Shweir Photos     


 December 2004    From Riad Khuniesser:  One week before Christmas, the temperature in Dhour El Shweir Saha is minus three degrees centigrade without snow, this is unusual, I stand alone in the middle of the square looking at all sides and see nobody. I thought of taking few shots and send it to you all.  The people of Shweir Wish You...      


Also, you will find few pictures from the Community Center lecture by Mrs.  Rania Sawaya Jurdak about Balanced food for balanced health.


Taking a walk in Shweir... Continued

Walk in Old Shweir continued...  from Ain Al Ma'asara to picking grapes, yes, even at night, can't get any fresher...


Yes, we still have many pictures from last Summer, we will post highlights and invite our readers to comment on the BB.

Grapes from our areeshe < L. Vines climbing 3 levels R> to our cousin's home 

What a great setting

how sad...
Ain Al Ma'asara

More pictures of old Shweir




For those who missed Summer in Shweir, we bring it to you, courtesy of Samar Kiame




To see photos on new webpage of Churches, click here  


Its spring time, 2004

Thanks to Gabi Ataya for sending this picture, he bids all "Gidday"


----- Original Message -----
From: "SCC shweir" scc_64 @
To: anwar @
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 3:30 AM
Subject: Merry Christmas

Wishing you all the best for this Christmas season and a very happy new year.
Attached is a christmas card which is done by a 10 year old girl from Shweir  Public Elementary School through a christmas card drawing competition,this was the first rated card, we would appreciate if it can be placed on the home page in a small size for clicking as a greeting card from the center. Thanks,
P.S. We are also forwarding now the 2004 calendar to be put on for downloading



----- Original Message -----
From: "Gabriel Ataya" gataya @ 
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2003 10:35 AM
Subject: Shweir photos

Gidday guys,  One of my friends over in Shweir sent me these pictures today.
I thought I'd better send em all in to you so you guys can see the freezing cold, beautiful white christmas they are going to have back there :)  cheers

Gabi Ataya

Thank you Gabi, Hope more people in Shweir would take your example and send more pixs.


The aftermath of War...

A walk from
Saha towards Douwar

Cinema Florida today > >


Thanks to Najib Rahbani for sending these great pictures



----- Original Message -----
From: "Oula Aoun"
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 1:38 PM
Subject: Fwd: pictures

these beautiful pictures in choueir were taken by the
architect Samih Halabi, maybe we can add them to the
shweir archive.
Note: forwarded message attached.

Thank you Oula and thank you Samih Halabi.  these are valuable pictures of our classical architecture. Anwar

Dear family

I'm sending you some pictures from the christening of my daughter Sophie (13 october 2002)  the delivery of some books  for the library and some views we may see it from Dhour.Thanks a lot for your great job we are feeling Shweir closer ,if you can insert these pictures it will be great.  Best regards

Walid Abikheir

  Thank you Walid for such great pictutres

Marhata Trade Show 1907

-----Original Message-----
From: Riad Khunieser []
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 5:25 PM

This picture and the info are found in "Travels in America and Commercial directory of the Arabic speaking people of the world", a book by Najib Abdou, bublished in NY,1907.  Don't you think we are a little behind what our ancestors did?


Thank you Riad,

This is one of the oldest pictures that we have of its kind.  

Your point and question are well taken.  Keep those rare gems coming.  It is items like these that make the best cause for a new Library/ Museum for our town. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Alfred Sawaya []
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 12:00 PM

Thank you for putting me on your personal list. I am enjoying what you are sending although I don't know some of the people you show.  When we got introduced you sent me a picture of a house asking me to guess what it is. I told you it is owned by our neighbors Nasr Nasr. Your answer was "it is villa Sawaya".

It took me time to have picture of Villa Sawaya which I am sending you attached and which you can include in the Shweir web page I hope your summer was not as hot as ours this year and that I shall meet with you next season. 



-----Original Message-----
From: Riad Khunieser
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 11:25 AM
To: A. G. Kenicer
Dear Anwar, Hello
To whom the bell rings?  Only to Nabil, this year.  Where are you Anwar, George, Elias and the rest.
This picture and the poem is from "Almushrekyat".  A book by Najib Mushrik, pub.1931.

Update about Old Souk (Market)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Oula Aoun"
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 12:33 PM

Hi Anwar, how is every thing, and how is the dear team?

