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Thread: Deir El Ahmar - ??? ???????

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    Default Deir El Ahmar - ??? ???????

    Deir El Ahmar
    (Arabic: ?) is a Lebanese town, located at 100 km from Beirut and 12 km northeast of Baalbeck in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

    Getting there: Departing from the capital Beirut ,through Daher al Baidar main road to Zahleh and Baalbeck, the passenger, then, heads North to Deir el Ahmar.

    Deir Al Ahmar stand beautifully overlooking the Bekaa Valley, it is blessed with its raging streams, green pastures and Phoenician vestiges. The Al Yammouna Lake (small lake according to the Syriac Etymology) is probably the most beautiful of all the archaeological sites.

    The village is located on the curvature of Mount Al Mounaytra, and overlooks the Bekaa plateau. Set at its bottom and nested by high cliffs, is the Yammouneh Lake. The length of the lake is around 2 kilometres and its width around 1 kilometre. To the north of the lake, on the mountain slope, is a running spring with water pure and clear. The waterfall of Al Yammouna is around 500m high and the ruins of the fences and pillars on its bank intimate the existence of an ancient Roman temple.

    Deir el Ahmar's climate is mild during spring and autumn, dry and warm in summer, and cold during winter. With an altitude that ranges between 950 m and 1,150 m above sea level, the town receives heavy snow during the winter, and some roads leading to the town may be temporarily closed during this period.

    Historians believe that the name of the village originated from the Aramaic, "Deir Ohmor’" which means "Monastery of the Brother." Since the word deir means monastery and the Arabic word for the color red is ahmar, some historians believe that the origin of Deir el Ahmar's name can be attributed to the large monastery in the area that was built with red stones, thus the name of the town can be literary translated to "Red Monastery."[1]. While the people who have lived there for generations claim that someone was visiting the monastery and they sore red blood spilled across the floors from the monks there, hence giving the name "The monastery of the red blood".

    Deir el Ahmar, like the rest of Lebanon, was part of the Roman Empire, and during the third century A.D., the Roman emperor Caracalla built a temple for Jupiter in the vicinity of the village. The Temple of Jupiter would later become the center of the Jacobite Christians. Our Lady of the Tower Church (Saydet el Borj) was built on the ruins of the temple of Jupiter during the Byzantine era. The Castle of the King's Daughter (Qasr el Benet) near Chlifa was also built during this period. Maronite Catholic shepherds from, Niha [being the most], Bsharri and Aakoura moved and settled in the region of Deir el Ahmar where better grazing was available. In the 19th century, other Maronite families from Byblos and Batroun settled in the village of Deir el Ahmar.

    Two earthquakes hit the village, one in 1158 and the other in 1202.

    Demographics and Religion:
    Deir el Ahmar has eight historic churches. The courtyard of Our Lady of the Tower has Greek inscriptions on its stone walls. Ruins of a cellar that reportedly dates to the Roman era are nearby the church.

    The population of Deir el Ahmar is around 23,000 people. The people of Deir el Ahmar are Lebanese and followers of the Maronite church. With eight historical churches, including Saint Joseph Church, which was completed on September 15, 1914, and Our Lady of the Tower Church which was built the ruins of the temple of Jupiter, Saint Georges, Saint Nohra, Saint Michel (old + New), Saint Elie, Our Lady of Cultivation,and two musk temple one of them for man and the other for ladies. the town serves as the center of the archbishopric of Baalbek–Deir El-Ahmar.

    The Maronites constitutes the majority of the Christians in Deir El Ahmar region. In 1990, a new Maronite Eparchy was formed for the area of Deir Al Ahmar, splitting it from the Eparchy of Baalbek-Zahleh. There are 18 parishes in the Deir El Ahmar region for a total Maronite population of about 38000 residents. The current Maronite bishop of Deir el Ahmar is Simon Atallah.

    Completed on September 15, 1914, Mar Youssef Church is built of white stones with a brick roof. Directly above the door is the church bell. As you enter the middle of the village, after a few meters on your left, you will see Mar Youssef Church.

    Saydet Al-Borj is built from white and yellow stones, with a big arched door. The church has several bells. There are Greek inscriptions on the stone wall in the courtyard and on a large rock near the road below the church. Next to the church are ruins of a cellar that reportedly date to Roman times.
    From Mar Youssef Church, continue driving straight ahead and take the first turn to your left. After 50m,
    you will reach Merched Imad Heritage House (this twostory building has three arched doors on the ground level and four rectangular windows, three doors, and a balcony on the second floor). Continue driving straight for another 60m, and facing you will be Our Lady of the Tower Church (Saydet Al-Borj).


    * Saint Joseph Day (March 19), religious ceremony in Saint Joseph Church
    * Saint Elie Day (July 20), religious ceremony in Saint Elias Church
    * The Assumption of Mary (August 15) religious ceremony at the shrine of Our Lady of Bechouat
    * Feast of the Blessed Sacrement (September 14), religious ceremony in all Deil el Ahmar churches
    * Saint Nohra, religious ceremony in Mar Nohra Church

    Families of Deir El Ahmar:
    Families in Deir El Ahmar in Alphabetical order:

    -Abou Samra
    -Abi younes
    -Bou Raffoul
    -El Gemayel
    -El khoury
    -El Litani
    Last edited by Peter Pan; 01-01-2010 at 03:33 PM.


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