In western Asia on the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon has a rich culture and history, dating back over 7,000 years. The country has a parliamentary democracy, with a president and prime minister. Lebanon's 4 million residents are very ethnically and religiously diverse. To curb sectarian violence, the government recognizes 18 different religions, and has quotas for the various groups in government positions. The Lebanese Civil War, which lasted from 1975 to 1990, caused a generation to grow up in wartime. The people also suffered civilian casualties in 2006, during the monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah.

The war-torn country, however, has been able to create a stable government, commercial economic system, and a tourist trade. While women have gained some rights and improvement in status in the ...

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