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Lebanon

The Republic of Lebanon is a parliamentary republic. Political power is concentrated in the office of the President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, each representing one of Lebanon's three largest religious sects (Maronite Christians, Sunni and Shi'a Muslims). Since 1973, Lebanon has been in a state of war with Israel. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Lebanon for additional information.

Lebanon

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Lebanon
Continent: Asia (Middle East)
Capital City: Beirut
Boundary Countries: Israel, Syria
Recommended Hospitals in Capital: Beirut:American University of Beirut Medical Center, Al-Rassoul Al-Aazam Hospital, Bahman Hospital, Clemenceau Medical Center, Consulting Clinics, Hotel Dieu De France Hospital, Lebanese-Canadian Hospital, Makassed General Hospital, Najjar Hospital, Rizk Hospital, Salhel General Hospital, St. George University Hospital Medical Center
Bekaa:Khoury General Hospital, Tatari Hospital
El Chouf:Ain Wazein Hospital
Hamra:Fouad Khoury Hospital
Jounieh: Hopital Notre Dame du Liban
Matn: Abou Jaoude Hospital
Tripoli: Monla Hospital, Nini Hospital
Tyre: Hiram Hospital
Main Cities: Beirut, Bekaa, Tyre, Tripoli, Sidon, Jbail, Baalbeck, Sidon, Zahlé, El Mina, Chekka, Batroun, Jounié, Naqoura, Hermel, Jazzin
Country Size: 10,400 sq km
Population: 3,925,502

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian

Currency: Lebanese Pound (LBP)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim 59.7% (Shi'a, 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, Copt, Protestant), other 1.3%
note: 17 religious sects recognized

National Holidays: Independence Day, 22 November (1943)
Economic Status:

The Israeli-Hizballah conflict caused an estimated $3.6 billion in infrastructure damage in July and August of 2006, and internal Lebanese political tension continues to hamper economic activity.

Security:

Lebanese Armed Forcees (LAF): Army, Navy, and Air Force

US Presence:

The US Embassy is located in Awkar, near Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon. Public access hours for American citizens are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 8:00a to 11:00a for regular consular services. Consular Report of Births Abroad (birth certificates for newborns) are handled Wednesdays only from 8:00a to 11:00a. The telephone numbers are (961-4) 542-600, 543-600, and fax 544-209, and American citizens who require emergency services outside of these hours may contact the Embassy by telephone at any time. American citizens registering at the embassy can receive updated information and warden messages via e-mail by subscribing to join-wardenmessagebeirut@mh.databack.com. Information on consular services and registration can be found at http://lebanon.usembassy.gov or by phone at the above telephone numbers between 2:00p and 4:00p Monday through Friday local time.

Document Requirements: Passports and visas are required. American citizens coming to Lebanon for tourism can purchase a short-term visa at the border. Travelers holding passports that contain visas or entry/exit stamps for Israel will likely be refused entry into Lebanon. Travelers whose passports contain Israeli stamps or visas and who also hold an "Arab nationality" may be subject to arrest and imprisonment. Travelers who have overstayed their entry visa validity in Lebanon have to adjust their status with the Central Department of Surete General (Department of Passport and Immigration) prior to their departure. Further information on entry/exit requirements can be obtained from the Embassy of Lebanon, 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20008, tel (202) 939-6300. Travelers may also contact one of the Consulates General.
Major Airports:

Airports:  7, Airports w/paved runways:  5

Beirut – Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY/OLBA)
Beirut Airport, Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961 (0)1 628190/2
Fax: +961 (0)1 629013
Website: www.beirutairport.gov.lb

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US Dept. of State TRAVEL WARNING for LEBANON Updated 13 May 2009
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_3072.html

