Middle East

Middle East


World Region: 
Middle East
National Symbol: 
Geographic Area: 
4,015 sq. mi.
Time Zone: 
UTC + 2 hours
Mediterranean, mild to cool in winter, hot and dry in summer
3,908,000 (2010 est.)
Major Cities: 
  • Beirut
  • Tripoli
  • Zahle
US Consulate/Embassy Contact Info: 
U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon Address: Awkar facing the Municipality P.O. Box 70-840 Antelias Ambassador: Maura Connelly Deputy Chief of Mission: Richard M. Mills
Daily Life
Official Language: 
Primary Language, other: 
Secondary Languages: 
  • English
  • Armenian
Lebanese Pound (LBP)
National Dish: 
  • Kibbeh, a meat pie with bulghur wheat, and Tabbouli, a salad of bulghur, tomato and parsley or mint
National Beverage: 
  • Arak, anise liquor
Legal Drinking Age: 
Legal Driving Age: 
Tipping Customs: 
Tip 10 percent in restaurants.
Health Concerns, other: 
Cutaneous leishmaniasis is reported in countries bordering the Mediterranean; visceral leishmaniasis is more rare in the Middle East.
Rabies vaccines are recommended for those visiting remote areas or working with animals.
Visa Required: 
  • Americans
Visa Information: 
Passports and visas are required. U.S. citizens coming to Lebanon for tourism can purchase a short-term visa at the border or airport. Travelers whose passports contain stamps or visas from Israel may be detained and/or imprisoned. More information is available from the Embassy of Lebanon to the United States: http://www.lebanonembassyus.org/consular_affairs/visas.html
Passport Office: 
In-country, contact the U.S. Embassy at the address above.
Mobile Networks: 
  • GSM
Phone Country Code: 
Political History
Capital City: 
Ruling Party: 
President Michel Sulayman is an Independent
Minority Parties: 
  • Democratic Left
  • Democratic Renewal Movement
  • Future Movement Bloc
  • Kataeb Party
  • Lebanese Forces
  • Tripoli Independent Bloc
  • Development and Resistance Bloc
  • Free Patriotic Movement
  • Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc
  • Nasserite Popular Movement
  • Popular Bloc
  • Syrian Ba'th Party
  • Syrian Social Nationalist Party
  • Tashnaq
  • Democratic Gathering Bloc
  • Metn Bloc
Primary Imports: 
  • Petroleum products
  • Cars
  • Medicinal products
  • Clothing
  • Meat and live animals
  • Consumer goods
  • Paper
  • Textile and fabrics
  • Tobacco
  • Electrical machinery and equipment
  • Chemicals
Primary Exports: 
  • Jewelry
  • Base metals
  • Chemicals
  • Miscellaneous consumer goods
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Tobacco
  • Construction minerals
  • Electric power machinery and switchgear
  • Textile fibers
  • Paper
Religious/Tribal Clans: 
  • Arab (95 percent)
  • Armenian (4 percent)
Religious/Tribal Clans Demographics: 
Muslim 59.7% (Shia, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Coptic, Protestant), other 1.3%. NOTE: According to the CIA World Factbook, "many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians."

Middle East

The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and North Africa.

The region that Global Parachute delineates as the Middle East includes the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Gaza Strip, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Yemen.

The state of media throughout the Middle East has not been a free flow of information and opportunity for journalists. The chaotic climate for journalists in the Middle East have come in the form of death -- notably two prominent photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros in April 2011 while covering the conflict in Libya -- injury, violence, prison, deportation, censorship and the economic climate faced by many news organizations that have downsized stripping resources and manpower on the ground.

On July 30, NATO warplanes attacked three television transmission towers in Libya. The goal apparently was to knock Libyan state television off the air because, NATO alleged, "it was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them." News reports in Iran continue to indicate that furloughed journalists are being summoned back to prison while new journalists continue to be convicted on manufactured charges. Reports of journalists' deteriorating physical and mental health are equally disturbing.  Read more »

Syndicate content