In 1949 the Constitution was amended to allow President Bishara al Khuri (also cited as Khoury) to succeed himself. Nine years later, however, when unpopular president Camille Shamun (also cited as Chamoun) sought an amendment that would allow him to succeed himself, vigorous opposition throughout the country prevented him from doing so.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The National Pact

Lebanon

The National Pact (al Mithaq al Watani), an unwritten agreement, came into being in the summer of 1943 as the result of numerous meetings between Khuri (a Maronite), Lebanon's first president, and the first prime minister, Riyad as Sulh (also cited as Solh), a Sunni. At the heart of the negotiations was the Christians' fear of being overwhelmed by the Muslim communities in Lebanon and the surrounding Arab countries, and the Muslims' fear of Western hegemony. In return for the Christian promise not to seek foreign, i.e., French, protection and to accept Lebanon's "Arab face," the Muslim side agreed to recognize the independence and legitimacy of the Lebanese state in its 1920 boundaries and to renounce aspirations for union with Syria. The pact also reinforced the sectarian system of government begun under the French Mandate by formalizing the confessional distribution of high-level posts in the government based on the 1932 census' six-to-five ratio favoring Christians over Muslims. Although some historians dispute the point, the terms of the National Pact were believed to have been enunciated by the first cabinet in a statement to the legislature in October 1943.

As noted, the confessional system outlined in the National Pact was a matter of expediency, an interim measure to overcome philosophical divisions between Christian and Muslim leaders at independence. It was hoped that once the business of governance got under way, and as national spirit grew, the importance of confessionalism in the political structure would diminish. Over the years, the frequent political disputes--the most notable of which were manifested in the 1958 Civil War, the Palestinian controversy of the 1960s and 1970s, and the 1975 Civil War--bear stark testimony to the failure of the National Pact as a means toward societal integration.

Moreover, some observers claim that the National Pact merely perpetuated the power of the privileged. The pact, combined with the system of zuama clientelism, guaranteed the maintenance of the status quo and the continuation of privilege for the sectarian elites.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Zuama Clientelism

Lebanon

In pluralistic societies, patronage is often a common feature of the political process; the promotion of the interests of a particular sect is frequently widespread. Although patronage is prevalent in developed and lesser developed countries alike, clientelism may be more entrenched in Lebanon than in most other nations. The pervasiveness of this system in Lebanon is easily traced to feudal times, wherein the overlord allowed peasants and their families the use of land in exchange for unquestioned loyalty. In more recent times, this social system has been translated into a political system; the overlord has become a political leader, or zaim, the peasants have become his constituents, and, instead of land, favors are exchanged for electoral loyalty. And although clientelism has its roots in the rural areas, it now pervades towns and large citites down to the neighborhood level.

A zaim is a political leader, and rather than being exclusively an officeholder, he may be a power broker with the ability to manipulate elections and the officials he helps elect. Accordingly, wastah-- the ability to attain access to a power broker--is widely sought, but only achieved at some price.

There are those who believe that at the local level zuama clientelism may have reduced sectarian strife. Often, political competition was intrasectarian, rather than with members of different groups. And because only some of Lebanon's electoral districts were confessionally homogeneous (although most had a certain sectarian preponderance), a candidate often could not be elected unless he were supported by other confessional groups within his district. Once elected, however, the opportunity to augment his power was great. To ensure that constituents continued their support, zuama have been known to employ qabadayat, or enforcers, whose job it was to see that their chiefs were warmly supported at the polls or to discourage opponents from voting. In fact, in the post-World War II years, many zuama developed their own militias to safeguard their interests, often against rivals within their own sect. The development of these militias led to tragedy during the 1975 Civil War when these private armies were turned loose on members of opposing sects.

Another component of the Lebanese patronage system is the important role of family. The position of zaim is frequently hereditary, and politics is often treated like a family business. For example, almost one-fourth of the members of the 1960 Chamber of Deputies were the descendants of men who had been appointed to the legislative assemblies under the French Mandate. Furthermore, it was not uncommon for more than one member of the same family to hold office in the same government; for example, four different members of the Sulh family have held the position of prime minister. In the 1970s and 1980s, Amin Jumayyil (the Phalange Party), Dani Shamun (the National Liberal Party), and Walid Jumblatt (the Progressive Socialist Party) inherited their fathers' political mantles. Occasionally, the family of a zaim would control an entire sect, as the Asad clan did over the Shias of southern Lebanon in the first half of the twentieth century.

Thus, in 1987 Lebanon's constitutionally based political system had to be viewed through the overlay of clientelism, a system that had persisted in one form or another for over a hundred years. Even so, this system, although unlikely to disappear in the near term, perhaps was being challenged by a post-1975 Civil War development: the rise of the militias. Although some militias were still controlled by descendants of traditional zuama, others, like Amal, Hizballah (Party of God), and the Lebanese Forces, were led by figures who had arrived relatively late on the political scene. These militias were not just military organizations; through military force they often gained control of revenues that formerly went to government coffers. In this way, by controlling armed might and the purse, the militias were appropriating the basic stock-in-trade of the traditional zaim system. The patronclient relationship, therefore, rather than dying out may merely have taken one more turn along an evolutionary track.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The President

Lebanon

As might be expected because of the significance of the family with its strong father figure and the influential role of the zaim, Lebanese have come to accept a powerful national leader. Indeed, the Constitution consigns to the president vast authority. He is commander in chief of the army and security forces; he can appoint and dismiss his prime minister and cabinet; he promulgates laws passed by the Chamber of Deputies and may also propose laws, enact "urgent" legislation by decree, and veto bills; he can dissolve the Chamber of Deputies; and he exercises considerable influence throughout the bureaucracy.

His constitutional powers notwithstanding, the president is constrained by the necessity of obtaining cooperation from at least a majority of the zuama of the various confessional communities. In addition, he must accommodate an array of other competing interests, including those of religious, business, and labor leaders. Moreover, the president, who by custom is a Maronite, must try to work in harmony with the prime minister, who by custom is a Sunni Muslim. Together, they are the most eminent members of the executive and wield a direct and personal influence over the deputies and other political leaders.

The president is elected, by the Chamber of Deputies, not by the general public. He is selected for a six-year term and may not succeed himself; he may serve any number of nonsuccessive terms, however. A sitting president steps down on September 23 of his sixth year in office. Thirty to sixty days before this, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies calls for a special session to elect a new president. A quorum of two-thirds of the deputies is required to hold a special session. A two-thirds majority of deputies attending is needed to be elected on the first ballot; failing that, a simple majority is required on subsequent ballots.

In theory, anyone who meets the eligibility requirements for election to the Chamber of Deputies can be elected president; in reality, before the 1975 Civil War powerful Maronite zuama usually were elected. Exceptions were Fuad Shihab (also seen as Chehab) and Charles Hilu (also spelled Helou), leaders who unsuccessfully sought to diminish the power of the zuama. At times, political maneuvering and interconfessional wrangling have been intense; nonetheless, the reality has usually been that no one could be elected president without the support of a wide spectrum of confessional blocs.

Although the Constitution grants the president wide latitude in conducting the affairs of state, it is questionable whether the Lebanese leaders who negotiated the National Pact envisioned the growth in power that occupants of the office assumed in later years. For many Lebanese, especially Muslims, the presidency came to symbolize political tyranny and sectarian hegemony. In domestic matters involving regional interests, the powers of the local zuama always held sway. But on broader, national-level issues, the Maronite presidents tended to safeguard Maronite interests. This was certainly true with regard to the pan-Arab question and the events that led to the 1958 Civil War, with respect to the Palestinian controversy, and in response to any call for fundamental political reform, especially musharaka, i.e., a more equitable distribution of power between the president and prime minister.

Some presidents have viewed the office as a means for aggrandizement. Sulayman Franjiyah (also cited as Franjieh), for instance, a zaim from Zgharta who was elected through the efforts of traditional zuama by the margin of a single vote, is commonly regarded as having used his office to reward his family and constituency. Many observers believe that nepotism and corruption--routine features of Lebanese politics--reached an intolerable level under Franjiyah's tenure.

The 1975 Civil War has left an indelible mark on the institution of the presidency. In the 1980s, the office no longer was viewed as a product of intersectarian consensus. The rise in sectarian consciousness has forced each president (and prime minister, for that matter) to be more accountable to the demands of his narrow community. At the same time, as external actors such as Syria and Israel have influenced elections, and as the power of the militias has increased, the status of the presidency has declined at home and abroad. In 1987 the authority of the president did not extend much farther than the confines of the Presidential Palace at Babda.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

Lebanon

As noted, the president is constitutionally empowered to appoint the prime minister and the cabinet. Although a prime minister need not be a member of the Chamber of Deputies, this has usually been the case, particularly because the president must consult with the deputies before naming a prime minister. The president and the prime minister deliberate over the composition of the cabinet and present the nominees to the Chamber of Deputies to solicit a vote of confidence.

