If there’s one Middle Eastern country that is truly distinctive from other countries in the region, it has to be Lebanon. It is an incredible tourist destination with its fascinating historical landmarks, pristine beaches, delicious cuisine, stellar night life and picturesque mountains. The country truly offers something for everyone’s taste. Want to know more about this country? Here are 10 interesting that might surprise you!
1. The country’s name is known to be the oldest in the world and has remained unchanged for over 4000 years.
2. According to Christianity, Jesus Christ made his 1st miracle in Lebanon, in Sidon (The miracle of turning water into wine).
3. The Phoenicians (Original People of Lebanon) built the 1st boat, and they were the first to sail ever. This made them reach America before Christopher Columbus did!
4. If we are talking about firsts, then you should also know that the first ever law school in the world was built in Lebanon. The Roman Empire, presumably under Emperor Augustus in the first century AD, built a law school in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon as well as one of the oldest cities in the world. The Beirut-based Roman law school, which was destroyed in 551 A.D., is widely believed to be the first of its kind. Also, it had earned more recognition than any other law school in the Empire, which is why Beirut became known as the “Mother of Laws” back then.
5. It is the only middle eastern country which does not have a desert. If you think about a middle eastern country, the first thing that’ll come to your mind are the vast desert lands with people riding camels. But no, that’s not the case here. On the contrary, it witnesses snowfall, and even has ski resorts that remain open for as long as three months a year.
6. More Lebanese live outside the country than within. The estimated population of the country is six to seven million whereas it is estimated that eight to fourteen million Lebanese live outside the country.
7. Another interesting fact is that Lebanon ranks the highest among the other countries in the Arab world in Human Development Index and GDP per capita.
8. In Lebanon, a piece of land can have two legal owners. Yes, this is true! The piece of land is owned by one and the crop growing on the land is owned by other. So, if you were to buy the piece of land, you would need to pay both these parties before you become the sole owner of the land.
9. Byblos (city in Lebanon) is the oldest, continuously living city in the world and the first alphabet was created here.
10. The country ranks third in the world for cigarette consumption. According the World Health Organization, the country had the third-greatest number of smokers per capita in the world in 2015. On an average, a person consumes between eight and nine cigarettes per day. Around one-third of the country’s youth smoke today, with many of them starting at the tender of 11 or 12.
How to reach?
Beirut’s international airport is well connected internationally, from across European cities, the Middle East and the Asian countries among others. The airlines that go from India to Lebanon are Kuwait Airways, Emirates, Air Arabia, Etihad, Jet Airways, Gulf Air, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, and Qatar Airways.
Byblos: Located one hour away from the capital city, Byblos is one of the best places to visit if you live history, and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Museum of Obelisks was built 3200 to 3600 years ago, and is a surreal experience to visit. The Crusader Fort and the Sultan Abdul Majid Mosque are also pieces of history that are worth a visit.
Jeita Grotto: This place tops every list of the travellers of wish to visit Lebanon. What makes this place so special is its natural rock formations, untouched by people except to facilitate transportation through the cave. Divided into two sections, you can walk and take a boat ride through this beautiful site.
Baatara Gorge Waterfall: Among the greens and highlands, Baatara Gorge is a waterfall that drops through a sinkhole that is 255 meters deep. The view alone is astonishingly mesmerizing! Geologists theorize that the site is millions of years old and may have existed alongside the dinosaurs.
Raouche Pigeon Rocks: Raouche Rocks are rock formations surrounded by the sea and have a majestic look. You can admire the sea and the rocks while taking a stroll along the corniche. It is a must-see site in Lebanon.