Remarkable Facts About Lebanon
The total population of Lebanese people is estimated at 18 million, of which about 75% is living abroad; six to seven million Lebanese people live in Brazil, while most others reside in the United States, South America and Australia.
The last official census in Lebanon was performed under the French Mandate in 1932, when the Christians formed a small majority. In 1943, based on this consensus, it was agreed that the Lebanese president needs to be a Maronite Christian. This continues to be practice, even though Muslims nowadays are in the majority.
In Lebanon, there is no such thing as civil marriage. Only religious marriages regulated by religious authorities are possible. This is one of the reasons why people go abroad (e.g. to Cyprus) to get married.
The rate of Lebanese currency has not changed since 1997. Before the Civil War, one US Dollar was worth three LBP. During the Civil War, the value decreased rapidly until 1992, when one US Dollar was worth about 2500 LBP. Slowly, the value increased again and since 1997 the rate has been fixed at 1500 LBP per US Dollar. As a consequence, larger and larger notes needed to be printed; while in 1963 the 250 LBP was the largest note, it is now the smallest coin.
In Lebanon there are two rental systems: new rent that expires and old rent that never does and can also be inherited, even if the tenants leave the house. The consequence of the latter is generations of families renting houses for a fixed fee of 250 LBP a month, with the owners left with no other choice than to stop investing and maintaining the premises. This is one of the reasons why many historical buildings are in ruins.
Eminent domain does not exist in Lebanon. Lebanese families fleeing Lebanon and leaving behind their houses can still claim ownership of these often desolated and ruined buildings; a big challenge that companies are facing while reconstructing post-war Beirut.
Lebanon is one of the few middle eastern countries using Daylight Saving Time (DST), thereby following the European schedule.
The border between Israel and Lebanon has been closed since 2000, therefore the only way to enter Lebanon by land is via Syria (Note: at the time of writing this is highly discouraged due to the war in Syria).
In Lebanon, all Woody Allen movies used to be banned as they were considered Jewish propaganda.