As the highest Muslim political official, the prime minster can bring a significant amount of authority to his position, and indeed this may have been the intent of Lebanon's "founding fathers." In practice, however, the power of the prime minister has varied according to his personality, his base of support, and the preferences of the president he served. A distinguished prime minister can enhance the prestige of the president, and the office has been held by some fairly capable politicians, including Riyad as Sulh, Saib Salam, and Rashid Karami.

Clearly, a prime minister's constitutionally mandated power is small, and over the years his most effective methods of action have been informal. His resignation could embarrass a president, influence popular opinion, and increase Muslim opposition. He could induce the Chamber of Deputies to voice a vote of no confidence and force the president to reappoint a new list of ministers, thereby stalling for a time governmental operations. In the end, however, these informal weapons were virtually inconsequential in comparison with the arsenal at the president's disposal. If a prime minister's actions caused a president dismay, the minister could be dismissed and replaced with a more pliable individual. For example, in 1973 when Salam resigned as prime minister to protest the government's refusal to oppose with force Israeli attacks, President Franjiyah nominated a political unknown to the post. Although the nomination was defeated, the eventual replacement was decidedly less resistant than Salam. Since the 1975 Civil War, the president has been forced to treat his prime minister with greater deference, but in the late 1980s the balance of political power in what remained of the official government was essentially unchanged from the prewar status.

In theory, the cabinet is the vehicle through which the country is administered. It is supposed to set policy, prepare legislative bills, and appoint or dismiss top members of the bureaucracy. Historically, however, ministers have often used their positions to increase their patronage within their constituencies and to add to their personal wealth. Unlike some other nations, in which the president appoints a group of like-minded officials to the cabinet, in Lebanon cabinets are often intricately formed bodies, designed to accommodate diverse sectarian interests. Consequently, they sometimes have degenerated into arenas for political sniping and backroom machinations, with ever-changing coalitions and factions being formed. It has not been uncommon for intracabinet antipathies to paralyze the business of government. In the late 1980s, some members of the cabinet were not even on speaking terms, and the Muslim members boycotted the president for more than a year.

Any Lebanese can be appointed as a minister, but most often influential zuama have held these positions. Less frequently, for example during the 1975 Civil War, technocrats have been called upon to serve as ministers. And, for a few days in 1975, military officers held ministerial slots. In general, certain ministries have been reserved for the various sects; as a consequence, cabinets have not been noted for their efficiency. One example of the anomalies that can develop because of these circumstances is the 1955 cabinet in which a Sunni ex-diplomat headed the Ministry of Public Works, while a Maronite engineer became the foreign minister.

There is no set number of ministries, but historically it has fluctuated between four and twenty-two, expanding and contracting according to political exigencies. Sometimes a minister has held more than one portfolio; as of early 1987, there were ten ministers holding among them sixteen portfolios. And, as with much of Lebanese politics, members of the same privileged families have tended to hold cabinet positions. As an indication of postwar reform, however, and in recognition of the growing Shia population, in 1984 the Ministry of State for the South and Reconstruction was created.

Typically, because of constant political pressures, cabinets have been ephemeral. Between 1926 and 1964, the average life of each cabinet was less than eight months. Even though cabinets were in an almost constant state of dissolution and reformation, the same men tended to be reappointed to the same or other posts. For example, 333 ministerial posts were occupied by only 134 individuals from 1926 to 1963.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Legislature

Lebanon

The Chamber of Deputies (sometimes called the parliament) has many responsibilities, but electing the president is its most important. Despite its legislative role, traditionally the Chamber of Deputies seldom has been involved in law making or policy formulation. The Constitution details the duties and procedures of the Chamber of Deputies and grants it considerable authority in such matters as budgetary oversight and amending the Constitution. But because of the strength of the presidency and the power of the zuama, the Chamber of Deputies generally has been a fragmented, inefficient body, playing an insignificant part in Lebanese politics. In effect, it has merely been an extension of the executive, rather than a separate, co-equal branch of government.

Deputies are elected every four years by popular vote, but only within the strictures of the confessional system. Each slot is assigned to one sect or another according to its size in any district. It should be noted, however, that party politics have played almost no part in Lebanon and candidates campaign as part of a "list" sponsored by a local zaim. In other words, competition within districts is intrasectarian, in which, for example, a Greek Catholic from one list would campaign against Greek Catholics from other lists. Even though it is possible to vote across lists, typically lists have been elected in toto. To ensure the success of his list, a zaim often enters into complex alliances with zuama supporting other lists in other districts. As a result, one zaim may support another zaim in a neighboring district but oppose him in another district.

Because of the 1975 Civil War and the subsequent political disintegration, as of late 1987 there had been no election since 1972. Elections have been somewhat chaotic, often characterized by the strong-arm tactics of qabadayat, vote buying, and general disruptions. Elections have been conducted in stages, as much to allow voters to return to their home towns to cast ballots as to permit the redeployment of security forces to limit disturbances.

Money, of course, has been at the core of this system. Regardless of confessional association, candidates have tended to be men of wealth, often landlords, lawyers, or businessmen with family connections to the local zaim. Not surprisingly, candidates have frequently spent large sums to win elections. Once in office, although he was still beholden to the zaim, a deputy could further his accumulation of wealth. In addition, this system has perpetuated the promotion of parochial interests over the national welfare.

Despite its obvious unrepresentativeness, little reform to this system has occurred. One important factor maintaining the system has been the government's voting regulations, which encourage an individual to vote in his home town or village, regardless of how long he may have lived elsewhere. This policy reinforced the political hold of the zaim and, at the same time, discouraged the emergence of modern political parties.

Several other features characterized the Chamber of Deputies in 1987. By custom, its speaker (also referred to as its president), who was selected by the deputies, was a Shia Muslim. He presided over a body of fairly well-educated men, many of whom were related to one another. To be eligible for election, an individual had to be at least twenty-five years of age; still, most members of the Chamber of Deputies were over fifty years old. Only one woman, Mirna Bustani, had ever served in the Chamber of Deputies, and this was under unusual circumstances. Her father, Emile Bustani, a deputy, died in office, and, being an only child, Mirna was appointed to complete Emile's term in the 1960 Chamber od Deputies.

To accommodate the six-to-five formula for representation of Christians to Muslims, the number of deputies has always been a multiple of eleven, although the number has varied over time. In 1951 the Chamber of Deputies was increased from fifty-five to seventy-seven members, in 1957 it was reduced to sixty-six, and in 1960 it was raised to ninety-nine. In the latter year, the Chamber of Deputies was made up of thirty Maronites, twenty Sunnis, nineteen Shias, eleven Greek Orthodox, six Druzes, six Greek Catholics, four Armenian Orthodox, and three members of groups minority.

Rather than trying to hold elections amid the chaos of the 1970s and 1980s, the Chamber of Deputies chose to renew its members' terms every two years until "appropriate conditions" would allow a free election. Moreover, it had not even been possible to hold by-elections to fill seats of deceased members. In the mid1980s , government officials discussed appointing new deputies to these seats. In addition, during this time a national consensus developed to modify the formula of representation so that seats would be evenly distributed. Furthermore, some officials proposed that the size of the Chamber of Deputies be increased to 120. Nonetheless, by 1987 none of these ideas had been implemented, and, as a consequence, of the ninety-nine deputies elected in 1972, only seventy-seven remained.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Judiciary

Lebanon

As with other branches of government, the judiciary suffered as a result of the 1975 Civil War and the ensuing disruptions. Prior to the war, the Lebanese justice system mirrored many features common to West European systems especially that of France. The Ministry of Justice had official authority over the judicial system, but the Supreme Council of Justice, a body consisting of eleven judges appointed by the president in consultation with leaders of the sects, exercised actual jurisdiction over the various courts. It appointed judges to the several courts and could transfer or remove them. There were fifty-six courts of first instance, with seventeen in Beirut alone, and each was presided over by a single magistrate. Cases from these courts could be appealed to one of eleven courts of appeal, each of which had a three-judge panel. Above these were four courts of cassation, on which sat three judges each. Three of these courts adjudicated civil cases, and one heard criminal complaints.

Several other courts existed outside this general framework. The six-member Council of State functioned as an appeals court for administrative matters, and the Judicial Council, which included the most senior judge of the courts of cassation and four other judges appointed by the government, ruled on cases of public security. In addition, there were a few other special courts that heard questions relating to the military, the press, and business affairs.

