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Coordinates: 33°53′13″N 35°30′47″E / 33.88694°N 35.51306°E / 33.88694; 35.51306

Beirut بيروت Beyrouth

City

Beirut
Beirut
city skyline in the early 2000s

Flag

Seal

Nickname(s): Paris of the East[1]

Motto(s): Beirut, mother of laws (Latin: Berytus
Berytus
Nutrix Legum)

Beirut

Location of Beirut
Beirut
within Lebanon

Coordinates: 33°53′13″N 35°30′47″E / 33.88694°N 35.51306°E / 33.88694; 35.51306

Country  Lebanon

Governorate Beirut

Government

 • Mayor Jamal Itani

Area

 • City 19.8 km2 (7.6 sq mi)

 • Metro 67 km2 (26 sq mi)

Population (2014)

 • City c. 361,366 [2]

 • Metro c. 2,200,000 [3]

Demonym(s) Beiruti

Time zone EET (UTC+2)

 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Area code(s) +9611

ISO 3166 code LB-BA

Patron Saint Saint George

Website www.beirut.gov.lb

Beirut
Beirut
(Arabic: بيروت‎ Bayrūt  pronunciation (help·info), French: Beyrouth) is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been done but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut.[4] Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coast, Beirut
Beirut
is the country's largest and main seaport. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, inhabited more than 5,000 years ago. The first historical mention of Beirut
Beirut
is found in the ancient Egyptian Tell el Amarna
Amarna
letters dating from the 15th century BC. Beirut
Beirut
is Lebanon's seat of government and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy, with most banks and corporations based in its Central District, Badaro, Rue Verdun, Hamra, Ryad el Soloh street, and Ashrafieh. Following the destructive Lebanese Civil War, Beirut's cultural landscape underwent major reconstruction.[5][6][7] Identified and graded for accountancy, advertising, banking/finance and law, Beirut
Beirut
is ranked as a Beta World City
Beta World City
by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.[8]

Contents

1 Archaeology
Archaeology
and prehistory 2 History

2.1 Hellenistic period 2.2 Roman period 2.3 Middle Ages 2.4 Ottoman rule 2.5 Modern era

3 Geography

3.1 Climate 3.2 Environmental issues 3.3 Quarters and sectors

4 Demographics

4.1 Religion

5 Beirut
Beirut
Central District 6 Economy

6.1 Banking and finance 6.2 Tourism

7 Government

7.1 International organizations

8 Education 9 Transportation 10 Culture

10.1 Museums 10.2 Media 10.3 Sports 10.4 Art and Fashion

11 Twin towns and sister cities 12 Foreign opinion 13 See also 14 References 15 External links

Archaeology
Archaeology
and prehistory[edit]

Canaanean Blade. Suggested to be part of a javelin. Fresh grey flint, both sides showing pressure flaking. Somewhat narrower at the base, suggesting a haft. Polished at the extreme point. Found on land of the Lebanese Evangelical School for Girls in the Patriarchate
Patriarchate
area of Beirut.

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
and Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
through the Neolithic
Neolithic
to the Bronze Age. Beirut
Beirut
I, or Minet el Hosn, was listed as "Beyrouth ville" by Louis Burkhalter and said to be on the beach near the Orent and Bassoul hotels on the Avenue des Français
Avenue des Français
in central Beirut.[9][10] The site was discovered by Lortet in 1894 and discussed by Godefroy Zumoffen
Godefroy Zumoffen
in 1900.[11] The flint industry from the site was described as Mousterian and is held by the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.[12] Beirut
Beirut
II, or Umm el Khatib, was suggested by Burkhalter to have been south of Tarik el Jedideh, where P.E. Gigues discovered a Copper Age flint industry at around 100 metres (328 feet) above sea level. The site had been built on and destroyed by 1948.[12] Beirut
Beirut
III, Furn esh Shebbak or Plateau Tabet, was suggested to have been located on the left bank of the Beirut
Beirut
River. Burkhalter suggested that it was west of the Damascus
Damascus
road, although this determination has been criticized by Lorraine Copeland.[12] P. E. Gigues discovered a series of Neolithic
Neolithic
flint tools on the surface along with the remains of a structure suggested to be a hut circle. Auguste Bergy discussed polished axes that were also found at this site, which has now completely disappeared as a result of construction and urbanization of the area.[13] Beirut
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
Jesuits
Godefroy Zumoffen,[11] Raoul Describes[14] and Auguste Bergy.[13] Collections from the site were made by Bergy, Describes and another Jesuit, Paul Bovier-Lapierre. A large number of Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
flint tools were found on the surface and in side gullies that drain into the river. They included around 50 varied bifaces accredited to the Acheulean
Acheulean
period, some with a lustrous sheen, now held at the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. Henri Fleisch also found an Emireh point amongst material from the site, which has now disappeared beneath buildings. Beirut
Beirut
V, or Nahr Beirut
Beirut
( Beirut
Beirut
River), was discovered by Dillenseger and said to be in an orchard of mulberry trees on the left bank of the river, near the river mouth, and to be close to the railway station and bridge to Tripoli. Levallois flints and bones and similar surface material were found amongst brecciated deposits.[15] The area has now been built on.[16] Beirut
Beirut
VI, or Patriarchate, was a site discovered while building on the property of the Lebanese Evangelical School for Girls in the Patriarchate
Patriarchate
area of Beirut. It was notable for the discovery of a finely styled Canaanean blade
Canaanean blade
javelin suggested to date to the Néolithique Ancien or Néolithique Moyen periods of Byblos
Byblos
and which is held in the school library.[12] Beirut
Beirut
VII, or Rivoli Cinema and Byblos
Byblos
Cinema sites near the Bourj in the Rue el Arz area, are two sites discovered by Lorraine Copeland and Peter Wescombe in 1964 and examined by Diana Kirkbride and Roger Saidah. One site was behind the parking lot of the Byblos
Byblos
Cinema and showed collapsed walls, pits, floors, charcoal, pottery and flints. The other, overlooking a cliff west of the Rivoli Cinema, was composed of three layers resting on limestone bedrock. Fragments of blades and broad flakes were recovered from the first layer of black soil, above which some Bronze Age
Bronze Age
pottery was recovered in a layer of grey soil. Pieces of Roman pottery and mosaics were found in the upper layer.[12] Middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
tombs were found in this area, and the ancient tell of Beirut
Beirut
is thought to be in the Bourj area.[17] The Phoenician port of Beirut
Phoenician port of Beirut
was located between Rue Foch and Rue Allenby on the north coast. The port or harbor was excavated and reported on several years ago and now lies buried under the city.[18] Another suggested port or dry dock was claimed to have been discovered ~1 kilometre (0.62 miles) to the west, in 2011 by a team of Lebanese archaeologists from the Directorate General of Antiquities
Directorate General of Antiquities
of Lebanese University. Controversy arose on 26 June 2012 when authorization was given by Lebanese Minister of Culture Gaby Layoun for a private company called Venus Towers Real Estate Development Company to destroy the ruins (archaeological site BEY194) in the $500 million construction project of three skyscrapers and a garden behind Hotel Monroe in downtown Beirut. Two later reports by an international committee of archaeologists appointed by Layoun, including Hanz Curver, and an expert report by Ralph Pederson, a member of the institute of Nautical Archaeology
Archaeology
and now teaching at Marburg in Germany, dismissed the claims that the trenches were a port, on various criteria. The exact function of site BEY194 may now never be discovered, and the issue raised heated emotions and led to increased coverage on the subject of Lebanese heritage in the press.[19][20][21] History[edit] See also: Timeline of Beirut Beirut
Beirut
was settled more than 5,000 years ago.[22] Its name derives from the Canaanite-Phoenician be'erot ("wells"), referring to the underground water table that is still tapped by the local inhabitants for general use.[23][24] Another explanation is that the city was named after the Phoenician daughter of Adonis
Adonis
and Aphrodite, Beroe. Excavations in the downtown area have unearthed layers of Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader and Ottoman remains.[25] The first historical reference to Beirut
Beirut
dates from the 14th century BC, when it is mentioned in the cuneiform[24] tablets of the Amarna letters, three letters that Ammunira
Ammunira
of Biruta[26] (Beirut) sent to the pharaoh of Egypt.[27] Biruta is also referenced in the letters from Rib-Hadda, king of Byblos
Byblos
(also known as Jbeil). 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.[28] Hellenistic period[edit] In 140 B.C. the city was destroyed by Diodotus Tryphon
Diodotus Tryphon
in his contest with Antiochus VII Sidetes
Antiochus VII Sidetes
for the throne of the Macedonian Seleucid monarchy. Beirut
Beirut
was soon rebuilt on a more conventional Hellenistic plan and renamed Laodicea in Phoenicia
Phoenicia
(Greek: Λαοδίκεια ἡ ἐν Φοινίκῃ) or Laodicea in Canaan in honor of a Seleucid Laodice.[citation needed] The modern city overlies the ancient one, and little archaeology was carried out until after the end of the civil war in 1991. The post-war salvage excavations (1993-to date) have yielded new insights in the layout and history of this Hellenistic period. Public architecture included several areas and buildings[29] Mid-first-century coins from Berytus
Berytus
bear the head of Tyche, goddess of fortune;[30] on the reverse, the city's symbol appears: a dolphin entwines an anchor. This symbol was later taken up by the early printer Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
in 15th century Venice. Roman period[edit] See also: Berytus

