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Bekaakafra

Location and History

Copyright Saint Charbel Baakafra*       The denomination is a Syriac world composed of “Bekaa” which means “land”, and “Kafra” which means “fertility and goodness”. Consequently, Bekaakafra means the fertile land.

*       It is the highest inhabited town in Lebanon and the Middle East with an altitude of 1800m.

*       The historian Fouad Ephram EL BOUSTANY brings back Bekaakafra to the Xth century. According to the study of the “Memory of European Houses” institution, Bekaakafra history goes back to two thousand years.

*       Churches and shrines drop the edges of the village of Bekaakafra: from the east Saint Hawchab (Eusebius), from the west Saint Mora, from the south Saint Saba, from the north the church of Our Lady.

*       The most eminent families: Makhlouf, Challita, Nakad, Elia, Fakhr, Maroun, Issa, Moubarak, Sarkis, Moussa, Lichàa, Daoud, El Khoury, Barakat, Béchara, Nehmeh, Kozhaya, Karam, Zaarour, Yammine, Boulos, Tannous, Trad, Bathani, Elias.

Copyright Saint Charbel Baakafra*       The house of prayer at the village are the same as in the monastery, people wake up early to the sound of the bells, they go to church, attend the mass and pray the matins in syriac; old people learned syriac at the Saint Hawchab school located at the edge of the village; then they go to their work in the fields praying the rosary, songs and hymns of Saint Ephrem; they come at noon to participate in the noon prayer and the Angelus and then go back to work; at night they pray the compline in syriac and read the synaxeriun which traces the life of saints that were taken as examples in everyday life; finally, before going to bed, they recite the rosary and latinies before performing the procession.

 

The exemplary town

Copyright Saint Charbel BaakafraIn view of its natural and heritage features, the most prominent stone built old houses, the European institution “Houses Memory” adopted Bekaakafra as an exemplary town. The objectif is to make of it an international museum. Studies were prepared to show up the ancient character in it’s houses, streets and entrances. Bekaakafra’s municipality continues the work in order to complete this project which constitutes an example of both environmental and religious tourism.