I have some good news: we r organizing a special 'shweir night'.  The place is the 'DAR' OF SAYDEH church; we will tell some old story of shweir, and a friend of mine who have a very beautiful voice will sing some of the most beautiful songs of Feiruz, and we will play soft music.  AND,  we will clean the old souk and organize it , to make it a place of exposition; we will expose many paintings of some friends of mine and some artists from shweir, and i think we can expose in 'La voute' also.

So, I think it will be a great night. We didn't fix the date yet, but we will try to do it before the festival.   I hope you can enjoy it,



Hello Oula, Your email just made my day and I am sure it will make a better day for those who will read it.  The "dear team" is alive and well... no, FANTASTIC, specially when they hear of wonderful news like you shared above... this is like the beginning of a beautiful dream... at times, for us mughtaribeen, we can cheer for the achievements that you and all the participants accomplish and the rewards of the great camaraderie and stronger community as a result. 

May that become a common theme that will continue and pick up momentum... These are the kind of news that prompt more and more of Mughtaribeen to come to visit more often and bring their families and friends. 

Please send some pictures and frequent reports so we can share in your joy and the greater success and renovation of a great old town. 

I will post this on the Shweir Bulletin Board under an appropriate topic and also on the Shweir Photos section where we have info about old Souk. 

Many thanks again to you and those who took and are taking part in this very important endeavor.


Photos of Old Shweir, courtesy of Oula Aoun

----- Original Message -----
From: "Oula Aoun"
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 9:54 AM

Hi, These photos are a part of an academic study concerning shweir, and the possibility of restoration, especially the case of the Saydeh 'NOTRE DAME' church. The old houses, and the souk, should be preserved, and maybe a big "shweir project" must be proposed.

Many villages like Douma and Zouk, are  similar cases, and they r now a place for tourism and activities.

It's clear that we should'nt forget the particularity and the importance of our architectural heritage, and we must all do something. 

Thank you Oula, that is an excellent presentation... Yes, we agree about preserving and celebrating our cultural heritage...
we briefly discussed this on the BB and we are glad that you are re-enegizing it with your art, photos and eloquent message.  Here is an excerpt from a discussion about a new library in Shweir and potential revival of old Shweir..

"Imagine that a successful library launch could lead to a new Shweir Revival.  Imagine a master plan for old Shweir Souk, take as many of the under utilized properties whose owners would be willing to be part of the master plan and do a theme that incorporates a library... a theme that would invite visitors and tourists to come from Europe and even America to enjoy the experience... something that is more traditional and authentic rahter than touristic... where each store complements the other rather than compete with... this way by helping collective theme, everyone benefits.... I can write a few pages on this....

Granted, the above may be a dream and our focus should be the library... there is no question, it should be centrally located... as such, ideally, we should have one in the center of Shweir and another in the center of Dhour... since we are starting out on a shoe string... very small budget... we will start with one good and successful library.  I have not seen the inside of the buildings in old Shweir... and I do not know if what I "Imagined" about "Old Shweir Souk Revival" has the potential I described... for those of you who know more, please share your thoughts."

To read more info about the Library discussion that appeared on the Bulletin Board, click here:;f=1;t=000526;p=

and to read about the need for a shweir Master Plan, click here:;f=1;t=000576

Oula, is it possible to get more reports of Shweir academic study so we can publish it on  We have a new and energetic town council and we would like to see them make this a top priority.  Thank you Oula, please continue to share such progressive and valuable ideas and suggestions. 

The team at

Many thanks to Riad Khunieser for providing these old pictures, some from the AUB Jafet Library  ...

[Encased model of campus: Syrian Protestant College, Beirut]
To my friends who debated on the BB about Beirut being referred to as part of Syria, I am sending you this nice old picture from our Jafet library collection.
>>  To make you feel cool at the Shweir on the beach (or Bay) party I am lending you an [Ice cream seller] from Beyrout. I hope you like it. This photo is from the Jafet library collection (The Blatchford collection).  SAHTAIN
Chief of a tribe. Camil bey Assad [on decorated horse with riflemen in shirwal and khimbaz]


Snow Storm of 2001-2002

The following photos are courtesy of Lama Katoul from Abu Dhabi who visited Shweir around the 2001-2002 Holidays and experienced this big snow storm.

