The answer to my question back in February is – Lebanon. This was a rather unexpected trip, but very welcome none the less. We head off to this very small, but by all accounts, fascinating country on Monday 11th. We are travelling with a group from ‘Christians Aware’ and are covering a lot of ground in the 8 days we will be away.
As you can see, Lebanon borders Syria and Israel and is only 4,036 sq miles (about half the size of Wales). It has population of just over 6 million (about twice the size of Wales) and a Mediterranean climate (which is not at all like Wales). As you will be aware it has had a very troubled and complex past – its last major conflict being in 2006 when Israel set about trying to destroy Hezbollah. Today Lebanon is experiencing the results of the Syrian conflict in the form of 1.6 million refugees which are spread around 1,600 locations in the country.
The country has 4 main regions which run parallel to the coast:
a) a long and narrow coastal plain
b) Mount Lebanon mountain range
c) The Bekaa valley
d) The Anti-Lebanon mountain range
There are 18 officially recognised religious sects including Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims, Maronite Christians, Druze and Alawite. Hopefully we shall be learning a little about some of these. We shall find out how Christians and Muslims are working together in different communities.
So if you would like to follow our travels then please do. I hope to be able to keep this blog going as we travel around.