, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a Middle Eastern country located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea in southwestern Asia. Covering an area of 4,036 square miles (10,452 sq km), Lebanon has an estimated population of 6,685,000 in 2022. Its capital and largest city is Beirut.
Lebanese people are ethnically a mix of Phoenician, Greek, Armenian, and Arab elements. Arabic is the official language, but French, English, Armenian, and Kurdish are also spoken. Islam, Christianity, and Druze are the main religions practiced in the country. The currency is the Lebanese pound.
The Lebanon Mountains form part of the country's central region, while the Anti-Lebanon and Hermon ranges line the eastern border. Low coastal plains stretch along the Mediterranean coast. Originally, much of Lebanon was covered in forests — including famous cedars — but these now only occupy a small portion of the country. As such, Lebanon must import most of its food.
Lebanon's role as a financial hub of the Middle East was damaged during the civil war of 1975-90. Today, it is a unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house. The head of state is the president, while the prime minister serves as head of government.
Despite its turbulent past, Lebanon stands out as a vibrant cultural and economic center of the Middle East. It is a place where diverse religious groups live together in harmony and enjoy a unique mix of ancient and modern attractions.