Roman Columns of Basilica near the Forum of Berytus

Beirut
Beirut
was conquered by Pompey
Pompey
in 64 B.C. The city (named by the Romans Berytus) was assimilated into the Roman Empire, veteran soldiers were sent there, and large building projects were undertaken.[31][32][33] Beirut
Beirut
was considered the most Roman city in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire[34]. Furthermore, the veterans of two Roman legions were established in the city of Berytus
Berytus
by emperor Augustus: the fifth Macedonian and the third Gallic.[35] Consequently, the city quickly became fully Romanized[36]: it was one of four Roman colonies in the Syria- Phoenicia
Phoenicia
region and the only one with full Ius Italicum (meaning: exemption from imperial taxation). Its territory under Claudius
Claudius
reached the Bekaa valley
Bekaa valley
and included Heliopolis (Baalbeck): it was the only area mostly latin-speaking in the Syria- Phoenicia
Phoenicia
region, because settled by Roman colonists who even promoted agriculture in the fertile lands around actual Yammoune. From the 1st century BC the Bekaa valley
Bekaa valley
served as a source of grain for the Roman provinces of the Levant
Levant
and even for the same Rome In 14 B.C., during the reign of Herod the Great, Berytus
Berytus
became a colonia and was named Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus. Its law school was widely known;[37] two of Rome's most famous jurists, Papinian and Ulpian, both natives of Phoenicia, taught there under the Severan emperors. When Justinian assembled his Pandects in the 6th century, a large part of the corpus of laws was derived from these two jurists, and in 533 AD Justinian recognized the school as one of the three official law schools of the empire. After the 551 Beirut earthquake[24][31][38] the students were transferred to Sidon.[39] The last post-war salvage excavations (1993-to date) have yielded new insights in the layout and history of Roman Berytus. Public architecture included several bath complexes, colonnaded streets, a circus and theater;[29] residential areas were excavated in the Garden of Forgiveness, Martyrs' Square and the Beirut
Beirut
Souks.[40]

View of Beirut
Beirut
with snow-capped Mount Sannine
Mount Sannine
in the background – 19th century

Middle Ages[edit] Beirut
Beirut
was conquered by the Muslims in 635.[32][41] Prince Arslan bin al-Mundhir founded the Principality of Sin-el-Fil
Sin-el-Fil
in Beirut
Beirut
in 759 AD. From this principality developed the later Principality of Mount Lebanon, which was the basis for the establishment of Greater Lebanon, today's Lebanon.[citation needed] As a trading centre of the eastern Mediterranean, Beirut
Beirut
was overshadowed by Acre during the Middle Ages. From 1110 to 1291, the town and Lordship of Beirut
Beirut
was part of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut (1179–1236) rebuilt the city after the battles with Saladin
Saladin
and also built the Ibelin family
Ibelin family
palace in Beirut.[41] Ottoman rule[edit]

Pine Forest of Beirut, 1914

Under the Ottoman sultan Selim I
Selim I
(1512–1520), the Ottomans conquered Syria
Syria
including present-day Lebanon. Beirut
Beirut
was controlled by local Druze emirs throughout the Ottoman period.[42] One of them, Fakhr-al-Din II, fortified it early in the 17th century,[43] but the Ottomans reclaimed it in 1763.[43] With the help of Damascus, Beirut successfully broke Acre'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 in Acre under Jezzar Pasha
Jezzar Pasha
and Abdullah Pasha, Beirut
Beirut
declined to a small town with a population of about 10,000 and was an object of contention between the Ottomans, the local Druze, and the Mamluks. After Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Egypt
captured Acre in 1832,[44] Beirut
Beirut
began its revival.

View of Beirut's Grand Serail- circa 1930

By the second half of the nineteenth century, Beirut
Beirut
was developing close commercial and political ties with European imperial powers, particularly France. European interests in Lebanese silk and other export products transformed the city into a major port and commercial centre. This boom in cross-regional trade allowed certain groups, such as the Sursock family, to establish trade and manufacturing empires that further strengthened Beirut's position as a key partner in the interests of imperial dynasties. 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
Lebanon
conflict. Beirut
Beirut
became a destination for Maronite Christian refugees fleeing from the worst areas of the fighting on Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
and in Damascus.[45] This in turn altered the ethnic composition of Beirut
Beirut
itself, sowing the seeds of future ethnic and religious troubles there and in greater Lebanon. However, Beirut
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.[46] In 1888, Beirut
Beirut
was made capital of a vilayet (governorate) in Syria,[47] including the sanjaks (prefectures) Latakia, Tripoli, Beirut, Acre and Bekaa.[48] By this time, Beirut
Beirut
had grown into a cosmopolitan city and had close links with Europe
Europe
and the United States. It also became a centre of missionary activity that spawned educational institutions, such as the American University of Beirut. Provided with water from a British company and gas from a French one, silk exports to Europe
Europe
came to dominate the local economy. After French engineers established a modern harbor in 1894 and a rail link across Lebanon
Lebanon
to Damascus
Damascus
and Aleppo
Aleppo
in 1907, much of the trade was carried by French ships to Marseille. French influence in the area soon exceeded that of any other European power. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica reported a population consisting of 36,000 Muslims, 77,000 Christians, 2,500 Jews, 400 Druze and 4,100 foreigners. At the start of the 20th century, Salim Ali Salam
Salim Ali Salam
was one of the most prominent figures in Beirut, holding numerous public positions including deputy from Beirut
Beirut
to the Ottoman parliament and President of the Municipality of Beirut. Given his modern way of life, the emergence of Salim Ali Salam
Salim Ali Salam
as a public figure constituted a transformation in terms of the social development of the city.

An aerial panoramic view of Beirut
Beirut
in the last third of the 19th century

In his 2003 book entitled Beirut
Beirut
and its Seven Families, Dr. Yussef Bin Ahmad Bin Ali Al Husseini says:

The seven families of Beirut
Beirut
are the families who bonded among each other and made the famous historical agreement with the governor of the Syrian Coast in 1351 to protect and defend the city of Beirut
Beirut
and its shores, and chase the invadors and stop their progress towards it.

These families are:

The current Daouk Family The current Mneimneh Family The current Sinno Family The current Kreidiyeh Family The current Itani Family The current Doughan Family Probably the current Houry Family

All other families of Beirut
Beirut
are considered to have descended from one of those seven main branches, such as Nahhas, Yanout Inkidar, Hajjal, Hamza and others who derived from the Sinno Family (p. 14). Sinno is considered to be an old family in Beirut, descending from the Muslim Leader Tareq Bin Ziyad. Modern era[edit]

Saint Nicholas staircase in Ashrafieh

Ras Beirut
Ras Beirut
and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
sea

