Douma is a Lebanese village located at an altitude of 1000 m. It is 80 km from Beirut, 30 km from Jbeil and 43 km from Tripoli. Douma is a part of Batroun District and is known for its special location in a valley surrounded by mountains. Almost all its houses are made of red brick. It enjoys a unique temperate climate praised by physicians as the ultimate place of medical refuge. Its ground is rich and welcomes all sorts of plants especially and has an abundance olive trees, grapevines and apple trees.
Emir Youssef Shehab in the early 1800s brought Christians to the town, in hope of getting better crop and thus better taxes. Since then the village has become a Christian village, with most of its believers members of the Greek Orthodox Church.
To Douma's luck, one of its townsmen from a previous generation was a historian. He produced a comprehensive history of Douma almost a century ago, though published much later. El-Basha, the historian, was a student of a certain Yzabek Kheir, who taught children in return for very little money. El-Basha meticulously described the school.
Origin of the name
The name Douma is of Greek origin meaning "house", "palace" or "castle". Douma also comes from the Latin word "Doman" used to designate a Queen (Julia Domna) famous for her beauty and intelligence. She was born in Aleppo in 170 B.C., the daughter of a priest of the Sun God worshipped by Aleppo's population. She was married to the Roman Caesar Septimius Severus who built a palace for her in a village that later took on her name.
Douma's pronunciations also comes from the Hebrew language word of "doumah" meaning calm and rest.
Douma is also named "Douma El Hadid" (Douma of Iron or Iron-Douma) due to the abundance of iron found it its soil and the superior craftsmanship of its blacksmiths. The arming industry established under Ibrahimn Basha's regime encouraged many people from Showeir to come and settle in Douma since opportunities of work were plentiful at the time.
The majority of the infrastructure and housing in Douma was built between 1881 and 1914. This was the golden age in the life of Douma financed by the money sent by emigrants in Brazil, Argentina and the USA. Among the fabulous houses in Douma is that of Wa'il Kheir, where the history of the house reflects the history of Douma.
Douma is twinned with:
- Digne-les-Bains, France