Theme Week Beirut – The Central District

5 February 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Rue Maarad © flickr.com - Ismail Küpeli/cc-by-2.0

Rue Maarad © flickr.com – Ismail Küpeli/cc-by-2.0

The Beirut Central District (BCD) or Centre Ville is the name given to Beirut’s historical and geographical core, the “vibrant financial, commercial, and administrative hub of the country.” At the heart of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut Central District (BCD) is an area thousands of years old, traditionally a focus of business, finance, culture and leisure. Its reconstruction constitutes one of the most ambitious contemporary urban developments. It is situated on the city’s northern coast and is easily accessible from all parts of the city. This includes the adjacent Beirut Seaport and Rafik Hariri International Airport. Major roads converge on it or from boundaries to the east, south and west, or line its 1.5 km (1 mi) long seafront to the north.   read more…

Isfahan in Iran

13 January 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Naghshe Jahan Square (Imam Square) © Arad Mojtahedi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Naghshe Jahan Square (Imam Square) © Arad Mojtahedi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Isfahan is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 kilometres (211 miles) south of Tehran. It has a population of 1,760,000 and is Iran’s third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. The Greater Isfahan Region had a population of 3,800,000 in the 2011 Census, the third most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad. Isfahan is located on the main north–south and east–west routes crossing Iran, and was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history.   read more…

Damascus, capital of Syria

29 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Saladin mouselum tomb © flickr.com - Jan Smith/cc-by-2.0

Saladin mouselum tomb © flickr.com – Jan Smith/cc-by-2.0

Damascus is the capital and largest city of Syria. Aleppo comes in second. It is commonly known in Syria as ash-Sham (Arabic: ash-Shām) and nicknamed as the City of Jasmine (Arabic: Madīnat al-Yāsmīn). In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural and religious center of the Levant. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 (2009 est.). Located in southwestern Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.6 million people (2004). Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres (50 mi) inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres (2,230 ft) above sea-level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate due to the rain shadow effect. The Barada River flows through Damascus.   read more…

Aqaba in Jordan

26 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Aqaba Marine Park © www.redseaexplorer.com/cc-by-2.0

Aqaba Marine Park © www.redseaexplorer.com/cc-by-2.0

Aqaba is a Jordanian coastal city situated at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea. Aqaba is the largest city on the Gulf of Aqaba and Jordan‘s only coastal city. The city of Aqaba is the capital of Aqaba Governorate. Aqaba is one of the major tourist attractions in Jordan, and famous for its warm water and rich marine life. It is best known today as a seaside and diving resort and also as a home for Jordan’s mega projects. During the high season, the hotel occupancy rate often reaches 100%. However, industrial and commercial activities remain important, due to the strategic location of the city as the country’s only seaport. The port city is located on the cruise route between Europe and the Emirates. Large cruise ships dock here on a regular basis.   read more…

Theme Week Lebanon – Baalbeck

24 September 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

© Baalbek Museum/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Baalbek Museum/cc-by-sa-3.0

Baalbeck is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon situated east of the Litani River. Known as Heliopolis during the period of Roman rule, it was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire and contains some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon. The gods worshiped at the temple, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design.   read more…

Amman, capital of Jordan

30 November 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Rendered picture of the Abdali New Downtown which is currently under construction © Joeyzaza/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rendered picture of the Abdali New Downtown which is currently under construction © Joeyzaza/cc-by-sa-3.0

Amman is the capital and most populous city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is the country’s political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The recent economic growth experienced in Amman is unmatched by any other Arab city except those located in the Persian Gulf. Amman is also the administrative seat of the homonymous governorate. Amman is also ranked a Gamma global city on the World city index.   read more…

Tehran, economical, scientific and cultural center of Iran

25 September 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Tehran Towers and buildings in the northern part of Tehran with the Alborz mountains © Shervan Karim/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tehran Towers and buildings in the northern part of Tehran with the Alborz mountains © Shervan Karim/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of about 8,800,000 and about 15 million metropolitan area, it is Iran’s largest city and urban area, and one of the largest cities in Western Asia.   read more…

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