In South Lebanon facing the frontier with Israel
there is a village attractive for tourists which
constitutes an unrivaled giant complex. “Welcome
to Wazzani Citadel” may be read everywhere on the
signboards. There is a very large tourist centre
newly put up, extending more than twenty acres,
and overlooking the very river that separates South
Lebanon from the Israeli occupier.
The blue line drawn by the United Nations divides
the waters of the river into two. The Lebanese lovers
of peace who believe in a serene existence defy
the Israelis. They promote a sporting, social and
cultural tourist project open to all nations that
proves that Lebanon is a land of hospitality and
The Abdallahs, proprietors of the worksite, affirm
their right to exploit their property to the last
inch. Their project may seem almost Utopian but
is worthy of admiration. Only a few paces beyond
the Citadel the Israeli armored vehicles and forces
are stationed. The Abdallahs, extremely rich after
making their fortune in Africa, have invested some
five million dollars in this project, not counting
the price of the land and the cost of the studies!
A fine entrance to the complex already stands. We
are greeted by two large mills in volcanic stone,
while a wall of Byzantine style has been erected
that leads one to a view of a series of rooms like
a Moroccan village.
This is really a bold project, an investment urging
resistance and attachment to the motherland. This
month several rooms will be opened alongside the
river together with restaurants and swimming pools.
Later there will be sixty chalets facing the river
and nine villas, which however demand two more years
of work. There will be riding stables, Internet
rooms, a supermarket, a sanatorium, a health club,
tennis courts and restaurants.
All is being done with total consideration for the
environment, with plantations of trees and flowers,
and all using solar energy. The only inhabitants
who do not respect the blue line are the ducks and
the fish which abound in the river. The owner admits
that he is putting into effect a very old dream
of his father, saying, “I wish to end my days in
this idyllic spot. I write history after my own
manner, our history written into the every stone,
tree and ancient relic. We also work on the infrastructure,
roads, electricity, telephone, irrigation, medical
facility, conference room, and so on.
“This is a project carried out in a way reflecting
the love in our soul. To pass from the dream to
the reality this first step was necessary. Soon
we shall be receiving visitors from far and near.
The Israeli enemy over there does not frighten us
despite its control over the river. All the press,
international, Arab and local, has spoken about
this project. A small island, an islet, has been
made in the river that can receive more than six
“A Noah’s Ark will be put up that will be able to
hold eight hundred. The project has taken the name
of the river, Wazzani. Better days will come her
and the lovers of Nature will make it their haven.”
Joseph Matar Translation from the French: Kenneth J.