Life and Style According to the hospital's union secretary, the A&E department resembled a 'M.A.S.H. unit' on Wednesday

Patients were left on trolleys outside the toilets and staff were reduced to tears, according to reports

Brilliant Beirut

The Lebanese capital knows how to party, with stylish hotels, sizzling nightlife and plenty of bling – and Bentleys – on show. But equally distracting are the cultural landmarks that surround the city.

Elegantly wasted: Award-winning photographer Robert Polidori finds beauty in disaster

Polidori's journey has taken him from Cuba to Chernobyl

24-Hour Room Service: Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut

There are times, walking through Beirut, when the city feels like a classic Mediterranean coastal city: a Marseilles, perhaps, or a Naples. Then you spot a bullet-scarred building or one of the many machine gun-toting police that are posted on streets corners, clear reminders to visitors that this is a city with a recent violent past.

'I'm always looking for trouble': Why Dom Joly prefers to take his holidays in hell

Forget the sanitised world of modern package tourism. For Dom Joly, it’s more rewarding to spend time visiting the planet’s more difficult destinations

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah: Prominent Shiite cleric who survived several assassination attempts

As Lebanon's leading Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah was revered in Shia communities in the Gulf and Central Asia and helped to spark increased political awareness among Lebanon's Shia Muslim population. He was also the target of a number of assassination attempts. He had advocated armed resistance by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite party and militia, to Israel's 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon, which ended with the Israeli withdrawal in 2000. Fadlallah supported the creation of a Palestinian state in what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Beirut 39: New Writing from the Arab World, Edited by Samuel Shimon

When the political gets personal

Robert Fisk: Beirut is determined to kill its rich Ottoman past

Destruction of history

Spy chef Len Deighton dines another day

When spy author Len Deighton wrote his first cookery book, in 1965, it caused quite a stink – literally.

The Locust and the Bird, By Hanan Al-Shaykh

Locked into marriage at 14, Hanan Al-Shaykh's mother Kamila pined for the glamour of movies and poetry – and for her true love, the musical, romantic youth Muhammad. In this remarkable leap of imagination and empathy, the Lebanese novelist reverses the usual optic of family memoirs by recreating her mother's headstrong but stardust-sprinkled journey through life.

Gorillaz: Monkey business

What's it like living on a desert island? And, does Snoop Dogg party harder than you? On the eve of their new album, The Independent quizzes Gorillaz bass player Murdoc

Robert Fisk’s World: Scenes from a busy Beirut correspondent's notebook

The Israeli police turn up to see what we are doing prowling on the Jewish Sabbath

Beirut grinds to a standstill in honour of Hariri's memory

Hundreds of thousands protest on fifth anniversary of prime minister's murder

Beirut pilot 'failed to follow tower advice'

The pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed into the sea flew in the opposite direction from the path recommended by the control tower after taking off from Beirut in thunderstorms, Lebanon's transportation minister said today.

An explosion in the sky – and Beirut's worst fears came true

Concerns about safety of planes taking off in storms confirmed by crash that killed 90 passengers and crew

'No survivors' as jet crashes off Beirut

All 90 people aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane were feared dead after it plunged into the Mediterranean, minutes after taking off from Beirut in a thunderstorm today.

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