We are now in the South of the Bekaa, a plain outstanding for its fertility, beauty and scenic situation between two mountain chains, the Eastern Range and the Western Range, crowned respectively by two sacred mountains, Mount Lebanon and Mount Hermon.
This plain abounds in flowing water, for to the north there is the rebellious Orontes, which surges through Syria and then Turkey before emptying into the Mediterranean, while to the south there winds a river of rare beauty, the Litani.
During the nineteen-fifties, a technical committee was formed to exploit and develop the riches of the region. This was a stroke of genius; several thousand hectares were irrigated, electric power was generated, villages received water, and a tourist circuit was developed. A dam was built in which 650,000 cubic metres of water are collected each year in a lake whose surface is furrowed by boats carrying sightseers and anglers, while surrounding cafés and restaurants provide their clients with viewpoints to admire the majestic scene.
Work began in 1962. The dam has come to be known by two different names, the Litani Project on account of the river its stands on, 160 km. long, and Lake Qaraoun after the town that stands opposite. Other large villages of ancient date and sunlit charm extend over the western slope, among them Saghbeen, Khareyzat, Bab Mareh and Aitanit. Hydroelectric generating stations have been installed at Markaba, Aanan, Bisseri and as far as Joun.
Drinking water as well as electricity is now supplied to a large number of villages. The whole panorama of Qaraoun is enchanting and now there is life in the heart of this region both by day and by night.
- Lake of Qarawn: >> View Movie << (2003-05-01)