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Designation of the region in the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Lebanon and Syria, but also for Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt.
The word comes from French "lever", meaning "to rise", and is an equivalent of the Arabic Mashriq, "the country where the sun rises".
The introduction of the word in world vocabulary came with the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon, lasting from 1920 until the mid-1940s.

By Tore Kjeilen