Hamra Street or Rue Hamra is one of the main streets of the city of Beirut and one of the main economic and diplomatic hubs of Beirut. It is located in the neighborhood of Hamra, its technical name is Rue 31. Due to the numerous sidewalk cafes and theatres, Hamra Street was the centre of intellectual activity in Beirut during the 1960s and 1970s. Before 1975, Hamra Street and the surrounding district was known as Beirut's trendiest, though in the post-war period it has arguably been eclipsed by Rue Monot in Ashrafieh, Rue Gouraud in Gemmayzeh, Rue Verdun, downtown area. In the mid 1990s, the Municipality of Beirut gave a face lift to the street to reattract tourists all year round. Hamra Street was known as Beirut's Champs Elysées as it was frequented by tourists Americans and mega-rich Arabs, all year round. Today it is a commercial district with numerous prestigious universities, furnished apartments, libraries and coffee shops, with "78 Street" being Hamra's main pubbing and clubbing hub. Hamra Street runs east-west.
The street begins at the intersection of Rue de Rome and runs west until the intersection of Rue Sadat. Hamra Street is a walking distance from the American University of Beirut on Bliss Street, Haigazian University on Rue Michel Chiha and the campus of the Lebanese American University as well as Rue Jeanne d'Arc and René Moawad Garden on Rue Spears; the Los Angeles Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Borzou Daragahi described the street as a bastion of liberalism embraces multiple religions and political views. Hamra, remains Lebanon's secular haven, melting pot for free thinkers and the least religiously affiliated area around Beirut as the area hosts a limited number of churches and mosques, it hosts a large number of western chains, as well as restaurants. The appropriately named Cafe Hamra is a restaurant celebrating the historic street with an old street graffiti decor and a variety of international and Lebanese food as well as hookah smoking. Cafe Younes is another popular cafe, first opened in 1935 and is run by a small family and is run by Amin Younes, the grandson of the founder of the same name.
It is known for its tourist appeal and variety of hotels. Its main landmark is the Crowne Plaza; the street buzzes with life during the summer when many tourists from the Persian Gulf area, flock to Lebanon. Before the Lebanese civil war, Hamra Street was known as Beirut's "Champs Elysées" as it was frequented by tourists all year round. Beirut's Piccadilly Theatre was one of the major theaters in the Middle East. Hamra Street is a first-rate commercial district, it hosts a good number of hotels, furnished apartments and coffee shops that cater to visitors and students from the nearby American University of Beirut, Lebanese American University and Haigazian University. Hamra no longer functions as the cosmopolitan bastion of sectarian Lebanon; the Lebanese civil war and the ensuing government regulation that enforced rent control on all of the buildings removed the neighborhood's elite, pre-war cachet. However, the neighborhood remains trendy and profitable because of: the historical significance of the neighborhood.
The booming commercial scene in Hamra St., a combination of retail shops and restaurants. Although it has yet to revive its pre-war legacy, Hamra Street has undergone many renovations and is still regarded by many as the heart of the city. While it is no longer the nightlife and commercial center of Beirut, it has become one of many pocket areas and streets scattered throughout the city, is included with other streets and areas as Rue Monot, Rue Gouraud, Rue Verdun. Hamra Streets Festival is launched in the autumn of each year under the patronage of the Prime Minister, it is a convivial and cultural festival, its aim is to exhibit the cultural and artistic diversity of Lebanon in general and Hamra Street in particular. The festival has encompassed a vast number of events that target all age groups. Participation in the festival is flexible, it encourages amateur musicians and Free-lancers in all fields of the Arts. A wide variety of professional musicians perform after 8:30 p.m. each night while Amateurs reign the stages during the day.
