This is the name of a village of Kesrouan rising above
Ghazir. The name is of Aramaic origin, from a root
meaning a reserve or land which is protected or enclosed.
“Cellar” is another Semitic meaning that the word
might have and in fact there are ancient remains indicating
that it could indicate a certain funeral vault covered
by a huge mass of rocks, with traces of a tomb. It
must be said that the whole region of Guineh is rich
in antiquities of considerable importance, going back
to the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Byzantines.
On one of the slopes there are the remains of a Roman
temple that was later transformed into a Byzantine
church decorated with a large number of mosaics. However,
it was severely affected by an earthquake in the year
Among the neighboring rocks first the Phoenicians
and then the Romans dug a great many cellars. One
may see a massive boulder on which there is a carved
bas-relief which made Renan think of the legend of
Adonis who was attacked by a great wild boar.
The archeologist Seyrig dated these sculptures definitely
to Greco-Roman times. One rock face shows the back
view of a hunter with a spear or javelin in his hand
facing a bear ready to come upon him and crush him
by its weight. The struggle must have ended with the
death of both hunter and bear. A seated woman in a
medallion to the right is shown weeping. Another rock
face at right angles to the first shows a hunter with
his lance and his dogs.
Rising above the town of Ghazir and a winding road,
Guineh is made up of very attractive houses widely
scattered over wooded heights with balconies giving
impressive views dominating the sea. Here we are at
altitudes varying from some three thousand to three
thousand five hundred feet above sea level. Mineral
water gushes from a spring and tumbles down into the
ravine. People queue up to fill their cans, jars and
reservoirs and in fact the whole area abounds in water.
The various shades of yellow ochre, red, black and
gray of the soil shows how rich it is in iron and
various metallic oxides.
Guineh is a little over twenty miles from the capital
Beirut and there are several ways of getting there.
From the coastal highway one may go up through Ghazir
or alternatively go up from the bottom of the valley
of the river Nahr Ibrahim to find Guineh just after
Yahshoush. One may take the route through Afca, Lassa
and Mayroubah or yet another one through Harissa and
Guineh is a very desirable summer resort with its
clear air, limpid water and verdant nature, with an
atmosphere of calm and repose most beneficial for
health. The town has a modern infrastructure with
good roads and communications, electricity, telephone
lines, running water, a school, hotels, restaurants,
a youth club and medical facilities. There are several
churches, notably that of Our Lady of Deliverance.
There is a bakery with traditional “tannour” oven,
sports activities and protection of the environment.
The people are welcoming and friendly. One may well
enjoy a truly ecological day in here surrounded by
nature at its best.
Joseph Matar - Translation from the French:
Kenneth J. Mortimer
- Al Ghineh - Greco-Roman time: >> View
Movie << (2013-03-01)
- Al Ghineh - Byzantine church: >> View
Movie << (2013-03-01)