If you are in trouble abroad, will Canada come get you?

Good realistic explainer featuring the former ambassador to Lebanon:

It was Louis de Lorimier’s first posting as an ambassador for Canada when he arrived in Lebanon in September 2005, after almost a quarter-century in the foreign service.

His appointment came just a few months after then Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated in a truck bombing, and the relationship between Israel, the militant group Hezbollah and neighbouring Syria was tense.

Political and military skirmishes between the various forces in the region were not uncommon, but de Lorimier didn’t foresee he would be caught at the centre of Operation LION, Canada’s largest international evacuation effort of its citizens to date.

“You did have violence to a certain extent on the border but nothing could suggest that it would go so far,” recalls the retired career diplomat, now a fellow at the Montreal Institute of International Studies.

“Lebanon was a turning point. I think they really got the (evacuation) system much better organized after that.”

In July 2006, after Israel’s military attacked Hezbollah forces in Lebanon to retaliate for the killing and kidnapping of its soldiers, Ottawa came under heavy fire for what some criticized as chaotic and slow response to bring home its citizens stranded in the war zone. By the end of that August, 14,000 Canadians had been evacuated.

Nearly 17 years later, after a civil war erupted in Sudan between the ruling government and a paramilitary group, the Canadian government’s evacuation effort has once again raised the questions of its responsibilities to its citizens abroad and its readiness to save its people from harm’s way.

Last Saturday, Canada ended its evacuation flights to bring Canadians home from Sudan amid escalating violence and deteriorating safety conditions. Over two weeks, of the 1,728 Canadians in Sudan who had registered with the government, more than 400 had been evacuated, with hundreds of others still looking for assistance.

“Canada continues to monitor the situation actively and will continue to provide assistance to Canadians and permanent residents wishing to depart Sudan,” Global Affairs Canada said in a statement on Friday.

“Our officials will keep in contact with those who call on us for help. We will keep in touch using whatever is the most effective way to help them stay safe, be it phone, e-mail or text message.”

De Lorimier said taking care of Canadians abroad has always been a top priority for consular staff, who constantly monitor conditions on the ground and report them to Ottawa.

“One of our responsibilities is to have a plan in place to deal with social unrests and major events of that nature, or it could be earthquakes or natural disasters, and it goes as far as war,” said de Lorimier, who headed the Lebanese mission until 2008 and then served as ambassador to Belgium and Mali before he retired in 2015.

“But what is obvious is that Canada doesn’t have the assets in the region to deal as quickly as we have to deal with a huge crisis.”

There are many variables in an evacuation effort and officials have to constantly negotiate with the local security authorities to seek safe pathways for both Canada’s personnel and citizens alike.

“I think most people do have unreasonable expectations. Sure, your government is there to protect you in every way possible. Obviously, it’s what we try to do. But the government also tells people, ‘Well, you’re responsible for your own safety first and foremost,’” said de Lorimier.

“If you go to a place where there’s social unrest, or even war, well, there could be consequences. There’s only so much we can do. That’s why we have these warnings that in certain countries, you’d better be careful. It’s not that the government doesn’t want to take care of people. But sometimes you have situations where you just can’t.”

The operation in Lebanon was certainly unprecedented in terms of the scale. At the onset of the war, only 1,000 Canadians registered with the embassy, which quickly ballooned to 30,000 a week into the conflict.

Although Lebanon was under complete blockade by the Israelis who bombed the main runway at the airport and blew up its fuel depots, Canada’s strong diplomatic relationships with both countries assured safe pathways to bus its citizens to an evacuation spot and then repatriate them via Cyprus.

In Sudan, however, de Lorimier said Canadian officials are dealing with two warring parties declaring ceasefires that never hold, and there’s a complete breakdown in the rule of law. The only blessing is the main airport in the capital Khartoum seems to be working of late, letting Canada shift its emergency evacuation efforts toward assisted departures through commercial transportation to exit the country.

Still, de Lorimier said there still could be a lot of uncertainty.

For example, on the first day of the Lebanese evacuation, the Canadian government had initially secured six ships to each carry 250 people out of the Lebanon’s main port. However, at the last minute, the Turkish company that loaned the boats was not satisfied with the security assurances and decided to send just one ship.