The Inauguration & Carnival Parade includes Carnival Float, Dancing Groups, Zaffee loubnaniyya, Harley Davidson Owners HOG, The Beirut Orchestra, University Clu
Rail transport in Lebanon
Rail transport in Lebanon began in the 1890s as French projects under the Ottoman Empire but ceased in the 1970s owing to the country's civil war. The last remaining routes ended for economic reasons in the 1990s. At its peak Lebanon had about 408 kilometres of railway. Beirut and Damascus were first connected by telegraph in 1861 and by a macadam road in 1863. Syrian railways connecting the two cities or another port were planned as early as 1871 but were not enacted. In 1889, the Ammiyya Revolt broke out among the Druze and other Syrian farmers; the Ottoman response to the insurrection included a number of railway concessions—quickly sold to foreign interests—to improve the development and centralized control of the region. Hasan Beyhum Efendi received a concession to construct a tramway between Beirut and Damascus in 1891. Beyhum sold the concession that year to the French Beirut–Damascus Tramway or Lebanon Railway, anxious to forestall two mooted British lines, one from Jaffa and another from Haifa, either of which would have undercut Beirut's status as the primary port of the northern Levant.
In the event, the Jaffa line was never extended towards Damascus and the Haifa line ran out of money having completed just 8 km or 21 mi of track. Around the same time, the French Damascus Tramways or Belgian Syrian Railway purchased another native's concession for the 65 mi Damascus–Muzeirib Railway; the Hauran around Muzeirib is Syria's breadbasket and the town served as the point of departure for pilgrim caravans during the Hajj. The two lines merged as the Société des Chemins de fer Ottomans économiques de Beyrouth–Damas–Hauran or Société des chemins de fer ottomans economiques de Beyrouth–Havran, with its headquarters in Constantinople and an office in Paris, it planned to use a meter gauge but ended with a 1,050 mm gauge, along with expensive Abt rack sections to deal with the Mount Lebanon range. It ran with the summit at Beidar 1,487 m or 4,879 ft above sea level; the railway completed its port at Beirut in December 1892. In 1893, the company received a concession for a line from Damascus to Birecik in Anatolia, which prompted its name to be changed to the Damascus–Hama Railway or Damascus–Hama and Extensions.
The network is known as the Syrian Railways in English. The initial concession was emended to link the two lines at Riyaq instead of Damascus. Service from Damascus south to Muzeirib began in July 1894 and to Beirut on 3 August 1895; the trip from the coast to Damascus took 9 hours and terminated at three different stations: Baramke Station, Qanawat Station, Midan Station. Between 1900 and 1908, the separate Hejaz Railway expanded from Damascus south to Medina, with a branch to Haifa opened in 1906; the HRR was built to a 1.05-meter gauge to match the Beirut–Damascus Railway and absorbed both the former British concession and the DHP's line south from Damascus.)Wheat from the Hauran—high-protein semolina used in pasta—was intended to be the mainstay of the railway's income, along with the Muslim pilgrimage trade during the Hajj. The entry of American and Australian wheat into the European market amid the continuing Long Depression, undercut that trade while the railway was still under construction.
Damascene traders had thought the Beirut railway would allow them to export their grain more cheaply. Completion of the line to the coast did not improve matters, since the world market was trading at still lower prices and the premium once commanded by Hauran wheat—which, being hand-harvested, might include pebbles or weeds—was now lost to machine-reaped grain from the United States, it was not until 1908. The railway itself was one of the best-managed in the Ottoman Empire: It had total receipts of $434,000 for 1900 and in 1906 received a guarantee from the government of $4320 per mile on the 200-mile Aleppo Railway All the same, the company was never profitable: it was at perpetual risk of bankruptcy; the line suffered a serious accident at Aley on 12 April 1904. Aley functioned as a summer resort for the people of Beirut. Part of the locomotive exploded on the 7% incline east of town and, not thinking to apply the brakes, the train was allowed to fly back through the station. Two cars were destroyed upon the rocks on the other side, killing 8 and injuring 21.
The Aleppo Railway via the Beqaa Valley between the Mount Lebanon range and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains was built to standard gauge. As a result, traffic between the two lines had to be transferred at Riyaq; the line opened as far as Baalbek on 19 June 1902 and began service to Aleppo on 4 October 1906. The Baghdad Railway reached Aleppo in 1912; the concession for the Tripoli–Saida line was purchased from its original holder, a Syrian, by the French Société ottomane des libanais nord et sud de Beyrouth. By 1898, it had only laid 19 km of track and the DHP's concession was emended to permit a branch line to Tripoli; this was extended northward to re
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been conducted, but 2007 estimates ranged from more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, Beirut is the country's largest and main seaport, it is one of the oldest cities in the world. The first historical mention of Beirut is found in the Amarna letters from the New Kingdom of Egypt, which date to the 15th century BC. Beirut is Lebanon's seat of government and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy, with most banks and corporations based in its Central District, Rue Verdun, Ryad el Soloh street, Achrafieh. Following the destructive Lebanese Civil War, Beirut's cultural landscape underwent major reconstruction. Identified and graded for accountancy, banking/finance and law, Beirut is ranked as a Beta World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network; the English name Beirut is an early transcription of the Arabic name Bayrūt.
