Lebanon Profile 



Lebanon, which lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, is 210 km long (maritime front) and has an average width of 50 km. It is not a large country but, within its small area, there is considerable topographical diversity:

* There is, first, a very narrow and flat coastal plain in which are found the capital and other principal centres of population and industry.

* The land then rises steeply to a series of crests and ridges: Mount Lebanon. These ridges, which run parallel to the coast, are capped with snow from about December to May. The snow-clad peaks - the highest summit, Qornet ElSaouda (the Cedars) stands at 3.083 m - present an unusual sight for the Middle East, and from them the name Lebanon is thought to originate (‘laban’ is Aramaic for ‘white’). The mountainside is dotted with picturesque villages, containing the red-roofed houses so typical of Lebanese architecture.

* The land falls off sharply on the eastern side of Mount Lebanon to form a valley about 15 km wide. This is known as the Beka’a; it is fertile and is the main agricultural center of the country. It was once the granary for the Roman Empire, and there was built majestic Baalbeck. The Beka’a stretches eastwards to the last geographical feature of Lebanon, an arid range of mountains running north-south and forming the border with Syria. This range is known as the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, the highest point of which is 2814 m.

* RIVERS (nahr): Two main rivers: the Orontes (Nahr al-Assi) in the Beka’a flowing into Syria and the river Al-Litani which runs totally in Lebanon and is the only major river in the Near East not crossing an international boundary. Other rivers include (from North to South): Nahr Al-Kabir, Nahr Al-Bared, Nahr Kadisha, Nahr Al-Jawz, Nahr Ibrahim, Nahr Al-Kalb, Nahr Beirut, Nahr Al-Damour, Nahr Al-Awali, Nahr Al-Zahrani, Nahr Al-Berdawni and Nahr Hasbani.

* LAKES: al Qira’oun (formed by a dam on Nahr Al-Litani), Yammunah


AREA: Total area: 10452 square kilometres (approximately 735 times smaller than Australia; 65 times smaller than Tasmania; 4.4 times the size of the A.CT.)  

CLIMATE: Mediterranean with an average of 300 sunny days a year. Rainfall between 700-1200 mm  a year, over a period of four months. Heavy winter snows in the mountains.

 Useful Links

Maps of the Middle East

Almashriq   / Maps

Lebanon.Com   / Road Maps


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