Manouk Avedissian

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Manouk Avedissian (1841–1925),[1] more commonly known as Bechara Effendi (or Bechara Effendi al-Muhandis, Bechara Afandi, also Bechara Effendi el-Dob "the bear") was an Ottoman administrator and the chief engineer of the Vilayet of Syria and later of the Vilayet of Beirut. Avedisian who is considered as one of the founding fathers of Lebanese architecture and urban planning is of Armenian descent.[2][3]


In 1887, Bechara Effendi was dispatched by order from the Porte to assist with the excavations conducted by Osman Hamdi Bey and Yervant Voskan at the necropolis near Sidon, Lebanon which unearthed the Alexander Sarcophagus among other artifacts. He is credited with discovering new burial chambers and with devising transport mechanisms and superintending the transit of the massive troves to a frigate bound for Constantinople's museum.[3][4]

His works marked the landscape of Beirut with governmental buildings and monuments. Some of his work include the Petit Serail, the Sanayeh school complex, the Ottoman Bank in Beirut. Avedisian worked closely with Youssef Aftimus who would marry his daughter Rose in 1899.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Conferences". Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  2. ^ Khalaf, Samir (2006). Heart of Beirut: reclaiming the Bourj. Beirut: Saqi. ISBN 9780863565427. 
  3. ^ a b Palestine Exploration Fund — Quarterly statement for 1887. London: Palestine Exploration Fund Society Office. 1887. pp. 201–212. 
  4. ^ Osman Hamdi Bey; Reinach, Theodor (1892). Une nécropole royale à Sidon (in French). Paris: Ernest Leroux. 
  5. ^ Atelier de Recherche ALBA (1999). "Youssef Aftimus — Timeline" (educational). ALBA. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  6. ^ Hallak, Hassan. المؤسّسات والمنشآت الحكوميّة العثمانيّة في بيروت سرايات ومشافي وحدائق وثكنات لا تزال قائمة حتى اليوم (in Arabic). Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  • DAVIE M. 2003, « Manouk Avédissian, alias Béchara afandi al-mouhandis. Itinéraire beyrouthin d'un ingénieur beyrouthin à la fin du XIXe siècle », in M. Anastassiadou-Dumont (éd.), Médecins et ingénieurs ottomans à l'âge des nationalismes, Istanbul & Paris, Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes & Maisonneuve et Larose, p. 219-329.