Current local time in Beirut: Thursday, May 23 - 2013 - 17:17:52
About 350 of the biblical cedars are left in the Makmal mountains, Lebanon
courtesy of arabianEye.com
Lebanon is surrounded on two sides by Syria and borders Israel to the south, but is probably best known for its Mediterranean coastline and climate.
This led to the development of Beirut as the playground of the Middle East in the 1960s, a role that it lost during its 17-year civil war which ended in the early 1990s.
Since then Beirut has been re-built as a business, financial and leisure destination under the auspices of the Solidere development company.
But the Lebanese capital has yet to re-capture its former regional role mainly due to a series of regional and local political crises.
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Information in this section was last updated: Fri Apr 12 2013