3 Days in Akkar: Enjoying the Land, Meeting the Farmers, Experiencing Beauty Up North Lebanon -Day 2

The best way to wake up The sound of birds, beautiful atmosphere weather is cool, and we didn’t need an AC at night Yesterday, the day was amazing 8 live videos and almost 10 stops We’re still in Akkar, day 2/3. We started in Menjez and waking up was beautiful at Menjez Guesthouse, breakfast of course eggs, saj, honey, and all of these We’ll take the car and continue towards Qoubayat How beautiful is this country How beautiful is this country The breakfast is exceptional as well as waking up. This bite is original A great start Good morning. We showed them the house last evening but I couldn’t resist not coming back because it’s great This is your house I will fly the drone to show you it from above. Then we will tour inside the house which is very special, maybe the only one in Lebanon Welcome It is beautiful to an extent that I couldn’t show you it only in the evening In the day, it is exceptional. Thank you for welcoming us. Welcome Can we enter again and see it? Welcome It’s as if living in nature From this amazing house, we continue to the second stop The second stop is inside the forest You will see what is forage We hear it a lot. Maybe our grandparents used to forage which was very popular and it is being popular again. Some people walk in the forest and only look at trees, but a person should look under the trees, at the ground, and know where to walk and check how much can he benefit from nature. Some people say that if a person forages once per week, he can live from nature without buying anything from the supermarket Jackline Moussa, from Qoubaiyat First, I am a scout girl, a nature girl, nature is very important for scouts as it teaches to explore nature and what it has from herbs and trees I am preserving nature. During summer, we do have a lack, but herbs are wilted Some herbs or plants grow like in gardens which have farming like vegetables by watering with water Wild plants grow It can’t be planted, it comes from water

From my knowledge, because the soil is white, this is why it’s called Nabee al Abyad (white well) The surrounding soil is white Look at the water coming out of under the mountain. As it is. It is moving This is Hamayda These are from the 2 most famous water plants in Lebanon One is Jarjir and the other is Kerra A saying in the village is said for long, without Kerra and Jarjir, a lot of people would be dead. Nice Nature is very important, not to harm trees and cut it without consciousness. We organize cutting it Make it neat to protect it from fires If we didn’t cut from trees, the low branches of course any fire will harm nature more. That’s why we should preserve trees By keeping it neat, remove wilt parts and diseases. We can’t keep trees sick because the disease will spread more and would affect all trees then all the forest. You know, if the forest is affected, the tree and plant, then all nature is harmed 40 minutes from Andaket. This means that you think that you reached Qoubayat and Andaket and this is the end but no, 40 minutes from Andaket is like going from Beirut to Jbeil, that far. We reached the boarder. I am looking at the map and seeing myself at the boarder line In the end, we see the Syrian coast not Akkar, Qattinah Lake Here, we are in Akroum There is a touristic area which I don’t think that any camera has captured We have 20 minutes of walking I wasn’t planning for that but they say that it’s worth it Let’s go Let’s go Welcome. We are in Akroum Akroum the village. Akroum mountain is a wide area It has 7 villages We are in the village which is mostly at the boarder at Akroum mountain There are Roman remains which are about 2500-3000 years old, which is a religious center A group of temples People call it Al Husayn Castle It might not be an army center but a religious center We know that Romans used to make far temples for their religious hadj They have their own centers in the cith and they used to do like now, we make churches on mountains, they used to make temples on top of mountains and far areas for hadj, Here, this was a very important religious center Each stone is bigger than the other Each column is bigger than the other How much did they face, and they are still as they are. Dust is covering half of it but they are still appearing You stand in front of greatness. There were 2 curved walls, now there is still 1

