Bsharri

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Bsharri
بْشَرِّيْ
City
Bsharri as seen from across the Qadisha valley (facing west).
Bsharri as seen from across the Qadisha valley (facing west).
Map showing the location of Bsharri within Lebanon
Map showing the location of Bsharri within Lebanon
Bsharri
Location within Lebanon
Coordinates: 34°15′4″N 36°0′40″E / 34.25111°N 36.01111°E / 34.25111; 36.01111Coordinates: 34°15′4″N 36°0′40″E / 34.25111°N 36.01111°E / 34.25111; 36.01111
Country  Lebanon
Governorate North Governorate
District Bsharri District
Elevation 1,500 m (4,900 ft)
Population [citation needed]
 • Total 100,000
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Dialing code +961

Bsharri (also spelled Becharre, Bcharre, Bsharre; Arabic: بْشَرِّيْ‎), is a town at an altitude of about 1,500 m (4,900 ft) in the Kadisha Valley in northern Lebanon. It is located in the Bsharri District of the North Governorate.

Bsharri is the town of the only remaining (preserved) Original Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani), and is the birthplace of the famous poet, painter and sculptor Khalil Gibran who now has a museum in the town to honor him.

History[edit]

The name Bsharri (بشرّي) can be found in the Phoenician language,(بيث الشري) meaning "The House Of Ishtar",[1] Ishtar being a goddess worshipped by the Phoenicians (and King Sulaymān) before Christianity was adopted in the area.

One of Bsharri's cathedrals

Bsharri was the site of a Phoenician settlement in ancient times. Maronite Christians fleeing persecution sought refuge in its mountainous terrain in the 7th Century AD. The Kadisha Valley, below the town, became the spiritual center of the Maronite Church. The town was known as Buissera by the Crusades.

Snow in Bsharri

In Lebanon, Bsharri natives are characterized as very courageous and fiercely tribal. They are known across the northern region for their hospitality and their patriotism. They are especially known for their distinct accent when they speak Arabic. Unlike other parts of Lebanon, Aramaic was spoken in Bsharri well into the 19th century. As a result, Bsharri natives developed an unmistakably strong accent which lasts to this day and which they are very proud of.[citation needed] There are 7 Main Families in Bsharri: Sukkar, Kairouz, Chidiac, Geagea, Rahme, Fakhri, and Taouk (or Tawk). Other families in Bsharri are Arida, Choueiri and Shebaya.

During the Lebanese civil war (1975–1990), Bsharri was a bastion of Christian resistance against first the Palestinians and the Syrians. Many of its youth joined the Lebanese Phalanges at the start of the civil war. In 1986 Samir Geagea, a Bsharri native, became head of the Christian Lebanese Forces (LF) movement. Many LF militants were drawn from the town during the civil war. Bsharri natives are often referred to as the defenders of the Maronites in Lebanon.

Bsharri in 2012[edit]

Today, the town is located in a highly touristic zone including such attractions as the Khalil Gibran Tomb and Museum, Kadisha Valley where Antonios Torbey lived as a hermite in the Hermitage of St. Lichaa down in the valley; the Kadisha Grotto, the Cedars of God forest, a ski resort and Bka'kafra (the birthplace of St Charbel).

Bsharri is home to a Lebanese Red Cross First Aid Center.[2] Also it is home for "The Maronite Scouts" that started their activities in early 2000.

Bsharri has provided members of parliament to the current Lebanese government, the first was Gebran Taouk who was elected more than 30 years, the second person is Mrs Strida Taouk Geagea representing the Lebanese forces party & who is known for a large public figure. Strida is the wife of the politician Samir Geagea who is the leader of the Lebanese Christians Forces. The Oweit are allied with the March 14 political party. It has been suggested that the March 14 political party comfortably represent over 55 per cent of the Lebanese Christian vote in Lebanon. This makes them the largest Christian political voting block in Lebanon.

The other member of the Lebanese Parliament representing the Lebanese forces from Bsharri is from the large Kayrouz family of Bsharri Elie Kayrouz. The member of parliament is known for his powerful contacts in the banking sector and has been instrumental in organising some up and coming building projects in the Bsharri District.

Bshari residents are also known for their strong Christian faith. Throughout the year there are many Christian celebrations that are held in the town where thousands of local residents gather from neighbouring villages to feast, sing and dance till the early hours of the morning.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Bsharri has a continental Mediterranean climate (Csb/Dsb, according to the Köppen climate classification), with dry and mild summers and cold, snowy winters. Temperatures in the summer can go above 30 °C a few times per year. On the other hand, temperatures can plummet to -15 °C on some occasions during the winter. Heavy snowfall is observed every year and accumulations of over 2 meters are not unheard of.

Climate data for Bsharri
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4
(39)
4
(39)
6
(43)
11
(52)
16
(61)
20
(68)
22
(72)
23
(73)
20
(68)
16
(61)
11
(52)
7
(45)
13.3
(56.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 0
(32)
0
(32)
2
(36)
7
(45)
11.5
(52.7)
15
(59)
17
(63)
17.5
(63.5)
15
(59)
11.5
(52.7)
7
(45)
3.5
(38.3)
8.92
(48.18)
Average low °C (°F) −4
(25)
−4
(25)
−2
(28)
3
(37)
7
(45)
10
(50)
12
(54)
12
(54)
10
(50)
7
(45)
3
(37)
0
(32)
4.5
(40.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 221
(8.7)
166
(6.54)
127
(5)
61
(2.4)
31
(1.22)
4
(0.16)
0
(0)
0
(0)
6
(0.24)
39
(1.54)
97
(3.82)
172
(6.77)
924
(36.39)
Source: climatetemp

[3]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]