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Thread: Bint Jbeil Caza - Rmeish

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    Default Bint Jbeil Caza - Rmeish

    History of Rmeish


    Rmeich is located in south Lebanon, Caza Beint Jbeil near the Lebanese-Palestinian border occupying an area of 20 km2. The ruins found in the village indicate that the area was occupied by the Romans and the Crusaders at some stage in history. It is believed that the first people to live in the village go back to the end of the 17th century.

    Origin of the name

    The name RMEICH comes from different origins:

    Syriac: Rimshay : the levelled mount
    Hebrew: Ramishay : The mount

    Where did they come from?

    The first families to live in Rmeich came from the areas of Kesourwan especially from the Khazen and Chidiac families. At the same time some other Christian families moved to the village after the Shiite family Al Asaad offered them protection.

    The main families in Rmeich are:

    Family Name - Origin - Date of arrival to Rmeich
    Alam - Baskinta - 1696
    Assaf - Aita - 1855
    Amil - Gernaya - 1855
    Aoun - Seghbin - 1900
    Awad -- 1918
    Abou Izaa -- 1922
    Abdouch -- --
    Badeen -- 1911
    Choufani - Ain Halya, Syria - 1730
    Endrawous - Kafar Bereem - 1876
    Gerges -- 1825
    Ghanatios - El Chouff - 1860
    Ghanem -- --
    Habib (Also known as haddad) - Dirdghaya - 19th century
    Haddad - Tanbourit - 1820
    Hajj - Kitouli - 1810-1824
    Halim Hajj - Qana - 1918
    Jarjour -- --
    Kalakech -- 1788
    Khazen - Kesourwan - 1697
    Khiyami - Beit Chabeb --
    Makhoul - Akoura - 1750
    Mouawad - Zgharta --
    Mourkoss - Akoura --
    Nasrallah - Sighbein - 1850
    Sabra -- --
    Tanios - Akkar - 1700
    Touma - Haifa -- Rmeich and Lebanon

    Before 1199, Rmeich was part of what it used to be called Jordan which included Jordan Syria and Palestine.

    After 1199, Rmeich was included in the area occupied by the crusaders within the kingdom of Jerusalem.


    In 1920, Rmeich was included in was known as the State of Greater Lebanon.

    Rmeich in war

    Rmeich was involved in many wars and battles through the history. The most important ones are:

    In 1797, the darkest years in the history of the village, the viceroy of Acre Ahmad Pasha EL Jazar demolished and destroyed the village including the only church that was there. His reasons for that were that Rmeich supported Prince Bashir El Chahabi against him, they helped Napoleon in his battle against Acre and that he was afraid, that Rmeich being the only Christian village in the area, might encourage other Christian villages to rebel against him.

    Ahmad Pasha burnet down the church including all the records that were kept inside. The people of Rmeich refused to go back to their village until Ahmad Pasha died in 1806 when they went back and rebuilt their church and village.

    In 1824, the leader of Rmeich Yousef Daher El Choufani led the village to a victory over the viceroy of Acre Abdallah El Darnadli.

    In 1829, Rmeich supported Prince Bashir El Chahabi in his battle against Sanour.

    In 1839, Rmeich fought side by side with the Shiite of the neighbouring villages against the Egyptian army which ended by the withdrawal of the Egyptian army after suffering heavy losses.

    In 1840, Daher El Choufani led Rmeich in another battle against the Egyptian army.

    Rmeich in World War I and II

    Compulsory Army Service

    When the Ottoman Empire entered the war, they forced everyone who’s age is between 18 and 60 to fight in the Turkish army. People from Rmeich were forced to fight in Bulgaria, Istanbul and the Suez Canal in Egypt.
    Between 20 to 30 never came back from the war and no one knew anything about them till today.

    1916 Famine

    A glittering cloud of locusts so large it blocked out the sun as it approached descended upon the farms destroying all wheat crops and stripping the prairie bare of all vegetation.
    The famine decreased the number of the people living in Rmeich to about 450.

    The Events of Ain Ebel in 1920

    In 1920, Ain Ebel was attacked by hundreds of Muslim militias. The leaders of Ain Ebel and Rmeich agreed to fight side by side against the attackers. The attackers attacked in large numbers that the defenders could not resist the attack and were forced to leave the villages to Palestine.