“We had prepared more than 1,000 people to evacuate. That’s when the press reported in Canada that the operation was a mess. We got really bad press. Some people were complaining that we left them out in the sun and they didn’t have water and they didn’t have food. It was quite something,” recalled de Lorimier, who didn’t sleep for weeks then and was running on his adrenalin.

“We almost had a catastrophe because we had this 1,000 people that were waiting in a room. We weren’t expecting to give them room and board for a night. So you can imagine kids running around and older people, and we didn’t even have enough restrooms.”

Canada recognizes dual citizenships and dual citizens are treated equally as their Canadian-born peers, but the Lebanese evacuation led to a public debate about whether these individuals’ birth country or adopted country is actually responsible for them.

“If there’s a problem, is it not logical that he be supported by his birth country before being supported by the consular service of Canada, his country of adoption?” asked de Lorimier. Yet in the end, “anyone that had Canadian papers was evacuated.”

The evacuation effort would end up costing Canada $94 million, which also prompted prime minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in 2009 to restrict the passage of Canadian citizenship by descent to the first generation of Canadians born overseas.

In its post-mortem of the Lebanese operation, the Canadian Senate, made many recommendations, including urging Foreign Affairs officials to review and ensure adequate resources to missions in countries where the size of the Canadian population and regional risks are high.

In hindsight, de Lorimier said he felt the Lebanese operation was provided with proper resources, with 200 Foreign Affairs staffers redeployed from outside Lebanon to assist with the evacuation, along with additional immigration and military personnel.

“People will always say there’s not enough resources. That’s a tricky question. We evacuated 15,000 people and everybody made it … no casualties,” he noted.

“The first responsibility lies with you. You have to know what you’re getting into and where you’re going in terms of security, military and war and even tsunamis or earthquakes. There’s so many risks that you have to figure out and decide if you want to take the risk.”

Source: If you are in trouble abroad, will Canada come get you?

In their mother’s country, Lebanon protesters clamour for citizenship


Draped in the Lebanese flag, 22-year-old Dana is bursting with pride at taking part in Lebanon’s “revolution” — even if her home country refuses to give her nationality.

Standing among other demonstrators in the capital, she explains she was born in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and has spent all her life in the country.But like thousands of others in Lebanon, her father is a foreigner and, with Lebanese women unable to pass down their nationality, she has been deprived of citizenship.

“My parents divorced before I was even born. I grew up with my mother,” Dana told AFP.
“I see myself as Lebanese, but they don’t want to recognize my identity,” she added.
The politicians who do not want to change the century-old law, she says, are “patriarchal” and “racist.”

The right to citizenship is one of many long-standing demands to have found new life in the mass protests sweeping Lebanon since October 17.

The unprecedented show of cross-sectarian anger in the street brought down the government last month — but many other of the demonstrators’ demands remain unmet.
Outside the seat of government, 17-year-old Omar said he’d only ever been to Syria once, but was consistently suffering the consequences of his father’s nationality.

Each year, he has to make his way to General Security headquarters to renew his residency permit — like all other non-Lebanese.

“They treat us like foreigners. It’s humiliating,” he said, holding the Lebanese red-green-and-white flag.

Last year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) strongly denounced the law, noting that Lebanon lags far behind some other countries in the region on the issue.

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen all provide equal citizenship rights to the children of both women and men, while Iraq and Mauritania confer nationality to those born in the country, according to HRW.

At a Beirut protest, Samer stood in a small crowd, raising his fist and chanting against political leaders he sees as inept and corrupt, the majority of whom have been in power since the end of the country’s 15-year civil war in 1990.

“But we need it (citizenship) to work, to sign up our children at school and receive social security,” said the 33-year-old, whose father is Palestinian and who is himself the father of three.

Despite activists campaigning to amend the 1925 nationality law, Lebanese authorities have been reluctant to do so.

In this small multiconfessional country of around 4.5 million, the political system relies on a fragile balance of power between communities.

Authorities fear that changing the law would open the door — especially through marriages of convenience — to the naturalization of some of the majority-Sunni 1.5 million Syrians and around 174,000 Palestinians living in the country, according to official estimates.

Last year, then foreign minister Gibran Bassil suggested amending the law to allow for Lebanese mothers to pass on their nationality — but only if the father was neither Palestinian nor Syrian.

