Etiquette in Lebanon

Lebanon, or the Lebanese Republic, is an Eastern Mediterranean nation of an estimated 4, 125,000 people. Located between neighboring Syria and Israel, it is a country with a rich heritage and vast cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity.

The official language of Lebanon is Arabic, however more than 40% of the population is consider fluent in French, and a vast majority of student in secondary schools study English.

One of the most religiously diverse nations in the Middle East, it is estimated that about 59% of the country is Muslim and 39% are Christian, however the Christian population is on a steady decline, likely due to emmigration.

Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy, which implements a special system known as confessionalism, to deter sectarian conflict and attempts to fairly represent the demographic distribution of the 18 recognized religious groups in government. High-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups to ensure this representation.

The Lebanese pound (sign: £ or L£) is the currency unit of Lebanon.

Gift Giving Etiquette

The best time to give a gift if you are a visitor to Lebanon is at the beginning of your visit.  Appropriate gifts are flowers, chocolates and handkerchiefs. You should present your gift at your initial meeting with your contact and it should be in private.

Keep in mind that the number 13 is bad luck so avoid giving 13 of anything.