    Annexation of Rmeich to Lebanon

    A petition was sent by all villages in south Lebanon to the Reconciliation Conference in Paris in 1919 asking for Rmeich and other villages to be included within Lebanon. The following is the petition:

    “We call on the agreement and unanimity we, the residents of Tyre district of Shiites and Christians of forty thousands to be included in the State of Greater Lebanon for the following reasons: First, the Shiites of us are people form Sidon, Tyre, Marjayoun, El Rihan, Eklim El Kharoub and Hermel who truly want to join their nation. Second, Christians of us are of Lebanese origin and their ancestors came from the north to south. To the day they are relatives and want to join them.”

    The Calamity of 1948

    Rmeich hosted in their homes and their church between 1000 and 1500 Palestinians refugees displaces by the bloody events that took place between Palestinians and Jews.

    Once they realised that going back to their country is not going to happen in the near future, Palestinians started to leave Rmeich at the start of 1951 heading to Beirut and other parts of Lebanon.

    The Deportation of 1985

    In 1985, the residents of east Saida were deported toward the south. 120 families were deported to Rmeich. Half of these families were to leave Rmeich within the next 2 months and the others stayed and lived in Rmeich until this day.

    Immigration in the 20th century

    At the start of the 20th century Rmeich knew immigration on a large scale to South America especially to Argentina and Brazil because of the high taxes imposed by the Ottoman Empire.
    It is believed that around 100 left to Argentina between 1905 and 1914


    The first school was opened in 1870 by The Jesuits but was closed in 1900 to reopen in 1920 to close again 1949.

    From 1949 till 1955, the Pontifical mission opened a school for the Palestinians refugees.

    From 1945, Rmeich Supplementary School was opened which closed down in 1992.

    Our Lady of Lebanon School was opened in 1959.

    In 1974 Rmeich high school was opened.


    Saint George church

    Was originaly built around 1700, to later destroyed in 1787 and then to be rebuilt in 1806. The church was Cohesive and strong therefore it survived the 1837 earthquake that destroyed the village. Between 1925 and 1929 it was knocked down and then rebuilt on a larger land.

    Church of Transfiguration

    In the 1970’s, because of the rapid grow of the number of people living in Rmeich, and the impossible mission of expanding the saint George church, the people of Rmeich decided to build a new church. The work didn’t start until 1982 to finish only at the start of 2000.

    Lady of the Annunciation Monastery

    The building of the monastery was approved in 1983. By 1986 it was finished to be the first maronite monastery in south lebanon.

    The Red Cross

    The red cross centre opened in 1968 to provide medical assistance to the people of the area. The centre was built in Rmeich because of it position half way between the other 2 hospitals in the region. All the members in this centre are volunteers.

    The political game

    Municipal Council

    A number of rich and powerful personnel took the responsibility of managing the affairs of Rmeich and its people.

    Municipal Elections

    The Municipal election was held for the first time in 1961. It was based on an alliance of the majority of the main families against another alliance of the minority of the same families. Few hours before the elections, the two alliances meet and agreed on a head of the municipality council and a representation of all the families in the council.On that basis the first election was held in the village.

    This council was behind a lot of projects, the most important are:

    The establishment of the electrical system in 1964

    The establishment of the water system in 1964

    Paving the roads in 1965

    Buying 1000 m2 to build a high school

    Parliamentary Elections

    These elections reflected the agreement or disagreement of families. Usually the village has been split between supporters and opposition to the deputy or another; however they agreed once to vote for the same deputy.

    The fist election was held in 1972, 2001 and the last was held in 2005. The problem with these elections is still the same, the division of electoral areas. The position of Rmeich within a Muslim dominated area meant that the votes will not make a difference. Until we get better divisions the votes of Rmeich will still be meaningless.

    Local Administration 1975 – 1992

    The local administration is a committee comprising representatives of all the families in the village. The Local Administration handled the municipal council and the mayor duties because of the events that happened at that time.

    Natural Disasters

    Rmeich suffered from many natural disasters, the most significant one was the earthquake of 1837 when an earthquake hit the village killing 35. The rest of the people were praying in the church that day and therefore were protected by the strong building of the church.

    Rmeich was hit by few other earthquakes in 1887, 1888 and 1927 which caused the destruction of many houses without any causalities.


    Planting tobacco started in Rmeich half way through the 18th century that is due to several natural factors: vast agricultural land, availability of irrigation water and labourers.

    In 1883, the Ottoman government granted the right to monopolize the tobacco to a French company Regie. Rmeich residents did not abide by this resolution, which prompted the government to send a detachment of the army to end this situation. It ended after 8 days by the people of Rmeich agreeing on the decision.