Lama K Shweir Snow 1.jpg (42164 bytes) Lama K Shweir Snow 2.jpg (36744 bytes) Lama K Shweir Snow 3.jpg (42057 bytes) Lama K Shweir Snow 4.jpg (42753 bytes)

Thank you Lama... Good work.. 


January 28, 2002:  Snow in Shweir Sawaya M Snow Shweir 1.JPG (203348 bytes)
Kindly find enclosed some latest pictures from Dhour Shweir, for our Web reference. This years snow was catastrophic for the environment, lots of pine trees have fallen and broken due to the heavy snow.  Cheers,  Michael Sawaya


January 5, 2002:  Photo courtesy of George Moujaes (Via Al Mukhtar) with a picture of his home showing a white Christmas in Shweir.  Phone lines were down... so he had to send via a friend's computer... George asked Saad to stop sending big storms from Europe.  
Beyond that iron gate, and under that snow in front of the house, there is the best looking grass lawn that we have seen so far in and near Dhour.  It looks like those well manicured American grass lawns... hope that will catch on and we will see more green grass lawns next spring and summer.  To find out how to grow it, just ask George Jamil Moujaes 


Snow G Moujaes 2.JPG (28276 bytes)From al Muktar's message:  Now honestly folks, how many of you would rather be the one taking these picture? Well you didn't. These came our way from Shweir courtesy of George (Great first name) Jamil Moujaes. It is also so fitting blaming it on Saad Merhej because the colors matches his phantom act....Where are you Saad? For that matter the same can be said about a lot of you, where are U? 

Calling Chadi Sawaya... Hello Chadi... I hope you remembered to take some great professional photos in Medium or Large format of Shweir and Sanneen that are worthy of making posters and calendars... so we can help you sell them on 
BTW (By The Way), for those who do not know, Chadi is a very talented young man who works in the creative arts, has a state of the art IT hardware and software and he is an expert in the Photoshop.  He salvaged great photos of old Shweir and made them into posters.  Thanks for scanning some photos and burn them onto a CD for webmaster last August. 


Thank you George Moujaes, Michael Sawaya and Chadi Sawaya for your efforts.

Photo of Shweir Courtesy of Samih Baaklini 

Click on thumbnails above and below to see a larger one... 

B Saha late '50s.JPG (171325 bytes)   Dhour Choweir 1950s.JPG (45748 bytes)
the Saha in late 1950's

Picture from Sandy Habib (Jouka) Moujaes 
-----Original Message-----
From: Sandy Khoury Mjaes []
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 1:01 PM
Subject: hi

hi, the big news this time ya moukhtar is that i am sending you as attachememt a photo shweir of our house appears (you must know it) i hope you will like it... next time i will send the second couldn't find the pictures on the shweir .com so i can not answer you yet but anyway if i am not looking nice i won't tell where i am standing, hahahah! please tell me where to find them on the web.

finally i just came back from syria, i went there with nijad and his mother and his fiance for two days, it was nice. this all for now waiting for your reply

love from shweir  

Thank you Sandy, this is a beautiful picture from a whole new perspective. 
Was this taken from an airplane?  

The following photos are courtesy of Waleed Mojaes

WM Rachid Bou Kheir.JPG (27157 bytes) Rachid Bou Kheir (Bou Aziz) God bless his soul. This is a special gift to Elie Bou Kheir. This picture was taken sometime in 1986-87 for Abou Aziz preparing his harvested onions (mejdal basal) for the winter WM Lizzan Pine Rocks.JPG (12787 bytes) 
Rocks, pine trees and 
"lezzan" in ain al hannout
WM old Shweir.JPG (20996 bytes) 

 An old neighborhood in Shweir


WM1 Stone Sculpture W Tabsharani.JPG (45966 bytes)

Sculpture by 
our famous 
Walid Emile Tebeshrani.

WM1 Saadeh House.JPG (54657 bytes)
Antone Saadeh House
WM1  Khalil Saadeh statue.JPG (66203 bytes)
Khalil Saadeh Statue
WM1 A villa in Shweir.JPG (58547 bytes)
A villa in Shweir
WM1 House above Sheer.JPG (23466 bytes)
House on Sheer
WM1 New Mar Gerios Shweir.JPG (48440 bytes)
New Mar Gerios
WM1 Retaining wall.JPG (82359 bytes)
Retaining Wall
WM1 Rolling Stone.JPG (65855 bytes)
Rolling Stone *
WM1 Sheer from Saideh.JPG (71584 bytes)
View of Sheer from Saideh

*  "Mahdaleh" ... Shweir had its Rolling Stones centuries before the Rolling Stones became famous.  Here it is ... centuries old and most likely invented in Shweir.  This Rolling Stone is used to compact roofs made out of clay and pebbles to seal it and minimize roof leaks.  

