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Lebanon Car Hire - Did You Know?
- Is ranked No.1 in the Middle East in the World Justice Prejoect's Rule of Law Index 2011
- Tourism to Lebanon was damaged by the war in 2006 with Israel but is recovering now
- Lebanese food is growing in popularity around the world
- Is approcimately 100 miles south east of Cyprus in the Mediterranean sea
Lebanon Mini Guide
Once the jewel of the eastern Mediterranean, the playground of the rich with a distinctly French flavour, this sad little country has been under violent assault for a decade. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), a Syrian army, an Israeli occupation force, Western and United Nations peace-keeping forces have all been involved; Lebanese have fought Lebanese, and any stranger entering a town must, for his own safety, find out which local militia is in control.
Lebanon is a spectacularly lovely country whose cosmopolitan people were until recently among the most prosperous in the Arab world. The Lebanese are shrewd businessmen and so adaptable that for many years the country was a kind of middleman in a sea of Middle Eastern trouble. Lebanon's main ports, the capital BEIRUT and TRIPOLI, acted as transit centres for the countries of the interior - Syria, Jordan and Iraq. Beirut was the banking centre of the Middle East, and the home of entrepreneurs who could arrange every kind of business deal.
All this has changed. The country is heavily in debt, inflation is rising steeply and at present the people's main aim is just to survive in a land where sniping, bombing, kidnapping and assassination are the daily norm. They have carried on as traders and businessmen in circumstances in which most others would give up in despair. Perhaps they inherited this fortitude from their highly successful trading predecessors, the Phoenicians.
The coast has a warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers. In the mountains, the snow lies from December to May so that in winter it is possible to swim in a warm sea and then go 10 miles inland to ski. Evergreen forests grow in the mountains. The evergreen oak is a familiar tree in much of the country, and Lebanon is famous for its giant cedars, although now only a small number are left in groves over 900 m (2950 ft) above sea level which are carefully protected.