Beirut (Arabic: بيروت‎) is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. The population, estimates in 2007 ranged from slightly more than 1 million to slightly less than 2 million. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport. The first mention of this metropolis is found in the ancient Egyptian Tell el Amarna letters, dating from the 15th century BC. Beirut is Lebanon's seat of government and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy, with many banks and corporations based in its Central District. The city is the focal point of the region's cultural life, renowned for its press, theatres, cultural activities and nightlife.

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