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The People of Lebanon, Social Issues

Shia Muslims, Economic disparities, Arab-Israeli conflict, greater power, middle classes

Economic disparities, made worse by the civil war, have long created friction between Lebanonís rich and poor. Better-educated Christians and elite Sunni Muslims tend to dominate the upper and middle classes. One-third of the population is considered poor; most of these are Shia Muslims, who resent the disparity in income, living conditions, and political power, and are increasingly determined to gain greater power. The stateless Palestinian refugees are also resentful; displaced from their homes by Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948-1949 and 1967, they remain confined to unsanitary camps and many are frustrated by their lack of citizenship. Two more beleaguered groups, clustered mostly in the overcrowded suburbs of southern Beirut, are poor families who migrated from other parts of the country and people who were displaced by fighting in southern Lebanon. In general, the government has focused less attention on solving Lebanonís social problems than on postwar reconstruction.



Article key phrases:

Shia Muslims, Economic disparities, Arab-Israeli conflict, greater power, middle classes, civil war, disparity, Christians, political power, population, income, poor families, homes, attention, government, parts, people, country, conditions

 
 

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