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The earliest immigrants from the Eastern Mediterranean were generally lumped together under the common rubric of Syrian-Lebanese, and it is consequently difficult to separate the number of ethnic Lebanese immigrants from ethnic Syrian immigrants.Neither of these countries came into being as nation-states until the mid-twentieth century; thus records and statistics for both groups are generally combined for early immigration patterns.

Early Lebanese settlers in America came mostly from Beirut, Mount Hermon, and surrounding regions of present-day Lebanon, a nation located at the extreme eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

Arabic is the official language of the country, and is even spoken by the minority population of Lebanese Jews.

The Armenian population speaks mostly Armenian or Turkish, while Assyrians speak Syriac. A land of varied terrain, Lebanon encompasses coastline, mountain, and fertile growing regions such as the Bekáa Valley, which is a primary cereal-producing region.

Lebanon's land mass is 4,015 square miles (10,400 square kilometers), and its population is estimated at between 3 and 3.5 million.

The capital, Beirut, was often referred to as the "Paris of the Middle East." Beirut was also considered the commercial center of the Middle East before the Lebanese civil war of the 1970s.

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