Al-Rafid

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Northeast side of Al-Rafid

Al-Rafid, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (sometimes pronounced plainly as "Rafid") (Arabic: الرفيد‎) is a town in the south-eastern portion of the Bekaa, a governorate of the Republic of Lebanon. Al-Rafid is part of the Rashaya District. Its population is estimated to be 3,000. It is a wholly Sunni Muslim town with two mosques, two schools, two pharmacies, and a telecommunications facility.

Overview[edit]

The oldest part of the town lies halfway up Mount Baaloul (Jabal Baaloul) on the eastern slope. It is widely accepted by the inhabitants of the town that the town was originally located on the top of the mountain but was re-located after a civil strife had subsided over 400 years ago.

Neighboring towns include Beere, Muhaydhi, Khirbet-Rouha, and Mdouckha. The town is located about 80 km (50 mi) from Beirut and 40 km (25 mi) from Damascus, Syria. From Al-Rafid, Jabal -Al-Sheikh (Mount Hermon) can be seen with its majestic snow-capped peak.

The town was occupied first by PLO forces in the late 1970s, then by Israeli forces in the early 1980s. Before Israel's invasion, the town suffered from Israeli warplane attacks. In one incident, the school was bombed, killing a mother and her 4 children. Israel said that the school was being used as a base for PLO forces.