An email sent on 02-20-01 and a photo from Habib Moujaes titled Dhour at 8:a.m. 7:00 am it was -3 deg C in Dhour 
For those of you in warmer climate this is what happens when it get this cold..  
The roads of the saha were covered with 8 cm of ice 
This was one of the worst storms to hit Lebanon this season..  
Winds gusted to over 100km/hr in the south... 

P.S. For those of you who which for a special photo for a place, a relative, a friend or a loved when..(In Dhour area) send me a note, I will snap one and e-mail it to you....  (for a small fee of $500 per photo!.. just kidding)

Please let me know..




THIS age of technology is fantastic.  HERE we are in London,  in Texas, in Canada etc looking at SAHAT EL DHOUR AS AT the 21of feb 2001.  THE great advantage of this computer age ,and what GEORGE MATTAR STARTED is exactly what you did .THIS is the best way {THANKS MUKHTAR} to keep the SHWEIRY close together. bring us together, and help us to know each other .

YOU must be the grandson of SALIM MOUJAES, who was a great friend of my father and uncle.  {MY FATHER IS DAHER MATTAR AND UNCLE IS RASHID MATTAR }. 

THIS way we get to know the young generations also IN SHWEIR .  PLEASE keep us all informed about any happenings and events in SHWEIR.SEND us a photo of Deir MAR ELIAS TAKEN FROM THE Mtull if you can .  





What a shot, it reminds me of the Ten Pinbowling area from where you got the shot... Oh man its great...  Just for the sake of sanity we are here in shorts and we have AC on...  Keep warm...

Fr Dcn George, 
New Zealand


Abou Al Hib,

For all the great things you are doing there, this time you hit the jack pot. This picture brought all my childhood back. It remind me of the good old days when the Saha was full of children playing with snow. It remind me of the SHOFERIYEH screaming RAKEB 3ALA BEIRUT. It remind of Khali Salim good bless his soul when every Sunday used to open Cinema Roxy. It remind me of going early morning to school.  I think I need to stop because tears start coming down.  I love you man, please keep it up and don't stop



WAW............ what a beautiful photo of HEAVEN........!!!! Thank you so very much, Habib, for this wonderful gift you gave us this morning.! Hope you are doing well along with your family.!

God Bless You, 
Walid Georges Ghosn Moujaes


Ohio was 15 F ( around -10 C) when I first came from 30C in Hong Kong.  Although I was very happy with the snow here ( I haven't seen it in 5 years), this photo made my day, and many days to come!!!

Thank you Habib.  
Waleed Moujaes

The following is courtesy of Waleed Moujaes

1- (001) Apple orchard and a part of the new Saint Coeur of Shweir on the road between Shweir and Dhour. 
2- (002) Part of the ghwab taken from Kou3 7arf mard early in the morning.  
3- (007) Old Saint Coeur in Shweir with the oak, cedar and white berry tree ( in the front). Shweiriyieh depended on silk production which depended on those trees. See 1922 book.  
4- (008)Nahr bou Daoud and the Sadd restaurant on the road between Shweir and Ain Al Sindyaneh. This restaurant is managed by George Saadallah Samaha. 
5- (011) An old Shweiry house.


More photos from Waleed


Pine trees.JPG (16550 bytes)


Pines in Mtull

Pines 2.JPG (57697 bytes)



Mar Elias Pines Kesrouan.JPG (62425 bytes)
Deir Mar Elias and Kesrouan district far below

Shweir. The hill in the front is "Tallet al Halabi"

Shweir Fr Tallet al Halabi.JPG (36290 bytes)



Thank you Waleed.  these are great photos.  Look forward to feature more of your photos.

