lebanon and the phoenicians
Lebanon was inhabited by the Canaanites, a Semitic people, whom the Greeks called “Phoenicians” because of the purple (phoinikies) dye they sold. Lebanon first appeared in recorded history around 3000 B.C. as a group of coastal cities and a heavily forested hinterland; the Phoenicians established trade routes to Europe and western Asia, and their ships circumnavigated Africa a thousand years before those of the Portuguese. These colonies and trade routes flourished until the invasion of the coastal areas by the Assyrians.
Data as of December 1987
Racial Origins from The Druzes by Najla M. Abu Izzeddin
Arab geographers from the early Muslim centuries claim Arabs were distributed from the southern extremity of Syria to the north , from the desert boarderland to the Mediterranean, in its plains and mountains, and along its sea-coast. A tradition persistently held by the Druzes traces their origin to Arab tribes settled in Syria, some before Islam, others coming with the Moslem conquest.The Druze community was formed from the Arab tribes who accepted the da’wa. The Tanukh, who occupy an important place in Druze history, inhabited the region between Aleppo and Hama.
The most important centers of activity at the time of the propagation of the da’wa were Wadi al-Taym, at the foot of mount Hermon, and southern Lebanon, both of which have continued to the present day to be principal concentrations of the Druze community. The Druze community in Jabal al-Duruz, which today is the largest concentration, migrated largely from these two centers, at a relatively recent date .Ethnically, the district of Wadi al-Taym, has been authoritatively stated to be one of the most Arab regions of Syria. When the companions of the Prophet advanced to the conquest of Syria, clans of the Tanukh went forth to their aid. In large numbers, and fully armed, they came to Beirut, raised aloft the standards of the faith, and took possessions of the Gharb country and the mountain of Beirut where they settled. The Tanukhid family the Araslans settled with their clans in the mountains behind Beirut to defend the coast and secure the inland communications. The tribal group, Ma’n retired to the south and then settled near the Tanoukh with whom they intermarried. Later, the Ma’n family ruled the Lebanon which attained the height of its power under Emir Fakhreddin II during the first third of the seventeenth century.