Like the palm of a generous open hand with the fingers
pointing in all different directions, Mayrouba lies
against a plateau at an altitude of well over three
thousand feet, a source of gushing streams and a crossroads
with roads leading in every direction.
On its southern side, the locality is bordered by
a main road leading to Kfardebien, while another route
climbs to Faraya and then over the pass to the Beqaa
where lie Baalbek and Zahleh. On the way one passes
the ski station already visible from the Mayrouba
On the northwestern side a road crosses the hump of
the mountain before descending to Lassa and the sacred
springs of Afca and Kartaba. Lower to the west there
is a road coming up from coastal Kesrouan, from Ftouh,
Ghazir, Ashqout, Harissa and Jounieh.
This large village of Mayrouba is backed by the mountain
chain of Jabel Moussa and Hrajel. In the deep valley
below there is a torrent whose waters leap down from
the springs of Nab el-Assal, Nab el-Laban, and Nab
el-Maghara, all from the white limestone geological
strata under the elevations surrounding the imposing
mass of Mount Sannine which dominates the whole region.
It is the waters rushing down on all sides that give
the village its name of Mayrouba, which can be interpreted
as meaning abounding with water, rich in water, or
thundering waters. From the shade of the few Mediterranean
pines on the high points of the village, pleasure
seekers and particularly artists can gaze on Mount
Sannine in all its splendor and follow the subtle
changes of its tones throughout the day. Mayrouba
is also known for the enormous rocks torn from the
mountainside. They surround it like so many sentinels
standing guard over the town and form a spectacle
of great beauty as if they were sculptures hewn out
by the hands of the Creator himself. Some of them
have been baptized by artists with such names as the
Temple, the Sphinx, the Altar, Venus, Rameses, the
Capitals, and so on.
The springs, ain in Arabic, are to be found in great
number, on all sides, each with its name, Ain et-Tannour,
Ain es-Sewan, Ain el-Cana, and Ain el-Merhege, to
mention but a few.
The region enjoys a great reputation for its agriculture.
There are orchards of apples known as Mayroubas, and
people used to speak of Mayrouba apples, the saplings
of which were transplanted all over Lebanon. In fact
orchards and coppices of trees abound on all sides.
On the higher ground one finds many ancient prehistoric
quarries going back to Neolithic times, the New Stone
Age, when local settlement was encouraged by the abundance
of wild game of every description which provided good
The village is welcoming and warmly hospitable, still
respecting the old traditions and customs and carefully
conserving the old dwellings with their typical arcades.
But there is a thoroughly modern infrastructure with
electric power, telephones, irrigation, roads, and
public administration and planning. A municipal authority
plans and operates in a way to ensure the smooth running
of the public and private establishments. There are
schools, medical facilities, business premises, a
police station, postal service, hotels, travel facilities
and everything to avoid traffic jams and to put the
tourist at ease. To sleep at Mayrouba and ski at Faraya
has entered into the language.
Here in Mayrouba one can visit the museum commemorating
the dame who has carried the message of Our Lady and
the Cedar around the world, its President Almazah
Saadeh, a person with a great heart and promoter of
charities, the first lady from the Middle East to
be honored by Pope John Paul II.
Under its dynamic president, the Mayrouba town council
is preparing a number of projects:
- A layout for the Valley of the Cross.
- A National Apple Festival.
- Electronic locations.
- Twinning with the holy town of Bethlehem.
- Cable cars linking Mayrouba to Fakra with its ski
station and Roman remains.
- Putting Mayrouba on the international scene.
- Recent honoring of highly placed religious personalities,
heads of state, ministers, artists and suchlike.
- Reaching out to the world with The Holy Mother of
God Our Lady of Mayrouba holding an apple in her hand
and serving as ambassador.
- A municipal stadium for yearly festivals and tournaments.
- A summer resort for the Kremist Fathers (Society
- Summer camps.
The patron saint of Mayrouba is the prophet Elias
(Elijah), after whom the principal church is named.
This holy anchorite lived at the time of King Achab
in the ninth century before Christ, near Sidon at
Sarepta (now Sarafand) in South Lebanon, and is popularly
considered as still alive, being called Mar Elias
el-Haye, the Living. The Second Book of Kings (2:
1–18) tells how he was carried up to heaven in a chariot
of fire. Other churches there are too, dedicated for
example to Our Lady of Mayrouba and Saint Anthony
The population is mostly Maronite Christian. There
is a high level of education, and one may easily meet
doctors, journalists, engineers, lawyers, scholars,
poets and authors. There are craftsmen, merchants
and businessmen who are all well known.
The great painter Omar Onsi spent more than twenty-five
years in Mayrouba, during which time he did paintings
of certain corners, views, rocks and people’s faces
for the benefit of posterity. Two leading families,
the Saadehs and the Khalils, have dominated by their
number, their ability, their devotion and their energy,
from which the town has benefited.
Mayrouba is a summer resort and tourist site that
all should visit.
Translation from the French : Kenneth Mortimer
- The Historic House of Rachid Saadeh: >> View
Movie << (2013-03-01)
- Village of Mayrouba: >> View
Movie << (2013-01-15)
- Museum of Almaza Saadeh: >> View
Movie << (2013-01-15)
- Village of Mayrouba - The Cross: >> View
Movie << (2012-12-01)