“It’s racism,” said Randa Kabbani, coordinator of the “My Nationality, My Dignity” campaign demanding citizenship for children of Lebanese women.

Of the 10,000 impacted households identified by the campaign, some 60 percent are Syrian, 10 percent Egyptian, and just seven percent Palestinian, Kabbani said. Others are Jordanian, Iraqi, American or hold European nationalities, she added.

Around 80 percent are Muslim and 20 percent Christian.
Samer said those pushing for reform are not demanding the naturalization of all Palestinians living in Lebanon, “but only those born to a Lebanese mother. It’s a natural right.”
Kabbani said she was delighted the issue had gained new momentum in the ongoing protests.

“Before the movement, women were almost ashamed to speak up about it. But today they’re clamouring loud and clear,” she said.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters took part in a march organized by “My Nationality, My Dignity” in the capital.
Volunteers with the campaign have erected a tent in the square by the office of the now deposed cabinet to discuss the issue.

When she is not protesting, Dana — the university student — helps spread the word among other protesters so they too can join in her fight.

But the young student says she is under no illusions.
Whether or not a new cabinet includes independent experts as demanded, the key to her finally obtaining her Lebanese citizenship will boil down to political will.

“The day decent leaders take power, the legal amendment will fly through,” she said.

Source: In their mother’s country, Lebanon protesters clamour for citizenship

A New Law Finally Passed on Foreign Women’s Lebanese Citizenship

Partial progress:

It is no secret that women in Lebanon have to deal still with archaic gender-bias laws that require urgent changes, adjustments, or even the total eradication of some. Reconciling their reality with the Lebanese progressive mentality and our women’s high level of education and career success has been a painful hardship for our society.

Among these laws, the rights of Lebanese women to nationalize their children when born to foreign fathers, and the rights of foreign spouses to the nationality.

The struggles have been more relevant these past two decades, naturally, considering the ongoing evolution of our women and their awakening to what’s right and fair and what isn’t in our laws. Hence, in recent years, their efforts and endeavors have been many, even countless, to bring balance and harmony to our human society with judicial fairness and rights.

So, no wonder we get to heartily welcome now the memorandum of the Director-General for Personal Status, Mr. Elias Khoury. He demands from the Head of Departments and Registry Officers the application of Article 5 of the Lebanese Nationality Law.

The Article 5 declares, “The foreign woman married to a Lebanese shall, upon her request, become Lebanese after one year from the date of registration of the marriage in the Civil Status Office.”

Therefore, as of this month, foreign women spouses of Lebanese citizens are entitled to apply for the Lebanese citizenship at the registry offices without the signature of their husbands.

The memorandum stressed that “A new form must be adapted to fill the application for citizenship, which preserves the law of nationality from one side and is less complicated than the previous model, in both practical and administrative terms, while adhering to the same mechanism in order to ensure all information contained in the application and the right of women to obtain Nationality.”

In force as of April 1st, both the memorandum and the new form state: “Memorandum No. 35 concerning the mechanism and conditions of reception and completion of transactions of acquisition of nationality by marriage.”

These Mechanisms and conditions can be reviewed on the website of the Directorate General for Civil Status www.dgcs.gov.lb

It remains that foreign women working or residing in Lebanon cannot, by law, apply for citizenship if they are not married to a Lebanese man. That privilege is granted only by ‘male priority placed on women’ and not by their own rights.

Nonetheless, we maintain hope that this is only the beginning for more and more improvements and changes towards a more consciously evolved human society. After all, the reason of existence of any and all laws is, by principle and ethics, to serve the well-being of all citizens equally. Failure to do so, their reason to exist is no longer.

Source: A New Law Finally Passed on Foreign Women’s Lebanese Citizenship

Lebanon’s misogynistic citizenship law

Ongoing struggle:

Aziza Chami wipes away tears as she describes the toll Lebanon’s misogynistic citizenship laws have taken on her daughter.

“My daughter graduated three years ago but still can’t find a job,” Chami told Al Jazeera. “I tried to get her work at the hospital where I have been working for 20 years as a cleaning lady, but they refused, claiming she is not Lebanese.”

Chami is a Lebanese citizen. But her daughter was denied that birthright because her father – Chami’s late husband – was Egyptian.