Nightlife scene in Badaro

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
following World War I, Beirut, along with the rest of Lebanon, was placed under the French Mandate. Lebanon
Lebanon
achieved independence in 1943, and Beirut
Beirut
became the capital city. The city remained a regional intellectual capital, becoming a major tourist destination and a banking haven,[49][50] especially for the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
oil boom. This era of relative prosperity ended in 1975 when the Lebanese Civil War broke out throughout the country.[51][52] During most of the war, Beirut
Beirut
was divided between the Muslim west part and the Christian east.[53] The downtown area, previously the home of much of the city's commercial and cultural activity, became a no man's land 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. A particularly destructive period was the 1978 Syrian siege of Achrafiyeh, the main Christian district of Beirut. Syrian troops relentlessly shelled the eastern quarter of the city,[54] but Christian militias defeated multiple attempts by Syria's elite forces to capture the strategic area in a three-month campaign later known as the Hundred Days' War. Another destructive chapter was the 1982 Lebanon
Lebanon
War, during which most of West Beirut
Beirut
was under siege by Israeli troops. In 1983, French and US barracks were bombed, killing 241 American servicemen, 58 French servicemen, six civilians and the two suicide bombers.[55][56][57] Since the end of the war in 1990, the people of Lebanon
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
Middle East
and as a centre for commerce, fashion, and media. The reconstruction of downtown Beirut
Beirut
has been largely driven by Solidere, a development company established in 1994 by Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. The city has been host to the Asian Club Basketball Championship and the Asian Football Cup and has hosted the Miss Europe
Europe
pageant eight times, 1960–1964, 1999, 2001–2002. Rafic Hariri
Rafic Hariri
was assassinated in 2005 near the Saint George
Saint George
Hotel in Beirut.[58][59] A month later about one million people gathered for an opposition rally in Beirut.[60][61] The Cedar Revolution
Cedar Revolution
was the largest rally in Lebanon's history at that time.[62] The last Syrian troops withdrew from Beirut
Beirut
on 26 April 2005,[63] and the two countries established diplomatic relations on 15 October 2008.[64] During the 2006 Lebanon
Lebanon
War, Israeli bombardment caused damage in many parts of Beirut, especially the predominantly Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut. On 12 July 2006, the Hezbollah, code named "True Promise"[clarification needed] ended with 8 Israeli deaths and 6 injuries. In response, the IDF targeted Hezbollah's main media outlets. There were then artillery raids against targets in southern Lebanon, and the Israeli cabinet held Beirut
Beirut
responsible for the attacks. Then on 13 July 2006 Israel
Israel
began implementing a naval and air blockade over Lebanon; during this blockade Israel
Israel
bombed the runways at Beirut International Airport
Beirut International Airport
and the major Beirut-Damascus highway in Eastern Lebanon.[65] In May 2008, after the government decided to disband Hezbollah's communications network (a decision it later rescinded), violent clashes broke out briefly between government allies and opposition forces, before control of the city was handed over to the Lebanese Army.[66] After this a national dialogue conference was held in Doha at the invitation of the Prince of Qatar. The conference agreed to appoint a new president of Lebanon
Lebanon
and to establish a new national government involving all the political adversaries. As a result of the Doha
Doha
Agreement, the opposition's barricades were dismantled and so were the opposition's protest camps in Martyrs' Square.[67] On 19 October 2012, a car bomb killed eight people in the Beirut's neighbourhood of Achrafiyeh, including Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, chief of the Intelligence Bureau of the Internal Security Forces. In addition, 78 others were wounded in the bombing.[68] It was the largest attack in the capital since 2008.[69] On 27 December 2013, a car bomb exploded in the Central District killing at least five people, including the former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. Mohamad Chatah, and wounding 71 others.[70] In the 12 November 2015 Beirut
Beirut
bombings, two suicide bombers detonated explosives outside a mosque and inside a bakery, killing 43 people and injuring 200. The Islamic State of Iraq
Iraq
and the Levant
Levant
immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.[71] [72] Geography[edit]

Pigeon Rock (Raouché)

Beirut
Beirut
seen from SPOT satellite

Beirut
Beirut
sits on a peninsula extending westward into the Mediterranean Sea.[73] It is flanked by the Lebanon
Lebanon
Mountains and has taken on a triangular shape, largely influenced by its situation between and atop two hills: Al- Ashrafieh
Ashrafieh
and Al-Musaytibah. The Beirut
Beirut
Governorate occupies 18 square kilometres (6.9 sq mi), and the city's metropolitan area 67 square kilometres (26 sq mi).[73] The coast is rather diverse, with rocky beaches, sandy shores and cliffs situated beside one another. Climate[edit] Beirut
Beirut
has a hot-summer Mediterranean
Mediterranean
climate (Köppen: Csa) characterized by mild days and nights. Autumn and spring are warm, winter is mild and rainy, and summer can be virtually rainless. August is considered the only really hot muggy month, with a monthly average high temperature of 32 °C (90 °F), and January and February are the coldest months, with a monthly average low temperature of 11 °C (52 °F). The prevailing wind during the afternoon and evening is from the west (onshore, blowing in from the Mediterranean); at night it reverses to offshore, blowing from the land out to sea.[citation needed] The average annual rainfall is 825 millimetres (32.5 in), with the majority falling in winter, autumn and spring. Much of the autumn and spring rain falls in heavy downpours on a limited number of days, but in winter it is spread more evenly over a large number of days. Summer receives very little rainfall, if any. Snow is rare, except in the mountainous eastern suburbs, where snowfall is common due to the region's high altitudes.

Climate data for Beirut
Beirut
International Airport

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 27.9 (82.2) 30.5 (86.9) 36.6 (97.9) 39.3 (102.7) 41.1 (106) 40.0 (104) 40.4 (104.7) 39.5 (103.1) 37.5 (99.5) 37.0 (98.6) 33.1 (91.6) 30.0 (86) 41.1 (106)

Average high °C (°F) 17.4 (63.3) 17.5 (63.5) 19.6 (67.3) 22.6 (72.7) 25.4 (77.7) 27.9 (82.2) 30.0 (86) 30.7 (87.3) 29.8 (85.6) 27.5 (81.5) 23.2 (73.8) 19.4 (66.9) 24.25 (75.65)

Daily mean °C (°F) 14.0 (57.2) 14.0 (57.2) 16.0 (60.8) 18.7 (65.7) 21.7 (71.1) 24.9 (76.8) 27.1 (80.8) 27.8 (82) 26.8 (80.2) 24.1 (75.4) 19.5 (67.1) 15.8 (60.4) 20.87 (69.56)

Average low °C (°F) 11.2 (52.2) 11.0 (51.8) 12.6 (54.7) 15.2 (59.4) 18.2 (64.8) 21.6 (70.9) 24.0 (75.2) 24.8 (76.6) 23.7 (74.7) 21.0 (69.8) 16.3 (61.3) 12.9 (55.2) 17.71 (63.88)

Record low °C (°F) 0.4 (32.7) 3.0 (37.4) 0.2 (32.4) 7.6 (45.7) 10.0 (50) 15.0 (59) 18.0 (64.4) 19.0 (66.2) 17.0 (62.6) 11.1 (52) 7.0 (44.6) 4.6 (40.3) 0.2 (32.4)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 190.9 (7.516) 133.4 (5.252) 110.8 (4.362) 46.3 (1.823) 15.0 (0.591) 1.5 (0.059) 0.3 (0.012) 0.4 (0.016) 2.3 (0.091) 60.2 (2.37) 100.6 (3.961) 163.8 (6.449) 825.5 (32.5)

Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 15 12 9 5 2 0 0 0 1 4 8 12 68

Average relative humidity (%) 69 68 67 69 71 71 73 73 69 68 66 68 69

Mean monthly sunshine hours 131 143 191 243 310 348 360 334 288 245 200 147 2,940

Source #1: Pogodaiklimat.ru[74]

Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (sun and relative humidity)[75]

Beirut
Beirut
mean sea temperature[76]

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

18.5 °C (65.3 °F) 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) 18.5 °C (65.3 °F) 21.3 °C (70.3 °F) 24.9 °C (76.8 °F) 27.5 °C (81.5 °F) 28.5 °C (83.3 °F) 28.1 °C (82.6 °F) 26.0 °C (78.8 °F) 22.6 °C (72.7 °F) 20.1 °C (68.2 °F)

Environmental issues[edit] Main article: Marine environmental issues in Lebanon Lebanon, specifically Beirut
Beirut
and its suburbs, suffered a massive garbage crisis, mainly from July 2015 up to March 2016. The issue began when authorities shut down the main landfill site originally for Beirut's garbage southeast of the city and failed to provide any alternative solutions for months. As a result, garbage mounted in the streets in Greater Beirut
Greater Beirut
and caused protests to erupt, which sometimes invoked police action. This problem was commonly blamed on the country’s political situation. This garbage crisis birthed a movement called "You Stink" which was directed at the country's politicians. In March 2016, the government finally came up with a so-called temporary solution to establish two new landfills East and South of the city to store the garbage, while several municipalities across the country, in an unprecedented move, began recycling and managing waste more efficiently, building waste-management facilities and relying on themselves rather than the central government.[77] Quarters and sectors[edit] Main article: List of places in Beirut

Map of the 12 quarters of Beirut

Beirut
Beirut
is divided into 12 quarters (quartiers):[78]

Achrafieh Dar Mreisse Bachoura Mazraa (with the neighborhood Badaro) Medawar (with the neighborhood Mar Mikhaël) Minet El Hosn Moussaitbeh (with Ramlet al-Baida) Port Ras Beirut Remeil Saifi Zuqaq al-Blat

