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Thread: Akkar - Beino

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    Default Akkar - Beino

    The Tale of a Small Lebanese Village


    I. General Information

    Beino is located in the uppermost northern reaches of Lebanon some 40 kilometers from the city of Tripoli i.e. the province of Akkar. It is nestled at the foothills of the Northern Lebanese mountain chain better known as Qammoua. It is flanked by two hills and famous two creeks that flow mainly in the winter season. It can be reached by road from Tripoli via Halba with a hilly road leading into the village. The elevation is 500 meters measured at the center town elevated up to 600 meters in the hills of Qboula. It enjoys a phenomenal and beautiful weather with a very clear differentiation between the four seasons of the year. Summer temperatures range from 18 degrees in the early morning and late evenings to 29 degrees at noon. It rarely rains in the summer. Winter Temperatures vary from 10 degrees in the cool times to about 17 degrees at noon. Generally the weather is temperate and pleasant.

    The village of Beino is formed from two suburbs, Beino and Qboula which are managed by one municipality ( baladiat Beino-Qboula). Suburbs in Beino are: Beino, Qboula , Beino Al Day3ah, Biatra, Haret Sagheyia, Haret Abboud, Dahr Al Dier and Wadi Al Askar.


    II. Historical Background

    There is known exact date as to when Beino was founded. However Faraj Attiyah Al-Hourani who hailed from Izri', a small town in Houran, Syria arrived in Beino in the year 1640 and married the daughter of Abboud who was of the maronite Christian sect. Thereafter, a church was built i.e Saint Theodore’s. Few years later, several more families came to the village and those were mainly: Hannah, Saghiyeh, Nader, Bitar, al-ashkar, Kafrouni, Greige, Younes, Khoury, Shaheen, Jbeily, Saoud and possibly others whom I can not recall at this moment and for whom I extend my sincere apologies.

    I have heard tales about the First World War which were not very pleasant. Beino was under Ottoman Rule and all able bodied young people were drafted into the Turkish army (Safar Barlek). Some perished and others made it back to the village.
    During the Second World War Greater Lebanon to which Beino belonged was under the French colonial rule and things were a little bit better and more organized. However the main staple (wheat) produced by the inhabitants was confiscated and ration cards were issued. There were three large diode tube radios in the village which were located at the houses of Dr. Ragheb Attiyah, Dr. Rashed Attiyah and Mr. wadih Attiyah. In the evenings when the main news bulletins of the progress of the war were broadcasted, everyone in the village was distributed amongst these houses to follow up on the war.

    Unfortunately few years after the war, a substantial emigration to the main cities i.e Beirut and Tripoli took place. This situation was due mainly to economic reasons as people found it cheaper to enrol their children in schools as Day students in lieu of boarding students. Other reasons included more available jobs in cities and their scarcity in small villages. However few have come back to live and retire in the serene and healthy surroundings and environment of the village.



    III. Size and Population

    The area of Beino including Qboula and the surrounding olive groves is approximately 20 square kilometres but the built area is much smaller and does not exceed more than 500 houses. The population is approximately 2500 people but the number swells in the summer to possibly more than 3000 people. Beino has large number of immigrants in Africa, Venezuela, Australia, Brazil, US and Canada. Beino population is shrinking year to year due to internal and external migration in search for opportunities. Lot of families vanished totally from Beino and many more also are about to disappear if this trend of internal and external migrations continues.

    IV. Highlights of Beino

    Beino is famous for many features, landmarks and many great people. It is studded with oak and pine trees some of which are 400 years. The oldest trees surround the village cemetery located on top of Deir Mar Sarkiss. There are two beautiful cypress trees that were planted by the American Protestant mission in 1849 and which were immortalized by a painting by Fayez Greije of two villagers playing backgammon under one of them. Later on, several others cypress trees were planted. Beino is well known for its beautiful Jasmine and Rose gardens. It is also very well known for its abundant fruit trees including Pomegranate from which very good syrup is made from its fruit.) , olive groves accounting for all the olive oil and olives that are consumed by the villagers as well as citrus fruits, apricots, almonds, grapes, apples and figs etc...

    Beino is quite famous for its beautiful villas that were constructed from massive limestone blocks and roofed with red bricks.

    The first and one of the important Ladies charities in the area was founded by Mrs.Hanny Attiyah and was named “association for extending the helping hand". The association operated a school and assisted many of the poor folks in the village. One of the first clubs in the area was established after the second world war and is still operating till the present under the name of " The Beino Club for Culture and Sports" the club boasted in its early days a gymnasium, a swimming pool (carved from the river) and a clay tennis court.

