Dahr-al-Ain is an Maronite village with a Eastern Orthodox minority in Koura District of Lebanon. It attracted media attention in May 2010 when two brothers, Tony and Nayef Saleh, were shot by Hanna al-Bersawi on May 28, apparently for political reasons only days before the municipal polls.
History of demographic change
From recent subdivisions from larger parcels of land that was previously being used for olive harvesting, there have been numerous apartment buildings being built outside of the Dahr Al-Ain main village centre towards the Barsa side of the town (south and south east of the village). The new inhabitants are a mixture of Sunni Muslims (from Tripoli), Eastern Orthodox and Maronites from within and the surrounding areas. The buyers and inhabitants of these 5-6 apartment blocks with 4 apartments in each (6 * 4= 24 new families) are mostly from the Sunni sect of Islam who are now unable to afford higher rents and unable to purchase within the tripoli-Al Mina areas. This change in demographics has the ability to shift the demographics of some smaller villagers and towns found closest to the highway south of Tripoli into the Koura. It is estimated that Dahr Al-Ain has a total resident population of 500-700. With the 34 new families, each with the possibility of containing 4 persons per household, that equates to an increase of 96 persons to the village of varying religions as a result from one large piece of land being sold and further subdivided. It would only require a further 4-5 larger pieces of lands to be sold to developers to shift the demographics of the Maronite majority village to a Sunni majority village. With the increase of Sunni inhabitants into the area (attracted to the cheaper properties and rents or a calculated shift in demographics) services pertaining to the new residents e.g. mosques and schools has the ability to increase ethnic and religious tensions as Dahr Al-Ain does not have a mosque and the closest mosque would be situated 5-10 minutes away in Ras Masqa (above Qalamoun) and one being constructed in Dedde. A similar change in demographics is also occurring but to a higher degree to areas surrounding Qalamoun and Tripoli within Ras Masqa (Orthodox and Maronite with Sunni), Dedde (Orthodox with Sunni), Barsa (Orthodox and Maronite with Sunni), Dahr Al-Ain (Maronite with Orthodox and Sunni), Hret al Khalsa (Sunni) and Semriye (Orthodox with Sunni and Maronites). These areas are accessible within ease to and from Tripoli (where most people work, study and have family ties) by a newly asphalted highway that travels to the south from Tripoli through Bahsas and towards Kousba.
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