Faraya Mzaar Kfardebian

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Faraya Mzaar Kfardebian or Faraya-Mzaar (arabic: فاريا مزار}}), also known as Ouyoune el Simane or Aayoun Al Simane, is a ski area in Lebanon.


History

Faraya-Mzaar was founded in the late 1950s by Cheikh Salim El Khazen who built the Mzaar hotel and the Jabal Dib chair lift initially known as "Le Telesiege". 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 fist 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.

Skiing Area

The ski resort has 42 slopes and 80 kilometres of groomed tracks. The skiing season in Lebanon is similar in length to that of the Alps stretching over a period of 4 months.

The peaks of the Faraya Mzaar mountain range vary between heights of 1913 and 2465 meters. 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 at Faraya, 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.

Natural and Historical Sites

Situated at an elevation of 1550m at the feet of Faraya-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.

Ski Clubs

Faraya-Mzaar is home to some of the Lebanese Ski Clubs, affiliated to the "Federation Libanaise de Ski (FLS)" (note:ski clubs are non profit organization):

  • Faraya Mzaar Ski Club (Club des Sports), President: Christian Rizk
  • Chabab Faraya Ski Club , President: Youssef Khalil
  • Faraya Sporting Club, President: Jean Riachi
  • Al Oussoud, President: Mahboub Salameh

Sources