Each stone is like the other A puzzle which nothing can move it with all the earthquakes which happened What is that beauty. Other than the beauty of nature, this stand, the wind, Lebanon, Syria, a beautiful lake Green, and trees, as much as you want What is eye catching, especially in this season are the 3 colors The clear color of old stones, bluish gray and old. A lot of time passed They are all curved and none is sharp The green, the trees which are apart and under them, the land where all the sheep ate, and nothing is left because it will start raining soon It is golden in color. 3 colors You walk and enjoy How beautiful is seeing the cultures which passed in Lebanon Such old temple, still standing, on the boarder with all the wars which occured Not only the Lebanese war, but the prior ones like Ottoman and starvations and first and second world wars. A bit of them stayed so I think that we should make a decision to protect these lands to keep them for upcoming generations. My grandchildren would say that this is from my ancestors which was present Lunchtime. Time for food which is very important I just want to taste them You will taste a lot. I’ll rest my mind We met again. You promised with lunch and here we are. Did you continue foraging when we left? Not a lot We came here to wash it I went and got them The Hamayda Is it ok? Yes. Tell us about the old house. For how many years has it been here and how are you preserving? First, there is no limit My dead father, was told by his father that it ages for almost 200 years We don’t know whether it is from 1600 or 1700 As it is. As it is. The water comes to the land and it grows You do not plant anything specific Not at all. This is Bakleh. Bakleh Some villages call it Farfahine. Then? There is Atayfeh Everything is organic and nothing is used? Of course nothing. In Qoubayat, we call it Atayfeh Thank you. Feed the guy behind you Have one, Kareem Thank you Some people in our village call it Mtashash Some people call it Balilit Burghol. I learned it from my mother, she learned it from my grandma This food is heritage. It is food of our grandparents It is called Balili or Mtashash because the bulgur is soaked to be edible. I liked the idea Some people don’t add tomatoes, as I have told you. Some people make it with chickpeas We made Atayfeh with Khabayzeh with onions. We decorate with lemon This Bakleh is without onions, with Atayfeh and lentils We put leek, Khabayzeh, Hamayda, Shoumar and we put some Farfahine and bulgur, not lentils We liked to make two kinds of forage food Cooked or marinated, based on Qoubayat language Let’s have lunch All is from out nature Very delicious Things we step on while walking in nature We don’t know its worth, and it ends up being amazing Wow, lady. Really, bravo Welcome Cheers. Thank you for your hospitality. Welcome Eat Kareem, eat Hello. Hello. Welcome How are you? Welcome

Tell me, what do you have? First, you are at Ain el Zeit, Akkar We are in a village known for farming and cattle. Last time, we made a live video We entered the kitchen and made pickles and jam. Right. We came back to the same village. Right. Welcome. We can show you the cows. Let’s see them. Welcome Ladies Here, we have these cows We make a lot from this cow First, we get up in the morning and milk the cow, then boil the milk When this milk is pasteurized, is made into yogurt Yogurt is made into cottage cheese It makes cottage cheese and village clarified butter. From the cottage cheese, we make Shanklish This cow’s food is 100% natural We don’t use a milking system. Sometimes bacteria grows if it is not well cleaned It is milked by hand. My sister milks it by her hands They are nice, especially these days A person has a small room beside his house where there are cows. We came back to old days in a beautiful way. Neat and clean It is time to taste the milk. We will move from a house to another We will taste the milk down there and make some pickles. 100% I like to ask in all villages. Where are the tastiest pickles found? Ain el Zeit, Akkar Just like apples and pears Each person has the tastiest things in his village. 100%. Let’s taste I’m drinking coffee, village milk Very important Have it tomorrow evening. Fresh cow village milk. Exceptional During the winter snow, I am coming to sit beside the old heater here Wait for it to cool a bit This is for Mahrous Pepper. We wash them, sun dry them, then grind them Then we add walnuts, oil, and salt This is for Mahrous We stuff it in eggplants. We will show you how it is stuffed These are the eggplants They took 2 days of work. Pickled in oil Cooked and fresh. Their temperature is perfect Really, how can people live without Makdous (pickles)? First, I want to benefit from you. Tell me about the village, Andaket I want to tell you something. I was in a 25 day camp when I was 17 years old in Andaket. Which year you were born in? 1983. How old were you? 17. Scouts du Liban? Yes I was responsible for a group. Omar, today you are the village head You kept serving the village ever since Tell me about the village before the Karkeh which is behind you. I am a bit biased when I talk about my village I love it and it is very beautiful Brother, Andaket is a very special village I’ll go back in history. First, it’s very old. The remains which we found proved in Mar Saba and Wadi Oudine The village is at least 1500 years old in this land The remains are christian. Geographically, it is very large, it is slightly greater than 27 square kilometers More than 55% is covered in green We have the largest wild pink forest in the Middle East. It’s area is 11 million square meters We get the grapes when ripened We usually pick the grapes after Feast of the Cross, after September 14, grapes are picked It will be sweet. We get it, squeeze it, and put it in barrels. It takes 10-15 days to ferment. We will be moving it during all this period When the Arak is fermented, we put it int the Karkeh We boil it and this phenomenon happens The grapes boil,

