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A Small Look Inside Lebanon Essay

3396 words - 14 pages

In the fertile region of the Middle East, stuck between the Mediterranean sea and the high Anti-Lebanon mountains, stand the magnificent Lebanon, country with very rich history, country that witnessed the war, the peace, the earliest civilization, the first alphabet, and much much more…

Lebanon derived from the Semitic root lbn or white due to the color of its mountains covered with snow while all around lye an endless desert. Although often conquered, Lebanon was never subdued: Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, French, Syria(??), all of them cast their net over this tiny but very rich country, but none of them prevailed, the hand of God liberating it ...view middle of the document...

To describe the situation in Lebanon nowadays, one must speak a little bit of history and illustrate the origin of this “struggle”, but of course being as brief as possible. Lebanon independence was kind of based on a National Pact consisting of Muslims letting go their dream of uniting with the other Arab countries, and the Christians abandoning their claim to join the western nations(France namely), this National Pact included three other things relative to the Arabs and to the distribution of public offices among recognized religion. A first clash happened in 1958, the National Pact being threatened; The advent of Nasser in Egypt, the merger between Syria and Egypt, the Baghdad pact, and Chamoun, president at that time, wanting to be re-elected, ignited a turmoil in Lebanon that ended when Chamoun, invoking the Eisenhower doctrine, called for American troops to intervene against the Muslims, backed by Syria which was in the soviet camp. The American troops had rather symbolic role, but the turmoil ended with the election of Chehab, the commander in chief of the Lebanese army.

During the tenure of president Helou, the Arab-Israeli 1967 war broke out, but despite the fact that Lebanon did not participate in it, it had serious repercussions on all aspects of Lebanese life, the most significant being of course, the increased role of the Palestinians guerrilla groups in their struggle against Israel, using Lebanon as a base of operations. This presence impinged on the effort to maintain the religious balance, for it tended to pit Muslims against Christians. The former considering the Palestinians fighting a noble cause while the latter, considered the effect of this guerrilla on Lebanese security. Israel raided the Beirut international airport in 1968, in retaliation to these attacks by the Palestinians. After the attacks held by the Lebanese army against Palestinians guerrillas, the secret Cairo agreement imposed a cease-fire. Guerrillas did not respect this agreement so further clashes went on. Clashes between the PLO and Jordanian army led the Palestinians to settle even more in Lebanon. Palestinians and the Lebanese left-wing joined hands, causing some clashes between them and the right-wing. Israel retaliated often, making some incursion in southern Lebanon. So despite Lebanon’s policy of non-involvement in the Arab Israeli conflict, this war affected deeply its subsequent history, Lebanon did not have the right to attack the Palestinians as Jordanian did, the Arab pressure being too great on him, especially that a fraction of Lebanese people backed these Palestinians. Lebanese war broke out after some shootings between Palestinians and the phalangists, a Christian extremist group, which was very powerful at that time. Foreign countries intervened, France and the US had bases in Lebanon, but a suicide attack conducted by Hizbollah against them causing 400 dead, resulted in the withdrawal of their troops. Israel invaded the first time...

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