The people of Lebanon have a rich heritage that in part is due to the strategic location of the country on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. At one time or another Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, European Crusaders, Ottomans, and French all ruled or had influence over the land that is now Lebanon. Syria is its neighbor to the east and north and Israel is to the south. The whole country is only 50 miles wide from east to west and 120 miles long from north to south. Lebanon has a total of 4,015 square miles.2 If you had a direct highway, it would take less than an hour to drive across it and only about 2 hours to go from the north to south. In one day a person can go from the sea to the mountains and then to the Bekaa Valley to see the Roman ruins at Baalbeck.