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History

When living in any new country, it’s important to understand the interworking of the country based on the context in which it exists. The earliest evidence of civilization in the territory that is now Lebanon comes from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods (otherwise known as the “New Stone Age”). However, Lebanon is perhaps most famous for being the homeland of the Ancient Phoenicians from whom a sort of early world economy emerged between 1200 and 800 BCE. One interesting aspect of this territory is that while it was at many points the most powerful economic force in the region, evidence suggests that the inhabitants never adopted or put much emphasis on the idea of rulers or kingships as a necessary means of societal organization. In fact, over the course of thousands of years, this territory has been governed by myriad foreign empires. For further reading on the history of pre-modern Lebanon, check out Lebanon: A History, 600 – 2011 by William Harris, and for a short read that focuses on Ancient Phoenicia check out The Phoenicians: The History and Culture of One of the World’s Most Influential Civilizations by Charles River Editors.

As for the modern State of Lebanon, it is most beneficial to begin with a foundational understanding of how and under what circumstances the country was established. After having been a part of the Ottoman Empire for roughly 500 years, Lebanon was established as a French colony in 1926; and, later gained independence from France in 1943, establishing itself as the Lebanese Republic. For and understanding of the context in which Lebanon and other surrounding countries came into their current statehood, check out A Line in the Sand by James Barr Sir, and for an in-depth focus on Lebanon’s trajectory into statehood check out A History of Modern Lebanon by Fawwaz Traboulsi.
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Eastwood offers the PYP in French due to the significance of the French language to Lebanon’s history, culture, and present day affairs, and due to the rise and growth of French on the global stage. Speaking one of the leading languages of business, education, science, technology, commerce and trade is a form of power and access to greater opportunity, and we aim to provide that power and opportunity to students.

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