A certain air of solemn solitude hangs above the air of this dormant village as if time is afraid to stir it from its deep sleep. Somehow its beautiful old stone houses with red roofs have withstood the test of time, as if cast under an eternal spell.
A drive up on the scenic road from Batroun to Assia bears a glorious image of cordial heritage that attracts us to our roots. The area hasn’t changed much since ancient times and nor have their traditions.
Winter casts a veil of snowy white upon our mountains, as spring breathes life into our rivers and waterfalls. Listening to the sounds of nature and discovering hidden gems make life in this small country an absolute dream. As you drive up from Batroun along a scenic road up the hills and mountains, Tannourine with its entire natural splendor opens up like a woman’s bust embracing the horizon beneath it.
Things we never thought
Thoughts we never think
Things we put behind
Things we never find
Things we never forget
Never wondering why
Times that we forget
And things we burry behind
Things that we miss
Are easily found
Things we never hide are our
Heritage, Roots, and Pride
Youmna Medlej is a photojournalist born in 1956. She studied photography in France and started making reportages on geographic and historical landmarks upon her return to Lebanon, as a way for Lebanese to rediscover their country after the war. But it was during her participation in Solidere’s excavations in the early 1990s that she discovered and developed her passion for heritage and archeology. At the time, the market was virtually devoid of heritage-oriented material. She thus resolved to introduce the young and old readers to the most prominent cultural and historic icons of their country.
The charming coastal town of Batroun, nestled by the sea, gathers close the winding roads, the homing trails, and lanes that sleep the whole night long. Cooled by the scent of mountain breeze, it is lulled by the sea wind’s song.
It is said that Adonis was born of the illicit union between King Theias of Smyrna and his daughter Myrrha at Byblos. Urged on by Aphrodite herself, the goddess of beauty, love and sexual desire, who had been offended when King Theias forgot to make a sacrifice for her, Myrrha had made unsuccessful amorous advances towards her father. One night, she managed to lure him out into the open and there under cover of darkness she laid with him. As dawn broke, Theias discovered to his utter disgust the deception of his daughter and with sword in hand chased her into the wild, wanting to punish her.
Gebal, Byblos, Jbeil, three names for one place, encapsulating a historical unity, dating from the dawn of time and still evocative. This picturesque town raised above the sea that breaks onto its shores, with its temples shining with the first sunlight like guardians on its slight hill, narrates humbly the story of mankind.
Nothing in this world compares to the feeling
of gliding through a rocky mountain gliding under the skis, silently and feeling like you’re, for once, at peace. White snow covers the land with the coolness of winter’s kiss. The warmth of the sun never leaves
this country as the cold settles in. Winter swims, hikes, and skiing with the scent of chill
ting the air.
The breeze circles, lost,
caught in winter’s snare.
Its bitter currents whispered
through a miasma of cold waves.
A world encased in this winters kiss
swims in the sun’s dying rays. I, on the other hand, sit on the beach and enjoy this motley of fading blues
entombed in the silence of space.
Among the valleys and hills of Quzhaya, lies The Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great (Mar Antonios al-Kabir). The pine trees and oak trees cover the great hills surrounding it. Fruit trees of all kind grow all along the valley, which extends into the Valley of Qannubin to form the great Qadisha Valley.
Lebanon’s second largest city is famous for its medieval Mamluk architecture, including a bustling and labyrinthine souk that is considered the best in the country. Home to the largest fortress in Lebanon, the Citadel of Raymond Saint-Gilles, it’s the second largest city (behind Cairo) in Mamluk architectural heritage. In ancient times, it was the center of a Phoenician confederation, which included Tyre, Sidon and Arados, hence the name Tripolis, meaning triple city in Greek, which the Arabs changed to Trablous.