- Casa: Jbail
- Distance from Beirut: 52 km
- Altitude: 375 m
- Access: Jbail- Amchit- Gherfine- Hbaline- Chamat- Ghalboun- Bejjeh- Ain Kfaa- Or Jbail- Amchit- Hesrayel- Gharzouz- Bakhaaz- Maad- Ain Kfaa.
The name of this village is composed of two parts: the first, ain, is an Arabic word meaning “water fountain”, and the second, kaffe, is a Syriac word meaning “vault”, that is, the “water fountain of the vault”. It is said that Ain Kfaa is so named because it has a hidden fountain in the field (al sahl), named the Al Wata fountain for its location. This is the place where all the trade caravans coming from Jbail, Jounieh, and Damascus, would meet on the way north. The remains of the ancient monuments and of the old parish church of Saint Rohana witnessed the history of the old village.
- Maroun Abboud museum (the great Lebanese writer) :
Maroun Abboud’s Biography:
- In 1886, Maroun Abboud was born on February 9, in Ain Kfaa. His father sent him to the village school, under the oak tree, where he learnt to write and read in three languages: Arabic, Syriac, and French.
- In 1897, he went to Bejjeh School, where he spent one year, and then moved to Saint Sassine School in Fghal where he spent one full year.
- In 1899, he was sent to Mar Youhanna-Maroun school in the Batroun region.
- In 1904, he moved to Sagesse School in Beirut. Here he spent two years, and it was in this school that his literary and poetic talents began, since he got in contact with other students fond of poetry like Rachid Ahmad, Ahmad Taqui Eddine, and the martyr Saiid Akl.
- In 1907, he taught in the College of St. Joseph and in the school of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and was then appointed an editor-in-chief at “Al Nassir” newspaper, where he dedicated all his time to editing. The newspaper was the first to ask for establishing a financial board for the Maronite religion. When he was harassed because of his bold articles, he gave up editing for “Al Nassir”, and moved to Jbail.
- In July 1909, he was appointed editor for “Al Hikmeh” newspaper, which he founded with Salim Wehbeh. In the same year, he signed a contract with the president of Saint Lourdes’ school, for the Marist, in Jbail, where he taught “the statement” (Al bayan). When World War 1 began, the school was closed and the newspaper went out of print, so he moved to Ain Kfaa, and started to work in agriculture.
- In 1915, he was appointed president for the municipality of Gharzouz.
- In 1923, he moved to Aalay to teach Arabic literature at the National University.
- He died in 1962.
- He received several medals, titles, and degrees from the Lebanese state, as well as from other Arab and western states. Maroun Abboud enriched the Arabic library with 60 books, of which some are still in manuscript form. His works include: Majnoun Layla (Crazy about Layla), Woujouh wa Hikayat (Faces and Stories), Achbah wa Roumouz (Ghosts and symbols), Akzam Jababira (Pygmies Titans). He was a peaceful man, who always called for cooperation between religions. He had a good relationship with Mohamad Al Kerd Ali, a Druze, and they decided to name their first sons after one another. Thus, Maroun Abboud named his first child Mohamad, and Mohamad AlKerd named his Maroun, for reconciliation and approach.
Maroun Abboud designed and built his own house according to the Lebanese architecture. He later transformed it into a museum, composed of the following halls, named by Abboud himself:
The Immortal Hall:
Designed in 1928 by the Lebanese monk and painter Brother Nehmet Allah Al Maadi, it contains wall murals representing the first legislators and founders of religions like Jesus Christ, the Prophet Mohammad (salla allah Alayhi wa sallam), and others. Additionally, there are paintings of views and urban centers like the Cedars, Baalbak, the Umayyad Mosque, and others. In the main hall, there is a big painting representing the Lebanese traditions and customs. It also contains the medals of Maroun Abboud and a painting offered to him. Recently, in a tribute to his memory, a half sculpture was installed in the entrance of the house. This sculpture was made by the artist Halim Al Hajj, who personally supervised the bronze casting in Rome.
