Have you ever wondered what it is like to live on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where warmth covers your back year-round? Have you ever desired to live in a place of nature and beauty? If you lived in Lebanon, you’d know exactly what I am talking about. Lebanon is a small but extraordinary country located in the Middle East. Lebanon is famous for many things. One of those things would be their healthy, yet tasty food. An example would be Hummus. Hummus is a very common food in Lebanon, which is eaten very often there. Hummus is made out of chickpeas, with other various seasonings.
Not only are the Lebanese people known for their amazing food, but their dance and poetry. Lebanon is famous for two types of dances in specific. The first one is Dabkeh. Dabkeh is a dance that is usually done on special occasions such as weddings, by men and women of all ages. The second dance is the Raqs sharqi, belly dancing. Women, usually at fancy restaurants or concerts, do this type of dance. Last but not least the Lebanese are very well known for zajal, or poetry. Khalil Gibran, who was Lebanese, was very well known for this.
As I was researching my topic on Lebanon I found some weird, yet interesting facts. First, I would like to begin with the government of Lebanon. This is something that is very popularly discussed. The government of Lebanon is the complete opposite of the United States, and was designed by France when Lebanon gained their independence from them in 1943. The president must be Maronite Catholic. Michel Suleiman currently holds this position. Since Lebanon does not have a vice president they have a speaker of the house instead. A Shi’tte Muslim can only take this position, and that person is Nabih Berri.
Last but not least there is the prime minister, and a Sunni Muslim can only take this position. Saad Hariri currently holds it. The purpose of this odd government is to show that no religion will overpower the other. There are so many other facts about Lebanon that will most definitely surprise you. Did you know that 30% of the Lebanese people in Lebanon are Christian? The most surprising part is that this is the highest percentage in all of the Arab countries. Another cool fact is that 70% of all students in Lebanon are put in private schools.
With this high percentage, the rate for doctors in Lebanon is about one doctor per twenty people. Another main reason for such a high rate can be because Lebanon is also known to have as many as forty-two universities. With all of this, there has been estimated about twelve million people outside of Lebanon! There was so much new information that I had come across on while researching my endless topic. Did you know that way before countries were organized the Lebanese people were actually known as the Phoenicians? The Phoenicians actually lived in the city of Byblos, which is in Lebanon.
Byblos is also known to be the oldest living city in the world! It was actually in that city, that the first alphabet was created. This alphabet was very similar to the one we use today and consists of twenty-two consonants. The Phoenicians created this. It was also said that the Phoenicians, who were very good sailors, reached the America’s long before Christopher Columbus did. Not only did I come across new information about the history of Lebanon, but also its recent actions. I was very surprised to hear that the first law school was built in downtown Beirut, Lebanon’s capital.
Lebanon is also the only Arab country without a desert. Did you know that Beirut was rebuilt seven times! This mainly had to happen after wars. One last thing, that I had to see to believe, was that the word “Lebanon” appears seventy-one times in the Old Testament. Everyone in Lebanon, especially in the older generations had a certain job. Some may not call their duty a job, rather than their lifeline. What I mean is that some people were kind of forced into what they had to do, to keep themselves out of the streets. Some effects of this, was that some people became peddlers.
Peddlers are people who usually migrate to another place, in hope of a better lifestyle. That place was almost always the United States, which is also why there are so many Lebanese people here. Peddlers also brought with them certain goods from their home country, which is Lebanon in this case, and open up a small shop and sell them for a higher price. Some things that would be sold were rugs, crafts, and mainly fruit and vegetables. If the peddler could not open a shop, because they lack money, they would just push around a cart all day. More than half of the things that were put on the cart were sold by the end of the day.
With the money that was made, the peddlers would send money back to their families, in their home country. They would usually save up the rest and spend little on themselves, in hope that one day they would have enough money to open a shop. Generally, peddlers did make a good amount of money, but was a very tiring job. Some people also like to call their jobs a career. In Lebanon, there is always this annual contest that many other countries take part in as well. For Lebanon this contest is called “Miss Lebanon. ” This contest is somewhat a beauty pageant that only woman can take part in.
The women are not only judged on beauty, although are asked questions concerning political and economical issues. The winner is the person whose total score is the highest wins. In conclusion, Lebanon may be small, but its history is huge. You could keep reading on and on, and you could still find something to interest you. I think that is why it is said to have the most books written about it. Anyway, getting the opportunity to research and learn more about my home country was a pleasure. I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than gaining knowledge.