The tragedy of Lebanon — from safe haven to bankruptcy

Mountains are humanity’s most comforting topographical feature. Wherever you find them you will also find those who have flocked to them for refuge. The Kurds, the world’s largest stateless people, span the most mountainous areas of their host states, while ‘Lebanon’ referred originally to the mountains in the eastern Mediterranean that for centuries served as a haven for all the region’s minorities. First came the Christian Maronites, fleeing the persecution of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire in the 7th century; then in the 10th and 11th centuries the Shiite Muslims, persecuted by the Sunni powers; followed by the Druze, persecuted by the Shiites. These are the origins of the modern multi-ethnic