Yes, geographically, it's in the Middle East. The population is split between Christians and Muslims (Many Arabs are Christian and many Muslims are not Arabs.) I will admit to being a little afraid in the taxis in Beirut because there's a different, and very aggressive, way of driving, but I never saw an accident. They know what they're doing.
Yes, Lebanese would be considered middle eastern. It doesn't take too long to find out they are mostly ARABS and you will be lucky to live through a drive over to Baalbeck. They are typical Arab drivers and drive so recklessly that you will be frightened out of your silk pajamas. But, you can practice your French if you have the time.