Our Beloved Lebanon:
"Mithleek mab la'iy bi diny kilaa,
ou mitil jamaleek ma khalak Allah!"
Summer Village of Kfarsghab, Lebanon overlooks the Wadi
Qadisha (Holy Valley), the refuge of St. Maron and his followers, after
they were driven from the Syrian wilderness by religious antagonists.
The Summer village is located near Ehden and Jabail Mar Sarkis and is
1400 meters (4593 feet) above sea level. The Summer Village is 108 Kilometers
from Beirut, 34 Kilometers from Tripoli, and 28 Kilometers from Zgharta.
The village name means "rugged and rocky terrain".
Kfarsghab's legendary first settler, whose
name is lost to history, came to that beautiful land in the shadow of
the cedars, about one thousand years ago. Like the other Maronites
scattered here and there on the bare slopes of the Lebanese mountains,
he was undoubtedly a man of unshakeable faith in God and in the teachings
and practices of his great hermit Maron.
Our forefather must have endured much
physical hardship, but succeeding generations of Kfarsghabiyi can be
grateful to him for persisting in his struggles to establish a family
and a clan on that bare mountainside. The perseverence, bravery, and
ingenuity of his descendants can be traced to this tough man of the
mountain, and when the opportunity arose for Kfarsghabiyi to leave their
crowded village some nine hundred years later, they must have carried
with them the same limitless hope for the future that possessed that
In 1745, the Sheikhdom of Morh
Kfarsghab (Winter village), which is approximately 300 meters
above sea level, and located at the foothills of the mountains of North
Lebanon, was purchased by Abou Youssef Elias from Assad Hamadeh for
10 Turkish piastres, which would amount to $6.20 today. It is approximately
20 kilometers away from our summer village, but is considerably lower
in altitude, allowing for milder winter conditions than the heavy snowfall
that occurs in the winter months of the summer village.
The first Kfarsghabiyi to emigrate were
pioneers in more than one sense. True, they were going to places where
the language and customs would be different and this alone would have
been a difficult enough task. But they also took upon themselves the
added burden of making the way easier for the emigrants that would surely
Nearly all of the Kfarsghabiyi that emigrated
in the 19th century went to Australia; a few went to New Zealand, and
although Kfarsghabian emigration to the United States began in 1881
with the arrival of Karam Abou Arab in Philadelphia, it was not until
1900 that the first Kfarsghabian came to Easton, Pennsylvania.
The Kfarsghabiyi of Lebanon, are a peace loving, non-political Christian
Maronite community, who number 20,000 worldwide. While 95% of our people
live outside Lebanon, it is very rare to see any of our ancestral lands
sold to outsiders. It is still 100% owned by the Kfarsghabiyi throughout