Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. As there has been no recent population census, the exact population is unknown; 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 coast, Beirut is the country’s largest and main seaport. The first mention of this metropolis is found in the ancient Egyptian Tell el Amarna letters dating from the 15th century BC. The city has been inhabited continuously since then. The Beirut River runs south to north on the eastern edge of the city.
Beirut is Lebanon’s seat of government and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy, with many banks and corporations based in its Central District, Hamra Street, Rue Verdun and Ashrafieh. Following the destructive Lebanese Civil War, Beirut’s cultural landscape underwent major reconstruction.
The capital of Lebanon suffered hugely during the civil war in (1975-1990), but has bounced back to become a high end tourist destination. Hezbollah forces and refugees occupied parts of the city after the Lebanon-Israel conflict of 2008.