June 21, 2024

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UNESCO joins efforts to preserve the Qadisha Valley in Lebanon (+photos)

UNESCO joins efforts to preserve the Qadisha Valley in Lebanon (+photos)

The area belongs to the Bcharre region, north of the Mount Lebanon Range, and was included in the World Heritage List in 1998, supported by its centuries-long history linked to the early days of Christianity.

Currently, UNESCO is promoting development strategies for the site through initiatives around its steep paths, monasteries and cultural heritage. According to the agency’s office in Beirut, the main goal is to create a positive economic impact for local communities, by preserving the valley, training young people as tourist guides and preventing forest fires in Kadisha.

In this sense, the international foundation, with support from Italy, contributed to the restoration of three roads, two of which lead to previously rehabilitated monasteries.

In addition to the Mount Lebanon Trail, UNESCO offers sessions on the history of the valley and the nearby cedar forest and the importance of its inclusion on the World Heritage List, in addition to first aid instructions, equipment, mapping techniques or even climate change.

In addition to training tourist guides, he instructed municipal guards, civil defense members, and youth volunteers on the best ways to avoid or contain a fire while waiting for firefighters to arrive.

The valley houses the largest number of monasteries and hermitages dating back to the first expansion of Christianity and its natural caves, dug into the almost inaccessible hillsides and decorated with frescoes, bear witness to an architecture tailored to spirituality and vitality. The harsh needs of life.

Linked to the city of Kadisha for historical reference and connection, the Cedar of God Forest is one of the rare sites where the Lebanese Cedar, one of the most valuable building materials of the ancient world, which is mentioned 103 times in the Bible, still grows.

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On the UNESCO list, Lebanon is represented, in addition to the Qadisha Valley and the Cedars of God Forest, the ruins of Anjar (1984), the temples of Baalbek (1984), Byblos (1984), Tyre (1984) and the Rashid Karami International Exhibition in Tripoli (2023).