These quarters are divided into 59 sectors (secteurs).[79] Badaro
Badaro
is an edgy, bohemian style neighborhood, within the green district of Beirut
Beirut
(secteur du parc) which also include the Beirut Hippodrome and the Beirut
Beirut
Pine Forest and the French ambassador's Pine Residence. It is one of Beirut's favorite hip nightlife destination. Two of the twelve official Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon
Lebanon
are located in the southern suburbs of Beirut: Bourj el-Barajneh and Shatila. There is also one within its municipal boundaries: Mar Elias.[80] Of the fifteen unregistered or unofficial refugee camps, Sabra, which lies adjacent to Shatila, is also located in southern Beirut.[81] People in Lebanon
Lebanon
often use different names for the same geographic locations, and few people rely on official, government-provided street numbers. Instead, historic and commercial landmarks are more common. Demographics[edit] No population census has been taken in Lebanon
Lebanon
since 1932,[82] and estimates of Beirut's population range from as low as 938,940[83] through 1,303,129[84] to as high as 2,200,000 as part of Greater Beirut.[85][86] Religion[edit] See also: Religion in Lebanon, Shia Islam in Lebanon, Sunni Islam in Lebanon, Christianity in Lebanon, Secularism in Lebanon, and Jews in Lebanon Beirut
Beirut
is one of the most cosmopolitan and religiously diverse cities of Lebanon
Lebanon
and all of the Middle East.[87] The city boasts significant Christian and Muslim communities. In Beirut
Beirut
there are 18 recognized religious groups.[88] At the end of the civil war the Copts
Copts
became another recognized confession, bringing the total number to eighteen. The original seventeen included four Muslim sects: Shi'a, Sunni, 'Alawi, and Druze; Twelve Christian sects: Maronite Catholics, Melkite Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicals, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholics, and six smaller Christian sects, which are considered one group (Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholics, Latin Catholics, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Copts); and Jews (very few remain in Lebanon
Lebanon
today, but children of Lebanese Jewish parents may register as citizens at Lebanese Embassies.[89])

Jewish Maghen Abraham Synagogue
Maghen Abraham Synagogue
that was renovated in 2010 in Downtown Beirut

Church of Saint George
Saint George
Maronite and Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque
Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque
coexist side by side in Downtown Beirut

Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic in Downtown Beirut

Cathedral of St. George's Greek Orthodox in Downtown Beirut

Family matters such as marriage, divorce and inheritance are still handled by the religious authorities representing a person's faith (the Ottoman "millet" 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. Until the mid-20th century, Beirut
Beirut
was also home to a Jewish community in the Bab Idriss sector of Zokak el-Blat. Before the civil war the neighborhoods of Beirut
Beirut
were fairly heterogeneous, but they became largely segregated by religion since the conflict.[citation needed] East Beirut
Beirut
has a mainly Christian population with a small Muslim minority, while West Beirut
Beirut
has a Sunni Muslim majority with small minorities of Christians and Druze. Since the end of the civil war, East and West Beirut
Beirut
have begun to see an increase in Muslims and Christians moving into each half. The southern suburbs are populated largely by Shia Muslims, while the eastern and northern suburbs are largely Christian. The city is also home to a small number of Latin
Latin
Rite Roman Catholics in the form of an apostolic vicariate with Archbishop Paul Dahdah, OCD, as the apostolic vicar. Beirut
Beirut
Central District[edit] Main article: Beirut
Beirut
Central District The Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
(BCD) or Centre Ville is the name given to Beirut's historical and geographical core by "Solidere", the "vibrant financial, commercial, and administrative hub of the country."[90] It is an area thousands of years old, traditionally a focus of business, finance, culture and leisure. Its reconstruction constitutes one of the most ambitious contemporary urban developments.[91] Due to the devastation incurred on the city center from the Lebanese Civil War, the Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
underwent a thorough reconstruction and development plan that gave it back its cultural and economic position in the region. Ever since, Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
has evolved into an integrated business and commercial environment and the focus of the financial activity in the region. That evolution was accompanied with the relocation of international organizations, reoccupation of civic and government buildings, expansion of financial activities, and establishment of regional headquarters and global firms in the city center.[92]

Roman baths park in Downtown Beirut.

Assessment of the demand for build-up space in the BCD has been done in reference to a number of macro-economic, demographic, and urban planning considerations at a time of marked need for new activity poles in the city, such as Souks, financial, cultural and recreational centers.[93] The district's total area is 4,690,000 square metres (50,482,740 square feet), the majority of which is dedicated to residential space (1,924,000 square metres or 20,709,764 square feet).[94] The Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
contains over 60 gardens, squares and open spaces. These spaces comprise landscaped streets, gardens, historical squares, pedestrian areas and sea promenades thus totaling to an area of 96 acres (39 ha) of open spaces. The central district is Lebanon's prime location for shopping, entertainment, and dining. There are over 100 cafes, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs open in the Beirut
Beirut
Central District, and over 350 retail outlets distributed along its streets and quarters. Beirut Souks alone are home to over 200 stores and a handful of restaurants and cafes. Beirut Souks
Beirut Souks
are the Central District's old medieval market, recently renovated along with the original Hellenistic street grid that characterized the old souks and the area's historical landmarks along long vaulted shopping alleys and arcades.[95] Solidere, the company responsible for the reconstruction and renovation of the district, organizes music and entertainment events all throughout the year like the Beirut
Beirut
Marathon, Fête de la Musique, Beirut
Beirut
Jazz Festival. However, the means of urban development in this particular area of the city was subject to much criticism and controversy. Rafic Hariri, who would later become prime minister, was the majority stakeholder of the company, which raises concerns of conflict of interest in the context of a public-private partnership.[96] Many of the expropriations that have made the project possible have been made at undervalued land rates, and partly paid in company share. Strict urbanization laws were put in order to oblige people to sell and not renovate themselves.[97] Today, Solidere
Solidere
acts as a de facto municipality thus this quarter of the city is effectively privatized. It is for example forbidden to ride bikes on Zeituna Bay, a marina where many restaurants are located, and these laws are enforced by private security guards not national or municipal police. The project was also criticized for destroying some of the city's architectural and cultural heritage. "Among the hundreds of destroyed buildings were “the last Ottoman and medieval remains in Beirut” wrote American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
professor Nabil Beyhum in the Journal The Beirut
Beirut
Review in 1992. Much of the damage had been done through unapproved demolitions in the 1980s and early 1990s, bringing down “some of the capital’s most significant buildings and structures,” wrote UCLA professor Saree Makdisi in the journal, Critical Inquiry, in 1997.".[98] Moreover, many of the traditional privately owned shops in the Beirut
Beirut
Downtown were replaced by luxury outlets and high-end restaurants that only few people could afford. And most of public spaces promised by Solidere
Solidere
since the start of the reconstruction, such as "The Garden of Forgiveness", a central park, and an archeological museum, remain unfinished until today,[when?] putting into question the actual benefit of the project to the population.[98] Finally, the actual success of the project has recently[when?] been in doubt, given that large quarters of the BCD are today empty, due to strong military presence, the Nejmeh Square where the parliament is located is most frequently completely deserted, and the business located there have mostly moved.[99] Economy[edit]

Cafés in downtown Beirut

Beirut's economy is service-oriented with the main growth sectors being banking and tourism. In an area dominated by authoritarian or militarist regimes, the Lebanese capital was generally regarded as a haven of libertarianism, though a precarious one.[citation needed] With its seaport and airport—coupled with Lebanon's free economic and foreign exchange system, solid gold-backed currency, banking-secrecy law, and favourable interest rates— Beirut
Beirut
became an established banking centre for Arab wealth, much of which was invested in construction, commercial enterprise, and industry (mostly the manufacture of textiles and shoes, food processing, and printing).[100] The economy of Beirut
Beirut
is diverse, including publishing, banking, trade and various industries. During that period, Beirut
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.[101]

Zaitunay Bay

Beirut
Beirut
is the focal point of the Economy
Economy
of Lebanon. The capital hosts the headquarters of Banque du Liban, Lebanon's central bank, the Beirut
Beirut
Stock Exchange, the head office of Lebanon's flag-carrier Middle East
Middle East
Airlines, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the Union of Arab Banks, and the Union of Arab Stock Exchanges.[102] Banking and finance[edit]

