Beirut

Beirut

Overview
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million (as of 2007). Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan area, which consists of the city and its suburbs. The first mention of this metropolis is found in the ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian Tell el Amarna
Amarna
Amarna is an extensive Egyptian archaeological site that represents the remains of the capital city newly–established and built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten of the late Eighteenth Dynasty , and abandoned shortly afterwards...

 letters, dating to the 15th century BC.
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Unanswered Questions
Timeline

1759   An earthquake hits the Mediterranean destroying Beirut and Damascus and killing 30,000-40,000.

1941   World War II: Beirut is occupied by Free France and British troops.

1978   150 Palestinians in Beirut are killed in a terrorist attack during the second phase of the Lebanese Civil War.

1982   1982 Lebanon War begins: Forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invade southern Lebanon in their "Operation Peace for the Galilee", eventually reaching as far north as the capital Beirut.

1982   Lebanese Civil War: a multinational force lands in Beirut to oversee the Palestine Liberation Organization's withdrawal from Lebanon.

1982   The international forces that were guaranteeing the safety of Palestinian refugees following Israel's 1982 Invasion of Lebanon leave Beirut. Five days later, several thousand refugees are massacred in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

1983   A suicide bomber destroys the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.

1983   The Israeli cabinet votes to withdraw troops from Beirut but to remain in southern Lebanon.

1983   Lebanon Civil War: The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut is hit by a truck bomb, killing 241 U.S. Marines. A French army barracks in Lebanon is also hit that same morning, killing 58 troops.

1984   US troops withdraw from Beirut. President Ronald Reagan had sent the troops as a peacekeeping force in August 1982.

 
Encyclopedia
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million (as of 2007). Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan area, which consists of the city and its suburbs. The first mention of this metropolis is found in the ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian Tell el Amarna
Amarna
Amarna is an extensive Egyptian archaeological site that represents the remains of the capital city newly–established and built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten of the late Eighteenth Dynasty , and abandoned shortly afterwards...

 letters, dating to the 15th century BC. The city has been continuously inhabited since.

Beirut holds Lebanon's seat of government, and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy with its city centre
Beirut Central District
The Beirut Central District or Centre Ville is the name given to Beirut’s historical and geographical core, the “vibrant financial, commercial, and administrative hub of the country.” At the heart of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut Central District is an area thousands of years old, traditionally a...

, Hamra
Hamra Street
Hamra Street , or Rue Hamra, is one of the main streets of the city of Beirut, Lebanon, and one of the main economic and diplomatic hubs of Beirut. Due to the numerous sidewalk cafes and theatres, Hamra Street was the center of intellectual activity in Beirut during the 1960s and 1970s...

, Verdun
Rue Verdun
Rue Verdun, or Verdun Street, is an upscale commercial and residential street in Beirut, Lebanon. The street, which is a major shopping center and tourist attraction, was named in honor of the Battle of Verdun during World War I. However, "Verdun" remains the street's unofficial name...

, and Ashrafieh-based corporate firms and banks. The city is the focal point of the region's cultural life, renowned for its press, theatres, cultural activities and nightlife. After the destructive Lebanese civil war
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

, Beirut underwent major reconstruction, and the redesigned historic city centre
Beirut Central District
The Beirut Central District or Centre Ville is the name given to Beirut’s historical and geographical core, the “vibrant financial, commercial, and administrative hub of the country.” At the heart of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut Central District is an area thousands of years old, traditionally a...

, marina, pubs and nightlife districts have once again rendered it a tourist attraction.
Beirut was named the top place to visit in 2009 by The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. It was also listed as one of the ten liveliest cities in the world by Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world. The company is owned by BBC Worldwide, which bought a 75% share from the founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 2007 and the final 25% in February 2011...

 in 2009.

In 2011, MasterCard Index revealed that Beirut had the second highest visitor spending levels in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 came in first with $7.8 billion, followed by Beirut with $6.5 billion, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

 with $3.8 billion, Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 at $3.7 billion and Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 with $3.3 billion. At the same time it was listed as the ninth most-visited, and as such it is still considered a "high-end" destination.

Archaeology and Prehistory



Several prehistoric archaeological sites were discovered within the urban area of Beirut, revealing flint tools of sequential periods dating from the Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
The Middle Paleolithic is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age...

 and Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
The Upper Paleolithic is the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. Very broadly it dates to between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of...

, through the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 to the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

.

Beirut I or Minet el Hosn was listed as "Beyrouth ville" by L. Burkhalter and said to be on the beach near the Orent and Bassoul Hotels in central Beirut on the Avenue de Français. The site was discovered by Lortet in 1894 and discussed by Jesuit Father Godefroy Zumoffen
Godefroy Zumoffen
Reverend Father Godefroy Zumoffen, born 1848 in France and died in 1928 was a French Jesuit archaeologist and geologist notable for his work on prehistory in Lebanon....

 in 1900. The flint
Flint
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in colour, and...

 industry
Archaeological industry
An archaeological industry, normally just "industry", is the name given in the study of prehistory to a consistent range of assemblages connected with a single product, such as the Langdale axe industry...

 from the site was described as Mousterian
Mousterian
Mousterian is a name given by archaeologists to a style of predominantly flint tools associated primarily with Homo neanderthalensis and dating to the Middle Paleolithic, the middle part of the Old Stone Age.-Naming:...

 and is held by the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.

Beirut II or Um el Khatib was suggested by L. Burkhalter to have been north of Tarik el Jedideh, where P.E. Gigues discovered an Énéolithique
Byblos
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

 (Chalcolithic) flint industry at around one hundred meters above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. The site was built on and destroyed by 1948.

Beirut III, Furn esh Shebbak or Plateau Tabet was suggested to have been located on the left bank of the Nahr Beirut river. L. Burkhalter suggested that it was west of the Damascus road although this determination has faced criticism by Lorraine Copeland
Lorraine Copeland
Lorraine Copeland is an archaeologist specialising in the Palaeolithic period of the Near East. Her husband was Miles Axe Copeland Jr, and they had four children, all of whom have gone on to have notable careers: Miles Copeland III, Ian, Lorraine and Stewart Copeland.Lorraine Copeland was born in...

. P. E. Gigues discovered a series of Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 flint tools on the surface along with the remains of a structure suggested to be a hut circle. Auguste Bergy
Auguste Bergy
Reverend Father Auguste Bergy, born 1873 in France and died 31 August 1955 was a French Jesuit archaeologist notable for his work on prehistory in Lebanon.He is known particularly for excavations and studies at the Sands of Beirut and at Ras Beirut...

 also discussed polished axe
Axe
The axe, or ax, is an implement that has been used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood; to harvest timber; as a weapon; and as a ceremonial or heraldic symbol...

s that were found at this site which has now completely disappeared due to construction and urbanization of the area.

Beirut IV or Furn esh Shebbak, river banks was also on the left bank of the river and on either side of the road leading eastwards from the Furn esh Shebbak Police Station towards the river that marked the city limits. The area was covered in red sand that represented Quaternary river terraces. The site was found by Jesuit Father Dillenseger and published by fellow Jesuits; Godefroy Zumoffen
Godefroy Zumoffen
Reverend Father Godefroy Zumoffen, born 1848 in France and died in 1928 was a French Jesuit archaeologist and geologist notable for his work on prehistory in Lebanon....

, Raoul Describes and Auguste Bergy. Collections from the site were made by Bergy, Describes and another member of the Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

, Paul Bovier-Lapierre
Paul Bovier-Lapierre
Reverend Father Paul Bovier-Lapierre, born 1873 in France and died in 1950 was a French Jesuit archaeologist notable for his work on prehistory in Egypt and surveys in southern Lebanon.-External links:*...

. A large number of Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
The Middle Paleolithic is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age...

 flint tools were found on the surface and side gullies that drain into the river. These included around 50 varied bifaces accredited to the Acheulean
Acheulean
Acheulean is the name given to an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture associated with early humans during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia, South Asia and Europe. Acheulean tools are typically found with Homo erectus remains...

 period, some with a lustrous sheen, now held at the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory
Museum of Lebanese Prehistory
The Museum of Lebanese Prehistory is a museum of prehistory and archaeology in Beirut, Lebanon.-History:...