Under a law dating back to 1925, Lebanese women married to foreigners cannot confer nationality on their children and spouses, only the children of Lebanese men are eligible for citizenship.

Lebanon does extend the right to citizenship to children born in Lebanon who cannot claim citizenship elsewhere through birth or affiliation, and children whose parents are either unknown or whose parents have unknown nationality.

But children whose mothers are Lebanese and fathers are foreign are denied citizenship.

The antiquated law has been criticised for placing some children at risk of statelessness. It can also have severe implications on their quality of life.

Children denied Lebanese citizenship under the law cannot work in certain fields or access public healthcare. They also need a residence permit to stay in the country, renewable every three years.

Chami says the institutional discrimination has become too much for her daughter to bear.

“This is the third time my daughter has been hospitalised for stress, but we don’t have enough money to pay for it,” said Chami. “I no longer know what to do.”

Children like Chami’s daughter need a work visa to be legally employed in Lebanon; a hurdle which can make them less attractive to prospective employers.

“My son tried to work in Lebanon but the companies he met with did not want to bother with all the paperwork,” Nadira Nahas, a Lebanese woman married to a US citizen, told Al Jazeera.

Nahas said her son wanted to be a pilot, but when the airline he approached learned he was a US citizen, they said they could not hire him.

“Now, he lives in Dubai,” she said.

Some mothers try to proactively steer their children away from certain jobs to avoid disappointment.

“We are losing our children because of this law,” Hanadi Nasser, a Lebanese married to a Syrian, told Al Jazeera.

“I have already told my children not to consider certain jobs because I know they will not be able to work in these fields, she said. My eldest son has already told me he will leave the country.”

Though there are no firm official estimates, a United Nations study published in 2009 offers some clues about the potential scale of those affected. The UN analysis found that between 1995 and 2008, there were some 18,000 marriages between Lebanese women and non-Lebanese men.

But the problem is not unique to Lebanon. According to an annual report published last year by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 25 countries do not grant women equality with men in conferring nationality to their children.

Demographic balance

Efforts to overhaul Lebanon’s citizenship rules have so far proved fruitless. Politicians have argued that amending the law could destabilise the country by upsetting its demographic and sectarian balance.

Some believe it would jeopardise Lebanon’s religious balance and allow the integration of Palestinian and Syrian refugees.

In 2010, former Interior Minister Ziad Baroud made some headway in easing the bureaucratic burden for children born to Lebanese mothers and foreign fathers by spearheading efforts to abolish residency visa renewal fees.

But his attempts to introduce a new draft law to overturn existing rules failed to gain traction.

“It has never been submitted to the council of ministers,” he told Al Jazeera. “There was no way to talk about this subject at that time apparently.”

Some hope the new Lebanese government will be more open to reform. Four women have been appointed to Lebanon’s cabinet in January, including the first woman to serve as interior minister in the Arab world.

Six members of parliament are also female.

Activists who have long campaigned to abolish the discriminatory citizenship law are hopeful change is on the horizon.

Mustafa Shaar founded the NGO My Nationality, My Dignity in 2011 to draw attention to the issue.

In addition to organising sit-ins, marches and workshops, Shaar’s NGO receives dozens of people a day in its offices in Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli.

He told Al Jazeera about a 17-year-old man who was prepared to set himself on fire to protest against the citizenship rules.

“He told me ‘I swear to God I will do it, because I am as good as dead right now anyway. I want to die to help the others who are like me’,” said Shaar, who added that his case is far from isolated.

‘Lebanon’s hypocrisy’

Lebanon is often depicted as a relatively progressive country in the region. But activists like Lina Abou Habib believe the misogynistic citizenship law makes a mockery of that image.

“This is the Lebanese hypocrisy,” Abou Habib told Al Jazeera. “We pretend we are modern people while our laws are null and void.”

Abou Habib has been campaigning for nearly two decades to change the law. Her current efforts are focused on a new bill drafted last summer.

“It is a very good one,” said Abou Habib. “We are currently starting to take the necessary steps to the ministers of women and the one of the interior, to push them to consider this draft law. We will soon have a workshop with MPs to talk about it. It will be challenging, but at some point, it will work.”

But bigoted attitudes remain a threat to reform.