Ras Beirut
Ras Beirut
1983

The Banking System is the backbone of the local economy with a balance sheet of $152 billion at the end of 2012, nearing 3.5 times the GDP estimated at $43 billion by the IMF.[103] Bank deposits also increased in 2012 by 8% to 125 billion dollars, 82 percent of the sector's assets. "Banks are still attracting deposits because the interest rates offered are higher than the ones in Europe
Europe
and the United States", says Marwan Mikhael, head of research at BLOM Bank.[104] Beirut's foreign reserves were still close to an all-time high when they reached $32.5 billion in 2011 and analysts say that the Central Bank can cover nearly 80 percent of the Lebanese currency in the market. This means that the Central Bank can easily cope with any unforeseen crisis in the future thanks to the massive foreign currency reserves.[105] The Lebanese banking system is endowed with several characteristics that promote the role of Beirut
Beirut
as a regional financial center, in terms of ensuring protection for foreign capital and earnings. The Lebanese currency is fully convertible and can be exchanged freely with any other currency. Moreover, no restrictions are put on the free flow of capital and earnings into and out of the Lebanese economy. The passing of the banking secrecy law on 3 September 1956, subjected all banks established in Lebanon
Lebanon
as well as foreign banks' branches to the "secret of the profession". Both article 16 of law No. 282 dated 30 December 1993 and article 12 of decree No. 5451 dated 26 August 1994, offer exemptions from income tax on all interest and revenues earned on all types of accounts opened in Lebanese banks. On the first of April 1975, decree No. 29 established a free banking zone by granting the Lebanese government the right to exempt non-residents' deposits and liabilities in foreign currency from: the income tax on interest earned, the required reserves imposed by the Banque Du Liban by virtue of article 76 of the Code of Money and Credit, the premium of deposit guarantee imposed on bank deposits to the profit of the National Deposit Guarantee Institution.[106] Tourism[edit]

Raouché

The tourism industry in Beirut
Beirut
has been historically important to the local economy and remains to this day to be a major source of revenue for the city, and Lebanon
Lebanon
in general. Before the Lebanese Civil War, Beirut
Beirut
was widely regarded as "The Paris of the Middle East,"[107] often cited as a financial and business hub where visitors could experience the Levantine Mediterranean
Mediterranean
culture. Beirut's diverse atmosphere and ancient history make it an important destination which is slowly rebuilding itself after continued turmoil. Although in recent times, certain countries such as the United States frequently place Lebanon
Lebanon
and Beirut
Beirut
in particular, within their travel warnings list due to a large number of car bombings and orchestrated political violence.[108][109][110]

Pigeon Rocks Sunset

According to the 2012 tourist statistics, 34% of the tourists in Beirut
Beirut
came from states within the Arab League, 33% came from European countries (mainly France, Germany, and Britain), and 16% from the Americas
Americas
(about half of which are from the United States).[111] The largely pedestrianized Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
is the core of the Beirut
Beirut
tourism scene. The district is a cluster of stone-façade buildings lining arcaded streets and radial alleyways. The architecture of the area is a mix of French Architecture and Venetian Gothic architecture mixed with Arabesque and Ottoman Architecture. The district contains numerous old mosques and crusader churches, as well as uncovered remnants and ruins of the Roman era. The District contains dozens of restaurants, cafes and pubs, as well as a wide range of shopping stores mainly in Beirut
Beirut
Souks. High-rise hotels and towers line the district's New Waterfront, marina and seaside promenade. Another popular tourist destination in Beirut
Beirut
is the Corniche Beirut, a 4.8 km (3 mi) pedestrian promenade that encircles the capital's seafront from the Saint George
Saint George
Bay in the north all the way to Avenue de Paris
Avenue de Paris
and Avenue General de Gaulle south of the city. The corniche reaches its maximum height above sea level at Raouché, a high-rise residential neighborhood rising over a giant white limestone cliff and facing the recognizable off-shore Raouché
Raouché
Rocks. Badaro
Badaro
is one of Beirut's most appealing neighborhoods, a lovely place to stroll during daytime and a destination for going out in the evening. Badaro
Badaro
is within Beirut's green district with a 75-acre (30-hectare) public park (The Beirut
Beirut
Pine forest) and a 50-acre (20-hectare) hippodrome. It is a neighborhood on a very human scale with small groceries around every corner. The neighborhood residents, a mix of old impoverished Christian bourgeoisie, bohemian style people in their 30's and well-established urban professionals, are loyal to local bakery and pastry shops. Because of the blossoming café and bar scene it has become lately a hip destination for Beirut's young and restless but old Beirutis remember that Badaro
Badaro
was already Beirut's version of the Village in the swinging sixties. Groceries and eateries can be found on almost every street of the area. There are dozens of restaurants, pubs and sidewalk cafés of virtually every style. Badaro "Village" thrives on local residents, day-trippers and hipsters from all over Beirut, office employees and many expatriates. Contrary to areas such as Gemmayzé or Mar Mikhael, despite being very lively, pubs and cafes are keen on avoiding to make a lot of noise, and people are respectful and do not do things in public that they wouldn't want someone to do in front of their house.[112] Hamra Street
Hamra Street
is a long cobblestone street connecting the Beirut Central District with the coastal Raouche
Raouche
area. The street is a large concentration of shopping stores, boutiques, restaurants, banks, street vendors, sidewalk cafes, newspaper kiosks, and a booming nightlife spurred by students from the neighboring American University of Beirut. The AUB campus is another popular visitor destination, composed of a cluster of 19th century red-roofed buildings dispersed on a wooded hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. Gemmayzeh
Gemmayzeh
is Beirut's artistic Bohemian
Bohemian
quarter, full of narrow streets and historic buildings from the French era. It is located East of the Beirut
Beirut
Central District, bordering the Saifi Village. The neighborhood is well known for its trendy bars and pubs, cafes, restaurants and lounges; most are directly located on Rue Gouraud, the main thoroughfare that cuts through the middle of the district. Travel + Leisure magazine called Gemmayzeh
Gemmayzeh
"SoHo by the Sea," due to its colorful and chic cafés amid 1950s apartment buildings and hole-in-the-wall shops.[113]

Downtown Beirut
Beirut
Mosque

Beirut
Beirut
is a destination for tourists from both the Arab world
Arab world
and West.[114] In Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure
magazine's World Best Awards 2006, it was ranked 9th best city in the world.[115] That list was voted upon shortly before the 2006 Lebanon
Lebanon
War broke out, but in 2008 The Guardian listed Beirut
Beirut
as one of its top ten cities in the world.[116] The New York Times
The New York Times
ranked it at number one on its "44 places to go" list of 2009.[117] 2011 MasterCard Index revealed that Beirut
Beirut
had the second-highest visitor spending levels in the Middle East
Middle East
and Africa, totaling $6.5 billion.[118] Beirut
Beirut
was chosen in 2012 by Condé Nast Traveler as the best city in the Middle East, beating Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and Dubai.[119] Many of the tourists are returning Lebanese expatriates, but many are from Western countries. Approximately 3 million visitors visited in 2010; the previous record was 1.4 million in 1974.[120] Like other forms of tourism, medical tourism in Lebanon
Lebanon
is on the rise recently. Although visitors from neighboring Arab nations make up the bulk of medical tourism patients here due to its proximity, Beirut
Beirut
is strongly trying to woo more southern Europeans, Asians and North Americans to its land. Its Agency for Investment Development in Lebanon
Lebanon
reports that growth in the medical tourism industry is growing by up to 30% a year since 2009. The country's tourism ministry is working closely with the medical sector and top-class hotels to create an organized, quality medical destination.[121] Major hotel and spa chains work with local clinics, travel agencies and the tourism ministry to create comprehensive healthcare and recuperation packages for foreign visitors. The government is highly involved in this industry and strives to make the process as easy as possible.[122] Cosmetic surgery is a major component of medical tourism in Lebanon. Most of the foreign patients come for routine operations like plastic surgery, dental or eye surgery, and Beirut's hospitals are also capable of performing specialized procedures such as internal bypass surgery and other technical treatments. Its top clinics and hospitals like Sahel General are equipped to handle the full range of surgical procedures. Beirut-based Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC), affiliated with Johns Hopkins International, was ranked one of the world's top ten best hospitals for medical tourism in 2012.[123] Government[edit] Beirut
Beirut
is the capital of Lebanon
Lebanon
and its seat of government.[124] The Lebanese Parliament,[125] all the Ministries and most of the public administrations, embassies and consulates are there.[126] Beirut Governorate is one of eight mohafazat (plural of mohafazah, or governorate).