. Henri Fleisch
Henri Fleisch
Reverend Father Henri Fleisch, born January 1 1904 in Jonvelle , France and died 10 February 1985 in Lebanon where he was buried. He was a French archaeologist, missionary and Orientalist, known for his work on classical Arabic language and Lebanese dialect and prehistory in Lebanon.He entered the...

 also found an Emireh point
Emireh point
An Emireh point is a microlith made out of a triangular flake of flint. The bulbs are eliminated or reduced via a process of retouching from both surfaces. The Emireh point is the type tool of stage one of the Upper Paleolithic, first identified in the Emirian culture....

 amongst material from the site, which has now disappeared beneath buildings.

Beirut V or Nahr Beirut was discovered by Father Dillenseger and said to be in an orchard of Mulberry
Mulberry
Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries....

 trees on the left bank of the river, near the mouth and said to be close to the railway station and bridge to Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

. Levallois
Levallois technique
The Levallois technique is a name given by archaeologists to a distinctive type of stone knapping developed by precursors to modern humans during the Palaeolithic period....

 flints and bones were found amongst brecciated deposits along with similar surface material. The area has now been built on.

Beirut VI or Patriarchate was a site discovered during building operations, somewhere on the property of the Lebanese Evangelical School for Girls in Beirut's Patriarchate area. It was notable for the discovery of a finely styled Canaanean blade
Canaanean blade
A Canaanean blade is an archaeological term for a long, wide blade made out of stone or flint, predominantly found at sites in Lebanon . They were first manufactured and used in the Neolithic Stone Age to be used as weapons such as javelins or arrowheads...

 javelin
Javelin
A Javelin is a light spear intended for throwing. It is commonly known from the modern athletic discipline, the Javelin throw.Javelin may also refer to:-Aviation:* ATG Javelin, an American-Israeli civil jet aircraft, under development...

 suggested to date to the Néolithique Ancien or Néolithique Moyen periods of Byblos
Byblos
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

 and held in the school library.

Beirut VII or Rivoli Cinema and Byblos Cinema sites near the Bourj in the Rue el Arz area are two sites discovered by Lorraine Copeland
Lorraine Copeland
Lorraine Copeland is an archaeologist specialising in the Palaeolithic period of the Near East. Her husband was Miles Axe Copeland Jr, and they had four children, all of whom have gone on to have notable careers: Miles Copeland III, Ian, Lorraine and Stewart Copeland.Lorraine Copeland was born in...

 and Peter Wescombe in 1964 and examined by Diana Kirkbride
Diana Kirkbride
Diana Victoria Warcup Kirkbride-Halbaek was a British archaeologist who specialised in the prehistory of the Near East.-Biography:...

 and Roger Saidah. One site was behind the parking lot of the "Byblos" Cinema and showed collapsed walls, pits, floors, charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

, pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 and flint
Flint
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in colour, and...

s. The other overlooking a cliff west of the "Rivoli" Cinema was composed of three layers resting on limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 bedrock. Fragments of blades and broad flakes were recovered from the first layer of black soil, above which some Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 pottery was recovered in a layer of grey soil. Pieces of Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 pottery and mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

s were found in the upper layer. Middle Bronze Age tombs were found in this area and the ancient tell
Tell
A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.-Archaeology:A tell is a hill created by different civilizations living and...

 of Beirut is thought to be in the Borj area.

History


Beirut's history goes back more than 5000 years. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the antiquity of Beirut is indicated by its name, derived from the Canaanite
Canaanite languages
The Canaanite languages are a subfamily of the Semitic languages, which were spoken by the ancient peoples of the Canaan region, including Canaanites, Israelites and Phoenicians...

 name of Be'erot (wells), referring to the underground water table that is still tapped by the local inhabitants for general use. Excavations in the downtown
Beirut Central District
The Beirut Central District or Centre Ville is the name given to Beirut’s historical and geographical core, the “vibrant financial, commercial, and administrative hub of the country.” At the heart of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut Central District is an area thousands of years old, traditionally a...

 area have unearthed layers of Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader and Ottoman remains. The first historical reference to Beirut dates from the 14th century BC, when it is mentioned in the cuneiform
Cuneiform script
Cuneiform script )) is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. Emerging in Sumer around the 30th century BC, with predecessors reaching into the late 4th millennium , cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs...

 tablets of the "Amarna letters
Amarna letters
The Amarna letters are an archive of correspondence on clay tablets, mostly diplomatic, between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru during the New Kingdom...

". Ammunira
Ammunira
Ammunira was the king of Beirut in the mid fourteenth century BCE. He is mentioned in several of the Amarna letters, and authored letters EA 141-43 ....

 of Biruta (Beirut) sent three letters to the pharaoh of Egypt
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

. Biruta is also referenced in the letters from Rib-Hadda
Rib-Hadda
Rib-Hadda was king of Byblos during the mid fourteenth century BCE. He is the author of some sixty of the Amarna letters all to Akhenaten...

 of Byblos
Byblos
Byblos is the Greek name of the Phoenician city Gebal . It is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of present-day Lebanon under the current Arabic name of Jubayl and was also referred to as Gibelet during the Crusades...

. The oldest settlement was on an island in the river that progressively silted up. The city was known in antiquity as Berytus. This name was taken in 1934 for the archaeological journal published by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

.

Hellenistic/Roman period


In 140 BC the city was destroyed by Diodotus Tryphon
Diodotus Tryphon
Diodotus Tryphon was king of the Hellenistic Seleucid kingdom. As a general of the army, he promoted the claims of Antiochus VI Dionysus, the infant son of Alexander Balas, in Antioch after Alexander's death, but then in 142 deposed the child and himself seized power in Coele-Syria where Demetrius...

 in his contest with Antiochus VII Sidetes
Antiochus VII Sidetes
Antiochus VII Euergetes, nicknamed Sidetes , ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, reigned from 138 to 129 BC. He was the last Seleucid king of any stature....

 for the throne of the Seleucid
Seleucid Empire
The Seleucid Empire was a Greek-Macedonian state that was created out of the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, today's Turkmenistan, Pamir and parts of Pakistan.The Seleucid Empire was a major centre...

 monarchy. Beirut was soon rebuilt on a more regularized Hellenistic
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 plan, renamed Laodicea in Phoenicia or Laodicea in Canaan, in honor of a Seleucid Laodice
Laodice of Macedonia
Laodice was a Greek noblewoman and wife of Antiochus , a general of distinction in the service of Philip II of Macedon. She was the mother of Seleucus, the founder of the Seleucid Empire and Seleucus' sister Didymeia. It was pretended, in consequence of a dream which she had, that Apollo was the...

. The modern city overlies the ancient one and little archaeology had been accomplished until after the end of the civil war in 1991; now large sites in the devastated city center have been opened to archaeological exploration. A dig in 1994 established that one of Beirut's modern streets, Souk Tawile, still follows the lines of an ancient Hellenistic and Roman one.

Mid-first century coins of Berytus bear the head of Tyche
Tyche
In ancient Greek city cults, Tyche was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny....

, goddess of fortune; on the reverse, the city's symbol appears: a dolphin entwines an anchor. This symbol was taken up by the early printer Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

 in 15th century Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

.

Beirut was conquered by Agrippa in 64 BC and the city was renamed in honor of the emperor's daughter, Julia; its full name became Colonia Julia Augusta
Livia
Livia Drusilla, , after her formal adoption into the Julian family in AD 14 also known as Julia Augusta, was a Roman empress as the third wife of the Emperor Augustus and his adviser...

 Felix Berytus. The veterans of two Roman legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

s were established in the city: the fifth Macedonian and the third Gallic. The city quickly became Romanized. Large public buildings and monuments were erected and Berytus enjoyed full status as a part of the empire.

Under the Romans, it was enriched by the dynasty of Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

, and was made a colonia
Colonia (Roman)
A Roman colonia was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of Roman city.-History:...

, Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus, in 14 BC. Beirut's school of law was widely known at the time. Two of Rome's most famous jurists, Papinian
Aemilius Papinianus
Aemilius Papinianus , also known as Papinian, was a celebrated Roman jurist, magister libellorum and, after the death of Gaius Fulvius Plautianus in 205, praetorian prefect.-Life:...

 and Ulpian
Ulpian
Gnaeus Domitius Annius Ulpianus , anglicized as Ulpian, was a Roman jurist of Tyrian ancestry.-Biography:The exact time and place of his birth are unknown, but the period of his literary activity was between AD 211 and 222...

, both natives of Phoenicia, taught at the law school under the Severan
Severan dynasty
The Severan dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 193 and 235. The dynasty was founded by the Roman general Septimius Severus, who rose to power during the civil war of 193, known as the Year of the Five Emperors....

 emperors. When Justinian
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

 assembled his Pandects in the 6th century, a large part of the corpus of laws was derived from these two jurists, and Justinian recognized the school as one of the three official law schools of the empire (533). Within a few years, as the result of a disastrous earthquake (551)
551 Beirut earthquake
The 551 Beirut earthquake occurred on 9 July of 551 AD. It had an estimated magnitude of about 7.6 on the moment magnitude scale and a maximum felt intensity of X on the Mercalli intensity scale. It triggered a devastating tsunami which affected the coastal towns of Phoenicia, causing great...

, the students were transferred to Sidon
Sidon
Sidon or Saïda is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the son of Canaan the grandson of Noah...

. About 30,000 were killed in Berytus alone and, along the Phoenician coast, total casualties were close to 250,000. Beirut was considered the most Roman city in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

Middle Ages


Beirut passed to Arabs in 635. It was ruled by the Arslan family (Arab origin from Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, relatives through marriage, descendants of the Lakhmids
Lakhmids
The Lakhmids , Banu Lakhm , Muntherids , were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in 266. Poets described it as a Paradise on earth, an Arab Poet described the city's pleasant climate and beauty "One day in al-Hirah is better than a year of...

) for 477 years (635–1110). "Prince Arslan bin al-Mundhir" founded the Principality of Sin-el-Fil in 759 AD in Beirut. This Principality was the base of the afterwards "Principality of Mount Lebanon" which was the base of the establishment of "Greater Lebanon" (Lebanon today). As a trading centre of the eastern Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, Beirut was overshadowed by Akka
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

 during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. From 1110 to 1291 it was in the hands of the Crusaders
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Catholic kingdom established in the Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks, but its history is divided into two distinct periods....

. John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut
John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut
John of Ibelin , called the Old Lord of Beirut, was a powerful crusader noble in the 13th century, one of the best known representatives of the influential Ibelin family...

 (1179–1236) rebuilt the city after the battles with Saladin
Saladin
Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

, and also built the Ibelin
Ibelin
Ibelin was a castle in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century , which gave its name to an important family of nobles.-The castle:...

 family palace in Beirut.

Ottoman rule



Beirut was controlled by local Druze emirs throughout the Ottoman period. One of these, Fakr ed-Din Maan II
Fakhr-al-Din II
Emir Fakhr-al-Din ibn Maan was the 1st prince of the State of Lebanon which has self-governed under the Ottoman Empire between the 17th and 19th centuries. Son of Prince Qorqmaz ibn Maan and Sit Nasab of the Tanukhi family, he was given the title "Emir" or Prince in Arabic because the Maan...

, fortified it early in the 17th century, but the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 retook it in 1763. With the help of Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Beirut successfully broke Akka's monopoly on Syrian maritime trade and for a few years supplanted it as the main trading centre in the region. During the succeeding epoch of rebellion against Ottoman hegemony at Akka under Jezzar
Jezzar Pasha
Ahmed al-Jazzar was the Ottoman ruler of Acre and the Galilee from 1775 until his death.-Biography:...

 and Abdullah
Abdullah Pasha
Abdullah Pasha or Abdullah Kölemen was an Ottoman general in the First Balkan War, notable as the Ottoman commander in the Battle of Kirk Kilisse in 1912, the Battle of Lule Burgas, and the Battle of Adrianople in which the Ottoman forces were defeated by the Bulgarians.-External links:* * * * *...

 pashas, Beirut declined to a small town (population about 10,000), and was an object of contention between the Ottomans, the local Druze, and the Mamluks.
After Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

 captured Akka in 1832, Beirut began its revival.
By the second half of the nineteenth century, Beirut was in the process of developing close commercial and political ties with European imperial powers, France in particular. European interests in Lebanese silk and other export products transformed the city into a major port and commercial centre. Meanwhile, Ottoman power in the region continued to decline. Sectarian and religious conflicts, power vacuums, and changes in the political dynamics of the region culminated in the 1860 Lebanon conflict
1860 Lebanon conflict
The 1860 Lebanon conflict was the culmination of a peasant uprising which began in the north of Lebanon as a rebellion of Maronite peasants against their Druze overlords. It soon spread to the south of the country where the rebellion changed its character, with Druze turning against the Maronite...

. Beirut became a destination for Maronite Christian refugees fleeing from the worst areas of the fighting on Mount Lebanon and in Damascus. This in turn altered the ethnic composition of Beirut itself, sowing the seeds of future ethnic and religious troubles there and in greater Lebanon. However, Beirut was able to prosper in the meantime. This was again a product of European intervention, and also a general realization amongst the city's residents that commerce, trade, and prosperity depended on domestic stability.

In 1888, Beirut was made capital of a vilayet
Wilayah
A wilāyah or vilâyet , or vilayat in Urdu and Turkish, is an administrative division, usually translated as "province", rarely as "governorate". The word comes from the Arabic "w-l-y", "to govern": a wāli — "governor" — governs a wilayah, "that which is governed"...

 in Syria, including the sanjak
Sanjak
Sanjaks were administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire. Sanjak, and the variant spellings sandjak, sanjaq, and sinjaq, are English transliterations of the Turkish word sancak, meaning district, banner, or flag...

s Latakia, Tripoli
Tripoli, Lebanon
Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in Lebanon. Situated 85 km north of the capital Beirut, Tripoli is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Geographically located on the east of the Mediterranean, the city's history dates back...

, Beirut, Akka and Bekaa. By this time, Beirut had grown into a very cosmopolitan city, and had close links with Europe and the United States. Beirut also became a centre of missionary
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 activity that spawned impressive educational institutions, such as the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

. Provided with water from a British company and gas from a French one, silk exports to Europe came to dominate the local economy. After French engineers established a modern harbor (1894) and a rail link across Lebanon to Damascus, and then to Aleppo
Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

 (1907), much of the trade was carried by French ships to Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

. French influence in the area soon exceeded that of any other European power. In 1911, the population mix was reported in the Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

as Muslims, 36,000; Christians, 77,000; Jews, 2500; Druze, 400; foreigners, 4100.

Modern era



After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, Beirut, along with the rest of Lebanon, was placed under the French Mandate
French Mandate of Lebanon
The state of Greater Lebanon, the predecessor of modern Lebanon, was created in 1920 as part of the French scheme of dividing the French Mandate of Syria into six states....

. After Lebanon achieved independence in 1943, Beirut became its capital city. The city remained a regional intellectual capital, becoming a major tourist destination and a banking haven, especially for the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 Oil Boom. This era of relative prosperity ended in 1975 when the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 broke out throughout the country. During most of the war, Beirut was divided between a Muslim west part and the Christian east. The downtown area, previously the home of much of the city's commercial and cultural activities, became a no man's land
No Man's Land
No man's land is an unoccupied area between two opposing positions.No Man's Land may also refer to:-Places:In the United Kingdom* No Man's Land, Cornwall, England* No Man's Land Fort, off the coast of England* Nomansland, Devon, England...

 known as the "Green Line." Many inhabitants fled to other countries. About 60,000 people died in the first two years of the war (1975–1976), and much of the city was devastated. One particularly destructive period was the 1978 Syrian siege against Achrafiyeh, the main Christian district of Beirut. Syrian troops relentlessly bombed the eastern quarter of the city; however, Christian militias managed to counter and defeat multiple attempts by Syria's elite forces to capture the strategic area in a three-month campaign later known as the "100 days war". Another destructive chapter was the 1982 Israeli invasion
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

, during which most of West Beirut was under siege by Israeli troops. In 1983, French and US barracks were bombed
1983 Beirut barracks bombing
The Beirut Barracks Bombing occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen...

 by Hezbollah, killing 241 American servicemen, 58 French servicemen, 6 civilians and the 2 suicide bombers.