The Department of State continues to urge US citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon due to current safety and security concerns. Americans presently living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on September 10, 2008 and updates information on security threats and ongoing political violence in Lebanon.
While Lebanon enjoys periods of relative calm, the potential for a spontaneous upsurge in violence is real. Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors to the country should violence erupt suddenly. US Embassy personnel practice strict security precautions at all times. Access to borders and ports can be interrupted with little or no warning. Under such circumstances, travel of US Embassy personnel would likely be restricted further, hindering their ability to reach travelers or provide emergency services.
Clashes in the northern city of Tripoli in 2008 resulted in more than twenty fatalities and numerous injuries. Additionally, a bomb exploded next to a city bus in Tripoli on August 13, 2008, killing fourteen people. The US Embassy recommends that US citizens in Tripoli consider these risks in light of past events.
On May 7, 2008, Hizballah militants blocked the road to Rafiq Hariri International Airport. The action rendered the airport inaccessible and travelers were unable to enter or leave the country via commercial air carriers. Armed Hizballah and other opposition members proceeded to enter areas of Lebanon not traditionally under their control, resulting in heavy fighting and a number of casualties. Full access to the airport was restored on May 21, 2008 when hostilities subsided. However, the US remains concerned about the potential for violence, with little or no warning.
The threat of anti-Western terrorist activity exists in Lebanon; groups such as Al-Qaeda and Jund al-Sham are present in the country and have issued statements calling for attacks against Western interests in the past.
Landmines and unexploded ordnance continually pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon, particularly south of the Litani River, as well as in areas of the country where civil war fighting was intense. More than a dozen civilians have been killed and over 100 injured by unexploded ordnance following the armed conflict in July-August 2006. Travelers should watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all areas where landmines and unexploded ordnance may be present.
US citizens traveling or resident in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should be aware that the US Embassy has a limited ability to reach all areas of Lebanon. The Embassy cannot guarantee that Embassy employees will be able to render assistance to US citizens in all areas of the country.  Furthermore, in the event that the security climate in the country worsens, American should be aware that they will bear the responsibility of arranging their own travel out of Lebanon. Americans with special medical or other needs should be aware of the risks of remaining given their condition, and should be prepared to seek treatment in Lebanon if they cannot arrange for travel out of the country.
US Government-facilitated evacuations such as those that took place in 2006 occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation would be provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the US Government for travel costs. A lack of a valid current US passport will slow the US Embassy’s ability to provide assistance. US citizens remaining in Lebanon should therefore ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times. US Legal Permanent Residents should consult with the Department of Homeland Security before they depart the United States to ensure they have proper documentation to re-enter. Further information on the Department’s role during emergencies is provided at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html
The Department of State considers the threat to US Government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, access by US Embassy officials to certain areas of the country. Unofficial travel to Lebanon by US Government employees and their family members requires prior approval by the Department of State.
American citizens who come to work in Lebanon should ensure that their Lebanese employer arranges for proper documentation to remain in the country; this includes professional athletes, who should ensure that their sponsoring club/team arranges for them to receive the correct visas valid for the duration of their stay.
Americans planning to travel between Lebanon and Syria should consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Syria, which can be found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/. Americans planning to travel to Syria from Lebanon are strongly advised to obtain a Syrian visa before leaving the United States.
The Embassy is located in Awkar, near Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon. Public access hours for American citizens are Monday through Thursday, 8:00a to 11:00a; however, American citizens who require emergency services outside of these hours may contact the embassy by telephone at any time. The telephone numbers are (961-4) 542-600, 543-600, and fax 544-209.
American citizens may register with the embassy online by visiting https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs. Americans are strongly encouraged to update their registration information if it is no longer current. Information on consular services and registration can also be found at http://lebanon.usembassy.gov or by phone at the above telephone numbers between 2:00p and 4:00p, Monday through Friday local time.
Updated information on travel and security in Lebanon may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the US and Canada or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. Additional details can be found in the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Lebanon and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Department's Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR Total: 23.39 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 73.15 years (male 70.67/female 75.77)

Immunization Indicators:

Required:  None
Recommended:  Hep A & B, Typhoid
Boosters:  MMR, DPT

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is reported throughout the Middle Eastern area, especially in countries bordering the Mediterranean; visceral leishmaniasis, although rare throughout most of the area, occurs focally in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. West Nile Virus is another vector-borne infection found in the region. Measles continues to reported from the region.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

In Beirut and the surrounding areas, modern medical care and medicines are widely available. Such facilities are not always available in outlying areas, although no location in the country is more than three hours from the capital.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for services, and without such payment may deny service even in emergency cases.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 2
Referrals: 21
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in the Middle Eastern region. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +961
Internet Country Code:  .lb

 



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