The same name's transcription into French is Beyrouth, sometimes used during Lebanon's French occupation. The Arabic name derives from Phoenician Birut; this was a modification of the Canaanite and Phoenician word be'rot, meaning "the wells", in reference to the site's accessible water table. The etymology is shared by the biblical Beeroth which was, however, a different settlement somewhere near Jerusalem; the name is first attested in the 15th century BC, when it was mentioned in three Akkadian cuneiform tablets of the Amarna letters, letters sent by King Ammunira of "Biruta" to Amenhotep III or Amenhotep IV of Egypt. "Biruta" was mentioned in the Amarna letters from King Rib-Hadda of Byblos. The Greeks hellenized the name as Bērytós; when it attained the status of a Roman colony, it was notionally refounded and its official name was emended to Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus to include its imperial sponsors. Before, under the Seleucid Empire, the city had been refounded and known as Laodicea in honor of the mother of Seleucus the Great.
It was distinguished from several other places named in her honor by the longer names Laodicea in Phoenicia or Laodicea in Canaan. Beirut was settled more than 5,000 years ago and the area had been inhabited for far longer. Several prehistoric archaeological sites have been discovered within the urban area of Beirut, revealing flint tools of sequential periods dating from the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic through the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Beirut I was listed as "the town of Beirut" by Louis Burkhalter and said to be on the beach near the Orient and Bassoul hotels on the Avenue des Français in central Beirut; the site was discovered by Lortet in 1894 and discussed by Godefroy Zumoffen in 1900. The flint industry from the site was described as Mousterian and is held by the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. Beirut II was suggested by Burkhalter to have been south of Tarik el Jedideh, where P. E. Gigues discovered a Copper Age flint industry at around 100 metres above sea level; the site had been built on and destroyed by 1948.
Beirut III, listed as Plateau Tabet, was suggested to have been located on the left bank of the Beirut River. Burkhalter suggested that it was west of the Damascus road, although this determination has been criticized by Lorraine Copeland. P. E. Gigues discovered a series of Neolithic flint tools on the surface along with the remains of a structure suggested to be a hut circle. Auguste Bergy discussed polished axes that were found at this site, which has now disappeared as a result of construction and urbanization of the area. Beirut IV was on the left bank of the river and on either side of the road leading eastwards from the Furn esh Shebbak police station towards the river that marked the city limits; the area was covered in red sand. The site was found by Jesuit Father Dillenseger and published by fellow Jesuits Godefroy Zumoffen, Raoul Describes and Auguste Bergy. Collections from the site were made by Bergy and another Jesuit, Paul Bovier-Lapierre. A large number of Middle Paleolithic flint tools were found on the surface and in side gullies that drain into the river.
They included around 50 varied bifaces accredited to the Acheulean period, some with a lustrous sheen, now held at the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. Henri Fleisch found an Emireh point amongst material from the site, which has now disappeared beneath buildings. Beirut V was discovered by Dillenseger and said to be in an orchard of mulberry trees on the left bank of the river, near the river mouth, to be close to the railway station and bridge to Tripoli. Levallois flints and bones and similar surface material were found amongst brecciated deposits; the area has now been built on. Beirut VI was a site discovered while building on the property of the Lebanese Evangelical School for Girls in the Patriarchate area of Beirut, it was notable for the discovery of a finely styled Canaanean blade javelin suggested to date to the early or middle Neolithic periods of Byblos and, held in the school library. Beirut VII, the Rivoli Cinema and Byblos Cinema sites near the Bourj in the Rue el Arz area, are two sites discovered by Lorraine Copeland and Peter Wescombe in 1964 and examined by Diana Kirkbride and Roger Saidah.
