Aintoura

Aintoura

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History


The towns and the University was the scene of an "ethnic cleansing" event when the Ottoman Turkish authorities under direct instructions from Jamal Pasha followed a policy of "Turkification" that affected over 1300 Armenian and Kurdish orphans. After the fall of the Turkish empire a survey of the local cemetery revealed over three hundred bodies of children in mass graves, most of the deaths are believed to had been caused by harsh conditions, ill treatment and inadequate diet. A monuments that commemorate these events had been erected at the site of the local cemetery. The suffering of the orphans was probably worsened by a Naval blockade of the ports under Ottoman control that was enforces by the British and Italian navies.

Geography


It is a picturesque town in Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon , as a geographic designation, is a Lebanese mountain range, averaging above 2,200 meters in height and receiving a substantial amount of precipitation, including snow, which averages around four meters deep. It extends across the whole country along about , parallel to the...

, known for its moderate climate. Winters are mild while summers are hot, with average temperatures between 28–33 °C (82.4–91.4 F).
The origin of the town's name in the Syriac language means mountain spring, a reference to the famous spring near the top of the town.
Antoura is situated in a small valley facing the Mediterranean sea and surrounded by mountains from the other three sides.
Pine and oaks forests surround the town while its houses are nestled among orange and almond groves.

Demography


The inhabitants of Antoura are Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and followers of the Maronite Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 church. The main families in Antoura are the Akikis, Hage, Azar, Abi Nakhles, Salamehs, Khalils and Sfeirs.

Schools


Antoura is known for its schools, such as Collège St. Joseph Antoura and the Lebanese Canadian University - ESIG. Many literary and public figures of Lebanon and the Levant were educated in its schools, such as the poet, May Ziade
May Ziade
May Ziade , was a prolific Christian Lebanese-Palestinian poet, essayist and translator....

, the journalist and owner of An-Nahar newspaper
An-Nahar
An-Nahar , is the leading Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon.It was first published on August 4, 1933 as a four-page, hand-set paper. The paper provided a platform for various free thinkers to express their views during the years of the Syria occupation of Lebanon. The paper can be best...

, the father of the late Gibran Tueni and former Lebanese ambassador Ghassan Tueni
Ghassan Tueni
Ghassan Tueni is a former Lebanese Ambassador to the United Nations and publisher of An-Nahar, the leading Lebanese newspaper.- Biography :...

, the politicians Kamal Jumblatt
Kamal Jumblatt
Kamal Jumblatt ; was an important Lebanese politician. He was the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War until his assassination in 1977. He is the father of the present Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.-Family background and education:Kamal Jumblatt was born in...

 and Maurice Gemayel, and former Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 presidents Suleiman Franjieh, René Mouawad, Elias Sarkis
Elias Sarkis
Elias Sarkis was the President of the Lebanese Republic from 1976 to 1982.-Early career:Born in Shabbaniah, Sarkis graduated with a Law degree from Saint Joseph University in 1948. After joining the judicial corps in 1953, he became a judge with the Accounting Department...

.

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