Khazen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Khazen (also "El Khazen" in some cases Al Khazen or De Khazen, Arabic: الخازن) is the name of a prominent Noble Levantine family and clan based in Keserwan District, Lebanon, Damascus, Syria, Nablus, Palestine as well as other districts around the Levant, predominantly in the Galilee. The Khazen family have traced their lineage through DNA testing to Jericho, Palestine also known as Tell el-Sultan 8500 B.C.[1] Several members have played leading roles in politics for many generations. French King Louis XIV elevated the family to the French nobility and referred to them as the Prince of the Maronites in many letters. Most of the Lebanese Khazen branch are Maronites, while the Syrian and Palestinian Khazen branch are mostly Muslim. There is also a Saudi Khazen branch.

History[edit]

The Khazen Cheikhs can trace back their lineage heritage to the 9th century where they were mainly located between Houran, Damascus, Baalbeck and Nablus. They have started buying and acquiring lands in Mount Lebanon during the 1400 era and more specifically first in "Jaj" currently under Jbeil district. They continued their exodus to the Keserwan district where they have bought lands from the Chi'a Tribes. This has caused the Chi'a to move towards what is known today the South of Lebanon and this has brought the Maronites to the Keserwan district.

In 1584, the Khazen were able to hide the princes Fakhreddine and Youness in Ballouneh. At that time, their father, cornered by the Ottoman's army and losing the fight against them, informed his wife Sitt Nossab to send his sons to the Khazen Family a powerful and influential family at that time. The great Fakhredine when he took power, was greatly influenced by the Khazen family politically and religiously. In return granted them the title of "cheikh" and complete political influence and control of Mount Lebanon.

The Khazen families who were now controlling the Kerserwan district were very influential with the Maronite Church. Mainly this is due because of their financial support to the Church and also helping the expansion of the Church by the construction of many monasteries. They have also offered lands and most importantly supplied security to the Church and the Maronite community overall. In 1656 Cheikh Abou-Nawfal received a Papal decoration for his help and expansion of the Maronite faith in Mount Lebanon on behalf of the pope himself and the Catholic faith. The family under their newly granted rights were able to nominate three Maronite archbishops representing the districts of Baalbeck, Damas and Aleppo until the revolution against them in 1858. There were three important and influential patriarchs from the Khazen family: Youssef Dargham (1733–1742), Toubia (1756–1766) and Youssef Ragi (1845–1854) and seven archbishops.

In 1858 Tanios Chahine led a rebellion against the Khazen family, which caused a great loss to the family's dominance over the Kerserwan District. The rebellion was a result of a power struggle; from one side the AbiLamaa family, England next to the Ottoman Empire and from the other the Khazen's who wanted to increase their influence. After these events the Khazen stayed involved in politics yet their work as one family holding the ultimate Maronite power has diminished greatly. In modern history they have always represented Keserwan by one Parliament Member and in some cases two. They have also been represented in many recent governments, where they have held the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Tourism. The Palestinian branch of the clan remains very influential in the Nablus area and the West Bank. However, whereas the clan was present in cities in the Galilee such as Safed, all members of the clan were expelled from the northern region of Palestine in 1948. This includes the large Kamleh family, which are historically Maronite Christians.

References[edit]

External links[edit]