From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
مرج عيون
Marjayoun is located in Lebanon
Location in Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°21′30″N 35°35′20″E / 33.35833°N 35.58889°E / 33.35833; 35.58889Coordinates: 33°21′30″N 35°35′20″E / 33.35833°N 35.58889°E / 33.35833; 35.58889
Grid position135/158 L
Country Lebanon
GovernorateNabatieh Governorate
860 m (2,822 ft)
 • Total3,000[1]
 • Religions
Greek Orthodoxy
Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Baniyas
Maronite Catholicism
Greek Catholicism
Shia Islam
Sunni Islam
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Marjayoun (Arabic: مرج عيون: Lebanese pronunciation[ˈmaɾʒ.ʕajuːn]), also Marj 'Ayoun, Marjuyun or Marjeyoun (lit. "meadow of springs") and Jdeideh / Jdeida / Jdeidet Marjeyoun, is a Lebanese town and an administrative district, the Marjeyoun District, in the Nabatieh Governorate in Southern Lebanon.


Marjayoun is 860 metres (2,822 ft) above sea level, standing on the west side of the Jordan Rift Valley just across from the ancient regional capital, Caesarea Philippi, which was located at the foot of Mount Hermon on the east side of the Rift Valley. It is not to be confused with the Banias Springs at Caesarea Philippi.[dubious ]

Marjeyoun stands on a hill facing Mt Hermon to the east, the Crusader castle of Beafort, set above the Litani River and overlooking Mount Amel (Jabal Amel), to the west, the Mount Lebanon range with the Rihan and Niha peaks to the north, with the fertile Marjeyoun plains extending southward into the Galilee plains and the Golan Heights.


Crusader period[edit]

On June 10, 1179, during the Battle of Marj Ayyun, an Ayyubid army defeated a crusader army. The crusader king narrowly escaped being captured in the rout.[citation needed]

Ottoman period[edit]

In the 1596 tax records, it was named as a village, Jadida, in the Ottoman nahiya (subdistrict) of Tibnin under the liwa' (district) of Safad, with a population of 28 households and 12 bachelors, all Muslim. The villagers paid a fixed tax-rate of 25% on agricultural products, such as wheat, barley, olive trees, vineyards, goats and beehives, in addition to "occasional revenues" and a press for olive oil or grape syrup; a total of 9,606 akçe.[2][3]

In 1875 Victor Guérin visited Marjayoun (which he called Djedeideh), and found it to have about 2,000 inhabitants, mostly "Schismatic Greek" (i.e. Melkite Uniats), but also some Greek Orthodox and Muslims.[4]

The Saint Peter's Cathedral was built in 1892 and it was restored in 1968 after a fire.[citation needed]

20th-21st centuries[edit]

During the Syria-Lebanon Campaign of World War II, British and Australian forces advancing from Palestine entered the town on 11 June 1941 against badly equipped defenders, but were forced to withdraw on 15 June following a Vichy French counterattack.[5] The Allies recaptured the town on 24 June in the Battle of Merdjayoun.

Marjayoun was the headquarters of the South Lebanon Army, the Israel-affiliated militia that controlled southern Lebanon during Israel's occupation of the region after the 1982 Lebanon War until Israel's withdrawal from the region in 2000.[6]

During the 2006 war between Israel and the Hezbollah organisation, after cease-fire negotiations stalled on August 10, Israeli forces took control of Marjayoun.[7] The next day, a convoy of 3,000 people fled from the town. The convoy was attacked by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) northeast of Hasbaya en route to Kefraya, in the south of the Bekaa valley. The bombing resulted in the deaths of at least seven people, and is known as the Marjayoun convoy incident.[8]


  Greek Orthodox (38.6%)
  Sunni Muslim (20.2%)
  Greek Catholic (18.7%)
  Maronite Catholic (10.4%)
  Shiite Muslim (6%)
  Other (6.1%)

Religion in Marjayoun according to 2022 elections data

The town of Marjayoun has an overwhelmingly Christian population of about 5,000 people.[dubious ] Greek Orthodox Christians compose the vast majority of the town's population, however, there are also Maronite and Greek Catholic Christians living in Marjayoun. Outside the town, most villages in the surrounding valleys and mountains are predominantly Shia Muslim.[9]

The Melkite Saint Peter's Cathedral was built in 1892 and restored in 1968 after a fire and in 2009.[10] Marjayoun is the seat of the Melkite (Greek Catholic) Archeparchy of Baniyas, which includes the southeastern part of Lebanon.[11]

Parliamentary representation[edit]

The district of Marjayoun, which includes the town, is largely Shia Muslim. It holds three seats in the Lebanese government, two belonging to Shia Muslims and one belonging to Greek Orthodox Christians.[citation needed]


Marjayoun is home to a regional government hospital founded in 1960,[citation needed] and a Lebanese Red Cross First Aid Center.[12]

Marjayoun Airfield[edit]

An abandoned airfield is located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south near Metula. Ruins of buildings and outline of the runways and taxiway are all that remains. In a strategic triangle linking Lebanon with Palestine and Syria is located the ruins of "Marjayoun Airport" or what is known as "Al-Marj Airport" or "English Airport" is located. The green color in the Marjayoun Plain is only disturbed by forgotten walls from the days of World War II, separating their hard stones between the fertile agricultural lands of the Marjayoun Plain. During the Second World War, the Marjayoun Plain and the region formed an arena of confrontation between the allies on one side and the German army on the other, so the allies had to fortify themselves, specifically in the Marjayoun plain, which was a defensive area or a back line of confrontations if Egypt fell into the hands of the German army. And if the German Army manages to advance to Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.[13]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alsalem, Reem (9 September 2006). "Lebanese struggle to repair far wider damage than destroyed houses". Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  2. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 182
  3. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
  4. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 281-281
  5. ^ Jean Tsadik (2001). "Facétie de l'histoire (suite)" (in French). Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  6. ^ Hirst, David. 1999. South Lebanon: The war that never ends? Journal of Palestine Studies 28(3).
  7. ^ - Sources: U.S., France agree on peace plan - August 10, 2006
  8. ^ HRW, 2007, pp. 160-166
  9. ^ "In South Lebanon, a Christian Town Somberly Faces the Future".
  10. ^ "Cathédrale Saint-Pierre".
  11. ^ Archeparchy of Bāniyās (Melkite Greek) at, accessed 27 July 2020
  12. ^ "Our Centers - First Aid Centers", Lebanese Red Cross
  13. ^ "«المطار الإنكليزي» في مرجعيون: آثار منسيّة من الحرب العالمية الثانية".
  14. ^ "المستشفيات بجدة - شبكة تراثيات الثقافية".


External links[edit]

Photo galleries[edit]