Name Took office Left office

1 Kamel Hamieh 1936 1941

2 Nicholas Rizk 1946 1952

3 George Assi 1952 1956

4 Bachour Haddad 1956 1958

5 Philip Boulos 1959 1960

6 Emile Yanni 1960 1967

7 Shafic Bou Haydar 1967 1977

8 Mitri El Nammar 1977 1987

9 George Smaha 1987 1991

10 Nayef El Malouf 1992 1995

11 Nicholas Saba 1995 1999

12 Jacob Sarraf 1999 2005

13 Nassif Kaloush 2005 2008

14 Rachid Ammoury Maalouf 2008 2015

Facade of the Beirut
Beirut
City Hall

The Grand Serail

Lebanese Parliament

United Nations Lebanon
Lebanon
headquarters

International organizations[edit] The city is home to numerous international organizations. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is headquartered in downtown Beirut,[127][128] The Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO),[129] the Union of Arab Banks[130] and the Union of Arab Stock Exchanges[131] are also headquartered in the city. The International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
(ILO)[132] and UNESCO
UNESCO
(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)[133] both have regional offices in Beirut
Beirut
covering the Arab world. Education[edit] Higher education throughout Lebanon
Lebanon
is provided by universities, colleges and technical and vocational institutes. The American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
and Université Saint-Joseph (USJ), are the oldest respectively English medium and French medium universities in the country. The Lebanese University
Lebanese University
is the only public institution for higher education in Beirut.[134] Beirut
Beirut
is also home to the Lebanese American University (LAU), which is also, together with many of its programs, accredited by US bodies and considered lately one of the top universities in the Middle East.[135][136][137][138][139] LAU also offers an architecture degree equivalent to the French DEA, allowing graduates to practice in the European Union.[citation needed] Beirut is also home to the American University of Science and Technology (AUST), University of Balamand, École Supérieure des Affaires (ESA), Beirut Arab University
Beirut Arab University
(BAU), Haigazian University
Haigazian University
(HU), Lebanese International University (LIU), as well as the Notre Dame University – Louaize (NDU), Université La Sagesse
Université La Sagesse
(ULS). Notre Dame University (NDU)'s degrees are becoming more and more valuable with time. NDU received its accreditation from NIASC in 2015. The Directorate General of Higher Education is responsible for managing the university colleges, university institutes and universities in Beirut
Beirut
and nationwide.[134] Among the private secondary schools in Beirut
Beirut
are, College Saint Joseph Antoura, Lycee Abdel Kader Grand Lycée Franco-Libanais, Lycée Franco-Libanais Verdun, American Community School, International College, Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour, College Melkart, Carmel Saint-Joseph, Collège Louise Wegmann, Rawdah High School, Saint Mary's Orthodox College,[140] Collège Notre Dame de Nazareth, Collège du Sacré-Coeur Gemmayzé, Collège Protestant Français, Armenian Evangelical Central High School, German School of Beirut, and the Armenian Hamazkayin Arslanian College.

AUB established in 1866 by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions

Saint Joseph University, or Université Saint-Joseph, founded by the Jesuits
Jesuits
in 1875

AUST, established in Beirut
Beirut
in 1989

Haigazian University
Haigazian University
was founded in 1955 by the Armenian Evangelical community

Global University
Global University
in Beirut

École supérieure des affaires, founded in 1996 as a joint cooperation between the Paris Chamber of Commerce
Paris Chamber of Commerce
(Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris) and the Bank of Lebanon

Transportation[edit]

Beirut– Rafic Hariri
Rafic Hariri
International Airport

The city's renovated airport is the Rafic Hariri
Rafic Hariri
International Airport, located in the southern suburbs. The Port of Beirut, one of the largest and most commercial in the eastern Mediterranean, is another port of entry. As a final destination, Lebanon
Lebanon
can be reached by ferry from Cyprus
Cyprus
via the nearby city of Jounieh
Jounieh
or by road from Damascus
Damascus
via the Beqaa valley in the east.[141] Beirut
Beirut
has frequent bus connections to other cities in Lebanon
Lebanon
and major cities in Syria
Syria
such as Homs and its capital Damascus. There are a number of different companies providing public transport in Lebanon. The publicly owned buses are managed by Office des Chemins de Fer et des Transports en Commun (OCFTC – "Railway and Public Transportation Authority"). Buses for northern destinations and Syria leave from Charles Helou Station.[142] The ministry of transport and public works purchased an extra 250 intra and inter-buses in 2012 to better serve regions outside the capital as well as congestion-choked Beirut, hoping to lessen the use of private cars.[citation needed] Beirut
Beirut
has also private buses that are provided by the Lebanese Commuting Company. In 2017, Beirut
Beirut
introtuced a bike sharing service in certain areas of the city. Culture[edit]

The Garden Show & Spring Festival at the Beirut
Beirut
Hippodrome

The culture of Beirut
Beirut
has evolved under the influence of many different peoples and civilizations, such as Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and French. The law school in downtown Beirut
Beirut
was one of the world's earliest and was considered to be a leading center of legal studies in the Eastern Roman Empire. Beirut
Beirut
hosted the Francophonie and Arab League
Arab League
summits in 2002, and in 2007 it hosted the ceremony for the Prix Albert Londres,[143][144] which rewards outstanding francophone journalists every year. The city also hosted the Jeux de la Francophonie
Jeux de la Francophonie
in 2009.[145][146] In the same year it was proclaimed World Book Capital by UNESCO.[147] Beirut
Beirut
has also been called the "party capital of the Arab world".[148] Rue Monnot has an international reputation among clubbers,[149] and Rue Gouraud
Rue Gouraud
in districts such as Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael have emerged as new hotspots for bar patrons and clubbers, as well as "The Alleyway" in Hamra Street. Museums[edit]

The National Museum of Beirut

Sursock Museum

The National Museum of Beirut
National Museum of Beirut
is the principal museum of archaeology in Lebanon. It has about 1,300 exhibits ranging in date from prehistoric times to the medieval Mamluk
Mamluk
period.[150] The Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut
is the third oldest museum in the Middle East, exhibiting a wide range of artifacts from Lebanon
Lebanon
and neighboring countries.[151] Sursock Museum was built by the illustrious Sursock family
Sursock family
at the end of the 19th century as a private villa for Nicolas Sursock, and then donated to the Lebanese state upon his death. It now houses Beirut's most influential and popular art museum. The permanent collection shows a set of Japanese engravings, numerous works of Islamic art
Islamic art
and classic Italian paintings, while temporary exhibitions are also shown throughout the year. The Robert Mouawad Private Museum
Robert Mouawad Private Museum
near Beirut's Grand Serail
Grand Serail
exhibits Henri Pharaon's private collection of archaeology and antiques.[152] Planet Discovery is a children's science museum with interactive experiments, exhibitions, performances, workshops and awareness competitions.[153] The Saint Joseph University
Saint Joseph University
opened the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory in 2000, the first prehistory museum in the Arabic Middle East, displaying bones, stone tools and neolithic pottery collected by Jesuits.[154] In October 2013, Mim Museum, a private mineral museum, opened its doors to the public. It has on display some 2000 minerals from more than 70 countries. mim museum's collection is considered to be one of the world's paramount private collection for the variety and quality of its minerals.[155][156] A didactic circuit, accompanied by screens showing films and scientific applications of mineralogy, will reveal a world of unsuspected marvels—priceless both from an aesthetic and scientific point of view. Mimodactylus libanensis “mimo”, the fossil of a pterodactyl is featured in a special wing. This one-of-a-kind complete specimen in the Middle-East was found in Lebanon. It is promoted by means of state-of-the-art modern techniques: a hologram, an auto-stereoscopic movie, a full-scale reconstitution and a game “fly with mimo” – an entertainment that delights children and adults. Moreover, mim hosts a thematic exhibition of 200 marine fossils. “Fish’n’Stone” was organized with the collaboration of Mémoire du Temps. Known throughout the world, those fossils were quarried in the Lebanese mountains. The history of the fossil formation is shown through an animation that submerses you in the marine life – a time capsule that takes you in a journey to some 100 million of years ago. Media[edit] Beirut
Beirut
is a main center for the television, newspaper, and book publishing industries. Television stations based in Beirut
Beirut
include Télé Liban, LBC, ÓTV (Orange TV), MTV Lebanon, Tele Lumiere (Catholic TV), Future TV, New TV, NBN, ANB and Saudi TV 1 on 33 UHF and MBC 1, MBC 4, MBC Action, Fox, Al Jazeera, Rotana, OSN First, OSN News, Al Yawm and Arabic Series Channel on 45 UHF. Newspapers include An-Nahar, Al Joumhouria, As-Safir, Al Mustaqbal, Al-Akhbar, Al-Balad, Ad-Diyar, Al Anwar, Al Sharq. Newspapers and magazines published in French include L'Orient Le Jour (since 1971), La Revue Du Liban, Al Balad-French Version, Al Intiqad, Magazine L'Hebdo and La Commerce Du Levant. English newspapers published in Beirut
Beirut
are The Daily Star, Executive Magazine (weekly), Beirut
Beirut
Online, Beirut
Beirut
Times (weekly) and Monday Morning. Sports[edit] The Lebanese capital hosted the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Games in 1959, FIBA Asia Champions Cup in 1999, 2000, 2012, the AFC Asian Cup
AFC Asian Cup
in 2000, and the FIBA Asia Cup in 2010. Beirut
Beirut
was the host city for the 6th Annual Games of the Jeux de la Francophonie
Jeux de la Francophonie
in 2009. Beirut
Beirut
also hosted the Pan Arab Games
Pan Arab Games
in 1957, 1997, and did so again in 2015. In 2017, Beirut
Beirut
will also host the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup. Beirut, with Sidon
Sidon
and Tripoli, hosted the 2000 AFC Asian Cup.[157][158] There are two stadiums in the city, Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium and Beirut
Beirut
Municipal Stadium. Basketball is the most popular sport in Lebanon. Currently, 4 Beirut teams play in Lebanese Basketball League: Hekmeh, Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut, Homenetmen Beirut
Beirut
and Hoops. Other sports events in Beirut
Beirut
include the annual Beirut
Beirut
Marathon, hip ball, weekly horse racing at the Beirut
Beirut
Hippodrome, and golf and tennis tournaments that take place at Golf Club of Lebanon. Three out of the five teams in the Lebanese rugby league championship are based in Beirut. Art and Fashion[edit]