Since the end of the war in 1990, the people of Lebanon have been rebuilding Beirut, and by the start of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict the city had somewhat regained its status as a tourist, cultural, and intellectual center in the Middle East, as well as a centre for commerce, fashion, and media. The reconstruction of downtown Beirut has been largely driven by Solidere
Solidere
Solidere s.a.l. is a Lebanese joint-stock company in charge of planning and redeveloping Beirut Central District following the conclusion, in 1990, of the country’s devastating civil war...

, a development company established in 1994 by Rafik Hariri. Beirut is home to the international designer Elie Saab
Elie Saab
Elie Saab , sometimes known simply as 'ES', is a Lebanese fashion designer.In 1982, Saab launched his Beirut-based fashion label when he was 18 years old. His main workshop is in Lebanon. He also has workshops in Milan and Paris.Born to Maronite Catholic parents in Beirut, Saab is self-trained...

, jeweller Robert Moawad, and to some popular satellite television stations, such as Future TV, New TV and others. The city was host to the Asian Club Basketball Championship and the Asian Football Cup. Beirut also successfully hosted the Miss Europe
Miss Europe
Miss Europe is a popular regional beauty pageant among female contestants from the nations of the European continent established in 1928 and re-established at the end of World War II by Roger Zeiler of the French Committee of Elegance and Claude Berr...

 pageant eight times, 1960–1964, 1999, 2001–2002.

The 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri near the Saint George Bay
Saint George Bay
The Saint George Bay is located on the northern coast of the city of Beirut in Lebanon. The Saint George Bay is believed to be the place where Saint George slew the dragon. Today the bay houses Beirut's western marina and extends to the north until the marina of Dbayeh...

 in Beirut shook the entire country. Approximately one million people gathered for an opposition rally
March 14 Alliance
The March 14 alliance , named after the date of the Cedar Revolution, is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon that call for sovereignty over all Lebanese territories, led by MP Saad Hariri, younger son of Rafik Hariri, the assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon, as...

 in Beirut a month after the death of Hariri. The Cedar Revolution
Cedar Revolution
The Cedar Revolution or Independence Intifada was a chain of demonstrations in Lebanon triggered by the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005.The primary goals of the original activists were the...

 was the largest rally in Lebanon's history at that time. The last Syrian troops withdrew from Beirut on 26 April 2005. The two countries established diplomatic relations
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 on 15 October 2008. During the 2006 Lebanon War, however, Israeli bombardments seeking Hezbollah targets
Haret Hreik
Haret Hreik is a mixed Shia and Maronite Christian town, in the Dahieh suburbs, south of Beirut, Lebanon. Once an agricultural village, Haret Hreik lost its rural identity due to the wave of refugees from Southern Lebanon who settled in the town and made it another urban neighborhood of Dahieh...

 resulted in damage in many parts of Beirut, especially the poorer and largely Shiite South Beirut, which is controlled by Hezbollah.
In May 2008, violent clashes broke out
2008 conflict in Lebanon
The 2008 conflict in Lebanon began on May 7, after Lebanon's 17-month long political crisis spiraled out of control. The fighting was sparked by a government move to shut down Hezbollah's telecommunication network and remove Beirut Airport's security chief Wafic Shkeir over alleged ties to Hezbollah...

 in Beirut, after the government decided to disband Hezbollah's network of communications (which it later rescinded) between the government allies that were relocated in the capital and the forces of the opposition briefly before handing it over to the control of the Lebanese Army
Lebanese Armed Forces
The Lebanese Armed Forces or Forces Armées Libanaises in French, also known as the Lebanese Army according to its official Website The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) (Arabic: القوات المسلحة اللبنانية | Al-Quwwāt al-Musallaḥa al-Lubnāniyya) or Forces Armées Libanaises in French, also known as the...

.

In the aftermath of these events, all clashing parties travelled to the Qatari capital, Doha
Doha
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar...

 to attend a national dialogue conference after an invitation from the prince of the country. On the conclusion of the meeting, many decisions had been reached, including the appointment of a new president of the country and the establishment of a new national government with all the political adversaries involved. As a result, the opposition's camp in the capital was removed, as underlined in the Doha Agreement.

Geography




Beirut is positioned on a peninsula extending westward into the Mediterranean Sea, about 94 km (58.4 mi) north of the Lebanon-Israel border. The city is flanked by the Lebanon mountains; it has taken on a triangular shape, largely influenced by its situation between and atop two hills: Al-Ashrafieh
Achrafieh
Achrafieh, , is one of the oldest Christian districts of East Beirut, Lebanon.-Overview:It is located on a hill in the eastern part of Beirut alongside the shore. Achrafieh is both a residential and commercial district characterized by narrow winding streets and prestigious large apartment and...

 and Al-Musaytibah. The Beirut Governorate area is of 18 square kilometres (6.9 sq mi), and the city's metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 is of 67 square kilometres (25.9 sq mi). Beirut's coast is rather diverse; rocky beaches, sandy shores and cliffs are situated beside one another.

Climate


Beirut has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 characterized by a hot, humid yet rainless summer, a pleasant autumn and spring, and a cool, rainy winter. August is the hottest month, with a monthly average high temperature of 32 °C (84 °F), and January and February are the coldest months with a monthly average low temperature of 10 °C (50 °F). During the afternoon and evening, the prevailing wind direction is from the west, i.e., onshore, or inland from the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

; at night the wind direction reverses to offshore, i.e., blowing from the land out to the sea.

The average annual rainfall is 890 millimetres (35.1 inches), virtually all of which falls in winter, autumn and spring. Much of the rain in autumn and spring falls on a limited number of days in heavy downpours. In winter, however, the rain is more evenly spread over a large number of days. Summer receives very little (if any) rainfall. Snow in Beirut is rare and usually occurs without accumulation. However, hail and sleet can occur quite frequently in winter. Exceptions are three big snowstorms that occurred in 1920, 1942 and 1950.

Quarters and sectors



Beirut is divided into 12 municipality recognized quarters (quartiers):
  • Achrafieh
    Achrafieh
    Achrafieh, , is one of the oldest Christian districts of East Beirut, Lebanon.-Overview:It is located on a hill in the eastern part of Beirut alongside the shore. Achrafieh is both a residential and commercial district characterized by narrow winding streets and prestigious large apartment and...

  • Dar El Mreisse
  • Bachoura
  • Mazraa
    Mazraa
    -Locations / Places:Lebanon*Mazraa, a town in Lebanon*Mazraat el Chouf, a town and area in Chouf, Lebanon*Mazraa, a commercial district in Beirut, Lebanon*Mazraat Al Toufah, a village in Zgharta District, Lebanon*Mazraat el-Btadiniye, a village in South Lebanon...

  • Medawar
  • Minet El Hosn
  • Moussaitbeh
  • Port Beirut
  • Ras Beirut
    Ras Beirut
    Ras Beirut is a luxurious residential neighborhood of Beirut. It is the most cosmopolitan and open-minded area of Beirut, where sizable populations of Christians, Muslims, and Druze coexist peacefully. It is known as the cultural and intellectual center of Beirut...

  • Rmeil
  • Saifi Village
    Saifi Village
    Saifi Village, commonly referred to as Le Quartier des Arts, is a residential upscale neighbourhood in Beirut, Lebanon. Saifi Village is located at the southeastern periphery of Centre Ville...

  • Zoukak El Blatt


These quarters are divided into sectors (secteurs).

