UNESCO to renovate Qannoubine Valley village

Date: Saturday, May 11, 2013
By: Antoine Amrieh
Source: The Daily Star

BSHARRI, Lebanon: UNESCO has agreed to finance the Maronite Patriarchate’s project to conduct rehabilitation works in the Qannoubine Valley village, part of an area classified as a World Heritage Site.

The project is taking shape following a series of visits by Patriarch Beshara Rai to sites in the Holy Valley. Rai had asked two local architectural firms to prepare plans to rehabilitate the entire region and turn the village of Qannoubine Valley, whose lands are owned by the patriarchate, into a model village to highlight the region’s history of spiritual activity.
The dirt road, which will be rehabilitated by UNESCO, is 4 kilometers long and links Saint Lishaa monastery and Qannoubine Valley village in the qada of Bsharri.
Tony Khattar, a mukhtar for Wadi Qannoubine, welcomed the news that the project had been approved.

“Our only demand was to rehabilitate the road, and when the region was listed as a World Heritage Site, government authorities only procrastinated even more – they always argued that the UNESCO rejected any changes in the Holy Valley,” Khattar said.
“The situation remained as is until the patriarch visited our village and met the residents and told us that the valley and its residents should not be abandoned under the pretext of protecting it, and UNESCO’s approval confirmed his point of view.”
The head of Union of Bsharri Municipalities, Elie Makhlouf, said that the rehabilitation of this road leading to the Qannoubine Valley village will meet the needs of residents, as well as pilgrims and tourists,
The report suggests constructing a path to the vicinity of Our Lady of Qannoubine Monastery from behind, near the shrine of St. Marina. It stresses that all the paths to be constructed should maintain their rural character. It proposes constructing two stone paths along the sides of the road, which will remain unpaved following the renovation.

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