Beirut Souks
Beirut Souks
shopping mall

There are hundreds of art galleries in Beirut
Beirut
and its suburbs. Every year hundreds of fine art students graduate from universities and institutions. Artist workshops exist all over Lebanon. The inauguration of the Beirut
Beirut
Art Center, a non-profit association, space and platform dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon,[159] in the Mkalles suburb of Beirut
Beirut
added to the number of exhibition spaces available in the city, with a screening and performance room, mediatheque, bookstore, cafe and terrace. Adjacent to the latter is the Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace, a venue hosting cultural events and educational programs. A number of international fashion designers[who?] have displayed their work in big fashion shows.[160] Most major fashion labels have shops in Beirut's shopping districts, and the city is home to a number of local fashion designers, some of whom like Elie Saab, Yara Farhat, Reem Acra, Zuhair Murad, Georges Chakra, Georges Hobeika, Jean Faris, Nicolas Jebran, Rabih Kayrouz and Abed Mahfouz have achieved international fame.[160] Beirut
Beirut
is also the home for a dynamic street art scene that has developed after the Lebanese Civil War, one of the most notable street artists is Yazan Halwani
Yazan Halwani
who is known to produce the largest murals on the walls of Beirut
Beirut
in areas such as Gemmayzeh, Hamra, Verdun and Achrafieh.[161] Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Lebanon Beirut
Beirut
is twinned with:[162][better source needed]

Tunis, Tunisia Amman, Jordan Athens, Greece Yerevan, Armenia[163][164] Dubai, United Arab Emirates Isfahan, Iran[165] Istanbul, Turkey[166] Kuwait
Kuwait
City, Kuwait Moscow, Russia Quebec City, Canada Mexico
Mexico
City, Mexico Tripoli, Libya São Paulo, Brazil

Foreign opinion[edit] Beirut
Beirut
was named the top place to visit by The New York Times
The New York Times
in 2009,[117] and as one of the ten liveliest cities in the world by Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
in the same year.[167] According to a 2010 study by the American global consulting firm Mercer comparing high-end items such as upscale residential areas and entertainment venues, Beirut
Beirut
was ranked as the 4th most expensive city in the Middle East
Middle East
and 15th among the Upper Middle Income Countries included in the survey.[168] Beirut
Beirut
came in first place regionally and 10th place internationally in a 2010 study by "EuroCost International" about the rental markets for high quality housing.[169][170] The 2011 MasterCard Index revealed that Beirut
Beirut
had the second-highest visitor spending levels in the Middle East
Middle East
and Africa, totaling $6.5 billion.[118] Beirut
Beirut
was chosen in 2012 by Condé Nast Traveler
Condé Nast Traveler
as the best city in the Middle East.[119] In 2013, Condé Nast Traveler ranked Beirut
Beirut
in the top 20 best cities in the world.[171] On 7 December 2014, Beirut
Beirut
was selected to be among the New 7 Wonders of Cities, along with Doha, Durban, La Paz, Havana, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
and Vigan.[172] The campaign was held by New 7 Wonders.[173] In 2016, Yahoo listed Beirut
Beirut
as the best international city for food.[174] Travel and Leisure ranked Beirut
Beirut
in the top 15 World's best cities.[175] See also[edit]

Beirut
Beirut
International Exhibition & Leisure Center

References[edit]

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(AUB) ^ a b Curvers and Stuart (2007) The BCD Archaeology
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passed to the Seleucids. In the second century B.C. Laodikeia issued both autonomous as well as quasi-autonomous coins. The autonomous bronze coins had a Tyche
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on the obverse. The reverse often had Poseidon or Astarte standing on the prow of a ship, the letters BH or [lambda alpha] and the monogram [phi], that is, the initials of Berytos/Laodikeia and Phoenicia, and, on a few coins, the Phoenician legend LL'DK' 'S BKN 'N or LL'DK' 'M BKN ’N, which has been read as "Of Laodikcia which is in Canaan" or "Of Laodikcia Mother in Canaan. The quasi-municipal coins – issued under Antiochos IV Epiphanes ( 175–164 B.c.) and continuing with Alexander I Balas (150–145 B.C.), Demetrios II Nikator (146–138 B.C.E.), and Alexander II Zabinas (128–123 B.C.) – contained the king's head on the obverse, and on the reverse the name of the king in Greek, the city name in Phoenician (LL'DK' 'S BKN ’N or LL'DK’ 'M BKN 'N), the Greek letters [lambda alpha], and the monogram [phi]. After c.123 B.C.E. the Phoenician "Of Laodikcia which is in Canaan" / "Of Laodikcia Mother in Canaan is no longer attested  ^ a b About Beirut
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Bibliography

Kassir, Samir. Beirut
Beirut
(University of California Press; 2010) a scholarly history Linda Jones Hall, Roman Berytus: Beirut
Beirut
in Late Antiquity, 2004. Samir Kassir, Histoire de Beyrouth, Fayard 2003. Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), p. 69. Rabih Alameddine, "Koolaids: The Art of War", Abacus 1998, a novel Philip Mansel, Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean, London, John Murray, 11 November 2010, hardback, 480 pages, ISBN 978-0-7195-6707-0, New Haven, Yale University Press, 24 May 2011, hardback, 470 pages, ISBN 978-0-300-17264-5

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Aadloun Aaiha Aammiq Aaqbe Ain Aata Ain Choaab Ain Harcha Akbiyeh Akkar plain foothills Al-Bireh Amioun Amlaq Qatih Anjar, Lebanon Antelias cave Apheca Ard Saouda Ard Tlaili Arqa Baalbek Baidar ech Chamout Batroumine Batroun Bechamoun Beirut Beit Mery Berytus
Berytus
(Roman Beirut) Bustan Birke Byblos Canalizations of Zenobia Dahr El Ahmar Dakoue Deir El Aachayer Deir el Ahmar Deir Mar Maroun Dekwaneh Douris (Baalbek) Elaea (Lebanon) Flaoui Fadous Sud Hebbariye Hadeth south Haret ech Cheikh Hashbai Heliopolis of Phoenicia Hermel plains Iaat Jabal es Saaïdé Jbaa Jdeideh Jebel Aabeby Jeita Grotto Joub Jannine Jieh Kafr Zabad Kamid al lawz Kamouh el Hermel Karak Nuh Kaukaba Kefraya Kafr Tebnit Kfar Qouq Kfarhata Khallet Michte Khirbet El-Knese Kouachra
Kouachra
megalith field Ksar Akil Labweh Lake Qaraoun
Lake Qaraoun
(Ain Jaouze) Libbaya Lion Tower Majdal Anjar Mansourieh Maronite mummies Mayrouba Mdoukha
Mdoukha
(Jebel Kassir) Moukhtara Mtaileb Nabi Zair Nachcharini Nahle, Lebanon Neba'a Faour Nebi Safa Niha Bekaa Phoenician port of Beirut Plain of Zgharta Qaa Qal'at Bustra Qalaat Tannour Qaraoun Qasr el Banat Ras Baalbek
Baalbek
I Ras Beirut Ras El Kelb Rashaya Roman Forum of Berytus Roman hippodrome of Berytus Sands of Beirut Saraain El Faouqa Shheem Sidon Sin el Fil Sarepta Stone of the Pregnant Woman Tahun ben Aissa Taire Tayibe Tell Aalaq Tell Ablah Tell Addus Tell Ahle Tell Ain Cerif Tell Ain el Meten Tell Ain Ghessali Tell Ain Nfaikh Tell Ain Saouda Tell Ain Sofar Tell Ayoub Tell Bar Elias Tell Beshara Tell Bir Dakoue Tell Deir Tell Delhamieh Tell Derzenoun Tell Dibbine Tell el-Burak Tell El Ghassil Tell El Hadeth Tell Fadous Tell Hazzine Tell Hoch Rafqa Tell Karmita Tell Khardane Tell Kirri Tell Jezireh Tell Jisr Tell Kabb Elias Tell Majdaloun Tell Masoud Tell Mekhada Tell Meouchi Tell Mureibit Tell Murtafa Tell Nahariyah Tell Neba'a Chaate Tell Neba'a Litani Tell Qasr Labwe Tell Rasm El Hadeth Tell Rayak Tell Saatiya Tell Safiyeh Tell Saoudhi Tell Serhan Tell Shaikh Hassan al Rai Tell Shamsine Tell Sultan Yakoub Tell Taalabaya Tell Wardeen Tell Zenoub Tell Zeitoun Temnin el-Foka Temples of Mount Hermon Temples of the Beqaa Valley Temple of Bacchus Temple of Eshmun Temple of Jupiter Tlail megaliths Toron Tripolis (region of Phoenicia) Tyre Necropolis Tyre, Lebanon Wadi Boura Wadi Koura Wadi Yaroun Yammoune Yanta Ain W Zain Zahlé

