The estimated population of Lebanon as of July 2001 was 3,627,000 people.4 There were 350,000 registered Palestine refugees in Lebanon in March 1996 with 53.2 percent residing in twelve camps spread across the country and 46.8 percent living outside the camps. Registered Palestine refugees are estimated to represent 12 percent of the population of Lebanon. 5 Ninety-five percent of the people of Lebanon are Arabs. The country is interesting because it is a unique blend of three distinct Arab cultures that live together, in the past not always harmoniously, in an area about three quarters of the size of Connecticut.
The people are mainly descended from the same Semitic stock, but religious diversity and social class have divided them into many self-contained groups and this has been a barrier to social integration. All Lebanese feel an intense loyalty to their own clan or religious group.6