Last spring, Gebran Bassil, minister of foreign affairs, sparked an outcry when he said he would propose a new draft bill stating that Lebanese women may pass on their citizenship, but that it would not apply to women who marry men from “neighbouring” countries, which many interpreted to mean Syrians and Palestinians.

Reform efforts are also winding their way through Lebanon’s courts.

In 2009, Judge John Qazzi, president of the first instance court at the time, ruled that the children of Samira Soueidan, a Lebanese married to an Egyptian man, should obtain the Lebanese nationality.

The state appealed Qazzi’s decision. A final ruling is still pending.

“I am an intruder in this system,” Qazzi told Al Jazeera. “I am optimistic about the fact that this law will be amended because more and more voices are being raised on this issue”.

Abou Habib also believes the nation’s progressive instincts will prevail.

“Lebanon has made great progress in terms of political and social debates, on different topics. Violence against women, nationality, LGBTQ rights, personal civil status,” she said.

Meanwhile, mothers such as Nadira Nahas continue to wait for the state to abolish the near century-old law and finally grant citizenship to the children of Lebanese women.

“Laws are like medicines. They have an expiry date,” she said. “We should update our laws.”

Source: Lebanon’s misogynistic citizenship law

Lebanese lawmaker fights ‘degrading’ citizenship law against women

Uphill struggle:

Nine months after being voted into the 128-seat Lebanese parliament as one of six female lawmakers, Paula Yacoubian is urging fellow legislators to help change discriminatory laws that are an “injustice” against women.

Yacoubian, 42, won her seat as a civil society candidate in May’s election, and prides herself on being the first woman in Lebanon’s parliament not aligned with any political party in the country’s sectarian political system.

The former journalist turned lawmaker’s biggest battle is gaining nationality rights for thousands of stateless children born to Lebanese women.

In Lebanon, women married to foreigners cannot pass their Lebanese nationality on to their husbands or children.

“There is so much injustice. You have thousands of kids in this country that have no rights – they are Lebanese, they grew up here, they speak only Arabic,” Yacoubian told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from her Beirut office.

“It is not only about women – it is about suffering families … They don’t have a piece of paper that says that you have a nationality – it is degrading.”

Stateless children cannot access public healthcare, have difficulty getting access to education, and when they are old enough, they cannot work without a permit, according to the law.

Additionally, women in some communities can’t inherit or own property regardless of who they marry.Lebanon is far behind other countries in the region, like Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, that have provided equal citizenship rights to men and women, activists who have worked on the issue said.


Beyond reform, Yacoubian said it is critical for additional laws to be passed in order to protect young women’s health and against forced marriage.

There is no minimum age for marriage in Lebanon. Religious communities can allow girls younger than 15 to marry, according to Human Rights Watch.

Yacoubian supports KAFA, a local campaign group calling on Lebanon to pass a law to make 18 the minimum age for marriage – with no exceptions.

“If there [are] any exceptions to be made it will not have the same impact. The message should be very clear – no marriage under 18,” she said.

Globally, 12 million girls marry before age 18 every year, according to Girls Not Brides, a coalition working to end child marriage.

KAFA said other Arab countries are a step ahead of Lebanon in setting 18 as the minimum marriage age, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Protecting women against violence also needs “a lot of work” in a country that passed a long-awaited law in 2014 against domestic violence, Yacoubian said.

But rights groups were outraged that authorities watered it down so much it fell short of criminalising marital rape.

A 2017 national study by ABAAD, a Lebanese women’s rights group, found that one in four women have been raped in Lebanon. Less than a quarter of those sexually assaulted reported it, the survey said.


With women in Lebanon gaining only two seats in parliament in May’s election for a total of six, Yacoubian said there needs to be a 33 percent quota to give women fair representation.

“It is their rights first to be represented – to have equal chances. And because this is the real representation of Lebanon … more than half of the country is women. They should be represented in a way that reflects how the society works.”

“I think in the long run it can be disruptive for this patriarchal system that humiliates women.”

Having women in lawmaking postitions will help boost women’s rights in a country where men don’t view women as their equals – something she has experienced herself in the workplace, Yacoubian said.

“I have MPs who treat me as if I am either a flower or something fragile … We don’t have a culture that understands that women are equal to men,” she said.

Many months after May’s election, Lebanese leaders are still at odds over how to parcel out cabinet positions among rival groups as mandated by a political system that shares government positions among Christian and Muslim sects.