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. The population of Baghdad, as of 2016, is 8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab world, the second largest city in Western Asia. Located along the Tigris River, the city was founded in the 8th century and became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Within a short time of its inception, Baghdad evolved into a significant cultural and intellectual center for the Islamic world. This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions, as well as hosting multiethnic and multireligious environment, garnered the city a worldwide reputation as the "Centre of Learning". Baghdad was the largest city of the Middle Ages for much of the Abbasid era, peaking at a population of more than a million; the city was destroyed at the hands of the Mongol Empire in 1258, resulting in a decline that would linger through many centuries due to frequent plagues and multiple successive empires. With the recognition of Iraq as an independent state in 1938, Baghdad regained some of its former prominence as a significant center of Arab culture.
In contemporary times, the city has faced severe infrastructural damage, most due to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the subsequent Iraq War that lasted until December 2011. In recent years, the city has been subjected to insurgency attacks; the war had resulted in a substantial loss of historical artifacts as well. As of 2018, Baghdad was listed as one of the least hospitable places in the world to live, ranked by Mercer as the worst of 231 major cities as measured by quality-of-life; the name Baghdad is pre-Islamic, its origin is disputed. The site where the city of Baghdad developed has been populated for millennia. By the 8th century AD, several villages had developed there, including a Persian hamlet called Baghdad, the name which would come to be used for the Abbasid metropolis. Arab authors, realizing the pre-Islamic origins of Baghdad's name looked for its roots in Persian, they suggested various meanings, the most common of, "bestowed by God". Modern scholars tend to favor this etymology, which views the word as a compound of bagh "god" and dād "given", In Old Persian the first element can be traced to boghu and is related to Slavic bog "god", while the second can be traced to dadāti.
A similar term in Middle Persian is the name Mithradāt, known in English by its Hellenistic form Mithridates, meaning "gift of Mithra". There are a number of other locations in the wider region whose names are compounds of the word bagh, including Baghlan and Bagram in Afghanistan or a village called Bagh-šan in Iran; the name of the town Baghdati in Georgia shares the same etymological origins. A few authors have suggested older origins for the name, in particular the name Bagdadu or Hudadu that existed in Old Babylonian, the Babylonian Talmudic name of a place called "Baghdatha"; some scholars suggested Aramaic derivations. When the Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur, founded a new city for his capital, he chose the name Madinat al-Salaam or City of Peace; this was the official name on coins and other official usage, although the common people continued to use the old name. By the 11th century, "Baghdad" became the exclusive name for the world-renowned metropolis. After the fall of the Umayyads, the first Muslim dynasty, the victorious Abbasid rulers wanted their own capital from which they could rule.
They chose a site north of the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon, on 30 July 762 the caliph Al-Mansur commissioned the construction of the city. It was built under the supervision of the Barmakids. Mansur believed that Baghdad was the perfect city to be the capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasids. Mansur loved the site so much he is quoted saying: "This is indeed the city that I am to found, where I am to live, where my descendants will reign afterward"; the city's growth was helped by its excellent location, based on at least two factors: it had control over strategic and trading routes along the Tigris, it had an abundance of water in a dry climate. Water exists on both the north and south ends of the city, allowing all households to have a plentiful supply, uncommon during this time. Baghdad eclipsed Ctesiphon, the capital of the Sassanians, located some 30 km to the southeast. Today, all that remains of Ctesiphon is the shrine town of Salman Pak, just to the south of Greater Baghdad.
