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Encyclopedia > National Pact

The National Pact is an unwritten agreement that laid the foundation of Lebanon and has shaped the country to this day. Following negotiations between the Shi'ite, Sunni, and Maronite leaderships, the National Pact was born in the summer of 1943 allowing Lebanon to be independent. Among the following key points of the agreement are: Shia Islam ( Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite or Shiite) is the second largest Islamic denomination; some 20-25% of all Muslims are said to follow a Shia tradition. ... Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... Maronites (Marunoye ܡܪܘܢܝܶܐ in Syriac, Mawarinah in Arabic) are members of one of the Eastern Rites of the Catholic church. ... 1943 is a common year starting on Friday. ...

  • the Maronites to not seek foreign intervention and accept Lebanon as an "Arab" country, instead of a "Western" one.
  • the Muslims (Shi'ites and Sunnis) to abandon their aspirations to unite with Syria and become part of Lebanon.
  • the President to always be a Maronite.
  • the Prime Minister to always be a Sunni.
  • the Speaker of the House to always be a Shi'ite.
  • Parliament members to be in a ratio of 6:5 in favour of Maronites to Muslims.

The last point was to be a contentious issue, especially in the Lebanese Civil War, where demographic changes in the 1970's resulted in Maronites making up approximately one-third of the population (compared to 51% in the 1932 census) and the other two-thirds made up of mostly Muslims. As well, Shi'ites as part of this demographic change turned into the largest religious community. This resulted in Maronites having a disproportionate share of the government, which was the main issue in the Lebanese Civil War. Maronites (Marunoye ܡܪܘܢܝܶܐ in Syriac, Mawarinah in Arabic) are members of one of the Eastern Rites of the Catholic church. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... This page lists presidents of Lebanon. ... This page lists prime ministers of Lebanon. ... The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) had its origin in the conflicts and political compromises of Lebanons colonial period and was exacerbated by the nations changing demographic trends, Christian and Muslim inter-religious strife, and proximity to Syria and Israel. ... Events and trends Although in the United States and in many other Western societies the 1970s are often seen as a period of transition between the turbulent 1960s and the more conservative 1980s and 1990s, many of the trends that are associated widely with the Sixties, from the Sexual Revolution... 1932 is a leap year starting on a Friday. ...

The Taif Agreement slightly changed the ratios, but some argue that they do not reflect current demographics. The Taif Agreement was negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia by members of Lebanons parliament, presided by Speaker of the House President Hussein El-Husseini. ...

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