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ALEY CITY

Aley is a picturesque town in Mount Lebanon. It is located 17 km uphill from Beirut, just south of the summer resort of Bhamdoun and north of the strategic town of Souk El Gharb.

The natives of Aley are predominantly Druze. There is however a populace Christian Maronite and Orthodox population, as well as a smaller Shi'a Muslim population. Many outsiders, especially from the Persian Gulf, own homes in Aley where they spend their summers, escaping the heat and humidity in their own countries.

The word "aley" derivatives from Aramaic, and means "high place," referring to the town's high altitude above sea level.

Aley gained prominence when the railroad that passed through it was built between 1892 and 1895. The railroad linked the Lebanese capital of Beirut to Damascus. The railroad provided the residents of Beirut easy means of transportation to the mountains, and this made Aley a popular destination to spend the summer months and enjoy its pleasant climate.

The town was for a while the summer capital of the Ottoman governors of Mount Lebanon.In 2001, the municipality of Aley began renovating the town center, especially its historic souk, and the town quickly revived its role in Lebanon's tourism

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