Chiyah (in Arabic الشياح pronounced Ach-Chayyah) is situated in the west region of the Lebanese capital of Beirut and is part of Greater Beirut.
The meaning of its name is vague and many suppositions were found: one saying that it means the processing of metal (Shewah) another theory is the Arabic origin of the name meaning a kind of tree that is used for silk production (a flourishing industry in this village).
Historically, it was a Christian town, but it became partly inhabited by Shias. During the Ottoman period, it used to be governed by the Arslan family and later on by the Shihab dynasty.
Chiyah is located in the south-west suburbs of the capital Beirut bordered by Haret-Hreik, Ghobeiry, Hadath, Hazmieh, Furn-el-chebbak and Ain El Remanneh. However, before 1956, it used to cover larger areas including current districts Karm el Zeitoun, Hayy el Knissé, Bir Abed and Haret el Mjadlé as well as Jnah, Ghobeiry, Furn-el-chebbak, Bir Hassan, and Ain El Remanneh.
The city was once covered with citrus orchards and extending to the Mediterranean Sea, today, it is a full part of the demographically huge Beirut outskirts totalling around 60,000 inhabitants.
In Chiyah, resides the Gharios family, one of the most socially and economically prominent families in Lebanon rooting back their ancestries to the ever famous Sheiks Chemor of Kfarhata (former Christian rulers of Aaqoura and Zgharta). Other prominent natives of Chiyah include late ministers and parliament members Michel Zaccour and Wadih Naim as well as Doctor Nakhleh Achkar.
The former head of the municipality for the last eleven years is parliament member hopeful Edmond Gharios. Currently, Roland Rahal heads the municipality.
Naji Gharios, a native of Chiyah, was elected in June 2009 as member of the Lebanese Parliament representing the Baabda district.