Three of the 12 official Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are located in Beirut: Burj el-Barajneh
Bourj el-Barajneh
Bourj el-Barajneh is a municipality located in the southern suburbs of Beirut, in Lebanon. The municipality lies between Beirut International Airport and the town of Haret Hreik....

, Shatila
Shatila refugee camp
The Shatila refugee camp is a long-term refugee camp for Palestinian refugees, set up by UNRWA in 1949. The camp is located within the Lebanese capital Beirut. As of December 2003, it housed 12,235 registered refugees...

 and Mar Elias refugee camp, all located in the south of the city.
Of the fifteen unregistered or unofficial refugee camp
Refugee camp
A refugee camp is a temporary settlement built to receive refugees. Hundreds of thousands of people may live in any one single camp. Usually they are built and run by a government, the United Nations, or international organizations, or NGOs.Refugee camps are generally set up in an impromptu...

s, Sabra, which lies adjacent to Shatila, is also located in Beirut.

Demographics


There are wide-ranging estimates of Beirut's population, from as low as 938,940 people, to 1,303,129 people, to as high as 2,012,000. The lack of an exact figure is because no population census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 has been taken in Lebanon since 1932.

Beirut is one of the most religiously diverse cities of Lebanon and all of the Middle East, with a significant presence of both Christians and Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. There are nine major religious communities in Beirut (Maronite Catholic
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

, Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

, Greek Catholic, Armenian Apostolic
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

, Armenian Catholic
Armenian Catholic Church
|- |The Armenian Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church sui juris in union with the other Eastern Rite, Oriental Rite and Latin Rite Catholics who accept the Bishop of Rome as spiritual leader of the Church. It is regulated by Eastern canon law...

, Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, Sunni Muslim
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, Shiite Muslim, Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

). Family matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance are still handled by the religious authorities representing a person's faith (the "millet
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

" system). Calls for civil marriage are unanimously rejected by the religious authorities but civil marriages held in another country are recognized by Lebanese civil authorities
Civil authority
Civil authority is that apparatus of the state other than its military units that enforces law and order. It is also used to distinguish between religious authority and secular authority...

. Until the mid-20th century, Beirut was also home to a Jewish community in the Wadi Abu Jamil
Wadi Abu Jamil
Wadi Abu Jamil, located in Beirut's Centre Ville, is the Jewish quarter in Beirut, Lebanon.-History:Formally known as Wadi al-Yahoud ., the quarter was the center of the Lebanese Jewish community, with Beirut's largest and most important synagogue, the Maghen Abraham Synagogue, located there...

 neighbourhood in the Bab Idriss sector of Zokak el-Blat (see History of the Jews in Lebanon
History of the Jews in Lebanon
The history of the Jews in Lebanon deals with the presence of Jews in Lebanon, which stretches back to Biblical times.-Jews in Lebanon today:Lebanese Jews are traditionally a Mizrahi community living mostly in and around Beirut...

).
According to the 2009 Lebanese general elections, a total of 435,462 people voted in Beirut, of them 192,910 (45%) were Sunni Muslims, 60,202 (14%) were Shia Muslims, 46,744 (11%) were Armenian Orthodox, 42,728 (10%) were Greek Orthodox, 24,800 (6%) were Maronite Catholics
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

, 18,923 (4%) were Greek Catholics, 9,623 (2%) were Armenian Catholics, 6,883 (1%) were Protestant, 5,374 (1%) were Jews, 5,251 (1%) were Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, 218 were Alawis, and 21,806 were Other Christians.

Before the civil war the neighborhoods of Beirut were fairly heterogeneous, but they have become largely segregated by religion since the conflict. East Beirut is characterized by a largely Christian population, with a small Sunni Muslim minority. Meanwhile, West Beirut is categorized by a Sunni Muslim majority with small minorities of Christians and Druze. Since the end of the civil war, East and West Beirut have begun to see an increase in Sunni Muslims and Christians moving into each half. Beirut's southern suburbs are largely populated by Shi'ite Muslims, while Beirut's Eastern suburbs are largely Christian.
Northern Beirut has had a large Lebanese Protestant community since the 19th century.

Economy



The economy of Beirut is diverse, ranging from publishing, banking, trade to a diverse industry.
From the 1950s to the start of the conflict in 1975, Beirut was the region's financial services center. At the onset of the oil boom starting in the 1960s, Lebanon-based banks were the main recipients of the region's petrodollars. Middle East Airlines
Middle East Airlines
Middle East Airlines – Air Liban S.A.L. , more commonly known as Middle East Airlines , is the national flag-carrier airline of Lebanon, with its head office in Beirut, near Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport...

 has its head office in Beirut. In addition, the Banque du Liban
Banque du Liban
Banque du Liban is the central bank of Lebanon. It was established on August 1, 1963 and became fully operational on April 1, 1964. It is currently headed by Riad Salameh, who was named the Middle East's best central bank governor by Euromoney in 2005....

, the central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

 of Lebanon, is headquartered in Beirut.

Government


The capital Beirut is the seat of the Lebanese Parliament and of the government, and encompasses all the Ministries, most of the
public administrations, embassies and consulates.
Beirut
Beirut Governorate
The Governorate of Beirut is the only Lebanese governorate that consists of one districtand one city, Beirut, which is also its capital, and the capital of Lebanon....

 is one of six mohafazat (state governorates; mohafazah, singular), with the others being Beqaa
Beqaa Governorate
Beqaa is a governorate in Lebanon with a population of 750,000 inhabitants.-Geography:The Beqaa governorate covers an area of 4,429 km². Béqaa is the primary center of Lebanon's agriculture. The Beqaa governorate forms the main geographical extension of Lebanon and it lies between the Western...

, North Lebanon
North Governorate
North Governorate is one of the governorates of Lebanon. Its capital is Tripoli.-Districts:The North Governorate is divided into districts, or aqdya...

, South Lebanon
South Governorate
South Governorate is one of the governorates of Lebanon. South Lebanon has a population of 500,000 inhabitants and an area of 2,000 km². The capital is Sidon. The lowest elevation is sea-level; the highest is 1,000 meters. The inhabitants are a mixture of Shiites, Sunnis, Orthodox,...

, Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon Governorate
Mount Lebanon is one of the Governorates of Lebanon. Its capital is Baabda. The overwhelming majority of its population is Maronites, Greek Orthodox, and Melkite Greek Catholic Christians...

 and Nabatiye.



Governors of Beirut
Name Took office Left office
1 Kamel Abbas Hamieh 1936 1941
2 Nicolas Rizk 1946 1952
3 George Assi 1952 1956
4 Bachour Haddad 1956 1958
5 Philip Boulos 1959 1960
6 Emile Yanni 1960 1967
7 Chafik Abou Haydar 1967 1977
8 Mitri El Nammar 1977 1987
9 George Smaha 1987 1991
10 Nayef Al Maaloof 1992 1995
11 Nicolas Saba 1995 1999
12 Yaacoub Sarraf 1999 2005
13 Nassif Kaloosh 2005

International organizations


The city is home to numerous international organizations. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia , headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, is one of the five regional commissions under the administrative direction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. UN-ESCWA promotes economic and social development of Western Asia...

 (ESCWA) is headquartered in Downtown Beirut while the International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues pertaining to international labour standards. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Its secretariat — the people who are employed by it throughout the world — is known as the...

 (ILO) and UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) both have regional offices in Beirut covering the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

. The Arab Air Carriers Organization
Arab Air Carriers Organization
The Arab Air Carriers Organization , established in 1965, is a non profit organization and has 24 Arab airlines as members.AACO was established by the League of Arab States . Its goal is to promote cooperation, quality and safety standards among the Arab airlines...

 (AACO), the Union of Arab Banks and the Union of Arab Stock Exchanges are also headquartered in Beirut.

Education



Higher education in Beirut, and all over Lebanon, is provided by technical and vocational institutes, university colleges, university institutes and universities. Among these numbers of institutions nationwide, the Lebanese University
Lebanese University
The Lebanese University is the only public institution for higher learning in Lebanon. Founded in 1951, it has 17 faculties as of 2006 and serves various cultural, religious, and social groups of students and teachers....

 is the only public institution in the capital. The responsibility of the Directorate General of Higher Education is responsible for managing the university colleges, university Institutes and Universities in Beirut and nationwide.

