Amateur Radio, as practiced today, began in the 1920s. Though its origins can be traced to at least the late 1800s, the birth of amateur radio was strongly associated with various amateur experimenters and hobbyists. Throughout its history, amateur radio enthusiasts have made significant contributions to science, engineering, industry, and social services. Research by amateur radio operators has founded new industries, built economies, empowered nations, and saved lives in times of emergency.
Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service that uses various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training. A participant is called an amateur radio operator, or a ham.
Amateur radio operators enjoy personal wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory.
Amateur radio is all about the skill and fascination of communicating using radio. Radio amateurs have their own communication satellites, talk to the international space station and are at the very cutting edge of technology in many areas.
The Amateur radio service has a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.
Amateur Radio operators come from all walks of life. They are all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities. Some are attracted by the ability to communicate across the country, around the globe, or even with astronauts on space missions. Others may like to build and experiment with electronics. Some enjoy using Amateur Radio's digital communications opportunities. Those with a competitive streak enjoy "DX contests," where the object is to see how many hams in distant locations they can contact. Some like the convenience of a technology that gives them portable communication.
An estimated six million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.
Amateur Radio in Lebanon is governed by Ministerial decree no. 15583 dated 19/2/1964.