The VICE Guide To Travel: Beirut, Lebanon
LEBANESE MARCHING POWDER
Beirut is divided into three regions: East for the Christians, west for Sunnis and south for Shiite and Palestinians. Shi'i Muslims have moved to the areas of West Beirut in recent decades. Beirut is a mixture of Western and Arabic architecture, but is not very well organized: residential and commercial areas are interspersed, sometimes also with industrial activity.
Today's Beirut is still partly destroyed from civil war, Israeli attacks and Syrian occupation from 1975 to 1991. It is currently under reconstruction which takes a modest pace, and in many areas, destroyed buildings lie next to modern and elegant new buildings. The town centre is rebuilt according to older plans, giving Beirut back its old charm and elegance.
There are no good statistics for the ethnic and religious groups of Lebanon. The two dominant groups are Christians and Sunni Muslims. In addition to the group referred to as Arabs (which is made up of both original Arabs, but largely the original Phoenicians), there are Syrians, Armenians and small Kurdish groups.