The name is of Aramaic origin and can be taken to
mean “to emigrate, to depart, to leave”. It is a
region which hikers, picnickers, shepherds and researchers
have long wandered over, and we ourselves when young
used to go there to gather wild thyme, fossils in
stones, and medicinal herbs for infusions, these
herbs being put aside for the winter. Indeed it
may be said that in summer we ranged over all North
Kesserewan, for nearly every day we would go off
on excursions and picnics that often involved long
tramps towards various sources of water: to the
riverlet of Nabeh el-Laban at Shabrouh three miles
northeast of Farayah; or, eastwards to the spring
El-Assal, the Honey; or southeast to Kfardebian;
or south to Hrajel and Meyrouba; or westward to
the beautiful area of Wata el-Jaouz and Nabeh el-Hadeed.
Even within Faraya one could find abundant springs
and streams and waterfalls.
Shabrouh was a stretch of rocky mountain wilderness
twenty-five miles from Beirut and three from Faraya,
where during the nineteen-forties there were always
flocks of goats grazing on the coarse vegetation.
Since then there has been steady change. The Ministry
of Energy, Electricity and Water Resources has planned
the construction of several dams, including that
of Shabrouh, in order to make use of the water that
was wasted and simply ran down to the sea. The population
all around has greatly increased and so have the
requirements of water and electricity. The dam and
associated projects are intended to meet these demands
until the year 2025. Details of the Shabrouh Dam
are as follows:
-It retains 8 million cubic meters of water.
-It takes water from Nabeh el-Laban during the winter
-The drinking-water plant has a daily capacity of
60,000 cubic meters.
-The dam itself is made of bituminous concrete implanted
into the rock and has a surface area of 34,000 sq.
-The water is evacuated through a circular well
52 meters high and capable of evacuating 180 meters3
Most of the water content comes from Nabeh el-Laban,
which is twenty-one meters above the normal level
of the dam. Everything is planned in a way to ensure
steady replacement of the water outflow.
A conduit with a diameter of 80 centimeters allows
a flow of 0.7 meters3per sec. from Nabeh el-Assal.
Another channel provides water for irrigation. The
basin is fed 2.5 cubic meters of water per second
from Wadi Shabrouh and 5.5 cubic meters per second
from Nabeh el-Assal. A further flow of two cubic
meters per sec. can be arranged. The planning and
execution of the dam have taken the environmental
norms into consideration. The dam as a whole is
an outstanding achievement and provides water for
the two districts of Kesserewan-Ftouh and Metn.
Following its completion the dam has become a tourist
attraction, drawing sightseers by the thousand to
Shabrouh and the region of Upper Kesserewan.
Joseph Matar - Translation from the French:
Kenneth J. Mortimer