The follwing is courtesy of George Matar 

Dhour Shweir in Snow 

The following is courtesy of Nabil Matar

View of Sannine from Dhour

The following are from Elie Baaklini, Houston, Texas, USA

Saha Fntn Al Mukhallis.JPG (56126 bytes)
Saha & Al Mukhallis
Saha & Fountain.JPG (55042 bytes)
Saha & Fountain
Saha & Baladieh.JPG (53231 bytes)
Saha & Baladiyeh
Dhour Choueir Hotel.JPG (38935 bytes)
"Dhour Choueir Hotel"
At Saha & Fountain
Pine & View to Sea.JPG (67975 bytes)
Pine & View to Sea
View to Sea.JPG (57403 bytes)
View to Dhour Bldgs
View of Shweir.JPG (57306 bytes)
View of Shweir
Dhour Choueir Hotel Saha.JPG (52880 bytes)
"Dhour Choueir Hotel"
View Mar Elias.JPG (24093 bytes)
View to Sea 2
Villas New & Destr.JPG (43068 bytes)
Villas New & Dstryd
Villas Nr Mtull.JPG (68590 bytes)
Villas Near Mtull
Villas Nr Mtull 2.JPG (55773 bytes)
Villas Near Mtull

Thank you Elie Baaklini for sending us these new updates.

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Shweir.JPG (28911 bytes) Shweir, the Town Dh El Shweir Churches.jpg (21932 bytes) Shweir Churches
Mar Boutros.JPG (33565 bytes) Mar Boutros Al Saydeh NC.JPG (25125 bytes) Al Saydeh

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The following photos are courtesy of Lara Emile Sawaya Jouby & Khaled Jouby. 

Camels, Elephants, Donkeys in Shweir??? 

Dhour el Shweir Aerial
Old Souk and Antara  

Thank you Lara and thank you Khaled, our adopted honorary Shweiry.

The following photo is courtesy of Nabil Matar :  
The attachment is and old picture for Hawi store before it became a Casino. It was send to me last year by Wadih Mouchrik. It would be nice if you posted under a section ( the way we were). I wonder who are these guys in the picture,I recognized the one who is sitting and wearing a hat , I think he is Tofic Braheem Al Khoury Wadih, I understand that you have the greatest collection of old pictures. It would be nice if you send some to Anwer so he could post them in Also we would like you and the Shweirieh in Dhour to view the web site. It is fantastic. Keep in touch guys.  

Hawie Caffe

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The following photos are courtesy of Habib Halabi, (from Saudi Arabia)
Click on the photo to enlarge it... click on "Back Arrow" to return to Photo Page. 

Thank you Habib Halabi for these wonderful pictures, Arzeh Bldg.JPG (130670 bytes)
Arzeh Bldg
Mar Butros Akad.JPG (63594 bytes)
Mar Butros Akad
Mar Butros Interior.JPG (95157 bytes)
Mar Butros Interior
Abajour.JPG (442258 bytes)
Carlslow Bldg.JPG (176702 bytes)

Carslow Bldg

Monastry Gate.JPG (84436 bytes)
Monastery Gate
The Old Souk.JPG (102402 bytes)
The Old Souk
Ain El Sendianeh.JPG (161833 bytes)
Ain El Sindianeh
Cedar Bldg.JPG (89862 bytes)
Cedar Bldg
Saideh Tree.JPG (122501 bytes)
Saideh Oak Tree
Typical Shweir View.JPG (89402 bytes)
Typical Shweir view
Al Saaha.JPG (130080 bytes)
Al Saaha
Kassouff Hotel.JPG (78372 bytes)
Kassouff Hotel
Shweir Valley.JPG (93339 bytes)
Shweir Valley
Typical Shweiry House.JPG (139042 bytes)

Typical Shweir House

Arous 3 in 1.JPG (357424 bytes)
Arouse 3 in 1
Kharma.JPG (47884 bytes)
Souk.JPG (135429 bytes)
View Dn the Sheer.JPG (105718 bytes)

View from Sheer

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Shweir, the Town

Looking from near Nahr Abu Dawoode 
towards Dhour,  


View of Shweir from Dhour




Dhour Town Square "Al Saha"


Mar Butros and Al Saideh
Courtesy of Antoinette Khnaisser

"Hotel Sawaya" circa 1940's
Courtesy of Nabih Baaklini 

Mar Elias

Hotel Al Kassouf
Courtesy of Nabih Baaklini 


Basha Emad Building
Courtesy of Nabih Baaklini 


Shweir_1942.JPG (29984 bytes)

Shweir town B-W 50s.JPG (60559 bytes)



Hotel Kassouf.JPG (61922 bytes)


50s Basha Emad Building.JPG (42320 bytes)