Among the private schools in Beirut are the American Community School
American Community School at Beirut
The American Community School at Beirut, also known as ACS Beirut is a private school located in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. It is an independent private coeducational institution offering educational services to students of all nationalities, ranging from Preschool, students aged from 3...

, the Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour, International College, Beirut
International College, Beirut
International College, Beirut, Lebanon, is a private co-educational preparatory school to the American University of Beirut mainly, as well as American Ivy League universities. Its students come from all over Lebanon, as well as the Middle-East and around the world.The U.S...

, the Carmel Saint-Joseph, the Collège Louise Wegmann, Rawdah High School, the Saint Mary's Orthodox College, the Collège Protestant Français, the Lycée Franco-Libanais Verdun, the Collège du Sacré-Coeur Gemmayzé, the Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais
Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais
The Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais , is a French lycée in the Achrafieh district of Beirut, Lebanon founded in 1909 by the Mission laïque française, an organization which also helped found other lycées worldwide.It is also an active member of the AEFE...

, the Collège Notre Dame de Nazareth, the Armenian Evangelical Central High School
Armenian Evangelical Central High School
The Armenian Evangelical Central High School is one of the oldest and most-well established schools of the Armenian community in Lebanon. It was founded in 1922 in a refugee camp, on the initiative of the Rev Yenovk Hadidian. Ten years later, it moved to its present location on the eastern...

 and the German School of Beirut.

The higher education system is based on the Lebanese Baccalaureate but the French Baccalaureate is accepted as an equivalent. Before being admitted to any higher education institution, one must achieve his or her Baccalaureate examinations. Baccalaureate technique is an alternative to credentials.

Foreign students who wish to study in higher Lebanese institutions must also meet Lebanese qualifications. Their examinations must be equivalent to the Baccalaureate system before they are granted admission to higher institutions. They are not subject to any special quota system, and scholarships are granted within the framework of bilateral agreements concluded with other countries. Degrees obtained outside Lebanon must be certified by the Lebanese embassy abroad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon. Then, candidates must go in person to the Secretariat of the Equivalence Committee with required documents.
The American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 is the oldest university in the country and the region. In 1862 American missionaries in Lebanon and Syria, under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, asked Dr. Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss was the founder of the American University of Beirut.-Life and Work:...

 to establish a college of higher learning that would include medical training. On April 24, 1863, while Dr. Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss
Daniel Bliss was the founder of the American University of Beirut.-Life and Work:...

 was raising money for the new college in the United States and England, the State of New York granted a charter for the Syrian Protestant College. The college, which was renamed the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 in 1920, opened with a class of 16 students on December 3, 1866. Dr. Bliss served as its first president, from 1866 until 1902. The American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded as the Syrian Protestant College by American missionaries in 1866...

 (AUB) has been accredited as an institution since 2004 by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools is a voluntary, peer-based, non-profit association dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and accreditation...

 (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Tel. 267-284-5000). AUB’s accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in June 2009, after the completion of an extensive self-study that was reviewed by educational experts chosen in consultation with Middle States. The University’s next full accreditation cycle is due in 2018–19. Over the last several years, a number of University programs and faculties have also sought accreditation with more specialized bodies. The Faculty of Health Sciences’ Graduate Public Health program became the first such program to be accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health
Council on Education for Public Health
The Council on Education for Public Health is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health as well as certain programs offered in settings other than in schools of public health...

 (CEPH) outside of North America. Similarly, the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing became the first nursing school beyond American territories to have BSN and MSN programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is an autonomous nursing education accrediting agency that contributes to the improvement of the public's health. The CCNE is recognized by the U.S...

 (CCNE). In April 2009, undergraduate and graduate programs at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business were accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business was founded in 1916 to accredit schools of business worldwide. The first accreditations took place in 1919. The stated mission is to advance quality management education worldwide through accreditation and thought leadership. It is regarded...

 (AACSB). Most recently, in July 2010, four undergraduate Engineering programs at AUB’s Faculty of Engineering and Architecture were accredited by ABET Inc. (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
ABET, Inc., formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, is a non-profit organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology...

). In general, the accreditation process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of a university, faculty, or program, confirming that it is worthy of public confidence. AUB has been registered with and recognized by the New York State Education Department
New York State Education Department
The New York State Education Department is the state education department in New York. It is part of the University of the State of New York , one of the most complete, interconnected systems of educational services in the United States...

 (NYSED) since 1863. Its degrees are recognized by the Lebanese government through the equivalence committees of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Beirut is also home to the Lebanese American University
Lebanese American University
The Lebanese American University is a secular, private and independent American university located in Lebanon...

 (LAU), which is Chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York
University of the State of New York
The University of the State of New York is the State of New York's governmental umbrella organization responsible for most institutions and people in any way connected with formal educational functions, public and private, in New York State...

. LAU is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. is the U.S. regional accreditation association providing educational accreditation for all levels of education, from pre-kindergarten to the doctoral level, in the six-state New England region. It also provides accreditation for some...

. LAU also offers the only Pharm.D program outside the United States of America that is fully accredited by the American Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education is a non-profit accreditation agency recognized by Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education...

, as well as an architecture degree equivalent to the French DEA allowing graduates to practice in the European Union. All engineering programs at LAU are accredited by the American accreditation agency ABET. The Computer Science program at LAU is the first and only ABET accredited program in Lebanon. Other universities in Beirut include the University of Balamand
University of Balamand
The University of Balamand is a private, secular university located at El-Koura, Lebanon. It was founded by the Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch in 1988...

 (Faculty of Health Sciences), Université Saint-Joseph, and École Supérieure des Affaires
Ecole Supérieure des Affaires
The École Supérieure des Affaires is a Beirut-based higher education establishment. It is the only Grande Ecole for business in the Middle East region. The ESA was founded in 1996 by the French and Lebanese governments, as a joint cooperation between the Paris Chamber of Commerce and the Bank of...

 (business school).

Transportation



The city's renovated airport is the Rafic Hariri International Airport
Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport is located 9 km from the city centre in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon and is the only operational commercial airport in the country. It is the hub for Lebanon's national carrier, Middle East Airlines...

 and is located in the southern suburbs. By land, it is served by either service taxi or taxicab
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

. Service taxis are cheaper than normal taxis, but to avoid misunderstandings, an agreement over pricing needs to be made before setting off.

Beirut has frequent bus connections to other cities in Lebanon and major cities in Syria. The Lebanese Commuting Company, or LCC in short, is just one of a handful brands of public transportation all over Lebanon. On the other hand, the publicly owned buses are managed by Office des Chemins de Fer et des Transports en Commun
OCFTC
rightO.C.F.T.C is the Lebanese government authority which operates public transportation in Lebanon....

 (OCFTC), or the "Railway and Public Transportation Authority" in English. Buses for northern destinations and Syria leave from Charles Helou Station.

Apart from the international airport, the Port of Beirut
Port of Beirut
The Port of Beirut is the main port in Lebanon located on the eastern part of the Saint George Bay on Beirut's northern Mediterranean coast, west of the Beirut River. It is one of the largest and busiest ports on the Eastern Mediterranean...

 is another port of entry
Port of entry
In general, a port of entry is a place where one may lawfully enter a country. It typically has a staff of people who check passports and visas and inspect luggage to assure that contraband is not imported. International airports are usually ports of entry, as are road and rail crossings on a...

. As a final destination, Lebanon can be reached by ferry from Cyprus or by road from Damascus.

Culture



The culture of Beirut has evolved under the influence of many different peoples and civilizations, such as Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and French, among others. The law school in downtown Beirut was one of the world's earliest and was considered to be a leading center of legal studies in the Eastern Roman Empire. All in all, the ruins of downtown Beirut have been found to contain seven layers of civilization. This history of cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. This is contrasted with communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism...

 is a point of pride for many Lebanese.

