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Hasbaya

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Hasbaya
حاصبيا
Hasbaya is located in Lebanon
Hasbaya
Coordinates: 33°23′N 35°41′E / 33.383°N 35.683°E / 33.383; 35.683Coordinates: 33°23′N 35°41′E / 33.383°N 35.683°E / 33.383; 35.683
Country  Lebanon
Governorate Nabatieh Governorate
District Hasbaya District
Elevation 750 m (2,461 ft)

Hasbeya or Hasbeiya (Arabic: حاصبيا‎) is a town in Lebanon, situated about 58 Kilometers west of Damascus, at the foot of Mount Hermon, overlooking a deep amphitheatre from which a brook flows to the Hasbani.

Hasbaya is mainly inhabited by members of the Druze sect, with some Christians and Sunni Muslims. while in the past a small Jewish minority also inhabited the town. Both sides of the valley were planted in terraces with olives, vines and other fruit trees. The grapes were either dried or made into a kind of syrup.

In 1846, an American Protestant mission was established in the town. This little community suffered much persecution, at first from the Greek Church. Afterwards on June 3, 1860 during the 1860 Lebanon conflict, Druze forces attacked Hasbaya and after a brief battle with 200 defenders, the town succumbed and within two hours it was ablaze.[1] Nearly 1,000 Christians were massacred by Druze forces; some escaped to Tyre or Sidon. The castle in Hasbeya was held by the crusaders under Count Oran but in 1171 the emirs of the great Shihab (also written Chehab) family recaptured it. In 1205 this family was confirmed in the lordship of the town and district. The Hasbeya Castle (Chehabi Citadel) is the only national monument in Lebanon still privately owned (by the Chehab family). Today actual ownership is shared by some fifty branches of the family, some of whom live there permanently. Stone lions, a heraldic emblem and crest of the Chehab family, stand on each side of the arched portal entrance of the Citadel.

Near Hasbeya were bitumen pits let by the government; and to the north, at the source of the Hasbani, the ground is volcanic. Some travellers have attempted to identify Hasbeya with the biblical Baal-Hermon.

Notable natives/residents

References

  1. ^ (2002) The Massacres of 1840 - 1860, www.tanbourit.com

 

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