Lebanon: The Paradise from Hell | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Lebanon: The Paradise from Hell

In the old days there was no more charming city in the eastern Mediterranean than Beirut. Set on a maritime plain with the mountains rising dramatically behind it, the scenery was magnificent, the culture charming, the people hospitable and the city rich in history.

Unfortunately, however, Lebanon’s prime geographical position sucked the country and its capital into the vortex of regional and international politics from the 19th century onwards. Sectarianism and the inability of the people to put the interests of their country ahead of their faith dragged it further down. There was no more potent weapon in the armory of scheming outside powers than this massive fault line running through Lebanese society.

Seizing Syria after the First World War, Britain and France chopped it up. Britain gave Palestine – southern Syria – to the Zionists. France kept the rest. In 1918 it occupied Beirut, with the support of the Maronite Christians and against the opposition of the Muslims. Moving across the mountains, it occupied Damascus after defeating a Syrian national force at Khan Maysalun, in the anti-Lebanon mountains about 25 kilometers from Damascus, in July 1920.

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