Yacoubian called it a “mafia system” that is running the country based off of religion, money and power – dominated by men.

She said she will “keep fighting” for women’s rights and is hopeful legal changes will be made to protect women.

“I hope it will be soon because you will have less suffering, less problems. I am sure that one day this country will see a new horizon, a new light.”

Uproar in Lebanon over ‘naturalization’ granting hundreds citizenship – Al Arabiya English

Speaks for itself:

A controversial decree granting citizenship to 375 foreigners has sent ripples across Lebanon in the last 48 hours after news emerged that President Michel Aoun signed the resolution along with Prime Minister designate Saad al-Hariri and caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouq.

While government officials kept silent, civil societies and activists took to social media to vent their anger and criticism.

The decree, which was riddled with accusations of bribery, grants Lebanese citizenship to affluent applicants including Syrians, Palestinians, Iraqis and Iranian nationals.

While MP Nadim Gemayel from Kataeb party was the first to announce the list of the names of those included in the presidential decree of naturalization, there was conflicting information as to whether the decree had already been signed.

In an interview with Al Arabiya news channel, MP Gemayel confirmed the signing of the decree according to sources close to the presidential palace.

Aoun’s office has yet to comment on the matter, with sources telling Annahar newspaper that the decree might have been drafted before the May 6 elections while the Cabinet was still fully operational. Both Hariri and Mashnouq have also refrained from commenting up to this point.

But the caretaker Justice minister Salim Jreissati confirmed in a statement Friday the signing of the decree which sent waves of shocks to a lot of Lebanese citizens especially Lebanese women married to foreigners who cannot grant citizenship to their children due to religious considerations and others related to the issue of settling the Palestinians.

These development draws a lot of questions whether if the law grants the Minister of the Interior, the President of the Republic with the approval of a majority of ministers, a naturalization decree.

The question now is about the “category” that has been naturalized, especially if it is true that they are rumored to be financiers who have paid about $ 200,000. If that is true the Lebanese are asking on social media: “Where did all that money go and in whose pocket it ended up?”

via Uproar in Lebanon over ‘naturalization’ granting hundreds citizenship – Al Arabiya English

Lebanon’s Sexist Citizenship Law Mothers, Babies

On the inability of Lebanese women to pass on their citizenship to their children if the father in non-Lebanese:

A study conducted by the American University of Beirut showed that the vast majority of Lebanese people surveyed supported Lebanese women’ passing on their citizenship to their Palestinian children and, to a slightly lesser degree, to their Palestinian husbands. Ultimately, as Abou Habib puts it, “The right of Lebanese women should not be a matter of political debate.”

Lebanon is not the only country to prohibit women from passing on their citizenship. It’s not even the only Arab country to do so. But unlike other Arab states, Lebanon considers itself a beacon of liberalism in the Middle East, the place where East meets West. Lebanon cannot claim to uphold Western values while continuing to deny women equal rights.

Countries far less liberal than Lebanon, such as the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, have made provisions to prevent statelessness. Children of Emirati women and foreign men, for example, can apply for citizenship after they reach the age of 18. Egypt, a country known for its culture of sexism, has granted women the full right to pass their citizenship on to their children.

I am proud to be Lebanese. So is my childhood friend. We identify as such. We want our children to be Lebanese, regardless of who their fathers are. Being Lebanese is being part of a community. It is being part of a people who have a zest for life, a kindness, a humor and a resilience. It is being part of my family. We want to be celebrated in Lebanon on Mother’s Day. But how can we keep ties to a country that creates so many hurdles for our children? How can we instill in them a sense of Lebanese pride if the country won’t acknowledge them as their own?

Lebanon’s Sexist Citizenship Law Mothers, Babies | Al Jazeera America.

Minister Kenney concludes successful trip to Lebanon – Canada News Centre

Interesting quote by Kenney on Lebanon’s “balanced partnership.” Not sure that I would characterize that way, given Lebanon’s past civil wars and that it is largely a country with parallel structures, rather than the more integrative model of multiculturalism in Canada:

Canada’s model of pluralism is profoundly relevant to Lebanon, the only Middle Eastern country built on a balanced partnership between religious and ethnic communities.

Minister Kenney concludes successful trip to Lebanon – Canada News Centre.