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Panoramic Views > North > El Minieh Dennieh > Lake Ouyoun Samak

Lake Ouyoun El Samak

The name is in the plural, Aïn being the singular form. The reason for this plural is easy to understand: the site is a corner of Paradise, with springs throwing up living water on all sides. In the verdure one finds every shade of green that an artist might imagine, and when the land is carpeted with wild flower one is transported to another world. Ouïoun el-Samak lies between the districts of Denniyeh and Akkar, near the village of Saffaret el-Katih.

To reach this site, one must follow a narrow, somewhat ill-made road, winding along a hillside, after which one comes to this valley transformed since 1946 into a lake of outstanding beauty, with cafés and restaurants where one may sit in the cool shade of the trees in surroundings of unrivalled charm.

From the mountainside there spring the waters of Nahr el-Bared, the Cold River, which serve to generate electric power. The water is dammed back in a reservoir 500 by 75 metres, and serves also to irrigate the agricultural land which provides the main source of income for the village through which one passes. In places, muddy water flows over the road, small herds of cows wonder here and there, and one may see children on their way to or from the only school. A couple of coaches a day bring the two or three hundred visitors who arrive every week.

It should not be forgotten that by leaving the main road just before the village of Minieh one may visit the grotto inside the mosque of Ain Yeshua (Joshua the prophet), and if one carries on beyond the lake one reaches Goraya, where there is a wood of mythic fame known as Abou Moussa, with enormous evergreen oaks centuries old.

One may find also the venerable remains of a very ancient monastery, more or less abandoned, which serves as a cemetery for the Muslims of the village.

The river Bared is also called the river Moussa, a name that reminds us of Moses in the Old Testament, as Yeshua reminds us of Joshua.

William Matar

- Lake Ouyoun El Samak: >> View Movie << (2005-06-01)


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