Ain Ebel

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Ain Ebel
عين إبل
Map showing the location of Ain Ebel within Lebanon
Map showing the location of Ain Ebel within Lebanon
Ain Ebel
Location within Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°07′N 35°24′E / 33.117°N 35.400°E / 33.117; 35.400Coordinates: 33°07′N 35°24′E / 33.117°N 35.400°E / 33.117; 35.400
Grid position 187/279 PAL
Country  Lebanon
Governorate Nabatieh Governorate
District Bint Jbeil District
Highest elevation 850 m (2,790 ft)
Lowest elevation 750 m (2,460 ft)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Dialing code +961

Ain Ebel (Arabic: عين إبل‎‎) is a village located in the Caza of Bint Jbeil in the Nabatiye Governorate in Lebanon.


Historians as Anis Freiha and Fr Youakim Moubarak believe that the name of Ain-Ebel derives from two words,Ain and Ibl.The first means spring as many places in Lebanon are named,and the second word means irrigation.[citation needed] Combined in one (Ain Ebel) the two words mean the spring of irrigation. Usually "Ibl" is opposed to Baal, the greater God associated to his female divinity Astarte, or Diane, Goddess of fertility and hunting in the old Cananean religion.[1] Palmer, in 1881, wrote that it meant "The spring of camels".[2]


Ain Ebel is a historic village with numerous archaeological sites that date to Biblical times and before. A Heavy Neolithic site of the Qaraoun culture was discovered by Henri Fleisch west of Ain Ebel in the Wadi Koura, with tools found suggested to be part of a forest dweller's toolkit at the start of the Neolithic Revolution.[3] On the outskirts of the village is an area called Chalaboune where Ernest Renan, a French historian and philosopher who was sent by Emperor Napoleon III to Lebanon, found ancient graves.[4] On one of the graves, Renan discovered a bas-relief of Apollo and Artemis. The relief was transported to France where it remains today at the Louvre. In 2011 and after months of negotiation, the Musée du Louvre agreed to make an exact replica of the bas-relief, which was delivered to the municipality of Ain Ebel in November.[5]

In his book, Salut Jerusalem: Les memoires d'un chretien de Tyr a l'epoque des Croisades, the Lebanese historian, Bechara Menassa, wrote that the people of Ain Ebel were in touch with the Crusaders in Toron, modern Tebnine. Menassa described how a Frankish monk killed a wild animal in Ain Ebel.

In 1875 Victor Guérin visited, and noted 800 Maronite and 200 Greek Orthodox villagers.[6]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described 'Ain Ibl as a: "Well-built modern village, with a Christian chapel ; contains about 1,000 Christians (800 Maronites and 200 United Greeks). It has vineyards on the slope of the hill on which the village is placed, and olives in the valley below. Good water supply from springs in the valley."[7]


Ain Ebel occupies several hills with elevation ranging from 750 to 850 meters above sea level. The village enjoys four seasons with autumn and spring being mild but rainy, winter being cold and snowy and summer being dry and very pleasant with average temperatures between 25–27 °C (77–81 °F). The people of Ain Ebel cultivate their land and produce olives, almonds, chestnuts, pecans, grapes, figs, pomegranates, and apples. There are three natural springs in Ain Ebel, including Tarabnine, Tahta and Hourrié (Freedom Spring).[citation needed]


The people of Ain Ebel are mainly followers of the Maronite Church and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

Native families of the village include the following: Andraos, Matar, Alam, Al-Akh, Abu Ghanam, Ajaka, Amouri,Ammar, Atmé, Ayoub, Ghostine (also Lubbos and Lopez in Brazil), Barakat, Berberian, Chaaya (also spelled Shaaya), Chbat, Chehadé, Diab (Diap and Diep in Argentina), Dick (also spelled Deek, El-Deek or El-Dik), Eid, Farah, Haddad, Hasrouny, Jichy, Khoreich (also spelled Khreiche, Khraish in the US and Canada and Kreis in Argentina), Lallous, Najem, Sader, Sakr (also spelled Saqr or Sacre), Sidaoui, Khalife and other families.[citation needed]


There are three schools in the village: two private schools (Saints-Cœurs and Saint Joseph) and one public school. There are four historic churches, built in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, that have been recently restored.[citation needed]

Religious Structures[edit]

Notre Dame d'Ain-ebel


  • Chapel of the Sacred Heart
  • Saint Mary's Chapel


  • Our Lady of Ain Ebel Maronite Catholic Church
  • Saint Elie Greek Catholic Melkite Church
  • The New Saint Elie Greek Catholic Melkite Church




Each summer, a grand festival is organized in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The festival culminates on the Assumption of Mary on August 15. Outdoor events and open-air concerts are held in the village's square. The festivities peak with a procession of the Virgin Mary icon.

People from Ain Ebel[edit]

The most prominent figure from Ain Ebel is the late Cardinal Antonios Boutros Khoreich (also known as Anthony Peter Khoraich) who was the second Lebanese Patriarch to become cardinal of the Catholic Church. Other religious figures: Late Mgr Elias Farah, Mgr Maroun Sader, Archmandrite Boulos Samaha, Late Mgr Albert Khoreich, Mgr Elie barakat.

There are several renowned journalists from Ain Ebel. Among them are Jean Diab who wrote for the Revue du Liban, the late Nasrat Khoreich who wrote for both Annahar and L'Orient Le Jour, and Wafai Diab, who was believed to be the first Arabic-language journalist to interview an American President at the White House. In addition to the President of the American University of Science and Technology, Dr. Hiam Sak.

In military conflict[edit]

In July 2006, Ain Ebel, like other villages that string Lebanon's southern border, such as Debel, Qaouzah, Rmaich, and Yaroun, was caught in the 2006 Lebanon War of Hezbollah and the Israeli army.[8] Due to the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel in South Lebanon, many houses in Ain Ebel were destroyed.

Variation of Spelling[edit]

The name of the village is also spelled Ainebel, Aïn Ebel, Ain Ebl, ‘Ayn Ibil,‘Ain Ibil, Aïn Ibel, Ain Ibel.


  1. ^
  2. ^ from a personal name, according to Palmer, 1881, p. 62
  3. ^ L. Copeland; P. Wescombe (1966). Inventory of Stone-Age Sites in Lebanon: North, South and East-Central Lebanon, p. 88. Impr. Catholique. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Renan, 1864, pp. 677-8
  5. ^ Al-Amin, Danny. "عين ابل تفاوض اللوفر وتستعيد نسخة عن تحفتها", Al-Akhbar, Issue 1565, 18 November 2011
  6. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 120-121
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 200
  8. ^ - Archbishop tells church to stay in Lebanon: 'You'll make it'


External links[edit]