Lebanon's 1989 peace deal ended a civil war by sharing political power between religious factions. That created a society profoundly divided by religion – something today's protesters hope to change.
Political leverage aside, it's a major source of water in a parched corner of the world that harbors significant oil deposits.
For many centuries, Syrian society has included people of many faiths – Sunni and Shi'i Muslims, Christians and Druze. This past is important to know to understand the present.
Illuminating the origins of one of the oldest peoples in the Middle East.
Why are Syria and Israel competing to be the ultimate protecters of the Druze?