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Shemlan saha.jpg
Shemlan is located in Lebanon
Location in Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°47′N 35°33′E / 33.783°N 35.550°E / 33.783; 35.550
Country  Lebanon
Governorate Mount Lebanon Governorate
District Aley District
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) +3 (UTC)

Shemlan (also spelled Chemlane, Shimlan) is a village in the Aley District of the Mount Lebanon Governorate in Lebanon, located about 25 km from Beirut.[1]


Shemlan is first mentioned in chronicles as early as the 12th century. More recent accounts attribute Shemlan as being part of the land belonging to the Shehab Family. In the 19th century, this land was donated to the Antonine Monks. Over the years, Shemlan was inhabited by a number of well-entrenched families, including the Jabbour's, Hitti's, Moukaddem's, Tabib's and Farajallah's many of whom emigrated during the 1975 – 1990 civil war.

Shemlan's strategic location overlooking Beirut International Airport and its diverse political make-up made Shemlan a fierce battleground during the 1958 civil war and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.[disambiguation needed]

In 1948, the British Government opened the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies in Shemlan. This school gained a reputation as being a "spy school" because of allegations that many of its graduates worked for the C.I.A. or Britain's Foreign Office. However, the only proven case is that of British/Soviet double agent George Blake.[citation needed]

Notable citizens[edit]

Philip Khuri Hitti (1886-1978), a renowned Lebanese American author and professor on the Middle East, is Shemlan's most famous resident. He was born in the village into a Maronite Christian family.

Other notable citizens are the people from the Moukaddem family, who at one point owned more than half of the village, also owning a hotel which has seen many famous faces due to its owners' social power.[citation needed]


  1. ^ 1

External links[edit]

  • Shimlan - official municipality website (English)

Coordinates: 33°47′N 35°33′E / 33.783°N 35.550°E / 33.783; 35.550