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Panoramic Views > North > Zgharta > Miziara

Miziara (Meziara), Highways and Byways

The name Meziara is of ancient Semitic derivation, and means the mountain edge, the cliff, or the look-out. It could also be interpreted as house-visit, forcing, getting into difficulty, or even strangling.

Several localities are attached to Meziara and its municipal authority, such as Homeiss and El-Harf. It stands a little over sixty-five miles from the capital Beirut in the administrative district (cazaI) of Zghorta at an altitude of about three thousand feet. The region is mountainous and thickly wooded, with oak trees, orchards of olive trees, and vineyards.

The town of Meziara as we see it now is quite modern and prosperous-looking, with many luxurious residences and roads and an infrastructure well cared for. In every dwelling one finds that several members of the family went to Nigeria, where they labored, worked and devoted themselves in order to send the money gained for the construction of the village and for the execution of various other projects in Lebanon.

In the very center of the town there stands the parish church of Our Lady of Meziara, a venerable and attractive building, spacious, and extensively decorated with mural paintings along the sides, on the ceiling and around the altar. The people of Meziara have a strong devotion to the Holy Virgin and are greatly attached to their church.

Every summer many emigrants return from Africa for the Assumption of Our Lady, Es-Saydeh, and celebrate this feast so beloved in Lebanon by organizing on the eve a great festivity in the Meziara Club. The menu is rich and varied, with a specially cooked dish known as Hrisseh, having a foundation of wheat and kinds of meat.

Meziara is a typical Maronite village, with the faithful practicing their faith with fervor. Most of the inhabitants follow the liberal professions as doctors, attorneys, bankers, industrialists, businessmen and contractors. Some of them have a secondary place of residence somewhere along the coast, in Kessrewan or Beirut, particularly in the large residential and commercial blocks.

Recently a big new project has been launched at the entrance to Meziara, in homage to the beloved Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy. This takes the form of a spacious park with walks marked with clumps of trees including olive and oak. There are nooks with statuary representing scenes from the Gospels such as the Nativity, the Flight into Egypt, the Baptism of Christ, the Marriage at Cana, and the Crucifixion.

It is said that a certain Marcel Shaghoury had a vision leading him to fulfill a vow. Sculptors and masons set to work to produce a number of representations in white limestone, forming an impressive collection on the hillside giving on to the distant mountains of the Zghorta district. Inside the park there is a church, a bold structure dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mother of Mercy. In this way the garden has become not merely a public attraction but also a site conducive to prayer, where among abundant greenery one finds long stretches adorned with sculpture.

The benefactor also made a place of retirement to assure the welfare of the elderly, with doctors and nurses always on duty, to serve up to one hundred people advanced in years. There is a sewing workshop allowing women young and old without qualification to gain a livelihood. This, with the upkeep of the garden surrounding the church, and in fact the whole project, is financed by the above-mentioned Marcel Shaghoury.

One can easily spend a whole day at Meziara visiting the village and its surrounding region, with the residences, clubs, and restaurants. A project consisting of a Foundation dedicated to one of the illustrious sons of Meziara (Michel Attrib) is under way in the form of a village having all the facilities of a town. Meziara is well worth a visit.

Joseph Matar - Translation from the French: Kenneth Mortimer

- Miziara - The Church: >> View Movie << (2014-08-15)
- Miziara - The Park: >> View Movie << (2014-08-15)
- Miziara - The Park: >> View Movie << (2014-08-15)


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