Matters of personal status, dealing with such issues as marriage and inheritance, were in the domain of the various sects. These cases sometimes involved complex layers of appeal. Maronites and Greek Catholics, for example, could appeal to the Vatican, whereas Greek Orthodox could look to the Patriarchal Court in Damascus for relief. Shias and Sunnis, in contrast, often dealt with appeals locally and based decisions on sharia.

As might be expected in a society based on patronage, political interference in judicial affairs was not uncommon, and pressures from zuama on judges often influenced rulings. Observers noted that confessionalism also marred the judicial system, not only in the selection of judges, some of whom were mediocre jurists, but also in the determination of criminal penalties.

As of 1987, the Ministry of Justice was an active portfolio, but there was little evidence that the judiciary resembled its prewar status; only a few government-run courts seemed to be in operation. These apparently handled only minor civil and criminal cases and ultimately were circumscribed by the desires of the local militias.

Lebanon

Lebanon - The Bureaucracy

Lebanon

In 1987 there were skeletal remains of the prewar bureaucracy. For example, although there were still many interruptions, telephone and postal service continued to function in many areas, and electric power and piped water still flowed to many users. But with the central authorities in a shambles, the bureaucracy was often more heavily influenced by the local militias than by the cabinet ministries.

Before the 1975 Civil War the bureaucracy, bloated by patronage, was noted for its slowness, inefficiency, and corruption. Favored clients of zuama often held important positions and, regardless of their competence, could not be fired. Given the low pay of many positions, it was not surprising that government employment did not attract the most capable people. Moreover, to make ends meet, many civil servants were prone to accepting bribes and spending only a few hours at the office so they could work at a second job.

Sectarianism has perhaps been stronger in the bureaucracy than in any other Lebanese political institution. President Shihab, one of the few national-level politicians to introduce reforms to the system, in 1959 enacted the Personnel Law. This statute technically abolished the practice of appointing officers on the basis of the six-to-five formula; instead, Christians and Muslims were to be appointed on an equal basis. Shihab also created the Civil Service Council to examine, train, and certify new appointees, and he established a school to provide such training.

But as with other reform measures that threatened the hold of the zuama, these efforts were largely ignored. An estimate of sectarian representation in 1955 among higher ranking civil servants put Maronites at 40 percent, while 27 percent were Sunnis, and a mere 3.6 percent were Shias. Furthermore, by the start of the Civil War in 1975, these ratios remained relatively unchanged.

In the aftermath of the violence of the late 1970s and early 1980s, observers were uncertain of the exact functioning of local administration. As noted earlier, it was believed that, like much of Lebanese politics, local affairs had become the domain of the militias. In 1987 the country was divided into five provinces (muhafazat): Bayrut, Al Biqa, Jabal Lubnan, Al Janub and Ash Shamal. A sixth province, Jabal Amil, was created in the 1980s. It was to be carved out of Al Janub Province, with its capital at An Nabatiyah at Tahta. In 1987, however, its exact boundaries could not be determined. All provinces except Bayrut were subdivided into districts. Prior to 1975, local administration was highly centralized, with the Ministry of Interior having oversight and fiscal responsibilities. The governor, who was appointed by the president with cabinet approval, was the highestranking official in each province. He headed the Provincial Council, which included a representative of the Ministry of Finance, and the deputy governors (qaim maqams), who were appointed in the same manner as the governor. Despite the elaborate infrastructure of the local administration, by virtue of its control over the purse strings, the Ministry of Interior exercised considerable authority.

Lebanon

Lebanon - POLITICAL PARTIES

Lebanon

Historically, political parties in Lebanon have lacked traits common to parties in most Western democracies. Lebanese parties often have had no ideology, have devised no programs, and have made little effort at transcending sectarian support. In fact, despite their claims, most parties have been thinly disguised political machines for a particular confession or, more often, a specific zaim. Although nondescript, broad titles have been applied, such as National Bloc Party or Progressive Socialist Party. With the exception of a handful of left-wing movements, most parties have been the organizational personification of a few powerful politicians. Even Kamal Jumblatt (also seen as Junblatt), the most ideologically oriented of the zuama, derived his constituents' support principally because he was a Druze leader, not because of his political beliefs. For this reason, any one party could count on only a few votes in the Chamber of Deputies. This situation brought about a continuous stream of coalitions, each often created to represent a point of view on a particular issue. In this system, leaders could not even rely on the support of their coreligionists; in fact, some of the most severe acrimony has been intrasectarian. Nonetheless, in the face of challenges to fundamental issues--such as the six-to-five formula or the pan-Arab question--the various confessionally based parties generally closed ranks.

Before and during the 1975 Civil War, other political groupings were formed. Although ideology played some role in their formation, for the most part these alliances--the Lebanese National Movement and the Lebanese Front--tended to be temporary associations of politically motivated militias under the leadership of powerful zuama, and divisions generally followed sectarian lines. So ephemeral were these associations, however, that after the heaviest fighting of the mid- and late 1970s ceased, several of the groups in these coalitions turned their guns on each other.

Nonetheless, ideology, rather than the power and charisma of a zaim, has been the basis for the formation of a small number of political parties. These multisectarian groups have espoused causes ranging from Marxism to pan-Arabism. To a limited extent, several of these essentially leftist parties also participated in the fighting of the 1970s.

By 1987 political parties, in the sense of constitutionally legitimate groups seeking office, had almost become an anachronism. By virtue of armed strength, the various militias, surrogate armies, and foreign defense forces that controlled the nation had divided Lebanon into several semi autonomous "cantons," each having its own political, social, and economic structure.

<>Phalange Party
<>National Liberal Party
<>Lebanese Forces
<>Amal
<>Hizballah
<>Islamic Amal
<>Islamic Grouping
<>Union of Muslim Ulama
<>Independent Nasserite Movement
<>Progressive Socialist Party
<>Armenian Parties
<>Kurdish Parties
<>Lebanese Communist Party
<>Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party
<>Organization of Communist Action

Lebanon

Lebanon - Phalange Party

Lebanon

Formed in 1936 as a Maronite paramilitary youth organization by Pierre Jumayyil (who modeled it on the fascist organizations he had observed while in Berlin as an Olympic athlete), the Phalange, or Phalanxes (Kataib in Arabic), was authoritarian and very centralized, and its leader was all powerful. It quickly grew into a major political force in Mount Lebanon. After at first allying itself with the French Mandate authorities, the Phalange sided with those calling for independence; as a result, the party was dissolved in 1942 by the French high commissioner (it was restored after The French left Lebanon). Despite this early dispute, over the years the Phalange has been closely associated with France in particular and the West in general. In fact, for many years the party newspaper, Al Amal, was printed in Arabic and French.

Consistent with its authoritarian beginnings, Phalangist ideology has been on the right of the political spectrum. Although it has embraced the need to "modernize," it has always favored the preservation of the sectarian status quo. The Phalange Party motto is "God, the Fatherland, and the Family," and its doctrine emphasizes a free economy and private initiative. Phalangist ideology focuses on the primacy of preserving the Lebanese nation, but with a "Phoenician" identity, distinct from its Arab, Muslim neighbors. Party policies have been uniformly anticommunist and anti-Palestinian and have allowed no place for pan-Arab ideals.

Unlike many zuama who achieved their status by virtue of inheriting wealth, Jumayyil ascended because of his ability to instill discipline in his organization and, by the mid-1950s, through the accumulation of military might. By the outbreak of the 1958 Civil War, the Phalange Party was able to further its growing power by means of its militia. In that year, when President Shamun was unable to convince the army commander, Fuad Shihab, to use the armed forces against Muslim demonstrators, the Phalange militia came to his aid. Encouraged by its efforts during this conflict, later that year, principally through violence and the success of general strikes in Beirut, the Phalange achieved what journalists dubbed the "counterrevolution." By their actions the Phalangists brought down the government of Prime Minister Karami and secured for their leader, Jumayyil, a position in the four-man cabinet that was subsequently formed.

The 1958 Civil War was a turning point for the Phalange Party. Whereas in 1936, the year of its formation, it had a following of around 300, by 1958 its membership had swelled to almost 40,000. Meanwhile, the French newspaper L'Orient estimated that the Phalange Party's nearest rival, the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, had a membership of only 25,000. In addition, although until 1958 it had been able to elect only 31 percent of its candidates to the Chamber of Deputies, from 1959 through 1968 the Phalange placed 61 percent of its candidates in office. Moreover, by the start of the disturbances in 1975, the party's rolls may have included as many as 65,000 members, including a militia approaching 10,000 men.

