Independence Day of Lebanon


National Flag of Lebanon

Lebanon celebrates its Independence Day on the 22nd of November every year to commemorate the end of the French mandate in 1943. After 23 years of colonial rule, Lebanonís constitutionally elected leaders were released from detention by French occupation forces after their commanders backed down on 22nd November, 1943 and thus accepted the independence of Lebanon.

History

  • The Turkish (Ottoman) ruled over Lebanon since 1516 through local leaders.
  • After the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the Turkish forces occupied Lebanon completely.
  • When the Lebanese refused occupation, the Turkish began exploiting the natural resources of Lebanon by commandeering food supplies, and cutting down the forest area by more than half, thus causing famine and plagues.
  • British general Edmund Allenby and Faysal I, son of Sharif Husain of Mecca reached the region and relieved Lebanon of the oppression of the Turks.
  • Finally the League of Nations stepped in and gave the French a mandate over Lebanon in 1920.
  • France took over and in 1926, modelled the Lebanese constitution as per the French.
  • With the allies winning World War II, the Lebanese national leaders asked France to end the mandate.
  • Though the independence was proclaimed in 1941, France still continued to execute authority till the first democratic government was formed in Lebanon, and the constitution was amended ending the mandate.
  • France retaliated by arresting the president, prime minister and other government officials.
  • The Christian and Muslim leaders of Lebanon then joined forced which led to France giving in and releasing the political prisoners on November 22, 1943 and recognizing Lebanon's complete independence.

Celebrations

  • The annual military parade showcasing the military strength of Lebanon is held in Beirut's Shafiq Wazzan Boulevard.
  • The presidents, the speaker, the prime minister and other top Lebanese and military figures attend the parade.
  • Hundreds of red, white and green balloons were launched skywards after military helicopters fly above a parade of soldiers, cavalry and tanks.
  • The president then receives important guests at the Baabda Presidential Palace to acknowledge their greetings on the occasion of Lebanon's independence.
  • It is a public holiday and the people of attend the military parade.

 

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