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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

clockwise from top left: Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
, Beirut Souks
Beirut Souks
, High rise construction near the marina, Place de l'etoile, Cafés on Rue Maarad , Saifi Village
Saifi Village

Flag Seal

Nickname(s): Paris
Paris
de l'Est Paris
Paris
of the East

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

Beirut
Beirut
Location in Lebanon. The surrounding district can be seen on the map.

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

COUNTRY Lebanon
Lebanon

GOVERNORATE Beirut
Beirut

GOVERNMENT

• MAYOR Jamal Itani

AREA

• CITY 85 km2 (33 sq mi)

• URBAN 100 km2 (40 sq mi)

• METRO 200 km2 (80 sq mi)

POPULATION (2014)

• CITY c. 361,366

• METRO c. 2,200,000

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 (Arabic : بيروت‎‎ Bayrūt pronunciation (help ·info ), French : Beyrouth) is the capital and largest city of Lebanon
Lebanon
. No recent population census has been done but in 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to slightly less than 2 million as part of Greater Beirut . 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 letters dating from the 15th century BC .

Beirut River runs south to north on the eastern edge of the city.

Beirut
Beirut
is Lebanon
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 and Ashrafieh . Following the destructive Lebanese Civil War , Beirut's cultural landscape underwent major reconstruction. Identified and graded for accountancy, advertising, banking/finance and law, Beirut
Beirut
is ranked as a Beta World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network .

In May 2015, Beirut
Beirut
was officially recognized as one of the New7Wonders Cities together with Vigan , Doha
Doha
, Durban
Durban
, Havana
Havana
, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
, and La Paz
La Paz
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Archaeology
Archaeology
and prehistory

* 2 History

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

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Climate * 3.2 Environmental issues * 3.3 Quarters and sectors

* 4 Demographics

* 4.1 Religion

* 5 Beirut Central District
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 AND PREHISTORY

Canaanean Blade
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 and Upper Paleolithic through the Neolithic to the Bronze Age
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 in central Beirut. The site was discovered by Lortet in 1894 and discussed by Godefroy Zumoffen in 1900. The flint industry from the site was described as Mousterian and is held by the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon .

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.

Beirut
Beirut
III, Furn esh Shebbak or Plateau Tabet, was suggested to have been located on the left bank of the Beirut River . Burkhalter suggested that it was west of the Damascus
Damascus
road, although this determination has been criticized by Lorraine Copeland . P. E. Gigues discovered a series of 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.

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 Godefroy Zumoffen, Raoul Describes and Auguste Bergy. Collections from the site were made by Bergy, Describes and another Jesuit, Paul Bovier-Lapierre . A large number of 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 period , some with a lustrous sheen , now held at the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory
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
Tripoli
. Levallois flints and bones and similar surface material were found amongst brecciated deposits . The area has now been built on.

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.

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. 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.

The 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. 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 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.

HISTORY

See also: Timeline of Beirut

Beirut
Beirut
was settled more than 5,000 years ago. 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. Another version is that the city was named after the Phoenician daughter of Adonis and Aphrodite, Beroe . Excavations in the downtown area have unearthed layers of Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader and Ottoman remains. The first historical reference to Beirut
Beirut
dates from the 14th century BC, when it is mentioned in the cuneiform tablets of the Amarna letters , three letters that Ammunira of Biruta (Beirut) sent to the pharaoh of Egypt . Biruta is also referenced in the letters from Rib-Hadda
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 .

HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN PERIOD

In 140 B.C. the city was destroyed by Diodotus Tryphon
Diodotus Tryphon
in his contest with 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 (Greek : Λαοδίκεια ἡ ἐν Φοινίκῃ) or Laodicea in Canaan in honor of a Seleucid Laodice . 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 Berytus . Public architecture included several bath complexes, colonnaded streets, a circus and theater; residential areas were excavated in the Future Garden of Forgiveness, Martyrs' Square and the Beirut
Beirut
Souks.

Mid-first-century coins from Berytus bear the head of Tyche , goddess of fortune; 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 in 15th century Venice
Venice
.

