The name Lebanon ("Lubnān" in standard Arabic; "Libnén" in the local dialect) comes from the Canaanite root "LBN", meaning "white", which could be regarded as a reference to the snow-capped Mount Lebanon. Occurrences of the name have been found in three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh (May be as early as 2100 BC), the texts of the library of Ebla (2400 BC), and 71 times in the Old Testament.
Lebanon (IPA لبنان Lubnān), officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (الجمهورية اللبنانية), is a country in Western Asia, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel/Palestine to the south. It is close to Cyprus through the Mediterranean Sea.
Lebanon is the historic home of the Phoenicians, a maritime culture which flourished for more than 2,000 years (2700-450 BC). Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the five provinces that comprise present-day Lebanon were mandated to France. The country gained independence in 1943, and French troops withdrew in 1946.
Before the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the country enjoyed a period of relative calm and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, and banking. It is considered one of the banking capitals of the Middle East, and during its heyday was known to some as the "Switzerland of the East" due to its financial power and diversity at the time. Lebanon also attracted large numbers of tourists to the point that the capital Beirut became widely referred to as the "self-proclaimed Paris of the East." Immediately following the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.