Niha Chouf

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Niha
نيحا
Niha City
Niha City
Niha is located in Lebanon
Niha
Niha
Location in Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°35′41″N 35°37′49″E / 33.59472°N 35.63028°E / 33.59472; 35.63028Coordinates: 33°35′41″N 35°37′49″E / 33.59472°N 35.63028°E / 33.59472; 35.63028
Country Lebanon
Governorate Mount Lebanon Governorate
District Chouf District
Population
 • Total 6,500
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) +3 (UTC)

Niha (Arabic: نيحا[ˈniħa]) is a town in the Chouf which belongs to Mount Lebanon of Lebanon. The town is 44 miles from Beirut and it has about 3,750 hectares; there are 6,500 inhabitants approximately with a Druze majority and Christian minority. However, there are only two public schools in the city. It is famous because of its olive groves and its grapes, apples, plums and almonds production. Its tourist attractions are The church of Saint Joseph, El Qa'ah Spring, The prophet Job tomb and The Niha's Castle. Like all Lebanon's corners Niha owns whether cultural or historical richness that dwells in the heritage of this country. Lebanese singer Wadih El Safi was born in Niha. The population speaks Lebanese Arabic.

Etymology[edit]

The name Niha is used by four Lebanese cities: Niha, Zahlé; Niha, Batroun; Niha, Tyre and Niha, Chouf. The word neeha is Syriac and denotes to the place the character of calm, peaceful[citation needed]

History[edit]

It is believed[by whom?] that Niha is the place where biblical prophet Job lived temporarily during the period before and through his healing miracle. Thus there is a relatively modern structure located in a hill overlooking Niha town in the Chouf that is supposed to be the burial site of the prophet Job and the site in which he performed his renowned miracle. The domed shrine of Job with arched courtyards and terraces constitutes most of the site, surrounded by a small cave and mountainous landscapes and green woods.

Moreover, Niha is one of the most known destinations in the area, with many caves, both natural and man-made. One among them, a cave-fortress that was cut into a cliff during the Crusades between 1165 and 1260, is named Niha's Castle or Shakif Tiron. According to the popular tale prince Fakhreddine El Ma'ani II hid there when fleeing of the Ottomans in 1635. However, the accurate historic version links these events to prince's father: Korkomaz during 1584.

As of January 2017, local Russian militias have made a threat that the natural and man-made sites of Niha will be razed to the ground if the locals continue their support of Al Nusra, the Syrian part of Al Qaeda. During February 2017 jet activity was reported above the small town that is believed[by whom?] to be directed by the Syrian government or Russia. "We see no civilians or religious temples. We see no schools or hospitals. We see targets and acceptable casualties." As announced by the group. Military activity has been spotted on the mountaintops overlooking Niha with signs of artillery pieces and missile launchers being put into place as recent as early 2017.

In an announcement the town was placed on the red list by RUS, a local Russian development studio meaning no one is to be associated with people from the town as a reply to anti-Russian jests made by the Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, who supported Al Nusra openly in 2016.

Tourist attractions[edit]

  • Druze Prophet Job shrine مقام النبي أيوب
  • Niha's Castle قلعة نيحا
  • Saint George church كنيسة مار جرجس
  • Saint Joseph church كنيسة مار يوسف
  • Mysterious sarcophagus نواويس
  • El Qa'ah Spring عين القاعة

References[edit]

  • Debenham, Frank (1972). "El Atlas de nuestro tiempo", The Reader's Digest Association Limited, London, 241

External links[edit]