Beirut

Overview

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. Greater Beirut has a population of 2.5 million as of 2022, making it the third-largest metropolis in the Levant region. The city is located on a peninsula in the middle of the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon. Beirut has been inhabited for almost 5,000 years and was one of Phoenicia's most important city states, making it one of the world's oldest cities (see Berytus). The Amarna letters from the New Kingdom of Egypt contain the first historical mention of Beirut.

 

The snow-capped mountains of Lebanon surround it to the east, and it sits on a mountainous promontory on the eastern Mediterranean. Before the civil war, it was known as the Switzerland of the Middle East and was the cultural capital of the Arab World. It was often referred to as "the Paris of the Middle East."

 

A large number of banks and major companies are headquartered in Beirut, making it an important economic hub for Lebanon. Beirut is an important seaport for the country and area, and it has been designated a Beta + World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Beirut was badly devastated by the Lebanese Civil War, the 2006 Lebanon War, and the major explosion in the Port of Beirut in 2020. It experienced significant rebuilding in terms of its cultural landscape.

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