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Panoramic Views > South > Tyre > Naqoura


With the exception of certain individuals armed with permits, such as UN officials, Médecins sans frontière, diplomats, military personnel, foreign missions, press correspondents, and Red Cross workers, nobody is allowed to go to Lebanonís southern frontier.

The last village in the South before one reaches Israeli-occupied Palestine is Nakoura, lying on a spur of the mountains of Galilee. Its name comes from a verb meaning to pierce, to make a hole in some protruding rock, and is to be found in the Talmud. The Frankish Crusaders called it The Ladder of Tyre, on account of the narrow alluvial coastal plain. The site is one of rare beauty as Nature there is wild and untouched, with rocks jutting out into the sea and sands of glowing color.

The place should have been of great tourist value were it not for the political tension and the state of war between our country and the belligerent Israeli neighbor. At Nakoura peace and tranquility dominate the scene, thanks to the presence of the headquarters of the United Nations forces (UNIFIL) stationed in the region.

Nakoura is a coastal village in the caza, administrative region, of Tyre and was occupied by the Israeli aggressor up to the year 2000. It is some seventy-five miles from the capital Beirut and about two hundred feet above sea level. It has a border with Palestine and touches the village of Mansouri on its north side, Alma es-Shaab and Tayr Haifa to the east, and the Mediterranean shoreline to the west. The site is called Cape Nakoura and also Ras en-Nakoura on account of rocks and hollows which run out into the sea. There is plenty of fishing and agricultural activity, but on the Israeli side the main occupation is tourism.

There is an areas called Em Oumad, Mother of Oumad, once entirely occupied by the Phoenicians. Excavation is going ahead slowly. It is supposed that the remains of a Phoenician port are to be found on the shore, since the whole coast from Ugarit in the North to Suez in the South was the home ground of the Phoenicians, who indeed dominated the whole Mediterranean. The site has not yet been properly explored, like many others which should be of interest. Ernest Renan made a halt here and speaks of the place in his book Mission en Phénicie, but conducted no exploration.

In the village there is an ancient mosque, a school and a town hall with all the usual urban infrastructure, together with fields of crops and very productive orchards. Peace would make Nakoura a fine tourist center ... but when is that to be?

Joseph Matar - Translation from the French by K.J. Mortimer

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