People have been growing grapes and making wine in the Bekaa Valley for millennia. “There was an uninterrupted wine culture in Lebanon even before the Jesuits [revitalized winemaking] in 1857,” says Michael Karam, the Lebanese-British author of Lebanese Wines. The Jesuits’ “game changer was that they made a dry wine” and “laid the foundations of the modern wine industry. Then, with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the arrival of the French, things really began to motor,” he adds.
But long before the Jesuits, the Phoenicians, a seafaring people who lived on the Levantine coast in ancient times, made and traded wine all around the Mediterranean. Locals kept making wine under the Hellenic, Assyrian, Babylonian, Roman, and Byzantine rulers that passed through Lebanon during the next couple thousand years.
Fadi BouKaram wrote: I found out about this by accident one time when I was googling Lebanon (my country), and I got a link to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, which got me wondering. Then I started scouring the online databases the US has of its city names, and I found over 50. But here’s the thing. Sometimes names of cities change in the US, or they lose their populations, so of the 50+ I found, there’s about 43 still standing today.
Whether you want to surround yourself with beautiful people dancing to blaring house music or sip a beer in a cramped bar while listening to The Beatles, there is no need to go to bed early.
I enjoyed visits to the uber trendy neighbourhoods of Mar Mikhaël and Hamra where the hipster-filled drinking holes and art inspired cafes, flanking narrow streets, reminded me of my favourite places to get up to mischief in London.
Basically Beirut has it all, if you want to sit on a beach and sunbathe the hours away, you can. If you want to dance and drink until you drop, you can. And if history and the arts is your cup of tea, then there is plenty to enjoy.
تعرفت الناشطتان في الجمعية السياحية «تور ليبان» ندى روفايل وجويل صفير إلى مبادرة «أوزفيل» التي أطلقها عياد ناصر لطلاء واجهات البيوت بالألوان الزاهية والرسم الغرافيتي. قررتا أن تدخلا الأوزاعي في جولاتهما السياحية المقبلة. لم تطأ اللبنانيتان المنطقة سابقاً.
With its Biblical history, Lebanon is a cultural melting pot, its cuisine bearing several fascinating influences. From the stunning seascapes of vibrant Beirut and quaint Tyre to the scenic interiors, a unique tea culture endears throughout Lebanon. Known to be fun-loving and friendly, the Lebanese love to cheer their famous health-giving ‘Shaayi bil Qirfah wa’l Yansoon’ (anise and cinnamon tea) symbolising their friendly spirit. Although ‘Shaayi’ is the common word for both teas and infusions, this infusion is often consumed without any tea, for medicinal purposes. • Boil water with aniseed and cinnamon (powdered or sticks) in desired quantity.• Add black tea (optional) and get a balanced brew.• Strain the liquor and serve with or without added sugar.
Source: Saucers full of secrets: Brews that can hit the spot- The New Indian Express
The biggest history news stories of the week, including two pioneering genome studies that have shed fascinating new light on humanity’s ancient past and its echoes in the present. Present day Lebanese are descendants of Biblical Canaanites A new genome study of ancient remains from the Near East suggests that present day Lebanese people are …
خيزران هي الواجهة الساحلية لبلدة السكسكية (قضاء الزهراني). منذ الخمسينيات، جذبت روّاد البحر ومحبي «لقمة» السمك الطازج من مناطق بعيدة. الإزدهار الذي نعمت به قبل اندلاع الحرب الأهلية، وسّع مساحة الإستثمارات السياحية شمالاً وجنوباً. حتى بات يطلق اسم «بحر خيزران»، اصطلاحاً، على الساحل الممتد من العاقبية (البيسارية) حتى عدلون مروراً بالصرفند وأنصارية.يروي محمود فقيه، حفيد أحمد فقيه الذي شيد «مطعم خيزران الكبير» منتصف القرن الماضي، «قصة خيزران» تعود إلى بداية الأربعينيات من القرن الماضي، حين تمركز 18 ألف جندي إنكليزي في المنطقة الممتدة من مفترق السكسكية الى العاقبية. أحمد فقيه ويوسف سبليني بادرا إلى بيع الجنود قوارير المياه والمشروبات. لاحقاً، ثبّت الرجلان نقاط بيع تحولت إلى «قهوة» صغيرة. إقبال الناس عليها لعدم توافر سواها، صنف المنطقة «استراحة» بين بيروت وفلسطين. التجار القادمون من فلسطين الى بيروت وبالعكس، صاروا يتخذونها استراحة للخيل. «كان لعربات الخيل اصطبل خاص وكان المسافرون يتوقفون للإستراحة قبل أن يكملوا سفرهم نحو بيروت أو فلسطين»، يقول فقيه. بعد افتتاح سكة الحديد، شكلت محطة القطار التي افتتحت في سهل عدلون المجاور، عاملاً إضافياً قاد الزوار إلى خيزران للراحة. «كانت هناك سيارتا أجرة من نوع (دودج). واحدة تأتي من جهة فلسطين والأخرى من طرابلس، يتبادلان ركابهما عندنا. إضافة إلى بوسطة واحدة، شكلت خيزران إحدى محطاتها».
