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       Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is a living mixture of  East and West, old and new.  At its center ancient buildings huddle together along narrow streets and meandering ancient souks. It is the hub from which radiates the modern city with the skyscrapers, modern apartment buildings, gay nightlife, elegant boutiques, elegant boutiques and bustling wayside cafes.

       Beirut is the central point of departure to all the historic sites of Lebanon. Most are within an hour's drive, the farthest --The cedars of Lebanon-- is less than three hours away. This is why most tourists make the modern comfortable Beirut Hotels a base from which they take one-day excursions to Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, Baalbek, Byblos and other points of historical and scenic interest.  Beirut itself has a lot to offer.  A city rich in history, it achieved renown under the Romans as Berytus, a city state and a cultural center, famed principally for its law school, a rivaling even Rome itself. It was destroyed bye earthquakes in A.D. 502 and 551, and by a fire few years later, but was gradually rebuilt, to see later invasions each leaving its mark on the city.  its checkered past and its location at the threshold of three continents give Beirut a charm all its own equaled by few other cities.