Throughout the 1975 Civil War, the Phalange Party was the most formidable force within the Christian camp, and its militia shouldered the brunt of the fighting. As part of the Lebanese Front, the mostly Christian, rightist coalition, the power of the Jumayyil family increased considerably. Ironically, as Pierre Jumayyil's son, Bashir, ascended as a national figure, the role of the Phalange Party diminished. This was true primarily because the relevance of political entities declined as the importance of armed power grew. Through a series of violent intrasectarian battles, Bashir seized control of the Lebanese Forces (not to be confused with the Lebanese Front), a conglomeration of the Phalange Party's military wing and some other Christian militias.

During the 1980s, the Phalange lost much of its credibility and political stature. In 1982, under pressure from Israel, which occupied a good deal of Lebanon, Bashir was elected president. Later that year, before talking office, Bashir was assassinated. Subsequently, his brother Amin was elected president, again not so much for his Phalange Party connection as because of his support from Israel. With the death of Pierre Jumayyil in 1984, the role of the party declined further. When the deputy leader of the party, Elie Karamah, a Greek Catholic, was named as its new head, many Maronite members became disaffected. Maronite George Saadah succeeded Karamah in 1987 and strove to resuscitate the flagging Phalange by holding party meetings and by improving ties to the Lebanese Forces. The party, however, was factionalized, and many prominent members had left.

Lebanon

Lebanon - National Liberal Party

Lebanon

Established in 1958 by Camille Shamun after he left the presidency, the National Liberal Party (NLP) was a predominantly Maronite organization, although it had some non-Maronites and nonChristians in its leadership. More or less a political vehicle for Shamun, perhaps the most charismatic of all Christian leaders, the NLP lacked a coherent ideology or program. Although the NLP never matched the organizational efficiency of the Phalange Party, they shared many views, including favoring a free-market economy, anticommunism, close association with the West, and, most important, the continuation of Christian political advantage. In the early 1970s, the NLP claimed 60,000 to 70,000 members and controlled as many as 11 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and Shamun had occupied several ministerial posts after his term as president.

During the 1975 Civil War, the NLP and its militia, the Tigers (Namur in Arabic), participated in the Lebanese Front, and Shamun, who was driven from his home district in the Shuf Mountains, was an active leader in the alliance. When, in July 1980, Bashir Jumayyil launched a surprise attack, defeating the Tigers, the political and military significance of the NLP declined. The party again suffered a severe setback in August 1987 when Shamun died. His son Dani assumed the chairmanship of the party, which still harbored hopes for the presidential election scheduled for 1988.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Lebanese Forces

Lebanon

The Lebanese Forces (LF) emerged as a political power in 1976 under the leadership of Bashir Jumayyil. At that time various Christian militias joined forces to bring about the destruction of the Palestinian refugee camp at Tall Zatar. In August of that year, a joint command council was established to integrate formally the several militias, but also to achieve a higher degree of independence from the traditional political leaders, whom many of the LF rank and file regarded as too moderate. Jumayyil first took control of the military wing of his father's Phalange Party and then proceeded to incorporate other Christian militias. Those who resisted were forcibly integrated. In 1978 Jumayyil subjugated the Marada Brigade, the militia of former president Sulayman Franjiyah, killing Franjiyah's son, Tony, in the process. In 1980 the same fate befell Camille Shamun's Tigers militia.

Thus, by the early 1980s the LF controlled East Beirut and Mount Lebanon, and Jumayyil was its de facto president. But Jumayyil did not confine the LF to the military realm only; he created committees within the LF structure that had responsibility for health, information, foreign affairs, education, and other matters of public concern. Jumayyil established links with Israeli authorities, and he consistently battled with Syrian forces. Important feature of the LF's operations were its legal (official) and illegal (unofficial) ports and the revenues generated by the transit trade. In this way, the LF took over the traditional role of the state as a provider of public services.

Following the 1982 assassination of Bashir Jumayyil, the LF suffered serious organizational cleavages. After numerous succession struggles, Elie Hubayka (also seen as Hobeika)-- notorious for his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres of 1982-- assumed the leadership of the LF. But when Hubayka signed the Syrian-sponsored Tripartite Accord in December 1985 against the wishes of President Amin Jumayyil, LF chief of staff Samir Jaja (also seen as Geagea) launched an attack on Hubayka and his loyalists and defeated them. Interestingly, Hubayka, who was once noted for his close ties to Israel, in late 1987 was headquartered in Zahlah, where he headed a separate pro-Syrian "Lebanese Forces".

In 1987 the LF was one of the most important political and military actors on the Lebanese scene. As leader of the LF, Jaja wielded power rivaling that of President Jumayyil. Jaja embraced a hardline, anti-Syrian position and revived ties with Israel. The LF operated television and radio stations and published a weekly magazine.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Amal

Lebanon

The Amal movement was established in 1975 by Imam Musa as Sadr, an Iranian-born Shia cleric of Lebanon Ancestry who had founded the Higher Shia Islamic Council in 1969. Amal, which means hope in Arabic, is the acronym for Afwaj al Muqawamah al Lubnaniyyah (Lebanese Resistance Detachments), and was initially the name given to the military arm of the Movement of the Disinherited. This latter organization was created in 1974 by Sadr as a vehicle to promote the Shia cause in Lebanon.

Sadr, who at first established his own militia, later resisted a military solution to Lebanon's problems, refusing to engage Amal in the fighting during the 1975 Civil War. This reluctance discredited the movement in the eyes of many Shias, who chose instead to support the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) or other leftist parties. Amal was also unpopular for endorsing Syria's intervention in 1976.

Nonetheless, several factors caused the movement to undergo a dramatic resurgence in the late 1970s. First, Shias became disillusioned with the conduct and policies of the PLO and its Lebanese allies. Second, the mysterious disappearance of Sadr while on a visit to Libya in 1978 rendered the missing imam a religious symbol, not unlike the occultational absence of the twelfth Shia Imam. Third, the Iranian Revolution revived hope among Lebanese Shias and instilled in them a greater communal spirit. In addition, when the growing strength of Amal appeared to threaten the position of the PLO in southern Lebanon, the PLO tried to crack down on Amal by sheer military force. This strategy backfired and rallied even greater numbers of Shias around Amal.

By the early 1980s, Amal was the most powerful organization within the Shia community and perhaps was the largest organization in the country. Its organizational strength lay in its extension to all regions of the country inhabited by Shias.

Amal's ideology had evolved somewhat since Sadr's disappearance, when Husayn Husayni (also spelled Husseini) assumed leadership from April 1979 to April 1980 and was then followed by Nabih Birri (also cited as Berri). Although its charter considers the Palestinian cause a central issue for all Arabs. In the mid1980s , the Amal militia laid siege to Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, in retribution for years of abuses at the hands of Palestinian liberation groups that operated in southern Lebanon. Amal stressed resistance to Israel, and Amal's leadership was perceived by many as being pro-Syrian. The Amal platform called for national unity and equality among all citizens and rejected confederation schemes. Amal was linked less closely to Iran than some other Shia organizations, and it did not propose the creation of an Islamic state in Lebanon.

Its broad geographical base notwithstanding, neither Amal's rank and file nor its leadership was especially cohesive. Amal's various geographic branches did not embrace a single position but were subject to particularist tendencies. Moreover, its two leading bodies--the Politburo, headed by Birri, and the Executive Committee, led by Daud Daud--appeared to effect a balance between two competing socioeconomic groups. The members of the first group, personified by Birri, were educated, upper middle class, and secularly oriented (in relative terms). The second, exemplified by Daud, was composed of members who had been in the movement since its inception, who generally were of peasant origins, and who were religiously oriented. In late 1987 the first group was in control of most of the movement, its radio and television stations, and its weekly magazine.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Hizballah

Lebanon

Established in 1982 at the initiative of a group of Shia clerics who were adherents of Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, by 1987 Hizballah (Party of God) was the second most important Shia organization. Fadlallah, who was born in southern Lebanon but educated in An Najaf, Iraq, moved to East Beirut, where he wrote books on Islamic jurisprudence. Having been evicted by Christian forces during the fighting in 1976, he relocated in Beirut's southern suburbs. Fadlallah continued his work and developed a following, which later evolved into Hizballah.

In 1987 Hizballah followed strictly the theological line of Iran's Ayatollah Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini and called for the establishment in Lebanon of Islamic rule modeled on that of Iran. In pursuit of this goal, the party had developed close ties with Iranian representatives in Lebanon and Syria. In terms of secular policies, Hizballah rejected any compromise with Lebanese Christians, Israel, and the United States. This hardline approach appealed to many Shias, who abandoned the mainstream Amal movement to join Hizballah. These members tended to be young, radical, and poor.