Beirut
Beirut
was conquered by Pompey in 64 B.C. The city was assimilated into the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
, veteran soldiers were sent there, and large building projects were undertaken. Beirut
Beirut
was considered the most Roman city in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

In 14 B.C., during the reign of Herod the Great
Herod the Great
, Berytus became a colonia and was named Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus. Its law school was widely known; 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 Justinian recognized the school as one of the three official law schools of the empire. After the 551 Beirut earthquake the students were transferred to Sidon .

MIDDLE AGES

Beirut
Beirut
passed into Arab control in 635. Prince Arslan bin al-Mundhir founded the Principality of 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. As a trading centre of the eastern Mediterranean
Mediterranean
, Beirut
Beirut
was overshadowed by Acre during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
. From 1110 to 1291 it was in the hands of the Crusaders' Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
. John of Ibelin, the Old Lord of Beirut
Beirut
(1179–1236) rebuilt the city after the battles with Saladin and also built the Ibelin family palace in Beirut.

OTTOMAN RULE

Pine Forest of Beirut, 1914

Under the Ottoman sultan Selim I (1512–1520), the Ottomans conquered Syria
Syria
including present-day Lebanon
Lebanon
. Beirut
Beirut
was controlled by local Druze emirs throughout the Ottoman period. One of them, Fakhr-al-Din II
Fakhr-al-Din II
, fortified it early in the 17th century, but the Ottomans reclaimed it in 1763. With the help of Damascus
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 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 captured Acre in 1832, 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. 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 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
Beirut
was made capital of a vilayet (governorate) in Syria, including the sanjaks (prefectures) Latakia, Tripoli, Beirut, Acre and Bekaa. 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
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 was one of the most prominent figures in Beirut, holding numerous public positions including deputy from Beirut to the Ottoman parliament and President of the Municipality of Beirut. Given his modern way of life, the emergence of 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 and its shores, and chase the invadors and stop their progress towards it.

These families are:

a- The current Daouk Family

b- The current Mneimneh Family

c- The current Sinno Family

d- The current Kreidiyeh Family

e- The current Itani Family

f- The current Doughan Family

g- 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

Saint Nicholas staircase in Ashrafieh 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, especially for the Persian Gulf oil boom.

This era of relative prosperity ended in 1975 when the Lebanese Civil War broke out throughout the country. During most of the war, Beirut was divided between the Muslim west part and the Christian east. 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, 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.

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
Solidere
, a development company established in 1994 by Prime Minister Rafic Hariri
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 Hotel in Beirut. A month later about one million people gathered for an opposition rally in Beirut. The Cedar Revolution was the largest rally in Lebanon's history at that time. The last Syrian troops withdrew from Beirut
Beirut
on 26 April 2005, and the two countries established diplomatic relations on 15 October 2008.

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” 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
Beirut
International Airport and the major Beirut- Damascus
Damascus
highway in Eastern Lebanon.

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 . After this a national dialogue conference was held in Doha
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 . 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. It was the largest attack in the capital since 2008. 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.

In the 12 November 2015 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 immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks:

GEOGRAPHY

Pigeon Rock ( Raouché ) Beirut
Beirut
seen from SPOT satellite

Beirut
Beirut
sits on a peninsula extending westward into the Mediterranean Sea about 94 km (58 mi) north of the Lebanon- Israel
Israel
border. 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 and Al-Musaytibah. The Beirut Governorate occupies 18 square kilometres (6.9 sq mi), and the city's metropolitan area 67 square kilometres (26 sq mi). The coast is rather diverse, with rocky beaches, sandy shores and cliffs situated beside one another.

CLIMATE

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.

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 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

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

Beirut
Beirut
mean sea temperature 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

See Marine environmental issues in Lebanon
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 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.

QUARTERS AND SECTORS

Main article: List of places in Beirut Map of the 12 quarters of Beirut
Beirut

Beirut
Beirut
is divided into 12 quarters (quartiers):

* Achrafieh * Dar El Mreisse * Bachoura * Mazraa * Medawar * Minet El Hosn * Moussaitbeh * Port * Ras Beirut * Rmeil * Saifi * Zuqaq al-Blat

These quarters are divided into sectors (secteurs).

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 . Of the fifteen unregistered or unofficial refugee camps, Sabra, which lies adjacent to Shatila, is also located in southern Beirut.

