The Baalbeck International Festival is the oldest and best-known cultural event in the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean. Since 1955, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have flocked to the city of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon to attend the annual festival.
The population of Lebanon comprises Christians and Muslims. No official census has been taken since 1932, reflecting the political sensitivity in Lebanon over confessional (religious) balance. The U.S. Government estimate is that more than two-thirds of the resident population is Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni), or Druze, and the rest is Christian (predominantly Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and Armenian).