Hasbaya

Hasbaya

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Hasbaya

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Hasbeya or Hasbeiya () is a town in Lebanon, situated about 36 miles to the west of Damascus, at the foot of Mount Hermon, overlooking a deep amphitheatre from which a brook flows to the Hasbani. In 1911, the population was about 5000.

Hasbaya is the capital of the Wadi El Taym, a long fertile valley running parallel to the western foot of Mount Hermon. Watered by the Hasbani river, the low hills of Wadi El Taym are covered with rows of silver-green olive trees, its most important source of income. Villagers also produce honey, grapes, figs, prickly pears, pine nuts and other fruit.

Mount Hermon, 2745 meters high, is a unifying presence throughout the Wadi El Taym. This imposing mountain held great religious significance for the Canaanites and Phoenicians, who called it the seat of the All High. The Romans, recognizing it as a holy site, built many temples on its slopes. The Some identify Hasbaya with the Old Testament's “Baal – Hermon,” while in the New Testament the mountain is the site of the transfiguration of Jesus.

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. In 1846, an American Protestant mission was established in the town. The castle in Hasbeya was held by the crusaders under Count Oran but in 1171 the Druse emirs of the great Shebb family recaptured it. In 1205 this family was confirmed in the lordship of the town and district, which they held...
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