The party's internal structure revolved around the Consultative Council (Majlis ash Shura), a twelve-member body, most of whom were clerics. The council divided among its members responsibilities that covered, among other matters, financial, military, judicial, social, and political affairs. The party's operations were geographically organized, with branches in Al Biqa and Al Janub provinces and in West Beirut and its southern outskirts. Among prominent Hizballah leaders in late 1987 were Shaykh Ibrahim al Amin, Shaykh Subhi at Tufayli, Shaykh Hasan Nasrallah, Shaykh Abbas al Musawi, and Husayn al Musawi; Fadlallah insisted that he had no formal organizational role but was merely Hizballah's inspirational leader.

Hizballah gained international attention in 1983 when press reports linked it to attacks against United States and French facilities in Lebanon, to the abduction of foreigners, and to the hijacking of aircraft. Nonetheless, Fadlallah (who was himself a target of a terrorist assassination attempt) and Hizballah spokesmen continued to deny any involvement in anti-American attacks.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Islamic Amal

Lebanon

Based in Baalbek in the Biqa Valley, Islamic Amal was led by Husayn al Musawi, who was also a leading figure in Hizballah. The movement got its start in June 1982 when Nabih Birri, the head of Amal, agreed to participate in the Salvation Committee, a body set up by President Ilyas Sarkis following the Israeli invasion. The committee included Bashir Jumayyil, the much-despised Maronite commander of the LF. Musawi considered Birri's actions "treasonous" and Amal's orientation too secular. In response, Musawi broke from Amal and set up his own faction, which observers believed was organized primarily along family lines.

Islamic Amal was backed by officials in the Iranian government, and it coordinated with units of Iran's (Pasdaran) Revolutionary Guards stationed around Baalbek. Even so, in 1986 when Iranian officials pressured Musawi to dissolve his organization, he refused. He agreed, however, to remain part of Hizballah, and he reportedly served as a member of its Consultative Council. Press reports linked Islamic Amal, like Hizballah, to anti-Western violence in Lebanon. Although Musawi's rhetoric was vehemently anti-Western, as of late 1987 he had not claimed any violence in the name of Islamic Amal.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Islamic Grouping

Lebanon

Founded during the 1975 Civil War by Lebanon's Sunni mufti, Shaykh Hasan Khalid, the Islamic Grouping (At Tajammu al Islami) was a loose confederation of Sunni political and religious notables. At one time it included most former or current Sunni prime ministers, ministers, deputies, and lesser politicians. It met weekly under the chairmanship of the mufti, it issued statements on current issues, and it was responsible for nominating Sunni representatives to fill official government posts. In 1987, with politics almost moribund and in the absence of a significant militia, the Islamic Grouping by default was the most important organization of the Sunni community.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Union of Muslim Ulama

Lebanon

The Union of Muslim Ulama emerged in 1982, when West Beirut was under siege by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It included Sunni and Shia clerics who shared the view that the application of sharia would solve Lebanon's problems and would end the IDF's occupation of Arab land. The union's fundamentalist line reflected its identification with the policies and objectives of Iran.

The Union of Muslim Ulana, which was unique because of its combined Sunni-Shia membership, strove to eliminate tensions between the two communities. For that reason, it organized mass rallies to propagate its views to the broadest audience possible. In 1987 the union was led by Shaykh Mahir Hammud (a Sunni) and Shaykh Zuhayr Kanj (a Shia).

Lebanon

Lebanon - Independent Nasserite Movement

Lebanon

The Independent Nasserite Movement (INM) was the oldest of several organizations in Lebanon that embraced the ideas of the late Egyptian president, Gamal Abdul Nasser. Despite its claims of nonsectarianism, the membership of the INM has been overwhelmingly Muslim; 1987 reports estimated it to be about 45-percent Sunni, 45- percent Shia, and 10- percent Druze. Its ideology was reflected by its motto: "Liberty, Socialism, and Unity."

The INM came to prominence in the 1958 Civil War and remained a strong force throughout the 1970s. At the height of the 1958 conflict, its militia, the Murabitun (Sentinels), clashed with the forces of pro-Western president Shamun. Consistent with its panArab ideals, the INM was a firm supporter of the Palestinian movement in Lebanon in the late 1960s. During this time, it reenforced the Murabitun. When the 1975 Civil War began, it was well positioned to play an active part. The Murabitun engaged Phalangist fighters in the most severe combat during the early stages of the war, and absorbed many casualties.

In the 1980s, the INM weathered difficult times. It fought with the Palestinians against the Israelis during the invasion of 1982 and with the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) against the Lebanese Army in the Shuf Mountains in 1983. Its alliance with the PSP was short lived, however. In 1985 a joint PSP-Amal campaign virtually eliminated the Murabitun as an important actor in Lebanon and forced INM leader, Ibrahim Kulaylat, into exile.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Progressive Socialist Party

Lebanon

Founded in 1949 by members of various sects who were proponents of social reform and progressive change, the Progressive Socialist Parlty (PSP) has been represented in the Chamber of Deputies since 1951. The party flourished under the leadership of Kamal Jumblatt, a charismatic--albeit somewhat enigmatic--character. Jumblatt appealed to Druzes because of his position as zaim, to other Muslims who were disenchanted with the traditional political system, and to members of some other sects who were attracted by his secular and progressive rhetoric. By 1953 the PSP claimed some 18,000 adherents, and in the 1964 Chamber of Deputies it could count on as many as 10 deputies.

Despite its nonsectarian beginnings and secular title, by the early 1950s the party began taking on a confessional cast. By the 1970s, this tendency was unmistakably Druze; this point was demonstrated in 1977 when, after Kamal Jumblatt was assassinated (perhaps by pro-Syrian Agents), his son, Walid, assumed the party leadership, continuing Druze control of the party.

Over the years the PSP has alternately cooperated with and opposed many of the same parties. For example, in 1952 it helped Camille Shamun unseat Bishara al Khuri as president; then, six years later, it was in the forefront of groups calling for Shamun's ouster. Moreover, from 1960 to 1964, when Jumblatt and Pierre Jumayyil served in the same cabinet, they spent much of their time vilifying each other in their respective party newspapers; then in 1968 Jumblatt allied with Jumayyil and Raymond Iddi (also seen as Edde) in the so-called Triple Alliance.

A reformer willing to work within the system, Kamal Jumblatt played an active role in politics, serving in the Chamber of Deputies and in several cabinets. Although philosophically opposed to violence, Jumblatt was not reluctant to pursue a military course when such action seemed necessary. The stalwart PSP militia was involved against the government during the 1958 Civil War, took a modest part in the Lebanese National Movement throughout the 1975 Civil War, and fought against Phalangist troops and the Lebanese Army in the 1983 battles in the Shuf Mountains.

The Jumblatt family shared leadership of the Druze community with the Yazbak clan, led by Majid Arslan. Although divisions between these two branches have sometimes been wide, the coordinated Druze defense of the Shuf Mountains in 1983 and 1984 helped close the rift. In addition, the Yazbaks suffered several setbacks that drew them closer to the Jumblatt confederation. First, Arslan's son, Faysal, became discredited when he allied with Bashir Jumayyil and the LF before and during the 1982 Israeli invasion. Then, they lost their traditional leader, Arslan, who died in 1983. Consequently, by 1987 most Druze were united behind Walid Jumblatt as leader of the PSP and its formidable militia.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Armenian Parties

Lebanon

In general, Armenian groups have supported whatever government was in power. They have tended to focus on issues of interest to the larger Armenian world community and not strictly domestic politics. The three most important Armenian parties have been the Tashnak Party, the Hunchak Party, and the Ramgavar Party. Of these the Tashnak Party has had the greatest political impact.

Founded in 1890 in Russian Armenia, the Tashnak Party sought to coordinate all Armenian revolutionary groups seeking to improve their conditions under Ottoman rule. Although the international Tashnak Party movement advocates socialism, the Lebanese branch of the party prefers capitalism. Since 1943 most of the Armenian deputies in the Chamber of Deputies (four in the election of 1972) have been members or supporters of the Tashnak Party. Prior to the 1975 Civil War, the mostly Christian Tashnak Party was an ally of the Phalange Party.

On the international level, the party has tended to be proWestern , and during the 1950s and 1960s it took an anti-Nasser stance. As has been typical of Lebanon's Armenian community, the Tashnak Party has avoided sensitive and controversial domestic issues and has attempted to play a moderating role in politics. Like other Armenian groups, the Tashnak Party refrained from military activity during the 1975 Civil War. Because the party refused to come to the Christians' side, many Armenian quarters in Lebanese towns were subsequently attacked by Bashir Jumayyil's LF.

The Hunchak Party was organized in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1887. The Hunchak Party has promoted the dual objective of liberating Turkish Armenia and establishing a socialist regime in a unified Armenian homeland. The Hunchak Party in Lebanon has advocated a planned economy and a just distribution of national income. In 1972, for the first time in its history, the Hunchak Party ran jointly for election to the Chamber of Deputies with the Tashnak Party.