Diwan Al Arab:
Maroun Abboud’s wished to ensure that his house would contain oil paintings of prominent Arab writers and poets, and he tacked their photographs on the wall of the Diwan. In 1976 the painter Sami Abou Kheir was put in charge of the oil paintings, and with that his wish was realized. These paintings represent 20 writers.
Kobbat Al Wadi (The Dome valley): Two upstairs bedrooms, one above the other, with a view on the surrounding mountains and valleys of Ain Kfaa. The first room contains paintings by the Italian artist Arturo Ortiz of senior writers such as Al Jahez (Bigeye) and Voltaire. This room is the only room, other than the library, where he relaxes when writing.
Above that, in the second room, he preferred to sleep, and he designed it with stone sculptures, carried out by artist Halim Al Hajj.
Maroun Abboud’s Library: When asked about the special book that has an impact on Maroun Abboud’s literary style, he answered, “first, for my nature, and my reading second. What’s more, for my private library, which contains 6000 volumes, I owe to everyone who wrote one letter”.
This library contains over 6000 volumes in Arabic, French, Syriac, and Turkish. It also includes a special pavilion for books donated to him, as well as Abboud’s manuscripts, messages that were exchanged with the leading men of his time, and his office supplies.
The Pioneers of the Renaissance Library: A building was added to Abboud’s Library, making two libraries integrated into one unit. Comprising ten thousand volumes of the main Lebanese and Arab magazines, in addition to twenty-five oil paintings of most of the pioneers of the modern Renaissance: May Ziadeh, Elia Abou Madi, Girgi Zeidan, Ahmad Chawki, and others.
Maroun Abboud’s Oak trees: fifteen oaks, planted in a semi-circle, reached after passing the statue of Astarte by the artist Halim Al-Hajj. And the admiration of Abboud’s Lebanese traditional style encourages him create a special place to sit in a circle on chairs around a stone table.
To visit the museum contact:
Mr. Ziad Abboud: (03/ 776 778) or Mayor Nadim Abboud: (03/770 334)
- Mar Rouhana Parish Church:
It was built by Fr. Marcos Al Kifaii 400 years ago, on the remains of an old citadel. In the middle of the wall behind the altar is the Most Holy Sacrament behind a wooden door, above which is an oil painting for Saint Rohana by Khorchide. As for the exterior, the walls were built with smaller and smaller stones as they got higher. It has some engineering and crosses designs. The patron saint’s feast is September 29. The key is with the neighbors next door.
Saint Rohana’s biography:
St. Rohana is Kiriakos the hermit. Rohana is a Syriac word that means the spiritual. Kiriakos was named “God’s servant” for his unity with God, his meditations and passion for spiritual works. He was born in 448, in Corinth, where St. Paul preached. He joined the convent of St. Grasimos where he became a monk, and then joined the Souka monastery and started serving the sick. He was ordained a priest to serve churches. He wanted to enter the wilderness, and went there with his student John, moving from one wasteland to another. God allowed him to do miracles, and he was known everywhere. He spent his last days in St. Kriton the Great’s cave, until he rested in peace in 554, 107 years old. His feast day is on September 29.
- Saydet Al Najat Church (Our Lady of Deliverance):
Built on the site of an old temple.
- Mar Semaan wa Mar Abda Church: (St. Simon and St. Abdon Church): built from dabachi stone, with two entrances. It cannot be reached by car.
- Mar Sarkis wa bakhos Church: in ruins. Accessible through a walking path from beside of Bejjeh
Local agricultures: Olive
Local productions: Homemade products
For information call Mayor Nadim Abboud: (03/770 334)
Feast of St. Rouhana: September 29 where a Mass is celebrated followed by a traditional dinner, on the night before. Contact mayor Nadim Abboud: (03/ 770 334)
Mrs. Ghada Abboud (70/770 334)
Miss Rouba Abboud (71/ 129033)