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

No population census has been taken in Lebanon
Lebanon
since 1932, and estimates of Beirut's population range from as low as 938,940 through 1,303,129 to as high as 2,012,000 as part of Greater Beirut .

RELIGION

See also: Religion in Lebanon
Lebanon
, Sunni Islam in Lebanon
Lebanon
, Shia Islam in Lebanon
Lebanon
, Christianity in Lebanon
Lebanon
, and Secularism in Lebanon
Lebanon

Beirut
Beirut
is one of the most cosmopolitan and religiously diverse cities of Lebanon
Lebanon
and all of the Middle East. The city boasts significant Christian and Muslim communities. In Beirut
Beirut
there are 18 recognized religious groups. At the end of the civil war the Copts became another recognized confession, bringing the total number to eighteen. The original seventeen included four Muslim sects: Sunni, Shi'a, 'Alawi, and Druze; Twelve Christian sects: Assyrians, Syriac, Catholics, Syriac Orthodox, Chaldean, Maronites, Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholics, evangelicals, and smaller Christian sects, which are considered one group; and Jews (very few remain in Lebanon
Lebanon
today, but children of Lebanese Jewish parents may register as citizens at Lebanese Embassies.

*

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

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

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

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

Main article: Beirut Central District
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." 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. 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
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. 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. 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). 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 Central District
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. Solidere
Solidere
, the company responsible for the reconstruction and renovation of the district, organizes music and entertainment events all throughout the year like the 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. Many of the expropriations that have made the project possible have been made at land 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. 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 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.". 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, putting into question the actual benefit of the project to the population.

Finally, the actual success of the project has recently 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.

ECONOMY

Cafés in downtown Beirut
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 liberalism, though a precarious one. 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 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). 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. Zaitunay Bay

Beirut
Beirut
is the focal point of the Economy of Lebanon
Lebanon
. The capital hosts the headquarters of Banque du Liban , Lebanon's central bank , the Beirut Stock Exchange , the head office of Lebanon's flag-carrier Middle East Airlines
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.

BANKING AND FINANCE

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
IMF
. 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 .

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.

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.

TOURISM

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
Paris
of the Middle East," 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 and Beirut
Beirut
in particular, within their travel warnings list due to a large number of car bombings and orchestrated political violence. 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 (about half of which are from the United States).

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 Souks
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 Bay in the north all the way to Avenue de Paris
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 Rocks.

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 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 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.

Hamra Street is a long cobblestone street connecting the Beirut Central District with the coastal 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
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
Mediterranean
.

Gemmayzeh is Beirut's artistic Bohemian quarter, full of narrow streets and historic buildings from the French era . It is located East of the Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
, bordering the Saifi Village
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
Travel + Leisure
magazine called Gemmayzeh "SoHo by the Sea," due to its colorful and chic cafés amid 1950s apartment buildings and hole-in-the-wall shops. Downtown Beirut
Beirut
Mosque

Beirut
Beirut
is a destination for tourists from both the Arab world and West. In Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure
magazine's World Best Awards 2006, it was ranked 9th best city in the world. 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. The New York Times ranked it at number one on its "44 places to go" list of 2009. 2011 MasterCard Index revealed that Beirut
Beirut
had the second-highest visitor spending levels in the Middle East
Middle East
and Africa
Africa
, totaling $6.5 billion. Beirut
Beirut
was chosen in 2012 by Condé Nast Traveler
Condé Nast Traveler
as the best city in the Middle East
Middle East
, beating Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and Dubai
Dubai
.

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.

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 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. 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. 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.

GOVERNMENT

Beirut
Beirut
is the capital of Lebanon
Lebanon
and its seat of government. The Lebanese Parliament, all the Ministries and most of the public administrations, embassies and consulates are there. The Beirut Governorate is one of six mohafazat (plural of mohafazah, a state governorate). The others are North Lebanon
Lebanon
, Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
, South Lebanon
Lebanon
, Beqaa and Nabatiye .

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

The city is home to numerous international organizations. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is headquartered in downtown Beirut, The Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), the Union of Arab Banks and the Union of Arab Stock Exchanges are also headquartered in the city. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNESCO
UNESCO
(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) both have regional offices in Beirut
Beirut
covering the Arab world .

