roads lead us to this place in the Koura district,
one passing by Shekka, Arjes, and Sebeel, another
through Shekka, Ehden, Arbet, and Kozhaya and yet
another through Tripoli, Dahr el-Ain, and Zghorta.
All these routes ensure a pleasant ride, particularly
that through the valley of Ehden, Toula, and Aslout,
which seems a journey through earthly paradise,
with its rich verdure and fruit trees of every kind,
apricot, cherry, apple and pear among others.
However, when we went, our arrival at Mazraat et-Tauffah
brought some disappointment. The fact is that now
there are hardly any apple trees left there. The
village was abandoned by its inhabitants in the
middle of the nineteenth century, most of them having
since emigrated to the USA, Brazil or Australia,
for under Ottoman occupation there was only misery
and poverty on all sides.
Mazraat et-Touffah is at a height of 900 meters,
ninety-five kilometers from Beirut, thirty-five
from Tripoli and twenty-five from Zghorta. To the
east is the village of Al-Bouhairat with the lake
fed by springs on every side, while opposite, to
the west, are the villages of Miziarah and Homeiss.
The place is pleasant enough. We drew up in the
main square before the church of Saint Doumit, the
local patron saint. We were able to admire a number
of luxurious new villas, one might say palaces and
residences, while the remains of some old houses
were still standing.
The former president of the town council told me
that he had twice held an Apple Festival in order
to encourage the people plant the trees once again
in order to restore the old aspect of the village
with the tree whose name it bears. There is a stream
with a waterfall known as Al-Kef, meaning joy and
exuberance. A cliff and a cave also bear the same
The distinguishing feature of the village is the
large forest on its border, with oak trees and conifers
such as cedars and pines. It is easy to go on an
excursion on foot to reach Miziara and Homeiss just
Children of the region are provided for by three
private schools and two public schools. There is
a town hall with adjacent municipal facilities including
clinics and sports and social clubs.
Another church is dedicated to Saint Maura, whose
feast is celebrated on September 25th, while for
Saint Doumit there is a major celebration on the
eve of August 6th. The younger people work in the
main coastal towns, Beirut, Byblos and Tripoli.
They include doctors, attorneys, government officials,
teachers, members of the armed forces and technicians
with various specialties. Most come home every evening
while others come only at weekends. The emigrants
are to be seen only in summer.
General speaking, the Lebanese are strongly attached
to their ancestral villages, but for anyone a visit
to Mazraat et-Touffah and its area on foot is thoroughly
Joseph Matar - Translation from the French:
- Mazraat el Toufah: >> View
Movie << (2010-08-01)