Aleph Kaph on Facebook wrote from Palermo, Italy that the Phoenicians were among the greatest traders of their time and owed much of their prosperity to trade. At first, they traded mainly with the Greeks, trading wood, salves, glass and powdered Tyrian purple. Tyrian Purple was a violet-purple dye used by the Greek elite to color garments. In fact, the word Phoenician derives from the Ancient Greek word Phoinios meaning “purple”.
As trading and colonizing spread over the Mediterranean, Phoenicians and Greeks seemed to have unconsciously split that sea in two: the Phoenicians sailed along and eventually dominating the southern shore, while the Greeks were active along the northern shores. The two cultures clashed rarely, mainly in Sicily, which eventually settled into two spheres of influence, the Phoenician southwest and the Greek northeast.
In the centuries after 1200 BC, the Phoenicians were the major naval and trading power of the region. Phoenician trade was founded on the Tyrian Purple dye, a violet-purple dye derived from the shell of the Murex sea-snail, once profusely available in coastal waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea but exploited to local extinction.
The Phoenicians established a second production center for the dye in Mogador, in present day Morocco. Brilliant textiles were a part of Phoenician wealth, and Phoenician glass was another export ware.
They traded unrefined, prick-eared hunting dogs of Asian or African origin which locally they had developed into many breeds. To Egypt, where grapevines would not grow, the 8th-century Phoenicians sold wine, the wine trade with Egypt is vividly documented by the shipwrecks located in 1997 in the open sea 30 miles west of Ascalon.
Pottery kilns at Tyre produced the big terracotta jars used for transporting wine and from Egypt they bought gold.
From elsewhere, they obtained other materials, perhaps the most important being silver from Iberian peninsula and tin from Great Britain, the latter of which when smelted with copper (from Cyprus) created the durable metal allow bronze. It is also apparent that there was a highly lucrative Phoenician trade with Britain for tin.
«Tyre International Festival»
July 22: “Pictures Between Memory and Dream” by Jamal Abu El Hassan
28 and 29 July: “Antologia” by Spanish cinematographer Carmen Mota
August 4: Wael Jassar
August 5: Cheb Khaled
August 6: A night dedicated to Arabic poetry
«Sidon International Festivals»
26 August: Night tourism in the old Saida
September 6: Sherine Abdel Wahab
7 September: Concert for the stars of «Muscool»
September 8: Guy Manokian
10 September: «Sidon in color»
«Ehmaj Tourism Festival»
August 17: Rami Ayach and 8 Eme Art
August 18: Moin Sharif and Iam Lira
August 19: Saber al-Ribai and Tony Kiwan
August 20: Wael Kfoury and Zaina Abi Raad
Count with me back in time: IS (Islamic State), Israel, Syria, France, Turkey, Arabs, Byzantine, Roman, Greek, Persian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian and all those in between and those we missed in the above list.