then evaporate. Alcohol evaporates on a temperature lower than water, and vapor rises, we add cold water Alcohol condensed to this gallon over there It is alcohol. It is alcohol Now, I am making the second round of alcohol Yesterday, I made all the grapes which I have into alcohol then I put the alcohol in the Karkeh This is called Mtalat because the first 2 rounds are alcohol, and we will make Arak tomorrow Until now, you didn’t put anise. No We weigh the alcohol in that way This thermometer works on that side for alcohol and the other side for Arak. When we remove the Arak, we weigh it on this Here, it is 70 degrees Almost 70 degrees It makes you decide how much anise should be added In evening, I remove a gallon like this and weigh it then apply the formula For example, each gallon of caliber of 50 needs 800 grams of anise Here, we reached Chadra. Chadra is from the villages close to the boarder We can see the Syrian coast at the end A lady is waiting for us down there. She has an old house and kitchen appliances We can see the Shanklish being sun dried Let’s go Good morning, lady. Welcome 20 years ago in Chadra, in these times, the corn season is harvested We picked it from the coast and put it on rooftops. Then we peel it and grind it We send it to the mill, then make it a dough for bread Also kidney beens and green pistachios are in this season These are our village’s seasons in these days. And olives which was few, not all the village has olives Now, God bless, all the season is olives All of this is almost 50 years old Believe me. We had sheep My father has been blind for 40 years He used to plant and he’s blind He stayed for 20 years like that This is called Bay el Aayli Bay el Aayli Because the father of the family is what does everything for the family Ms. Salma welcomed us at her home Ms. Salma does not have a place or restaurant to welcome you. She liked to open her house for us to show us the generosity and hospitality Ms, it is inappropriate to ask about your age? Yes why not! I am 73 years old, why is it inappropriate? I will die, if I lived today or tomorrow Your energy is like you’re 40 Yes, because I am living relaxed. God bless you and your families My siblings keep me relaxed, thank God What is this? This is milk We shake it by electricity then boil it and we will have cottage cheese First we remove the clarified butter I’ll make Fatayer from it. I will make Fatayer with it when green It is ground. Do you call it cottage cheese or Shanklish. Now, it is cottage cheese because it’s white. Shanklish is when it’s cooked How much time does it need to be cooked? Sometimes a month or a week, depending on how wilt it is The crisp is exceptional The break is exceptional A bite of old traditional home Saj The bread is top, the Shanklish is top, the jam is amazing What a lady! You asked if I wanted meat. Take it This is cottage cheese Fatayer I want to thank you and tell them bye You don’t want to eat more? We will eat but we will say bye to who are watching So we would focus with you You are welcome

A sample of Lebanese ladies, Lebanese generosity, Lebanese love, and Lebanese villages, and this wide heart which Akkar has. It is not valued properly