Ctesiphon itself had replaced and absorbed Seleucia, the first capital of the Seleucid Empire, which had earlier replaced the city of Babylon. According to the traveler Ibn Battuta, Baghdad was one of the largest cities, not including the damage it has received; the residents are Hanbal. Bagdad is home to the grave of Abu Hanifa where there is a cell and a mosque above it; the Sultan of Bagdad, Abu Said Bahadur Khan, was a Tartar king. In its early years, the city was known as a deliberate reminder of an expression in the Qur'an, when it refers to Paradise, it took four years to build. Mansur assembled engineers and art constructionists from around the world to come together and draw up plans for the city. Over 100,000 construction workers came to survey the plans. July was chosen as the starting time because two astrologers, Naubakht Ahva
Port of Tripoli (Lebanon)
The Port of Tripoli is the 2nd major port in Lebanon. The port covers an approximate area of 3 square kilometres, with a water area of 2.2 square kilometres, the land area composing of 320,000 square metres, a 420,000 square metres dump area adjacent to the current port, reserved for the future Container Terminal and Free Market Zone. The Port of Tripoli remained by and large a nature formed harbor, a geographical strip of land where sailboats servicing the trade lines along the coastlines of Turkey, Syria and Egypt, extending to Malta and Greece would dock; the half moon shaped gulf of El Mina acted as natural shelter to North East winds that create strong currents in deep waters. Ships docked in the El Mina gulf and were serviced by local merchant boats that would offload the ship cargo by manual labor to the small boats that would transfer the goods to the dry docks. Ships up to the early twentieth century remained small to medium loads of 50 to 75 tons per ship; the first significant development came during the French Mandate when two dry docks and Sheikh Afan, were constructed to allow military tugboats to dock.
A third and used natural harbor on the east side of the city acted as backup when the North East winds were exceptionally strong, however the rocky nature of that area was a last resort and required the best of the local seamen's expertise, sometimes assisted by El Mina fisherman who knew the waters well. At the dawn of the Second World War, French Fighter and Supply Planes coming from the Far East used the El Mina basin as a landing area. Lighter weight than sailboats, the local current within the basin caused problems and El Mina Mayor Kheireddine Abdul Wahab was given the contract to construct the first man made break water which marked the beginning of the Tripoli Harbor. Sailboats built in Arwad island and also in El Mina as well, had been in sharp decline with the rise of Steam Ships, the city had seen increased activity as an offloading site for merchant ships, with service industries emerging, such as the use of transport Barges which would be used to offload the ship's cargo from its anchored position to the sea shores The French Mandate continued its development of the port by constructing a small docking station within the man made pond resulting from the break water constructed and now buzzing with Barges.
Barges would dock an allow for faster and more efficient cargo offloading and was transported to the railway station and on to the wagons into inland Syria and Jordan. This coincided with the Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline project to import steel and iron for its refinery construction project in the neighbouring Lebanese town of Bedawi. During the late 1950s, the government of Lebanese President Kamil Chamoun and Prime Minister Rashid Karami awarded a contract to the Italian company Veining to construct a modern day harbor. Intense lobbying from Beirut Harbor patrons, the depth of the inner harbor pond was restricted to 8 meters, which would hinder the Tripoli harbor from receiving larger vessels. With work beginning in 1957, the first Board of Directors was appointed in 1961 to oversee the day to day operation of the harbor, now a government entity.. The Port is governed by the Port of Tripoli Governing Board, a 5-member committee appointed by the Lebanese Ministry of Transport composed of local businessmen and dignitaries best suited to oversee the operation of the harbor.
The Port of Tripoli is independent both administratively and financially, is governed by the General Code for Public Institutions according to Lebanese Government decree number 4513. The first committee was appointed in 1961 to a renewable term of 3-years. With the breakout of the civil war in 1976, the same members continued to serve until 1991, when the first post-war Board was appointed and began planning the new Tripoli Harbor on the north side of the existing reef; the contract was awarded to a China Harbor Ltd. a Chinese port development company, to develop a new dock 1800 meters of length and a basin of 15 meters depth, with the first 600 meters complete by October 2011. Warehouses & Yards 4 Warehouses for dry drainage goods, with an area of 11,000 m² 10 Warehouses for dry drainage goods and Wood, with an area of 17,500 m² 5 Yards to store vehicles, with an area exceeding 10,000 m² 1 Yard to store Containers, with an area of 10,000 m² 1 Yard for general purpose, with an area of 15,000 m² 2 Yards with an area of 3,000 m² to store fir woodPort Equipment 6 Mobile cranes with capacity of 125–165 tons 7 Mobile cranes with capacity of 100–120 tons 10 Mobile cranes with capacity of 70–90 tons 20 Mobile cranes with capacity of 40–65 tons 11 Mobile cranes with capacity of 25–38 tons 15 gafs for drainage goods 24 Forklifts 8 Bulldozers 30 Trucks 4 Tractors Equipment for stowage of dry drainage goodsWater Supply 8 outlets to supply ships with water using modern technologies A shalon with a reservoir to supply ships with water inside and outside the basins Other Services 3 Cafeterias to serve the Administration building and the Berths A Hospital An office for the Workers' Union Recently, plans to develop the Port of Tripoli have been announced by the Ministry of Transport, to expand the Port of Tripoli by 1.2 square kilometres and to construct refrigerated warehouses, buildings for light and assembly industries, big sized warehouses.
