Lebanese people

The Lebanese people ( / ALA-LC: Lebanese Arabic pronunciation: ) are the inhabitants of the country of Lebanon and their ancestors. The term may also include those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state. The cultural and linguistic heritage of the Lebanese people is a blend of both indigenous elements and the foreign cultures that have come to rule the land and its people over the course of thousands of years. In a 2013 interview the lead investigator, Pierre Zalloua, pointed out that genetic variation preceded religious variation and divisions:”Lebanon already had well-differentiated communities with their own genetic peculiarities, but not significant differences, and religions came as layers of paint on top. There is no distinct pattern that shows that one community carries significantly more Phoenician than another.” As the relative proportion of the various sects is politically sensitive, Lebanon has not collected official census data on ethnic background since the 1932 under the French Mandate. It is therefore difficult to have an exact demographic analysis of Lebanese society. The largest concentration of people of Lebanese ancestry is in Brazil having an estimated population of 6 to 7 million. As with their Phoenician predecessors, the Lebanese have always travelled the world, many of them settling permanently, most notably in the last two centuries. Reduced in numbers and estimated to have lost their status as a majority in Lebanon itself, largely as a result of their emigration, Christians still remain one of the principal religious groups in the country. Descendants of Lebanese Christians make up the majority of Lebanese people worldwide, appearing principally in the diaspora.