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Panoramic Views > Mount Lebanon > Baabda > Jouar el Hawz

Jouar el-Hawz, Neighbor of Styrax and Forests

Many names of Lebanese villages are double-barreled, such as Jouar el-Hawz, Jouret el-Ballout, Ain et-Tineh, Ain et-Tannour, Nabh et-Teggeha, Beit Shebab, and so on. Jour el-Hawz was Al-Lubnan, from which the country’s name Lebanon is derived.

It is a very pleasant village, situated on a foothill of Jabal el-Kneisseh, at a height of a little over 4,000 feet and twenty-odd miles from the capital city of Beirut. There are several ways of getting there, in particular one through Dhour es-Shweir and El-Mtein in the Metn district and another through Bhamdoun and Hamana.

Jouar el-Hawz used to be the property of Emir Youssef ben Ismail ben Hassan Abillama from the year 1717 and then passed to his descendants. The Abillama emirs became Christians and so the village became a refuge for a number of families from the North, who cultivated the land, did building, and in general worked in cooperation with the Abillamas. The village grew and prospered, thanks to the planting of vineyards and orchards of cherry and other fruit trees. This was helped by the presence of eight springs of good drinking water, several of which are mineral.

When the Shamoun family moved in from Tannourine, they brought with them one of their relatives, the priest Father Philippos el-Hajj, who cared for the parish and brought in more families closely related to him. During the troubles of 1840 and 1860 the village and its inhabitants suffered considerable damage and harm, in the form of destruction, murders, and cutting of throats from the Druze provoked by the Ottomans, resulting in emigration, but after the violence came to an end and calm returned, Jouar el-Hawz once again developed and prospered.

During the recent disturbances, several martyrs gave their blood on account of their Christian and patriotic convictions. But now several new buildings have been put up, adding beauty to a village which already charms on account of the hospitality and friendliness of its people. One can see here “a citadel of the tower”, an ancient ruin composed of enormous stone blocks. There is also a cave known as the Tomb of the Jew, hewn out of the rock and of considerable antiquity, as well as a venerable oak tree near the church some five hundred years old.

The locality has several active foundations, including the town council, the parish council, the sports club, religious congregations, Caritas, and various cultural activities. Here we would wish to particularly mention Fred Joseph Maroon, an American artist photographer who came from the village.

Joseph Matar - Translation from the French: Kenneth Mortimer

- Jouar El Hawz: >> View Movie << (2014-09-15)


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