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The Lebanese People at Home and Abroad:
    Lebanon was given freedom in 1918 by the victory of the Allies and achieved full independence in 1943. Always a nation of travelers and traders, by the early 1970's there were some 2 million Lebanese living in their homeland while an almost equal number had settled in every continent of the world. After 1975 the war encouraged even larger numbers to emigrate to western and Arab countries where they have contributed their skills, notably in the fields of science, medicine and commerce. At home or abroad the Lebanese are known for their kindness and hospitality. These qualities, combined with family oriented way of life, make visitors feel both welcome and at ease.

A Country for All Seasons:
Lebanon is one of the few winter sports centers
in the Middle East and certainly the most extensive. The season begins in December and continues until April in a winter landscape unique
in the world. The larger resorts have hotels, chalets
and other facilities, including good ski lifts.
There are six winter resorts: The Cedars (2,300 meters), Faraya/Ouyoun es-Siman (1,890 meters), Laqlouq
(1,740 meters), Faqra (1,750 meters), Qanat Bakiche (1,990 meters) and Zaarour (1.990 meters).


In Lebanon you can swim in the sea
in winter as well as spring and an hour later ski at 1,900 meters. It almost never rains between June and October so in summer and autumn it is easy to go from sea to mountain, where another world awaits. Lebanon's mountain villages and towns are worth a visit any time of the year. While some were damaged by war most are thriving towns that offer not only entertainment but a glimpse of the traditional life style not often seen in large cities.

   In the Shouf mountains there is Deir El Qamar with its white houses and red tile roofs built on steep slopes. This was the residence of the governors of Lebanon in the 16th-18th centuries. Many historic buildings here have been restored, such as the Fakhreddin Mosque and the Baz and Al-Kharge palaces. Most recently the central square of this historic town was cleaned and restored.

   Bsharré in the north, the picturesque gateway to the Cedars of Lebanon, is the birthplace of the famous Lebanese poet Gibran Khalil Gibran. Here one may visit the Gibran Museum and the many ancient churches and monasteries in the vicinity.

   Zahlé, the main city of the Beqaa, is popular for its arak, wine and delicious food.
It's not surprising then that one of the main attractions here is the oasis of vine-covered restaurants situated beside the cool Bardouni rive. A picturesque town known for its comfortable climate, Zahle is often referred to as the "Bride of the Beqaa".

   The coastline between Tripoli and Sidon is punctuated by all kinds of leisure facilities from well-equipped swim resorts and family-run fish restaurants to luxurious condominiums. Between Beirut and Byblos is the town of Jounieh which has a lovely bay with craggy mountains rising just behind. Jounieh enjoys one of the most beautiful natural settings on the coast, although since 1975 high-rise buildings and resort complexes have somewhat dwarfed the old town. Jounieh has long been known for the landmark statue of the Virgin of Harissa high above the bay, reached by road or by spectacular, near-vertical cable car ride.

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