    Around Rmeich there are few mountains that were occupied by different people through the history, which still have some remains till today. The people to live in these mountains are the Romans and Muslims. The most important mountains are:


    The Romans lived in Katamoun around 2000 years ago and transformed it to a military post where they built a fortress to protect their country. Until today some remains of the fortress can still be seen in the form of a 50mx50m fence.


    Was occupied by the Romans and the Muslims who stayed there until the end of 1838 when they left because of an earthquake that hit the area. The ruins in that mountain are still standing till today.

    Some other ruins are found in the village in the form of old cemeteries found in different parts of the village which are believed to go back to the 4th century BC.

    Rmeish 1967 - 1992 by Dr. Joseph Jarjour
    Last edited by janoubi; 01-07-2009 at 01:16 PM.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." --Oscar Wilde

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    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." --Oscar Wilde

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    General Francois El Hajj

    General François El Hajj was born in Rmeich on the 28/7/1953. He was the Lebanese Army's chief of operations.

    He enlisted in the Army as a cadet officer and joined the military academy starting from 13/11/1972. he was promoted to the rank of Second Lieutenant on 1/8/1975 and afterwards he was gradually promoted to the rank of Brigadier General of staff on 1/1/2002.

    He fought against the Israeli occupation in South Lebanon and was then transferred to head positions north of the Litani during the 1980s. In the 1988-89 war he fought against Syrian forces assaulting the “free zones” of West Beirut. He gained notoriety during the 15-week offensive against Palestinian Terrorists Fatah al-Islam in Nahr al-Bared in 2007.

    Thursday December 12th 2007, a bomb attack in the Christian town of Baabda, in a high security area, which is home not only to the presidential palace, but to the ministry of defence, several embassies and homes of senior politicians, on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut targeted Brigadier General of Staff Francois El Hajj, Director of Operations in the Lebanese Army. The explosion led to the martyrdom of Brigadier General Francois El Hajj and the martyrdom of a number of soldiers and the injury of others.

    Some of the positions he held

    - Commander of the battalion 43 starting from 24/2/1984 until 4/3/1984
    - Commander of the battalion 51 starting from 5/2/1986 until 9/8/1992
    - Commander of the third intervention regiment as regiment starting from 10/8/1992 until 29/1/1996
    - Commander of the navy seals regiment starting from 29/1/1996 until 22/7/1999
    - He was transferred to the academy of Command and staff starting from 22/7/1999 - studies and preparation troop
    - Assistant Commander of the twelfth infantry brigade starting from 6/7/2000 until 29/11/2001
    - Director of information in the Army Staff for operations starting from 9/11/2001 until 25/2/2002
    - Director of the Army Staff for operations starting from 25/2/2002 until his martyrdom.

    Medals, commendations and felicitations

    - the medal of war four times
    - the medal of wounded one time
    - the medal of national cedars, grade of Knight
    - the medal for Lebanese merit, third degree
    - the medal of national unity
    - the medal of the south dawn
    - the medal of Lebanese merit, second degree
    - the medal of national cedars, officer grade
    - the medal for Lebanese merit, first degree
    - the memorial medal of conventions in 2002
    - the medal of loyalty, excellent degree
    - the medal of military pride, silver degree
    - the medal of war after his martyrdom
    - the medal of wounded after his martyrdom
    - the medal of national cedars, Commander degree
    - the tribute of the Army Commander ten times and felicitations of the Army Commander 24 times
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." --Oscar Wilde

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    General Francois Elias Hajj

    Standing on top of the town's core

    Abouna Najib in Rmeich with the UN

    Mr. Wadih Tanios shaking the hands of Kofi Anan, former UN secretery-general.

    ^ This guy is my sister-in-law's uncle, great guy.
    Last edited by janoubi; 01-07-2009 at 10:36 AM.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." --Oscar Wilde

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    "In 1299, Rmeich was directly under the Ottoman Rule until 1920." This statement cannot be true, as the Ottoman did not enter Lebanon until 1516 after Selim I defeated the Mamluks in Marj Dabeq.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Pan View Post
    "In 1299, Rmeich was directly under the Ottoman Rule until 1920." This statement cannot be true, as the Ottoman did not enter Lebanon until 1516 after Selim I defeated the Mamluks in Marj Dabeq.
    Must be a fault in the source the website of Rmeish used... I'll let them know, thanks.

    P.S. Original post edited.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." --Oscar Wilde

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