Beirut hosted the Francophonie and the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 summits in 2002. In 2007, Beirut hosted the ceremony for Le Prix Albert Londres, which rewards outstanding francophone journalists every year. The city also hosted the Jeux de la Francophonie
Jeux de la Francophonie
The Jeux de la Francophonie are a combination of artistic and sporting events for the Francophonie, mostly French speaking nations, held every four years since 1989, partly as a counterweight to the Commonwealth Games.-Editions:-Sports:There were four sports...

 in 2009. In 2009, Beirut was proclaimed World Capital of the Book by UNESCO.

Beirut has also been called the "party capital of the Arab world". Rue Monnot
Rue Monnot
Rue Monnot , is street in Beirut, Lebanon. The street is located east of Beirut Central District in the Sodeco neighborhood of Achrafieh which is one of the "Christian quarters" of Beirut...

 has an international reputation among clubbers
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

. Additionally Rue Gouraud
Rue Gouraud
Rue Gouraud is a mixed residential and commercial street in Gemmayzeh, a neighborhood in the Achrafieh district of Beirut in Lebanon. The street, which was named after the French General Henri Gouraud, has become one of Beirut's trendiest streets with numerous high-end restaurants, French cafes,...

 in districts such as Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael have emerged as new hotspots for bar patrons and clubbers.

Museums



The National Museum of Beirut
National Museum of Beirut
The National Museum of Beirut is the principal museum of archaeology in Lebanon. The collection was begun after World War I, and the museum was officially opened in 1942. The museum has collections totalling about 100,000 objects, most of which are antiquities and medieval finds from excavations...

 is the principal museum of archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 in Lebanon. About 1,300 artifacts are exhibited, ranging in date from prehistoric times
History of ancient Lebanon
The history of ancient Lebanon traces the course of events in what is now known as Lebanon from the beginning of history to the beginning of Arab rule.- Prehistoric Times :The earliest known settlements in Lebanon date back to earlier than 5000 BC...

 to the medieval Mamluk period
History of Lebanon under Arab rule
The history of Lebanon under Arab rule refers to the history of the region in West Asia that became Lebanon during the periods it was under Arab rule....

. The American University of Beirut (AUB) archaeological museum is the third oldest museum in the Middle East, exhibiting a wide range of artifacts from Lebanon and neighboring countries. Sursock Museum
Sursock Museum
Sursock Museum, which is officially known as Nicolas Sursock Museum, is a modern art museum in Beirut, Lebanon. It is located in the historic street known as Rue Sursock in the Achrafieh district of Beirut. The street is home to other mansions that were built in the 18th century by Beirut's most...

 was built by the Sursock family
Sursock family
Sursock is a Greek Orthodox, Lebanese family and one of Beirut's aristocratic families. The Sursock family made their money as traders. The Sursocks were also landowners and for many decades Lebanon's leading business family, joining forces with the Otis Elevator Company to manufacture elevators...

 at the end of the 19th century as a private villa. It was then donated to the Lebanese state
Politics of Lebanon
Lebanon is a parliamentary republic within the overall framework of confessionalism, a form of consociationalism in which the highest offices are proportionately reserved for representatives from certain religious communities. The constitution grants the people the right to change their government...

 and now houses Beirut's most influential and popular art museum. The permanent collection shows a collection of Japanese engravings and numerous works of Islamic art
Islamic art
Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people who lived within the territory that was inhabited by or ruled by culturally Islamic populations...

, and temporary exhibitions are shown throughout the year. Robert Mouawad Private Museum
Robert Mouawad Private Museum
The Robert Mouawad Private Museum is a private residence in Beirut's Zokak el-Blat quarter that was turned into a museum by the Lebanese businessman Robert Mouawad. The palace was built in the neo-gothic style by the Lebanese politician and art collector Henri Philippe Pharaoun in 1911. The museum...

 exhibits Henri Pharaon's
Henri Philippe Pharaoun
Henri Philippe Pharaoun , was a Lebanese art collector, sportsman, politician and businessman. He played a crucial role in securing Lebanon's independence from France and served as foreign minister and other Cabinet positions...

 private archaeology and antiques collection, located near Beirut's the Grand Serail
Grand Serail
The Grand Serail ; also known as the Government Palace) is the headquarters of the Prime Minister of Lebanon. It is situated atop a hill in downtown Beirut a few blocks away from the Lebanese Parliament....

. Planet Discovery is a children’s science museum with interactive experiments, exhibitions, performances and workshops and awareness competitions. The Saint Joseph University opened the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory
Museum of Lebanese Prehistory
The Museum of Lebanese Prehistory is a museum of prehistory and archaeology in Beirut, Lebanon.-History:...

 in 2000, the first prehistory museum in the Arabic Middle East displaying bones, stone tools and neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 collected by Jesuits.

Media


Beirut is the main center in Lebanon for the television, newspaper, and book publishing industries. The television stations include Tele Liban
Télé Liban
Télé Liban became the first Lebanese public television network, owned by the Lebanese government. Télé Liban was a result of the merger of two privately-owned stations, CLT and Télé Orient in 1977. Currently, it mainly broadcasts terrestrially throughout Lebanon. TL is the current Lebanese...

, LBC
Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation
The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation , widely known as LBC, is the first private television station in Lebanon. It went global in 1996 when it launched its satellite channel LBC Al-Fadha'iya Al-Lubnaniya covering the Arab World. It now has several channels covering Europe, America, Australia, and...

, Future TV
Future Television
Future Television a television station broadcasting from Lebanon. It was founded in 1993 by Rafik Hariri, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon. Future TV is also available via satellite in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia. Politically, the channel supports the views of the Future...

, OTV (Orange TV
Orange TV
OTV is a publicly-traded television station in Lebanon.It began broadcasting on July 20, 2007 on the Arabsat satellite, on the 11823MHz frequency. OTV Launched officially in 2008 after a testing period of almost six months. OTV now covers the world through different broadcasting channels for...

), MTV
Murr Television
Murr Television is a Lebanese television station based in Naccache, a suburb of the capital Beirut. It is owned by Lebanese politician Gabriel Murr and directed by his son Michel Murr...

, New TV
Al Jadeed
Al Jadeed , formerly known as New TV, is a 24-hour PAN Arab station broadcasting from Lebanon offering general-interest programming in the Arabic language.The launch of Al Jadeed took place on October 4, 2001 in Lebanon and the Arab world...

, Al-Manar
Al-Manar
Al-Manar is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, registered as Lebanese Media Group Company, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon. It has an offering a "rich menu" of high production news, commentary, and entertainment. The self-proclaimed "Station of the Resistance" ,...

, ANB, and NBN. The newspapers include An-Nahar
An-Nahar
An-Nahar , is the leading Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon.It was first published on August 4, 1933 as a four-page, hand-set paper. The paper provided a platform for various free thinkers to express their views during the years of the Syria occupation of Lebanon. The paper can be best...

, As-Safir
As-Safir
As-Safir meaning The Ambassador, is a leading Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon.It was first published on March 26, 1974 as an Arabic political daily....

, Al Mustaqbal, Al Akhbar
Al Akhbar (Lebanon)
-History:The newspaper started printing and distribution in July 2006. It was established by Joseph Samaha and Brahim El Ameen, both considered to be among the most renowned Lebanese journalists. Samaha died from a stroke few months after the publishing of the paper...

, Al-Balad
Al-Balad (Newspaper)
Al-Balad meaning The country, officially Sada Al-Balad meaning The echo of the country, is an Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon....

, Ad-Diyar
Ad-Diyar
Ad-Diyar , is an Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon.It was first published in 1988 as an Arabic political daily....

, Al Anwar, Al Sharq, L'Orient Le Jour
L'Orient Le Jour
L'Orient-Le Jour meaning The Orient-The Day is the leading French language daily newspapers in Lebanon.It was first published on September 1, 1970 following the merger of two French-Language Lebanese dailies, L'Orient and Le Jour . - External links : *...

 and the Daily Star
Daily Star (Lebanon)
The Daily Star is a pan-Middle East English language newspaper edited in Beirut. It was founded in 1952 by Kamel Mrowa, the publisher of the Arabic daily Al-Hayat to serve the growing number of expatriates brought by the oil industry...

