Thursday, 19 May 2011

Rachaya al Foukhar, Lebanon

This beautiful card is from a swap with Abed in Lebanon. Isn't it a lovely view?! Abed tells me that this village seems like the last untouched area of Lebanon which hasn't yet been disfigured by Western architecture.

Located 150km south-east of Lebanon on Mount Hermon slopes, Rachaya al Foukhar is located in Lebanon’s Eastern chain of mountains. It has 750m of altitude, its highest summit being at 1250m at the Qabr Uthman site, considered to be one of the strategic points in Wadi al Taym.

There is no precise date about the first human settlement in Rachaya al Foukhar. It is though confirmed that the area was long inhabited due to the Aramaic origin of its name. It also has several Roman ruins, ancient jars, as well as very old olive trees. The big olive tree field west of Rachaya al Foukhar is said to contain trees dating back to the Roman Empire.

According to the famous author Anis Freiha, Rachaya al Foukhar is composed of two different origins: the first, Rachaya 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 Rachaya 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. [source]

The stamp is from a set of 10 definitives issued in 2010.

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