The plan aims at enlarging the quay length up to 2,200 metres and its draft up to 12 metres of depth. The Tripoli Port Authority has prepared a master plan in alliance with the French Company, Sogreah, to enlarge and reha
Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world; the city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009. Located in south-western Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.7 million people. Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect; the Barada River flows through Damascus. First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.
Today, it is all of the government ministries. As of 2018, Damascus has witnessed repeated conflicts and has been considered by Mercer as one of the most unfavorable places to live; the name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III as / T-m-ś-q in the 15th century BC. The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain, it is attested as Imerišú in Akkadian, T-m-ś-q in Egyptian, Dammaśq in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq in Biblical Hebrew. A number of Akkadian spellings are found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC: Dimasqa, Dimàsqì, Dimàsqa. Aramaic spellings of the name include an intrusive resh influenced by the root dr, meaning "dwelling". Thus, the English and Latin name of the city is "Damascus", imported from originated from "the Qumranic Darmeśeq, Darmsûq in Syriac", meaning "a well-watered land". In Arabic, the city is called Dimašqu š-Šāmi, although this is shortened to either Dimašq or aš-Šām by the citizens of Damascus, of Syria and other Arab neighbors and Turkey.
Aš-Šām is an Arabic term for "Levant" and for "Syria". Baalshamin or Ba'al Šamem, was a Semitic sky-god in Canaan/Phoenicia and ancient Palmyra. Hence, Sham refers to. Damascus was built in a strategic site on a plateau 680 m above sea level and about 80 km inland from the Mediterranean, sheltered by the Anti-Lebanon mountains, supplied with water by the Barada River, at a crossroads between trade routes: the north-south route connecting Egypt with Asia Minor, the east-west cross-desert route connecting Lebanon with the Euphrates river valley; the Anti-Lebanon mountains mark the border between Lebanon. The range has peaks of over 10,000 ft. and blocks precipitation from the Mediterranean sea, so that the region of Damascus is sometimes subject to droughts. However, in ancient times this was mitigated by the Barada River, which originates from mountain streams fed by melting snow. Damascus is surrounded by the Ghouta, irrigated farmland where many vegetables and fruits have been farmed since ancient times.
Maps of Roman Syria indicate that the Barada river emptied into a lake of some size east of Damascus. Today it is called Bahira Atayba, the hesitant lake, because in years of severe drought it does not exist; the modern city has an area of 105 km2, out of which 77 km2 is urban, while Jabal Qasioun occupies the rest. The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada, dry. To the south-east and north-east it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the Middle Ages: Midan in the south-west and Imara in the north and north-west; these neighborhoods arose on roads leading out of the city, near the tombs of religious figures. In the 19th century outlying villages developed on the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, overlooking the city the site of the al-Salihiyah neighborhood centered on the important shrine of medieval Andalusian Sheikh and philosopher Ibn Arabi; these new neighborhoods were settled by Kurdish soldiery and Muslim refugees from the European regions of the Ottoman Empire which had fallen under Christian rule.
Thus they were known as al-Muhajirin. They lay 2–3 km north of the old city. From the late 19th century on, a modern administrative and commercial center began to spring up to the west of the old city, around the Barada, centered on the area known as al-Marjeh or the meadow. Al-Marjeh soon became the name of what was the central square of modern Damascus, with the city hall in it; the courts of justice, post office and railway station stood on higher ground to the south. A Europeanized residential quarter soon began to be built on the road leading between al-Marjeh and al-Salihiyah; the commercial and administrative center of the new city shifted northwards towards this area. In the 20th century, newer suburbs developed north of the Barada, to some extent to the south, invading the Ghouta oasis. In 1956–1957 the new neighborhood of Yarmouk bec
A share taxi is a mode of transport which falls between a taxicab and a bus. These vehicles for hire are smaller than buses and take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, but instead departing when all seats are filled, they may stop anywhere to drop off their passengers. Found in developing countries, the vehicles used as share taxis range from four-seat cars to minibuses, they are owner-operated. The UITP term "informal transport" includes share taxis. A given share taxi route may start and finish in fixed central locations, landmarks may serve as route names or route termini. In some African cities routes are run between formal termini, where the majority of passengers board. In these places the share taxis wait for a full load of passengers prior to departing, off-peak wait times may be in excess of an hour. In other places there may be no formal termini, with taxis congregating at a central location, instead. More-formal terminals may be little more than parking lots.