    Other organizations formed in the 70th and 80th were Boy scouts (junud Al Eman) and Nadi Al Arshad wal Tadamoun. These two organizations contributions to Beino lifestyle including sports and social activities in the 70th and 80th. Al Archad Wal Tadamoun club is still operating until today.

    Other major organization that positively impacted the life of people of Beino formed in the early 90th was the Fares foundations which established a medical center for the village and surrounding areas. The Fares foundation also built in the late 90th a man made Lake in Wadi Al Ashkar. The lake is home for lots of Ducks and fishes and it is becoming a tourist attraction for people and tourists in all Lebanon. Above the lake, in Dahr Niss Al 3ali, a preservation was built which include lots of animal and birds.

    Beino is home for many famous legends that contributed to Lebanon’s history and economy among them, ex deputy Prime Minister Mr. Issam fares

    Camille N. Atie
    “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.”

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    i went to Beino... loved its calmness, old houses, alleys and lovely welcoming people
    ps. PP & Tabouk.. thanks for this thread... hope u add some fotos...
    copyright is patriarchal

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    Last edited by Tabouk; 23-06-2009 at 12:16 PM.
    “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.”

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    Description of Beino in the eyes of Nahla Atiyah

    Casting my vote in the ballots of beino, my hometown in Akkar. I only make it this far up north on rare special occasions, mostly funerals. No home there, a withering identity, no acquaintances, just a scattering of the remains of a family. No attachment. But get a load of this: I love going there.


    First, there`s the sinewy road downhill, reminiscent of travels across Provence or Andalusia. You`re cocooned in neat rows of orchards on one side (best in March, when they flower) and a majestic semi-circle of blue-green mountains on the other (best all the time, for the changing hues with the luminous sun or the snow capped tips).

    Then you have the grand homes, each with its own established flower garden in the front and trees in the back, heavy with fruit. A welcome change of scenery, albeit unexpected, after the sorry rows and rows of that region`s impoverished villages.

    And the food. Anyone with remotely alert taste buds would give it all the gourmet stars.

    Until recently there were no hotels. And no restaurants or coffee shops. Instead, a lone community club where one would meet for a chat, a drink, and a game of cards or backgammon. And at night, dark silence would fall, punctuated only by calls from the rooster and later the birds and the donkey of the grounds` keeper.

    The first bite of mrakkad (a traditional yeast-free biscuit, lovingly baked by all my great aunts) whisks me, Proust-like, to other times. To that one childhood summer, or part of, spent there. I would play with the big black freshwater pump by the kitchen. Or run after the music ice-cream van, the best part of every afternoon. Or help out with the baking in the red hot stone oven, the tannour, enthralled by the incandescent flames from within the menacing hole.

    Caravans of slow swaying camels would unload heavy bags of grain from the Akkar valley. Those September days are indescribably happy. For days on end, domestics sit round a low table and sift the tons of wheat in preparation for the winter months ahead. They, in the process, imprint my childmind with illusions of grandeur and sublime importance.


    Modernism crept slowly. First, there was but one road to get there, now there are many. This in a funny way put the place on the map. Eager unknown neighbors felt they should come and visit. In their cars, making a lot of noise. So road humps had to be installed for safety. Add to this neatly arranged road signs and directions- for places you know by heart.

    Everybody now invites city friends to come on Sundays, especially in the summer. Homes open up with sumptuous meals laid out. Groceries bulge with a variety of manufactured bread and bottled water and imported ice-cream cones. You no longer need to stack up on grain for the winter. You may even enjoy a full meal at the commercial eatery, boasting pride of place on prime location. There, the nights awake to public parties with visiting celebrities singing the hours away. And someone even thought of opening a petrol station nearby.

    The village had to endure a constant stream of remarks. They fall into three broad categories: snide, sympathetic, and a combination of these two. I personally favor the last of the three. For whatever practical advantages these changes might have seemed to afford, they are outweighed by one universal fact: anything can be retrieved, except lost time.

    And why should one try to retrieve lost time? In most cases, it is past time. After all, we keep going because something would be wrong if we just stop. Let the pragmatism of this citizen of the world lift the atmospheric gloom of nostalgia and selective memory.

    You end up with a standing invitation to come gorge on all my great aunts` mrakkad.

    ************************************************** ****************************

    Nahla Atiyah, WFA`s vice president, is adviser on corporate affairs
    “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.”

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    Last edited by Tabouk; 23-06-2009 at 07:04 PM.
    “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.”

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    “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.”

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