EDUCATION

Higher education throughout Lebanon
Lebanon
is provided by universities, colleges and technical and vocational institutes.

The 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 is the only public institution for higher education in Beirut. 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. LAU also offers an architecture degree equivalent to the French DEA, allowing graduates to practice in the European Union. Beirut
Beirut
is also home to the American University of Science and Technology (AUST) , University of Balamand , École Supérieure des Affaires (ESA), Beirut Arab University (BAU), Haigazian University (HU), Lebanese International University (LIU), as well as the Notre Dame University – Louaize (NDU), 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.

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 , Collège Notre Dame de Nazareth , Collège du Sacré-Coeur Gemmayzé , Collège Protestant Français , Armenian Evangelical Central High School , German School of Beirut
Beirut
, and the Armenian Hamazkayin Arslanian College .

*

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

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

AUST , established in Beirut
Beirut
in 1989 *

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

Global University in Beirut
Beirut
*

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

TRANSPORTATION

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 via the nearby city of Jounieh
Jounieh
or by road from Damascus
Damascus
via the Beqaa valley in the east.

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
Syria
leave from Charles Helou Station.

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.

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

The Garden Show "> The National Museum of Beirut Sursock Museum

The 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 . The Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut is the third oldest museum in the Middle East, exhibiting a wide range of artifacts from Lebanon and neighboring countries. Sursock Museum was built by the illustrious 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 and classic Italian paintings, while temporary exhibitions are also shown throughout the year. The Robert Mouawad Private Museum near Beirut's Grand Serail exhibits Henri Pharaon\'s private collection of archaeology and antiques.

Planet Discovery is a children's science museum with interactive experiments, exhibitions, performances, workshops and awareness competitions. 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.

In October 2013, mim museum , a private mineral museum, opened its doors to the public. It has on display some 1600 minerals from more than 60 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. 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

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
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
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

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 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 and Tripoli, hosted the 2000 AFC Asian Cup
AFC Asian Cup
. There are two stadiums in the city, Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium and 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
Beirut
, Homenetmen Beirut
Beirut
and Hoops .

Other sports events in Beirut
Beirut
include the annual Beirut Marathon , hip ball, weekly horse racing at the Beirut Hippodrome
Beirut Hippodrome
, and golf and tennis tournaments that take place at Golf Club of Lebanon
Lebanon
. Three out of the five teams in the Lebanese rugby league championship are based in Beirut.

ART AND FASHION

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 Art Center , a non-profit association, space and platform dedicated to contemporary art in Lebanon, 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 have displayed their work in big fashion shows. 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
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.

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 who is known to produce the largest murals on the walls of Beirut
Beirut
in areas such as Gemmayzeh , Hamra , Verdun and Achrafieh .

TWIN TOWNS AND SISTER CITIES

This section NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message )

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Lebanon
Lebanon

Beirut
Beirut
is twinned with:

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

FOREIGN OPINION

Beirut
Beirut
was named the top place to visit by The New York Times
The New York Times
in 2009, and as one of the ten liveliest cities in the world by Lonely Planet in the same year. 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. 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.

The 2011 MasterCard Index revealed that Beirut
Beirut
had the second-highest visitor spending levels in the Middle East
Middle East
and Africa
Africa
, totaling $6.5 billion. Beirut
Beirut
was chosen in 2012 by Condé Nast Traveler
Condé Nast Traveler
as the best city in the Middle East
Middle East
. In 2013, Condé Nast Traveler
Condé Nast Traveler
ranked Beirut
Beirut
in the top 20 best cities in the world.

On 7 December 2014, Beirut
Beirut
was selected to be among the New 7 Wonders of Cities , along with Doha
Doha
, Durban
Durban
, La Paz
La Paz
, Havana
Havana
, Kuala Lumpur and Vigan . The campaign was held by New 7 Wonders.

In 2016, Yahoo listed Beirut
Beirut
as the best international city for food. Travel and Leisure ranked Beirut
Beirut
in the top 15 World's best cities.

SEE ALSO

* Beirut
Beirut
International Exhibition -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ Cooke, Rachel (22 November 2006). " Paris
Paris
of the east? More like Athens
Athens
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Bibliography

* Kassir, Samir. Beirut
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