In South Africa, its referred to as a rank, which denotes an area built, by a municipality or city, for taxi operators, where commuters may start and end their journey. Where they exist, share taxis provide service on set routes within and sometimes between towns. After a share taxi has picked up passengers at its terminus, it proceeds along a semi-fixed route where the driver may determine the actual route within an area according to traffic condition. Drivers will stop anywhere to allow riders to disembark, may sometimes do the same when prospective passengers want to ride. While all share taxis share certain characteristics—and many regional versions exhibit peculiarities—some basic operational distinctions can be delineated. Most share taxis are operated under one of two regimes; some share taxis are operated by a company. For example, in Dakar there are company-owned fleets of hundred of car rapides. In the Soviet Union, share taxis, known as marshrutka, were operated by state-owned taxi parks.
There are individual operators in many countries. In Africa, while there are company share taxis, individual owners are more common. Owning more than two vehicles at a time, they will rent out a minibus to operators, who pay fuel and other running costs, keep revenue. In some places, like some African cities and Hong Kong, share taxi minibuses are overseen by syndicates, unions, or route associations; these groups function in the absence of a regulatory environment and may collect dues or fees from drivers, set routes, manage terminals, fix fares. Terminal management may include ensuring each vehicle leaves with a full load of passengers; because the syndicates represent owners, their regulatory efforts tend to favor operators rather than passengers, the termini syndicates upkeep can cost delays and money for passengers as well as forcing them to disembark at inconvenient locations, in a phenomenon called "terminal constraint". In Africa, regulation is something that pertains to the vehicle itself not its operator or its mode of operation.
In Kenya, regulation does extend to operators and mode of operation as well as the vehicleAs of 2008, African minibuses are difficult to tax, may operate in a "regulatory vacuum" because their existence is not part of a government scheme, but is a market response to a growing demand for such services. Route syndicates and operator's associations exercise unrestricted control, existing rules may see little enforcement. Share taxi is a unique mode of transport independent of vehicle type. Minibuses, covered pickup trucks, station wagons, lorries see use as share taxis. Certain vehicle types may be better-suited to current condition than others. In many traffic-choked and low-density African cities minibuses profit. In Israel they were the largest model of Mercedes, owned by Arabs, efficient, having space for 7-8 people, having loosely fixed routes, dropping a passenger either at a specific terminus or going a little out of way to facilitate the passenger. While carrying different names and distinguished by regional peculiarities, the share taxi is an everyday feature of life in many places throughout the world.
In Algeria, taxis collectifs ply fixed routes with their destination displayed. Rides are shared with others who are picked up along the way, the taxi will leave only when it seats all the passengers it can. While stations, set locations to board and disembark, prospective passengers flag down a taxis collectifs when they want a ride. Operating inter and intra-city, taxis collectifs that travel between towns may be called interwilaya taxis. Along with all forms of public transport in Algeria, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada recommend against using these share taxis; the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs asks. Those in Kinshasa, DRC, may call share taxis fula fula meaning "quick quick". There was no independent transport authority in the city of Kinshasa as of 2008. In the Ivory Coast, gbaka are a name for minibus public transports; the transport regulator in Abidjan, CI, is Agence de Gestion des Transports Urbains or AGETU. As of 2008, Abidjan public transport was serviced by large buses as well as minibuses.
Syndicates include UPETCA, SNTMVCI. Minibus taxis in Ethiopia are one of the most important modes of transport in big cities like Addis Ababa, they are preferred by the majority of the populace over public buses and more-traditional taxicabs because they are cheap, operate on diverse routes, are available in abundance. All minibus