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El Nabatieh
Mount Lebanon

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485 panoramic views of Lebanon included on the site!

Lebanon, gateway to the sun, Doorway to man's Spirit!

Lebanon is the mother of Europe. Europa was the daughter of the king of Tyre, carried away by the god Zeus who appeared to her under the form of a bull and with her scoured the continent that now bears her name. The awesome valley of the river Nahr Ibrahim was the scene of the Dionysian Mysteries which celebrated the love of Ishtar (Aphrodite, Venus) and Adonis, who died and was reborn with the bacchanalia. The written characters of the Phonicians were the basis of the Greek alphabet and the four-yearly games were another gift of Lebanon to Greece, to become famous later as the Olympics.

The genius of our Phoenician ancestors revealed itself in various fields. With the alphabet and its ability to make abstraction, they gave a symbol for each sound. They were the first to observe that the phonetic sounds number only a little over twenty, whereas the Egyptian hieroglyphs or the Babylonian or Sumerian pictographs ran into many thousands, so making communication and exchanges difficult, complicated and long.. The alphabet is simple, easy, approachable and intelligible. The alphabet has permitted the advance of civilization, history, culture and exchange of ideas.

Lebanon, country of peaceful genius, humanism and love, has an eight-thousand-year history of producing philosophers, thinkers, mathematicians, magistrates, soldiers, atomists, navigators, historians, scholars, and pioneers in the fields of research, discovery, metallurgy, industry and agriculture, serving humanity in the past, the present and the future. Just pause and think a minute before this living temple where the light of knowledge and of values has always burned brightly like a beacon guiding the Nations.

Let me name just a few of our renowned fellow-countrymen: Thales, Euclid, Pythagoras, Sunkonyaton. Mokhos, Cadmus and Zenon.

As for our mysteries, we have only to stop to consider God, Il or El, the living God divine and human existing well before the Greek Zeus or the Roman Jupiter, precursor of our Emmanuel.

In this Phoenician religion, where alone there appeared the idea of Resurrection, thousands of years slipped by before our redemption through the death and resurrection of the Messiah, the Christ.

Adonis, this handsome Phoenician god, killed by a wild boar representing the forces of evil in this world, was revived in the springtime and his soul, like his blood, awakened all nature in a humanistic and living mythology.

On this Phoenician soil, mankind saw the first house of hewn stone supported on seven pillars, the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

The Pole Star, named by the Greeks “The Phoenician” after its discoverer, is the one fixed star in the wheeling heavens, so the idea of the compass was transmitted from our shores to China, while the true name of the Mediterranean was the Phoenician Sea. And was not Noah’s Ark built of the wood of our cedars? And what about the construction of temples, and the exploring voyages around the Mediterranean and Africa, with the Red Sea and Suez, and on to America, the Baltic, Polynesia and New Zealand? Let us pause a moment with those others of our country – the emperors, Aurelius and Alexander Severus, our Europa, daughter of Agenor and sister of Cadmus, and Dido, our Helissa, of whom Virgil sang in his Aeniad!

Lebanon is also a Holy Land, for the Gospels tell us that Christ came to Tyre and Sidon, preached there and performed a miracle to cure a Canaanite women. He performed his first public miracle here, changing water into wine, for now both historical references in the Church Fathers and archæological evidence confirm that the place referred to by John the Evangelist was the Cana of South Lebanon.

In the Beirut area there are universities and hospitals of international standing. All along the coast there are restaurants, beach lidos and places of entertainment of every description, and of course supermarkets put all the brand names of the world at the disposition of the client.

One can never be weary of Lebanon because there is so much variety in a country only 10,452 km or 4,180 miles square. In a little less than an hour's drive from the coast one reaches heights of over 2,000 metres or 7,000 feet without leaving the road. There is fine skiing at a time when the Mediterranean is warmer than the North Sea is in summer.

While Arabic is the national language, everywhere there are people who speak English and French, while those of Beirut are largely trilingual. On the seaward slopes of the Lebanon range one is in the world of the Mediterranean, as shown by the traditional architectural forms, the local cuisine and even in some villages the peasant dress. In half an hour one can cross the mountain divide and in the Bekaa Valley find oneself in a world more Arab by its climate, the style of the houses and even the men's dress in some of the Christian and Muslim villages. The coastal climate is ideal in spring and autumn, though rather hot, humid and cloudy from late July to mid-September. But throughout the summer the climate of the Beqaa Valley and the higher mountain slopes is very dry and the sky always blue, so the sun is not at all disagreeable but rather enjoyable.

There is probably no other country in the world where a foreigner so easily feels thoroughly at home, thanks to the open-mindedness of all the inhabitants of Lebanon whatever their religion and community. One finds whole villages tucked away on the mountain slopes whose beauty and prosperity is due to emigrants who have made their fortune in the Americas and there are great numbers of professional men who have pursued their studies in the universities of Europe and the New World.

The Christians belong to various Catholic and Orthodox Churches of the Eastern rites. As for Muslims, there are Sunnites and Shi' ites, as well as Druze. Foreign news media and outside efforts to disrupt Lebanon by a so-called civil war have given a totally false impression of the relations between the different religious communities in Lebanon and the visitor can feel totally at ease anywhere.

Lebanon is a land whose cities go back to the fifth millennium before Christ. At Baalbek one may see the world's largest Roman temple complex, while Beiteddine and Deir al-Qamar are a fairyland.

Lebanon is a land of such attraction that even during the worst years of the war waged in Lebanon between 1975 and 1990, large numbers of foreign residents could not find it in their hearts to leave it. This will probably be the feeling of every visitor to the land.

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Decree N. 2385 of 17/1/1924 as amended by law N. 76 of 3/4/1999 ( articles 2, 5, 15, 49 and 85 ) lays down as follows: The author of a literary or artistic work, by the very fact of authorship, has absolute right of ownership over the work, without obligation of recourse to formal procedures. The author will himself enjoy the benefit of exploitation of his work, and he possesses exclusive rights of publication and of the reproduction under any form whatsoever. Whether the work in question comes under the public domain or not those persons will be liable to imprisonment for a period of one to three years and to fine of between five and fifty million Lebanese pounds, or to either one of these penalties, who 1-will have appended or caused to be appended a usurped name on a literary or artistic work; 2-will have fraudulently imitated the signature or trademark adopted by an author, with a view to deceiving the buyer; 3-will have counterfeited a literary or artistic work; 4-or will have knowingly sold, received, or put on sale or into circulation a work which is counterfeit or signed with a forged signature. The punishment will be increased in the event of repetition.



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