The Phoenician city of Gebal was named Byblos by the Greeks, because it was through Gebal that papyrus was imported into Greece. Hence the English word Bible is derived from byblos as "the (papyrus) book." The present day city is now known by the Arabic name Jubayl or Jbeil, a direct descendant of the Canaanite name.
Archaeological evidence at Byblos, dating back to around 1200 BC, shows existence of a Phoenician alphabetic script of twenty-two characters. An important example of this script is the sarcophagus of King Ahiram. The use of the alphabet was spread by Phoenician merchants through their maritime trade into parts of North Africa and Europe.
Byblos houses the professional campus of the Lebanese American University. The Byblos Campus is the home of the professional schools including the Medical School, the Engineering School, the Pharmacy School, in addition to the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business. The Campus is located on the hill above Byblos and overlooks in City and its port.
With its ancient port, Phoenician, Roman and Crusader ruins, sandy beaches and the picturesque mountains that surround it make it an ideal tourist destination. The city is known for its fish restaurants, open-air bars, and outdoor cafes. Yachts cruise into its harbor today like they did in the sixties and seventies when Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra were regular visitors to the city.
Today, Byblos (Jbeil) is a modern city. It remains one of Lebanon's biggest tourist attractions, mainly because of its rich history and scenic mountains overlooking the Mediterranean. Most of the people of Byblos are Maronite Catholics. There are also some Shi'a Muslims, whose ancestors escaped expulsion by the Seljuk Turks in the Middle Ages.