分享 : 查看游学版图

Lebanon at the crossroads of culture
A tiny country of 10452 square meters, lying on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean, Lebanon has always been a multi-cultural country that assimilated people of various ethnic and religious origins. The geography of Lebanon singles it out: lush green mountains overlooking a rich plain, a stretch of beach that runs along the south-north axis, a climate that has four distinct seasons and the abundance of snow and water have always made it a prize to conquer by invaders in history.
This explains the adaptability of the Lebanese to various cultures. They have lived with the Greeks, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Cruisaders, the Ottomans, the French and various other peoples; and being traders that crossed seas and oceans to buy and sell merchandise, they acquired skills that place the at the center of cross cultural experience and knowhow. Its population of 4 million includes people of 17 different confessions including Christians (Maronites, Orthodox, Catholics, Copts, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Protestants), Shiites, Sunnis, Druze, Jews that lived in harmony most of the time throughout the ages. This mosaic has produced individuals that have a wide understanding and respect of others and has provided an example of tolerance and conviviality.
The main characteristic of the Lebanese individual is hope. Hope no matter what the current situation is. Another is an acute sense of business inherited from his Phoenician ancestors who roamed the seas to buy and sell goods. A third is his sense of hospitality. Tourists in Lebanon leave with a great souvenir of the people and their kindness. The hotel industry was developed well before most other countries in the Middle East and tourism in contemporary times started in the 50’s with the golden age reached in the late 60’s and early 70’s. After a break due to the 1975-1990 unrest and conflict, tourism picked up again and reached new heights with most 5-star chain hotels opening in Beirut and other cities. In the early 2000’s various forms of tourism emerged: eco-tourism, religious tourism,  medical tourism, health and wellness tourism rose as traditional cultural and recreational tourism rose in parallel and regional tourism is now in full development with many families  turning old homes into renovated “maison d’hôtes”.
The Lebanese cuisine had acquired a world reputation for its variety and refinement and has been a main element of promotion of Lebanon as a tourist destination. Another cultural element of prominence is the arts. The movie industry has seen a tremendous development especially in the last ten years and music production places Lebanon at the forefront of Arab countries. The openness of the Lebanese has resulted in a mix of music events that cater to all tendencies and tastes: from Oriental to Jazz including Arab and Western pop, techno and rave, and classical. Another result of this openness is the mix of architectural design that characterizes most cities in Lebanon. Old traditional Lebanese houses now lay side by side with impressive steel and glass towers in Beirut while villas of Swiss design dot the snow resorts landscape. The education is Lebanon has always been its strength: the Lebanese have taught Arabic to Arabs at the end of the Ottoman occupation in the early 1920’s and started newspapers and publishing houses in several Arab countries, starting thus the Arab Renaissance.