Founded in 1921, the Ramgavar Party's ultimate goal was the liberation of Armenia. It has oriented its activities toward preserving Armenian culture among Armenian communities throughout the world. After a period of dormancy, the party was revived in the 1950s in the wake of increasing conflicts between the Tashnak Party and Hunchak Party. The Ramgavar Party presented itself as an alternative that avoided issues divisive to the Armenian community. The Ramgavar Party, sometimes considered the party of Armenian intellectuals, also opposed what it considered the right-wing policies of The Tashnak Party.

The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) was not a political party but rather a highly secret organization that used violence to harm its political enemies, principally the government of Turkey. Established in 1975, ASALA used the Lebanese Civil War as an opportunity to put into practice without government interference its belief in armed struggle. Adhering to MarxismLeninism , ASALA aligned with radical Lebanese and Palestinian groups against rightist forces during the fighting in the late 1970s.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Kurdish Parties

Lebanon

Kurdish parties have exerted little influence on Lebanese politics. In general, Kurds have been more concerned with international Kurdish matters than with internal Lebanese issues. In addition, Kurdish groups in Lebanon have been characterized by a high degree of factionalism.

Jamil Mihhu established the Kurdish Democratic Party in 1960, but it was not licensed until 1970. Mihhu, however, supported the Iraqi government against Kurdish rebels fighting in that country, and he was captured and imprisoned by the Kurdish resistance in Iraq. Consequently, the leadership of the party passed to Jamil's son, Riyad. Another son, Muhammad, disagreed with his family's position on several issues and therefore in 1977 started his own movement, the Kurdish Democratic Party--Temporary Leadership.

Riz Kari was another Kurdish group dissatisfied with the leadership of the Kurdish Democratic Party. Established in 1975 by Faysal Fakhu, Riz Kari supported the Kurdish forces fighting against the Iraqi regime. For a brief period during the 1975 Civil War, however, Riz Kari joined forces with the Kurdish Democratic Party to form the Progressive Kurdish Front in an effort to eliminate differences in the ranks of Lebanese Kurds. Riz Kari was weakened in the mid-1970s by the defection of part of its organization, which called itself the Leftist Riz Kari, or Riz Kari II. This organization, led by Abdi Ibrahim, a staunch ally of Syria, rejected the formation of the Progressive Kurdish Front because it included the "right-wing" leadership of Mihhu.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Lebanese Communist Party

Lebanon

One of the oldest multisectarian parties in Lebanon, the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) was formed in 1924 by a group of intellectuals. Over the years, the LCP has had very little impact on Lebanese politics and has been unwavering in its support for Moscow. The party was declared illegal by the French Mandate authorities in 1939, but the ban was relaxed in 1943. For about twenty years, this single organization controlled communist political activity in both Lebanon and Syria, but in 1944 separate parties were established in each country.

During the first two decades of independence, the LCP enjoyed little success. In 1943 the party participated in the legislative elections but failed to win any seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The LCP again ran for election in 1947, but all of its candidates were defeated; in 1948 it was outlawed. During the 1950s, the party's inconsistent policies on pan-Arabism and the Nasserite movement cost it support and eventually isolated it. Surviving underground, the LCP in 1965 decided to end its isolation and became a member of the Front for Progressive Parties and National Forces, which later became the Lebanese National Movement under Kamal Jumblatt.

The 1970s witnessed something of a resurgence of the LCP. In 1970 Minister of Interior Kamal Jumblatt legalized the party. This allowed many LCP leaders, including Secretary General Niqula Shawi, to run for election in 1972. Although they polled several thousand votes, none of them suceeded in claiming a seat. But the LCP's importance grew with the arrival of the civil disturbances of the mid-1970s. The LCP, which had established a well-trained militia, participated actively in the fighting of 1975 and 1976.

Throughout the 1980s, the LCP has generally declined in power. In 1983 the Sunni fundamentalist movement in Tripoli, Tawhid (Islamic Unification Movement), reportedly executed fifty Communists. In 1987, in union with the PSP, the LCP fought a weeklong battle with Amal militants in West Beirut, a conflict that was finally stopped by Syrian troops. Also in 1987, the LCP held its Fifth Party Congress and was about to oust George Hawi, its Greek Orthodox leader, and elect Karim Murrawwah, a Shia, as secretary general when Syrian pressure kept Hawi in his position. Hawi, who had been a close ally of Syria, was reportedly unpopular for his lavish life-style and for spending more time in Syria than in Lebanon. Murrawwah was probably the most powerful member of the LCP and was on good terms with Shia groups in West Beirut. Nevertheless, between 1984 and 1987 many party leaders and members were assassinated, reportedly by Islamic fundamentalists.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party

Lebanon

The Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP) has been one of the most influential multisectarian parties in Lebanon. Its main objective has been the reestablishment of historic Greater Syria, an area that approximately encompasses Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. Over the years the SSNP has often resorted to violence to achieve its goals.

The SSNP was founded in 1932 by Antun Saadah, a Greek Orthodox, as a secret organization. His party, very much influenced by fascist ideology and organization, grew considerably in the years after independence. In fact, in a survey taken in 1958 by the French newspaper L'Orient, the SSNP was said to have 25,000 members--at the time, second only to the Phalange Party. Concerned by its strength, the government cracked down on the SSNP in 1948, arresting many of its leaders and members. In response, SSNP military officers attempted a coup d'Útat in 1949, following which the party was outlawed and Saadah was executed. In retaliation, the SSNP assassinated Prime Minister Riyad as Sulh in 1951.

In the 1950s, although still banned, the SSNP renewed its activities fairly openly. During the 1958 disturbances, the SSNP militia supported President Shamun, who rewarded it by authorizing it to operate legally. But in December 1961, when another attempted coup by SSNP members failed, it was again outlawed and almost 3,000 of its members imprisoned. In prison, the party underwent serious ideological reform when certain Marxist and pan-Arab concepts were introduced into the party's formerly right-wing doctrine.

Since the 1960s, the party has become more leftist. Most of its members joined the Lebanese National Movement and fought alongside the PLO throughout the 1975 Civil War. But during this period the party suffered internal divisions and defections, and since then party unity has been elusive. In 1987 there were at least four separate factions claiming to be the authentic inheritors of Saadah's ideology. The two most important were led by Issam Mahayri, a Sunni, and Jubran Jurayj, a Christian. Each faction was trying to settle disputes by means of violence.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Organization of Communist Action

Lebanon

In 1970 two minor extreme left-wing groups, the Organization of Socialist Lebanon and the Movement of Lebanese Socialists, merged to form the Organization of Communist Action (OCA). The organization, led since its inception by Muhsin Ibrahim, incorporated former cells of the Arab Nationalist Movement, which ceased to exist in the late 1960s. The OCA represented itself as an independent, revolutionary communist party and, in the early 1970s, strongly criticized the LCP, accusing its leaders of "reformist" tendencies. Differences between the LCP and OCA, however, shrank somewhat by the mid-1970s, but, although there was talk of unity between the LCP and the OCA, such a union never materialized. Ibrahim played an important role in the 1975 Civil War by virtue of his position as the executive secretary of the Lebanese National Movement and because his organization participated in the fighting. In 1987, however, the OCA was operating underground because Ibrahim refused to go along with the Syrian policy of opposition to PLO head Yasir Arafat. The OCA was also known to have a special relationship with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Lebanon

Lebanon - FOREIGN RELATIONS

Lebanon

For Lebanon's first three decades or so of independence, the outstanding feature of its foreign policy was its amicable relations with numerous countries. In the early 1970s, about eighty diplomatic representatives were accredited to Beirut. Not surprisingly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was one of the largest and most important ministries in the Council of Minister.

Before the 1975 Civil War, foreign relations were based to a large extent on the National Pact. Under this covenant, Lebanon had to walk a thin line between the desires of the Christian communities to associate more closely with the West and the wishes of the Muslim communities to underscore Lebanon's Arab identity. Indeed, when major crises struck, as they did in 1958 and in the late 1960s, they were primarily generated by these sensitive foreign policy issues. Try though Lebanon did to walk this line, its geographic location near the center of the Arab-Israeli dispute has prevented it from striking what, for a pluralistic society, was a very difficult balance.

During the 1975 Civil War and afterward, the central government was only one of many domestic actors involved in the making of foreign policy. It shared this role with the various alliances and militias that were formed. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, as central authority deterioriated, external actors, including Syria, Israel, Iran, and the Palestinians, also seized foreign-policy-making roles, although the first two were by far the most influential.

