Clans and Communities of Lebanon
The Lebanese mixture of cultures is one of the characteristics of the country. As long as they have been accessible, the Lebanese mountains have been a refuge for minorities persecuted elsewhere. These different groups lived in relative harmony for centuries. In the 19th and 20th centuries – partly because of the international situation – tensions grew, eventually leading to clashes and even civil wars.
In the mountain communities, certain families had acquired a leading role. Many of these dynasties still exist and provide today’s political leaders – who, as a negative consequence, are sometimes accused of ‘clientelism’.
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