In the very
north of the Beqaa, a plain lying in the depression
between the two mountain chains of the Lebanon and
the Ant-Lebanon, at 127km from Beirut close to the
Lebanese-Syrian frontier, one finds a delightful village
in a deep cleft, popularly known as Fakieh, but in
literary Arabic as Fakiha, derived from the Arabic
for fruit. The orchards are possible thanks to the
water which flows down in abundance, for the Anti-Lebanon,
like its twin Lebanon chain, is a veritable water
tower. At this particular point the elevation of the
Beqaa Valley is 1,000 meters.
where the western slopes of the Anti-Lebanon overlook
the richly fertile plain of the Beqaa, gardens produce
a generous harvest and the village has extensive orchards
of apple and apricot trees, enriching Fakieh which
is also renowned for the hardwearing carpets that
are woven there by hand. Two religious communities
inhabit the village, Greek Catholics and Sunnis, living
together without any friction. The Sunnis have their
mosque, while thanks to the spirit of solidarity the
Christians have been able to realize their longstanding
dream, building a church worthy to be a cathedral,
one in the style of the Greek rite, of clear white,
pleasing to the eye and blending harmoniously into
the surrounding country. It is dedicated to the illustrious
hero and knight Saint George, a martyr of the 3rd
century who suffered under the emperor Diocletian.
He is represented on horseback casting down the dragon.
He is venerated by Muslims throughout the East under
the name of Al Khodr the Brave! This church bearing
his name was constructed in the period between the
two world wars and inaugurated in 1937.
is just 70km from Zahleh. Remains are to be found
there such as the tower which served as a pigeon-loft.
This distant village has a modern aspect to offer,
with its school, medical centers, police and town
hall, and its many graduates, doctors, engineers,
architects, academic and so on. In the past a great
number of the Greek Catholics emigrated to the Americas,
Australia, and elsewhere.
Cathedral of Fakieh: >> View
Movie << (2008-09-01)