Syria

Historically under a variety of rulers, Syria and Lebanon (as well as some other countries) were considered one territory-- Greater Syria. It was only in 1920, while under the French mandate, that Greater Lebanon, which approximates the modern state, was separated from the larger entity. As a consequence, Lebanon and Syria traditionally have had strong bonds. Following World War II, after both had become independent, they shared a common currency and customs union and discussed economic union. In fact, the two had always been active trading partners, and when political disputes arose, each country often used economic means to pressure the other.

On a political level, the more powerful Syrian state has sometimes been viewed with suspicion in Lebanon. But because of intrasectarian feuds, no generalizations can be made in this regard; at one time or another, Syria has developed or dissolved friendships with a number of factions, Christian as well as Muslim.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Syria was wrestling with its own internal problems and was unable to focus on Lebanon's domestic ills. Even so, some sources have ascribed to Syria a prominent role in aggravating the 1958 disturbances, claiming that it worked to unseat the Shamun regime. Then, in the late 1960s the rise of Palestinian guerrilla activity in southern Lebanon contributed to tense relations with Syria. Although the Syrian government was reluctant to permit guerrilla attacks to originate from Syrian soil (for fear of Israeli reprisals), it was much less reticent to see such activity occur in southern Lebanon. Thus, in 1973, when the Lebanese Army finally engaged in fighting against Palestinian guerrillas, Syria closed its borders in protest.

Since the start of the 1975 Civil War, Syrian involvement in Lebanon has been substantial, if inconsistent. On the one hand, the regime of President Hafiz al Assad has opposed the permanent fragmentation of Lebanon, fearing that the creation of a Maronite ministate would amount to the establishment of "another Israel." On the other hand, Syria has resisted the notion of the formation of a radical, left-wing state on its western border. Furthermore, after having to deal with its own Muslim fundamentalist rebellion in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Syria was concerned that a radical Islamic state in Lebanon would have negative domestic implications.

In the early stages of the Civil War, Syria acted as mediator, arranging several cease-fires. In February 1976 Syria helped formulate a political reform package, known as the Constitutional Document, that granted more power to Muslims; this compromise, however, was never implemented. When diplomacy failed, Syria intervened militarily. In March 1976, as the battle was going badly for the largely Christian Lebanese Front, Syria moved to prevent its total collapse, using Palestinian units under its control. In May Syria was instrumental in having Ilyas Sarkis, a pro-Syrian technocrat, elected president. By January 1977 about 27,000 Syrian troops were in Lebanon, technically as the largest part of the Arab Deterrent Force, set up by the League of Arab States (Arab League) in October 1976.

As the conflict wore on, the situation changed dramatically for Syria. In 1978 Bashir Jumayyil began his drive to incorporate all Christian militias under his LF. He provoked Syria's animosity by decimating in June 1978 The Marada Baigade, the pro-Syrian Franjiyah militia, and by his increasingly close ties to Israel. In response, Syria began to attack vigorously its erstwhile allies, the Christian forces, in effect making a complete about-face.

In the 1980s, Syria was the dominant external actor in Lebanon. It physically controlled much of the country, over which it imposed its will. At times, Syrian inaction, such as allowing one faction to war on another, had just as much impact as its active measures. Nonetheless, Syrian influence has had its limits. Its ability to impose stability--if, indeed, that was Assad's intention--has been frustrated by the multiplicity of factions, each with a different agenda. These limitations were visible during the 1982 invasion when Syria--alone among the Arab nations--opposed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Lebanese soil. Although it acquitted itself well, the Syrian Army was unable to halt the IDF advance or to prevent its own ejection from Beirut. Later, the insertion of the Multinational Force (MNF) also reduced Syrian influence for a time. In 1983, when Israel pressured the government of Amin Jumayyil to sign an accord, called the May 17 Agreement, that normalized relations between the two countries, Syria vehemently objected. It sponsored the formation of the National Salvation Front, a coalition of pro-Syrian groups, both Christian and Muslim, to oppose the agreement. The Syrian effort eventually succeeded, and on March 6, 1985, Jumayyil abrogated the May 17 Agreement and Israel finally withdrew some of its forces from parts of Lebanon.

There were additional examples of the strengths and limitations of Syrian influence in Lebanon. Syria brokered the Tripartite Accord, signed in late 1985 by the leaders of the main armed factions--Nabih Birri of Amal, Walid Jumblatt of the PSP, and Elie Hubayka of the LF. The accord's aim was to impose peace and to restructure the Lebanese Army. But when Jumayyil and anti-Syrian elements in the LF rebelled, the accord collapsed.

As of late 1987, Syrian troops were back in Beirut trying to keep peace, and Syrian influence was again significant. Even so, a true Syrian-imposed stabilty had not been achieved.

<>Israel
<>Palestinians
<>Iran
<>United States

Lebanon

Lebanon - Israel

Lebanon

Although Lebanon joined with other Arab nations in the armed resistance against the creation of Israel in 1948, because of the small size of its armed forces Lebanon's action had little effect. Nonetheless, because of Lebanon's participation, in 1987 its southern border remained the line agreed to in the 1949 armistice.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Lebanese politicians for the most part sought to insulate Lebanon from the Arab-Israeli dispute. With its booming economy and high standard of living, the Lebanese elite had much to lose. Lebanon, therefore, abstained from the conflicts of 1956, 1967, and 1973.

Because Lebanon never presented a serious military threat, Israel has been more concerned about Palestinian guerrilla attacks launched from Lebanon, and, secondarily, about the presence of Syrian troops there. Since the 1960s, there has been a cyclical pattern of Palestinian guerrilla attacks on Israel and IDF attacks on Palestinian targets. In the aftermath of the 1975 Civil War, Lebanese-generated security concerns grew for Israel. At the same time, the breakdown of Lebanon's central government provided opportunities for Israel to act. Around 1975, Israel sponsored the creation of a surrogate force, led by Lebanese Christian Major Saad Haddad, based in a corridor along Lebanon's southern border. This force, which called itself the Free Lebanon Army (but was later renamed the South Lebanon Army [SLA] under leader Antoine Lahad), was intended to prevent infiltration into Israel of Palestinian guerrillas. In 1978 Israel invaded Lebanon, clearing out Palestinian strongholds as far north as the Litani River. Another consequence of the Israeli invasion was the establishment in southern Lebanon of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, whose mission was to separate the various combatants.

As serious as the 1978 incursion was, it paled in comparison with the 1982 Israeli invasion, which affected all of the southern half of Lebanon as far north as Beirut. This action had several direct consequences. First, it resulted in the deaths of several hundred Palestinian fighters and the expulsion of several thousand more, not to mention several thousand Lebanese and Palestinian casualties and massive destruction. For a time, the invasion and occupation diminished Syrian influence, as the Syrian Army was forced north and east. The Israeli occupation promoted the creation of the MNF, made up of military units from Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, which supervised the Palestinian evacuation and later stayed to keep the peace. The IDF occupation also created an expedient climate for Bashir Jumayyil (and, subsequently, for his brother Amin) to win the presidency.

In addition, there were several less direct consequences. The occupation of Muslim West Beirut allowed Christian forces on September 27-28, 1982, to enter the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, where they massacred several hundred civilians. Lebanese Shias, who were severely affected by the invasion and occupation, turned their enmity on the Israelis. As a show of support for their coreligionists, the government of Iran, with Syrian approval, dispatched a contingent of the Pasdaran to the Biqa Valley. Anti-Israeli Shia opposition burgeoned during the occupation, and there were several suicide-bombing incidents perpetrated against IDF positions.

In 1987 Israel's relations with Lebanon continued to revolve around the issue of security. Israel retained its support of the SLA's activities in southern Lebanon, maintained its ties to the LF, and perpetuated its policy of attacking Palestinian and Lebanese targets that Israel labeled "terrorist" bases.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Palestinians

Lebanon

Palestinians have been an integral part of the Lebanese polity since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. At that time, many fled to Lebanon. This refugee population increased after the June 1967 War and the 1970 eviction of the PLO from Jordan. By 1987 there were about 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon.

As Palestinian guerrilla activity launched from Lebanon against Israel increased in the late 1960s, it gave rise to serious security and political problems for the Lebanese government. The PLO forces in southern Lebanon created what amounted to a distinct Palestinian entity, outside the control of the central authorities. PLO transgressions (tajawuzat) against the Lebanese populace and Israeli military attacks made the situation critical. Political battles between Christians and Muslims centered on the role in Lebanon of Palestinian guerrillas, who were effectively conducting foreign policy that had deep repercussions for the Lebanese government. The 1969 Cairo Agreement, brokered by other Arab states, was an attempt to reduce tensions by limiting the scope of Palestinian actions in Lebanon; this arrangement, however, was never successful.