. Beirut is one of the main media hubs in the Arab world, the others being Cairo and Dubai.

Sports


Beirut, in addition to Sidon and Tripoli, hosted the 2000 AFC Asian Cup
2000 AFC Asian Cup
The Asian Football Confederation's 2000 AFC Asian Cup finals were held in Lebanon between October 12 and October 29. Japan defeated defending champion Saudi Arabia in the final match in Beirut.-Qualification:...

. There are two stadiums in the city, Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium is a 47,799 capacity multi-purpose stadium in the Bir Hassan area of Beirut, Lebanon. It is Lebanon's largest stadium. The Sports City Stadium is currently used mostly for football matches and it also has athletics facilities. It was built in 1957 by the...

 and Beirut Municipal Stadium
Beirut Municipal Stadium
Beirut Municipal Stadium is a 18,000 capacity multi-purpose stadium in Beirut, Lebanon. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home ground of Al Ahed.-Home Ground of Clubs:The stadium is the home ground of:* Al-Ansar...

.

Basketball is the most popular sport in Lebanon. Currently four teams playing in the Lebanese Basketball League
Lebanese Basketball League
The Lebanese Basketball League or FLB League or BANKMED FLB League is the top basketball league in Lebanon and one of the top leagues in Asia. It is organised annually as a national championship with playoffs and a national cup by the Lebanese Basketball Federation . The Men Division A made up of...

 div. 1 are located in Beirut. Best two teams in Lebanese Basketball history : Sagesse
Hekmeh
Hekmeh SC, or Hekmeh Sports Club also known by its French synonym Sagesse or Club Sagesse or Club Sportif Sagesse is a multi-sports club in Lebanon....

 and Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut, also known as Riyadi Club and Sporting Club is a Lebanese Basketball club based in Raouché, Beirut where both men's and women's tournaments are held every year....

 in addition of Hoops Club
Hoops Club
Hoops Club is a Lebanese sports club most known for its basketball program. It is located in Beirut, Lebanon, with further branches in Antelias, Tyre and Southern suburb of Beirut....

 and Antranik SC
Antranik SC
Antranik SC is a Lebanese-Armenian multi-sports club most known for its professional basketball program. It is located in Antelias, Matn District, Lebanon...

.

Other sports events in Beirut include the annual Beirut Marathon
Beirut Marathon
The Beirut International Marathon is an annual event in Beirut. The first ever BIM was held on October 19, 2003 and attracted over 6,000 runners from 49 different countries and tens of thousands of spectators in Lebanon and around the world...

, Hip ball, a weekly horse racing at Beirut Hippodrome
Beirut Hippodrome
The Beirut Hippodrome, officially called Hippodrome Du Parc De Beyrouth, is a horse-racing facility in Beirut, Lebanon. It was built in 1885 in Bir Hassan, a suburb of Beirut...

, and golf and tennis tournaments that take place at Golf Club of Lebanon
Golf Club of Lebanon
Golf Club of Lebanon is a country club and golf course founded in 1923 and is located in Beirut, Lebanon.The club has an 18-hole golf course, six tennis courts, an aquatic center, a squash court and other recreational and social facilities....

.

Recently Beirut has taken to rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 as well, with three out of the five teams in the Lebanon Championship
Rugby league in Lebanon
Rugby league is a team sport that has been played in Lebanon since 2002.The seeds of rugby league in Lebanon in fact lie in Australia. A group of Australian-born rugby league players with Lebanese heritage, mostly from inner-city Sydney formed a side with a view to entering the 2000 Rugby League...

 based in Beirut.

Arts and fashion


There are hundreds of art galleries in Beirut and its suburbs. Lebanese people
Demographics of Lebanon
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Lebanon, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

 are very involved in art and art production. More than 5000 fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

 artists and equal artists working in music, design, architecture, theatre, film, photography and other forms of art are producing in Lebanon. Every year hundreds of fine art students graduate from universities and institutions. Artist workshops exist all over Lebanon. Recently, the inauguration of the Beirut Art Center in the Jisr El Wati district of Beirut added to the number of exhibition spaces available in Beirut, with an addition of a screening and performance room, mediatheque, bookstore, cafe and terrace.
On another scale, fashion and couture are thriving. Fashion houses are opening up and a number of international fashion designers have displayed their work in various fashion shows.
Most major fashion labels have shops in Beirut, but the city is also home to a number of local fashion designers, some of whom have reached international fame and success. These include Elie Saab
Elie Saab
Elie Saab , sometimes known simply as 'ES', is a Lebanese fashion designer.In 1982, Saab launched his Beirut-based fashion label when he was 18 years old. His main workshop is in Lebanon. He also has workshops in Milan and Paris.Born to Maronite Catholic parents in Beirut, Saab is self-trained...

, Zuhair Murad
Zuhair Murad
Zuhair Murad is a Beirut-based Lebanese fashion designer.In 1995, Zuhair Murad opened his first atelier in Beirut and not long after he came to establish a very high reputation on the international fashion scene. What began as a mere hobby soon turned into an empire of unique sophistication and...

, Jean Faris, Rabih Kayrouz
Rabih Kayrouz
Rabih Kayrouz is a Lebanese fashion designer, creator and founder of the fashion house Rabih Kayrouz, established in Paris since 2008.IntroductionRabih Kayrouz was born in Lebanon in 1973....

 and Abed Mahfouz.

Tourism


Beirut is a destination for tourists from both the Arab world and West. The once destroyed city centre is thriving once again. Its former reputation as a crossroads between three continents and gateway to the East has been restored. Beirut is one of several so called “Paris[es] of the East
Paris of the East
Paris of the East may refer to:*Baku, Azerbaijan*Beirut, Lebanon*Bucharest, Romania*Budapest, Hungary*Casablanca, Morocco*Ghazni, Afghanistan*Hanoi, Vietnam*Kolkata, India*Lahore, Pakistan*Shanghai, China*Warsaw, Poland...

”, and there is plenty of sightseeing, shopping, cuisine, and nightlife to keep a tourist within the city limits. The city has sleek, modern buildings alongside arabesque Ottoman buildings, giving Beirut a unique and distinctive style often not seen in other Middle Eastern cities.

In Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure is a travel magazine based in New York City, New York. Published 12 times a year, it has 4.8 million readers, according to its corporate media kit. It is put out by American Express Publishing Corporation, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express Company led by...

magazine's World Best Awards 2006, Beirut was ranked 9th best city in the world. However, the list was voted upon before the war broke out in Lebanon that same year. The Guardian claimed Beirut as one of the top ten cities in the world in 2008.
The New York Times ranked Beirut as the number one place to go in 2009 on its "44 places to go" list of 2009. Many of the tourists are returning Lebanese expatriates, but many are
also from Western countries. Approximately 4.6 million visitors were
expected to visit in 2010; the previous record was 1.4 million in
1974.

Twin towns – Sister cities


Beirut is twinned with:
Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

  Bogotá
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

Brest
Brest, France
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

 Isfahan, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 Kuwait City
Kuwait City
-Suburbs:Although the districts below are not usually recognized as suburbs, the following is a list of a few areas surrounding Kuwait city:Al-Salam ""السلام"" -Economy:...

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

  Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

, Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 Split, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Jeddah
Jeddah
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The...

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 Yerevan
Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...


See also


  • Beirut Central District
    Beirut Central District
    The Beirut Central District or Centre Ville is the name given to Beirut’s historical and geographical core, the “vibrant financial, commercial, and administrative hub of the country.” At the heart of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut Central District is an area thousands of years old, traditionally a...

  • Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center
    Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center
    The Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center is a large multi-purpose facility, in downtown Beirut. Lebanon's largest such complex, it hosts exhibitions , conferences, concerts and private events. It opened on 28 November 2001.British pop musician Phil Collins in 2005 took a part of a...


External links