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Rashaya Al Foukhar
 
 
Citadel of Rashaya at Night  
 
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Lebanon - Rashaya

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General View of Rashaya

Rashaya, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

According to the famous author Anis Freiha, Rashaya al Foukhar is composed of two different origins: the first, Rashaya or rather Rashana, stems from the Aramaic or Syrian (Suryaniyyah) language. It means the masters or lords who inhabited those hills.

With time, the Arabs started using the word Rashaya for it was easier to pronounce. As for the second word, al Foukhar, it stems from the Arabic and means pottery, a traditional handicraft in the village. However, due to war and economic difficulties, the production decreased and nowadays, only 3 to 4 craftsmen still do pottery. It is no secret that they lack funding and support to bring back this industry to its previous prosperity.

Moreover, according to writings by German orientalists in the XVIIth and XVIIIth century, Rashaya was divided in two parts, the upper Rachaya, Rachaya al fawqa, and the lower Rachaya, Rachaya al tahta (cf. map).

Snow Rashaya    There is no particular explanation to such a division, yet, according to the Prince Fakhr Ed Dine’s history reveal that Hasbaya itself, currently the district center and at that time, the center of governance for the Shehabi princes, used to be called Hasbaya al Fawqa in reference to its closeness to Mount Hermon.  

Therefore, it is probable that the appellation of "fawqa" and "tahta" was generally applied to neighboring towns of Hasbaya, including Rachaya al Foukhar.

History

This is where Lebanon's early national leaders, including Bshara El-Khoury and Riad El-Solh, were held by French mandate authorities during the 1943 rebellion that triggered Lebanon's independence. Their prison was an eighteenth century citadel that can be visited today.  The Lebanese Army, which is now temporarily stationed at the castle, will assign a guide to show you around the old vaulted chambers and the rooms where the Lebanese patriots were held. 

The town of Rashaya, in a remote corner of Lebanon, has been only lightly touched by the modern building boom affecting most of the country. On its cobbled main street, small shops sell old fashioned oil stoves, reflecting the needs of this chilly mountain town where the giant Mount Hermon (snow-covered six months of the year) looms overhead.

The town of Rashaya, in a remote corner of Lebanon, has been only lightly touched by the modern building boom affecting most of the country. On its cobbled main street; small shops sell old fashioned oil stoves, reflecting the needs of this chilly mountain town where the giant Mount Hermoun (snow-covered six months of the year) looms overhead. This town is also known for its locally made gold and silver jewelry.

 

     

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Information From the Ministry of Tourism

Lebanese Ministry of Tourism

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