During the 1975 Civil War, the Palestinian population in the Beirut area suffered extraordinarily, as urban refugee camps were besieged by Christian militias. In contrast, some Palestinian liberation groups were in the middle of the fiercest fighting and inflicted considerable damage on the Lebanese Front. Furthermore, the PLO increased its dominance because its forces controlled areas out of the reach of the Lebanese Front.

Throughout the 1980s, Palestinian fortunes in Lebanon dwindled. The Israeli invasion was a serious setback, followed closely by the Sabra and Shatila massacres. In 1983 intra-Palestinian hostility was particularly pronounced, as factions battled near Tripoli; in the process, pro-Arafat forces were evicted by Syrian-backed elements. Moreover, the war of human attrition between Palestinians in the refugee camps of Beirut and the Amal militia that began in 1985 had not ceased by late 1987. This tragic situation illustrated the complexity of Lebanese political events, showing that hostility to the PLO was not confined to Christian groups. Nonetheless, by late 1987 the PLO still enjoyed control of much of the Sidon region and retained a strategic foothold in Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Iran

Lebanon

The importance of Iran to Lebanon's foreign relations increased in the 1980s. Following the success of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini was anxious to spread its message to other Shias. This message found an audience in Lebanon's chronically downtrodden Shia community. Iran provided financial and inspirational support to several Lebanese Shia organizations in the early 1980s. Then, in 1982, as a show of solidarity against the Israeli invasion, a contingent of the Pasdaran arrived and established a base near Baalbek in the Biqa Valley. These units not only operated as a defense force but also set up medical facilities to serve the local populace.

In the late 1980s, Iranian-sponsored groups stepped up efforts to gain support among Lebanese Shias by providing sorely needed economic relief and social services. These groups (in particular Hizballah, which was reported to be receiving substantial financial aid from Iran) were able to use Iranian resources to run hospitals, pay families' school fees, remove refuse, and participate in housing reconstruction. These actions frequently drew supporters away from Amal, which for the most part was allied to Syria; Amal simply was unable to distribute the same level of aid as was Hizballah.

For Western nations, the most significant aspect of Iran's influence in Lebanon has been the acceptance of the Islamic Republic's "antiforeign" rhetoric. In accordance with this principle, some extremist Shias, many acting under the name of the Islamic Jihad Organization, have carried out violent acts against the foreign community.

Lebanon

Lebanon - United States

Lebanon

Before the 1975 Civil War, Lebanon enjoyed generally good official relations with the United States. In large measure, these ties were promoted by the sizable Lebanese-American community. One incident that weakened these relations was the United States role in the 1958 Civil War. At that time, the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatched a unit of United States Marines to aid the government of President Shamun. Shamun's regime was under pressure from a part of the Muslim community to strengthen ties to Egypt and Syria, which had just formed the United Arab Republic and were considered by some to be in the "radical Arab" camp. The Marines were never engaged in battle and were withdrawn soon after their arrival. Even so, many Lebanese and other Arab states viewed the United States action as interference in Lebanon's internal affairs.

In the early 1980s, following the worst fighting of the 1975 Civil War, the United States became involved in Lebanon in several ways. On the political level, it sought to bolster the presidency of Amin Jumayyil and to broker a treaty between Lebanon and Israel. On the military level, the United States hoped to keep peace as part of the MNF. On the economic level, the United States planned to assist in Lebanon's reconstruction. These tasks were never completed, however. The United States support for the pro-Jumayyil, Christian brigades of the Lebanese Army during the 1983-84 Mountain War turned into a fiasco. Not only did the United States lose two aircraft to ground fire, but the shelling of Druze and Shia population centers by the U.S.S. New Jersey convinced most Lebanese Muslims that the United States had taken the Christian side. Likewise, by 1984, in the face of renewed fighting, the business of reconstruction became a faint hope. The attacks on the United States embassy and annex, and on the MNF contingent, and the kidnapping of United States citizens eventually forced the administration of President Ronald Reagan to minimize United States involvement in the increasingly ungovernable Lebanese state.

Lebanon

Lebanon - Bibliography

Lebanon
Al-Bustani, Fuad Afram. "Notes on Lebanon under the Emirs, 1516-
     1842." Pages 237-39 in Beirut College for Women (ed.),
     Cultural Resources in Lebanon. Beirut: Libraire du
     Liban, 1969.

Bulloch, John. Death of a Country. London: Weidenfeld and
     Nicholson, 1977.

------. Final Conflict: The War in the Lebanon. London:
     Century, 1983.

Christopher, John B. Lebanon: Yesterday and Today. New
     York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1966.

Cobban, Helena. The Making of Modern Lebanon. Boulder,
     Colorado: Westview Press, 1985.

Deeb, Marius. The Lebanese Civil War. New York: Praeger,
     1980.

Fisher, W.B. "Lebanon." Pages 554-82 in Middle East and North
     Africa, 1988. London: Europa, 1987.

Gilmour, David. Lebanon: The Fractured Country. New York:
     St. Martin's Press, 1983.

Glubb, John Bagot. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan. New York:
     Walker, 1967.

Gordon, David C. Lebanon: The Fragmented Nation. London:
     Croom Helm, 1980.

------. The Republic of Lebanon: Nation in Jeopardy.
     Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1983.

Hitti, Philip K. History of the Arabs. New York:
     Macmillan, 1956.

------. Lebanon in History: From the Earliest Times to the
     Present. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1957.

------. The Origins of the Druze People and Religion. New
     York: AMS Press, 1966.

------. A Short History of Lebanon. New York: St. Martin's
     Press, 1965.

Hourani, Albert H. Syria and Lebanon. London: Oxford
     University Press, 1946.

Hudson, Michael C. The Precarious Republic. New York:
     Random House, 1968.

Ismail, Adel. Le Liban: Histoire d'un Peuple. Beirut: Dar
     al Makhouf, 1968.

Kerr, Malcolm H. Lebanon in the Last Years of Feudalism, 1840-
     1868. Beirut: Catholic Press, 1959.

Khalaf, Samir. Persistence and Change in 19th Century Lebanon:
     A Sociological Essay. Beirut: American University of
     Beirut, 1979.

Khalidi, Rashid. Under Siege: PLO Decisionmaking During the
     1982 War. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.

Khalidi, Walid. Conflict and Violence in Lebanon: Confrontation
     in the Middle East. Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
     1979.

Longrigg, Stephen H. Syria and Lebanon under French
     Mandate. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Lyautey, Pierre. Le Liban Moderne. Paris: Julliard, 1964.

Mayer, Thomas. "Lebanon." Pages 663-86 in Colin Legum (ed.),
     Middle East Contemporary Survey, 1980-81. New York:
     Holmes and Meier, 1982.

Olmert, Yosef. "Lebanon." Pages 702-33 in Colin Legum (ed.),
     Middle East Contemporary Survey, 1981-82. New York:
     Holmes and Meier, 1983.

Peretz, Don. The Middle East Today. New York: Praeger,
     1983.

Rabinovich, Itamar. The War for Lebanon, 1970-1983.
     Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984.

Rabinovich, Itamar, and Hanna Zamir. "Lebanon." Pages 603-27 in
     Colin Legum (ed.), Middle East Contemporary Survey, 1977-
     78. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1979.

------. "Lebanon." Pages 492-525 in Colin Legum (ed.), Middle
     East Contemporary Survey, 1976-77. New York: Holmes and
     Meier, 1978.

Randal, Jonathan C. Going All the Way. New York: Viking
     Press, 1983.

Salibi, Kamal S. Crossroads to Civil War: Lebanon, 1958-
     76. Delmar, New York: Caravan Books, 1976.

------. Maronite Historians of Medieval Lebanon. New York:
AMS Press, 1980.

------. The Modern History of Lebanon. Delmar, New York:
     Caravan Books, 1977.

Seeden, Helga. "Coastal Lebanon." Pages 56-70 in Beirut College for
     Women (ed.), Cultural Resources in Lebanon. Beirut:
     Libraire du Liban, 1969.

Ward, William A. "Ancient Lebanon." Pages 11-32 in Beirut College
     for Women (ed.), Cultural Resources in Lebanon.
     Beirut: Libraire du Liban, 1969.

Yazbek, Yusif I. "Lebanese History Between 1841 and 1920." Pages
     240-42 in Beirut College for Women (ed.), Cultural
     Resources in Lebanon. Beirut: Libraire du Liban, 1969.

Zamir, Meier. The Formation of Modern Lebanon. London:
     Croom Helm, 1985.

Ziadeh, Nicola A. Syria and Lebanon. New York: Praeger,
     1957.

Lebanon





CITATION: Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. The Country Studies Series. Published 1988-1999.

Please note: This text comes from the Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program. The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.


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