25 Oct 2014 08:38
The Lebanese capital Beirut was once known as the Paris of the Middle East before the outbreak of the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War. Residents from more conservative countries of the Arab world flocked into the city for its extravagant nightlife and relaxed grip on public behavior.
Even as some parts of the city have become conservative, Beirut still offers some of the best places for partying and hedonism in the Middle East. Lavish nightclubs and bars can be found only a few hundred meters away from churches and mosques, and many people frequent both venues. Luxurious high rise condominium developments tower over impoverished slums and refugee camps and Lamborghinis share the streets with child beggars. Dress codes for women are relaxed and diversified, with both miniskirts and hijabs commonplace. While the fifteen year civil war may have irreversibly scarred the city, its spirit and character endure in the face never ending challenges.