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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 December 2005, 07:40 GMT
Lebanese Christians: Maysa Feghali
There has always been a focus on how politics is centred around religion here, but for me it's a very personal issue.

MEET THE PANEL
Maysa Feghali
Name: Maysa Feghali
Age: 23
Lives: Beirut, Lebanon
Works: Medical student
We Christians and Muslims have always marched side by side.

I'm a Christian but we live in a western part of Beirut which is mainly Muslim. We live together as friends and interact constantly.

I do not see us as being separate.

Many Christians left Lebanon during the civil war, so my school was mainly full of Muslims. Funnily enough, it was more of a shock to meet Christians when I got older.

The issue of religion does come up. I have Muslim friends and, as some girls grew older, they begin to wear the hijab.

But if your parents educate you to be open minded it becomes a detail.

YOUNG LEBANESE CHRISTIANS
My father is Maronite but my mother is Greek Orthodox. We used to celebrate Easter in both traditions and would spend each one at our grandparents' houses.

We did the same for Christmas and Palm Sunday. Everything was in doubles.

Religion takes every form, but what is common is faith and your relationship with God.

It is something you experience with your family, that is the beauty of it. Just because you are Maronite on paper it does not mean you should necessarily be Maronite in all ways.

LEBANON'S CHRISTIANS
Total population: 4m
Estimated Christians: 1.35m-1,6m
% Christian: 34-41%
Main churches: Maronite, Greek Orthodox
Issues: Political change

I think some of my friends feel that, politically, they would like to return to what they see as the "glory days" in Lebanon when Christians were in the majority.

But I think we would be fooling ourselves if we thought the demographic would tip in favour of us - it is obvious we are in a minority.

Now, I think it is more a case of having representatives in parliament and being represented in government.





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