Faraya Mzaar Kfardebian


Faraya Mzaar Kfardebian

Faraya is a Lebanese village located in Kisrwan, at an altitude of 1350 m above sea level. The village of Faraya is a populated village with residents that stay there in summer as well as in winter, in spite of the harsh weather in winter. Above Faraya are the summer/ski resort cities of Mzaar, Ouyoun al Simane and Faqra. All of them are sometimes called Faraya-Mzaar-Kfardebian, but Kfardebian is not actually a single village, but a group of villages including Faraya, Hrajel, Deraali, reaching Baskinta. There is also a ski station at Mzaar, called "Warde ski station" ("Warde" meaning "Flower" in arabic). Warde ski station is located at an altitude of 2000 meters, reaching some 2465 meters at some point. To arrive to Warde station, one should pass through Faraya, up to Ouyoun al Simane and arriving to Warde. From Warde there is a road that passes accross Mount Sannine and reaches the Bekaa. One directly thinks of ski when hears "Faraya", but the actual skiing is at Mzaar, and at Warde Station. The village of Faraya has a moderate climate in summer. At the warde ski station, snow reaches sometimes 4 to 5 meters in thickness, and temperatures can drop to -20 °C (-4 °F) due to the high altitude.

'Faraya-Mzaar was founded in the late 1950s by Selim El Khazen who built the Mzaar hotel and the Jabal Dib chair lift initially known as "Le Telesiege- Faraya"[1]. Simultaneously, a group of pioneers, including Sami Jammal, Robert Nassif, Dr Georges Zebouni and Pr. Emile Riachi, started the development of the ski resort, building the very first ski lifts,

The group started building the first residential "Chalets" designed by architect Raoul Vernet kicking off a period of undiscontinued real estate development in the whole area of Kfardebiane.

For over two decades, "Faraya-Mzaar Tourisme et Sport d'Hiver S.A.L.", the company founded by Cheikh Salim, was chaired by banker Joseph Abdo Khoury. In the early 1980s, the Saudi-Lebanese al-Mabani Group led by Fouad Rizk and Nehme Tohme acquired the majority of its shares and took over the development of the resort. History of skiing in Lebanon

Skiing area

The ski resort has 42 slopes and 80 kilometres of groomed tracks[citation needed]. The skiing season in Lebanon is similar in length to that of the Alps stretching over a period of 4 months[citation needed]. The peaks of the Faraya-Mzaar mountain range vary between heights of 1913 and 2465 meters[citation needed]. The tallest peak, Mzaar, as well as the Jabal Dib and Warde peaks, offer challenges for the experienced skier or snowboarder. Three other peaks are well suited for beginners, and even more are adapted to skier of intermediate level. Skiing ranges between heights of 1310m, 1850m (Ouyoune el Simaan) to 2465m on the peak above Mzaar. In addition, there are a number of cross-country trails. From the top of Mzaar, there is a view over the Bekaa valley, Mount Hermon of the Anti-Lebanon and other peaks like Zaarour, Laqlouq and the Cedars. Coastal towns and the capital Beirut can be seen on clear days. Situated at an elevation of 1750m at the feet of Mzaar, Faqra has monuments which included: temples, columns, altars and rock cut tombs. The temple of Faqra is partly cut out of the living rock. On the way to the ruins of Faqra, one can see a bridge called "Jisr al-Hajar" or the "Stone Bridge" with an arch measuring thirty eight meters.

References

  1. ^ Skiing Heritage Journal - Winter 1996, page 24

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