Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Virtual Year Begins | Fast Facts about Lebanon

We are finally headed for Lebanon! 

Did you know where to find Lebanon on a map? It's on the coast of the Mediterranean sea and borders Syria and Israel. It's just the tiniest strip of a country. There are cities and beaches by the sea, and high mountain ranges with forests of pine and cedar trees. I've read that you could be skiing in the mountains while looking out at the sea below. 

Panoramic sunset in Jounieh, Lebanon
Photo Credit: Paul Saad (CC)

  • Lebanon has a population of nearly 6 million people, 87% of which live in urban areas. (There are approximately 18 million Lebanese outside of Lebanon)
  • The majority of the population (95%) are Arabs, though many Christian Lebanese don't identify as Arab but as Phoenicians. 
  • The main religions are Muslim (54%) & Christian (40%)- the highest percentage of all the Arab countries- and altogether there are 18 religious communities.
  • The main languages are Arabic, French, Armenian and English.

In Beirut, the St. George Maronite Cathedral stands right beside the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque.
Photo Credit: Mike (CC)
  • Beirut is the capital and largest city in Lebanon
  • Beirut is the 10th most popular shopping destination in the world
  • Beirut has been destroyed and rebuilt 7 times in its 5000 years due to earthquakes and wars.
  • The first law school in the world was built in Beirut
Temple of Jupiter in Baalbeck, Lebanon
Photo Credit: Paul Saad (CC)
There is quite the rich history in Lebanon (along with the first law school) ...

  • The name "Lebanon" has been unchanged for over 4000 years, making it the oldest known in the world
  • Some of the best preserved Roman ruins are in Lebanon
  • The city Byblos is considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world (having been continuously inhabited for 5000 years)
  • The first alphabet was created in Byblos

Did you learn anything new? 


  1. I knew almost none of this, Marie, so I certainly learnt lots (as always). I didn't even know where it was on the map, although perhaps I shouldn't actually admit that out loud...

    1. Pretty much all new to me too! (And I only learned its location on a map in the past two years... - at least I'll be starting the kids earlier!)

  2. Huh, I hadn't known the name was unchanged that long. Now I'm wanting to dig up my History of Rome podcasts and listen for anything in that area.

    1. I'd love to hear about anything interesting you might come across!

  3. I thought the same as Ticia - amazing Beirut's had the same name for so long. But all your facts are interesting. I'm enjoying learning about Lebanon with you so far and looking forward to more!


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