Beirut really is that country that you can use the old travel chestnut: “land of contrasts.” Outside of Miami Beach, I have never seen more $100,000+ automobiles in any other place I’ve been, but almost no natural resources and no apparent way for all these people to be making that much money. The government is multi-ethnic and multi-religious… to the extent it is written in their constitution (and when I was there, they didn’t even have a functioning majority government). It is a party town, but has a very active Muslim population. It is ancient and also completely modern.
It is a tough place to figure out.
In any case, here was a photo I took that made me smile about the juxtapositions you see in Beirut.