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Capitals of Arab countries

Africa Asia

Algiers, Algeria Cairo, Egypt Djibouti, Djibouti

El Aaiun
El Aaiun
(proclaimed)   Tifariti
Tifariti
(de facto), Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic1

Khartoum, Sudan Mogadishu, Somalia Moroni, Comoros Nouakchott, Mauritania Rabat, Morocco Tripoli, Libya Tunis, Tunisia

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Amman, Jordan Baghdad, Iraq Beirut, Lebanon Damascus, Syria Doha, Qatar

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(proclaimed)   Ramallah
Ramallah
(de facto), Palestine1

Kuwait
Kuwait
City, Kuwait Manama, Bahrain Muscat, Oman Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Sana'a, Yemen

1 An unrecognised or partially-recognised nation

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Arab Capital of Culture

Cairo
Cairo
1996 (Egypt) Tunis
Tunis
1997 (Tunisia) Sharjah
Sharjah
1998 (United Arab Emirates) Beirut
Beirut
1999 (Lebanon) Riyadh
Riyadh
2000 (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait
Kuwait
City 2001 (Kuwait) Amman
Amman
2002 (Jordan) Rabat
Rabat
2003 (Morocco) San'a
San'a
2004 (Yemen) Khartoum
Khartoum
2005 (Sudan) Muscat
Muscat
2006 (Oman) Algiers
Algiers
2007 (Algeria) Damascus
Damascus
2008 (Syria) Jerusalem
Jerusalem
2009 (State of Palestine) Doha
Doha
2010 (Qatar) Sirte
Sirte
2011 (Libya) Manama
Manama
2012 (Bahrain) Baghdad
Baghdad
2013 (Iraq) Tripoli
Tripoli
2014 (Libya) Constantine 2015 (Algeria) Sfax
Sfax
2016 (Tunisia)

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World Book Capitals

2001: Madrid 2002: Alexandria 2003: New Delhi 2004: Antwerp 2005: Montreal 2006: Turin 2007: Bogotá 2008: Amsterdam 2009: Beirut 2010: Ljubljana 2011: Buenos Aires 2012: Yerevan 2013: Bangkok 2014: Port Harcourt 2015: Incheon 2016: Wrocław 2017: Conakry 2018: Athens 2019: Sharjah

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Capitals of Asia

Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in italics

North and Central Asia South Asia Southeast Asia West and Southwest Asia

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan Astana, Kazakhstan* Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Dushanbe, Tajikistan Moscow, Russia* Tashkent, Uzbekistan

East Asia

Beijing, China Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
(China) Macau, Macau
Macau
(China) Pyongyang, North Korea Seoul, South Korea Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan
(ROC) Tokyo, Japan Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Kabul, Afghanistan Dhaka, Bangladesh Diego Garcia, BIOT (UK) Islamabad, Pakistan Kathmandu, Nepal Kotte, Sri Lanka Malé, Maldives New Delhi, India Thimphu, Bhutan

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Bangkok, Thailand Dili, East Timor Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island
Christmas Island
(Australia) Hanoi, Vietnam Jakarta, Indonesia* Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Manila, Philippines Naypyidaw, Myanmar Phnom Penh, Cambodia Singapore Vientiane, Laos West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
(Australia)

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Amman, Jordan Ankara, Turkey* Baghdad, Iraq Baku, Azerbaijan* Beirut, Lebanon Cairo, Egypt* Doha, Qatar Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine † Kuwait
Kuwait
City, Kuwait Manama, Bahrain

Muscat, Oman Nicosia, Cyprus* North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus* Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Sana'a, Yemen Stepanakert, Artsakh* Sukhumi, Abkhazia* Tbilisi, Georgia* Tehran, Iran Tskhinvali, South Ossetia* Yerevan, Armenia*

*Transcontinental country. † Disputed. See: Positions on Jerusalem.

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Phoenician cities and colonies

Algeria

Cirta Malaca Igigili Hippo Regius Icosium Iol Tipasa Timgad

Cyprus

Kition Dhali Marion

Greece

Callista Paxi Rhodes

Italy

Karalis Lilybaeum Motya Neapolis Nora Olbia Panormus Solki Soluntum Tharros

Lebanon

Amia Ampi Arqa Baalbek Berut Botrys Gebal Sarepta Sur Sydon Tripolis

Libya

Leptis Magna Oea Sabratha

Malta

Gozo Għajn Qajjet Mtarfa Maleth Ras il-Wardija Tas-Silġ

Mauritania / Morocco

Cerne  /  Arambys Caricus Murus Chellah Lixus Tingis

Israel

Achziv Acre Arsuf Caesarea

Portugal

Olissipona Ossonoba

Spain

Abdera Abyla Akra Leuke Gadir Herna Ibossim Sa Caleta, Ibiza Mahón Malaca Onoba Qart Hadašt Rusadir Sexi Tyreche

Syria

Amrit Arwad Safita Shuksi Ugarit

Tunisia

Carthage Hadrumetum Hippo Diarrhytus Kelibia Kerkouane Leptis Parva Sicca Thanae Thapsus Utica

Turkey / others

Myriandrus Phoenicus  /  Gibraltar

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Roman Archaeological sites in Beirut
Beirut
& Lebanon

Roman Berytus
Berytus
(actual Beirut)

Berytus
Berytus
1 Roman Forum of Berytus Berytus
Berytus
Roman Baths Cisterns of Berytus
Berytus
Baths Berytus
Berytus
Cardo Decumanus Berytus
Berytus
Colonnaded street Byzantine Mosaics Roman hippodrome of Berytus Roman Law school of Berytus

Roman Phoenicia
Phoenicia
(actual Lebanon)

Baalbeck
Baalbeck
(Heliopolis in Phoenicia) Temple of Bacchus Temples of Mount Hermon Temples of the Beqaa Valley Arca Caesarea Colonia Aurelia Pia "Sidon" Tyrus 1 Tripolis in Phoenicia Niha Tyre Necropolis Saraain El Faouqa Castra El Banat Castra Chbib Qal'at Bustra
Qal'at Bustra
temple Nebi Safa
Nebi Safa
temple Mansourieh
Mansourieh
Roman aqueduct Hebbariye
Hebbariye
temple Deir Mar Maroun
Deir Mar Maroun
Monastery Dakoue
Dakoue
temple Canalizations of Zenobia Batroumine Bakka temple Amioun
Amioun
Monastery Ain Aata
Ain Aata
temple Afqa Aaqbe
Aaqbe
temple

Related articles & lists

Roman Lebanon Phoenice (Roman province) Stone of the Pregnant Woman Ulpianus Marcus Valerius Probus Palaestina Secunda Coele-Syria List of Christian cathedrals in Lebanon Christianity in Lebanon Saint George
Saint George
Greek Orthodox Cathedral 551 Beirut
Beirut
earthquake

1 UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites 2 Proposed

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Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Games

Alexandria
Alexandria
1951 Barcelona 1955 Beirut
Beirut
1959 Naples 1963 Tunis
Tunis
1967 İzmir 1971 Algiers
Algiers
1975 Split 1979 Casablanca 1983 Latakia 1987 Athens
Athens
1991 Languedoc-Roussillon 1993 Bari 1997 Tunis
Tunis
2001 Almeria 2005 Pescara 2009 Mersin 2013 Tarragona 2018 Oran 2021

Lebanon
Lebanon
portal Mediterranean
Mediterranean
portal Middle East
Middle East
portal

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 158677433 LCCN: n83068103 GND: 4005348-9 BNF: cb11960939m (d

.