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» CHOUF DISTRICT
Al Chouf District

Chouf

(also spelled Shouf, Shuf or Chuf, in Arabic جبل الشوف Jebel ash-Shouf) is a historical region of Lebanon, and also an administrative district in the governorate (mohafazat) of Mount Lebanon.

Located in the south-east of Beirut, the historical region comprises a narrow coastal strip with notably the Christian town of Damour and the valleys and mountains of the western slopes of Jabal Barouk, the name of the local Mount Lebanon massif. Chouf is the heartland of Lebanese Druze community, and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt resides in the Jumblatt palace in the town of Moukhtara. The Emirs of Lebanon used to have their residence in Chouf. Most notably, Bachir Chehab II built the magnificent palace of Beiteddine during the first half of the 19th century. Another historical town, just below Beiteddine, is Deir al Qamar (the monastery of the Moon).

Another large town in Chouf is called Baakline.It used to be the capital of old Mountain of Lebanon, where Amir Fakher El-Deen was born. He was well liked by both Christians and Druze. He switched his residence to Deir al Qamar symbolizing his neutrality.

The Chouf is a living proof of the harmony between Maronite christians and Druze, but unfortunately they had violent clashes between them, in 1848, 1860 and most lately during the Lebanese Civil War in 1983-1984 (War of the Mountain - Harb el Jabal), The Progressive Socialist Party that is basically Druze versus the Lebanese Forces that is basically Maronite christians. Reconciliation between the Druze and Christian communities came to fruition on August 8, 2001 when the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir made a historic visit to the Chouf and met with Druze leader, Jumblatt.

Despite a bloody history, the Chouf is one of the best-preserved Lebanese districts and its nature has been generally spared from the intense building frenzy that has spoiled neighbouring Metn and Kesrouan. The biggest forest of Cedars of Lebanon is found on the flanks of Jabal Barouk.

Demographics

Despite the historical feuds between Christian Maronites and Druze, the Chouf district is one of the most religiously diverse regions in Lebanon. The Druze, Maronite Catholics and Sunni Muslims are the largest religious groups, and are more or less evenly distributed throughout the district. Moreover, there is a substantial Greek Catholic population, as well as a smaller Shi'a Muslim population. Download Brochure
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