It takes a lifetime to gain a friend, it takes a moment or a careless comment to lose one.

Community is the spirit and essence of the towns people working together for the common good.  Here we would like to feature our towns heroes who spent their time, efforts and resources to make Shweir a more beautiful, meaningful and a better place to live.  Also, we would like to feature our talented and younger generation... our future leaders and the official organizations "Charities" that are making a positive difference on Shweir and its people. 

 Also, we would like to have some questions answered... like... what long range plans are there to build a  community center, kids playgrounds, library, conference rooms and facilities, what educational programs are available what is missing?  what about adult education, vocational training etc...

(The above was written in July of 2000.  We sure have come a long way since then.  Many of these questions and aspirations are becoming reality right before our eyes like the Community Center, Library and Scholarship.  We still have a long way to go.  Thanks to all who participated and helped.  Working as a team, our goals become easier to achieve).  

we outgrew this page,
so, for events after June 2003,
please Visit Community web page II:


Application for Shweir Community Center  
Holiday Decorations in Saha:  December 2002
Miss International attends a surprise party at Baytna - Nov 2002

 Grand Opening of Baytna Senior Center hosted by SSSR & St. Bechara, Sun May 19, at 10:00 a.m.   
Shweir Non Profit Organizations working co-operatively together 
Mom's Day & Miss Lebanon sponsored by SSSR   
Christmas 2001 Concert in Shweir courtesy of Lama Katoul        
Tennis Competition - Summer 2001
Virtual Shweir Sahra   
A Prayer     
"Don't Wait Till They Leave Us"        



 Shweir Community CenterShweir Community Center


First Glimpses

----- Original Message -----
From: omar khneiser
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2002 2:04 PM
Subject: Library pictures
  These are the pictures of the place where the library is going to be with the entrance door from the backside of the baladieh. + application.



Thank you Omar for the great news... these are the kind of news that are always welcome...

Lets Mobilize ya shabab and ya banat... lets set up the logistics and guidelines to make this Library a show place physically and qualitatively.

Good luck and please keep us posted...


----- Original Message -----
From: "shweir municipality" <>
Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2002 3:17 AM

Hi, attached are the photos of the library Dr. Nabil wanted you to see how the work is going two to three days and the work of the toublit (tiling or marbelizing) will be done we still have to paint the walls.

 Love to all from Shweir


----- Original Message -----
From: "Oula Aoun"
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 1:18 PM                Subject: Shweir Community Center update

Shweir community center update.   Photos from George.  Regards, Oula 


The report, which was presented to Dr. Ghosun and approved by all the municipality members on Jan. 18 2003


 Community Centers and town Libraries have become essential facilities in city neighborhoods and small towns worldwide. Such premises have proven to be the ideal framework for social and cultural activities, as these places are highly conductive for socializing, as well as for knowledge seekers that can spend some time in the library for the sheer fun of reading.

 Back in August 2002, a group of enthusiastic town folks, some are residing here and some were visiting for the summer, submitted a formal letter to the municipality of Shweir (copy of the letter on this page) requesting the initiation of such a facility. The municipality obliged by allocating the open hall on the first floor of the municipality building as the venue for this center. The following study, which has been a group effort, elaborates the general activities and services that this center will provide to its visitors.

 A note of appreciation:

-   Riad N. Khuneisser
-   Oula G. Aoun
-   Rouba H. Khayrallah
-   Rima J. Abi Kheir
-   Ilham S. Sawaya
Georges J. Moujaes

           List & Contents

      -         Plan / General Layout
-         General sections, A-A, B-B
-         General sections, C-C, D-D
-         False ceiling plan
-         Furniture layout and floor finishes
-         Interior view
-         General report

General Report

 1-     Proposed layout
2-     Installation / furnishing / suggested materials
3-     Timetable
4-     Financing plan
5-     Operation
6-     Emblem / Logo
7-     Budgetary Cost estimate

1- Proposed Layout

Located at the first floor of the municipality building in Dhour El Shweir, the allocated space measures 15.8 x 11.3m and comprises 3 major zones as follows:

A-    Zone 1 / Entrance Area

i-                    Donor’s List: The Donor’s list features a wooden panel and will be located in the left corner of the entrance. The list will include the names of those that have contributed financially, those that have donated books, their names will be marked on each book.

ii-                  Hall of Fame: The wall on the left side of the entrance will include full display of selected famous people from Shweir and Ain Al Sindyaneh, that have made outstanding cultural and scientific achievements in the past. Each person will have his Portrait along with a brief biography written in Arabic, English and French. The names will include the following in alphabetical order:

      -     Fares Badr
-         Raymond Ghosn
-         Girgis Hammam
-         Nehme Jafet
-         Mansour Jerdak
-         Khalil Hawi
-         Fares Mishrik
-         Salwa Nassar
-         Assad Rustom
-         Antoun Saadeh

 In addition to the above, two supplementary list of names in Arabic and English will be mounted on the two adjacent doors.

 iii-                 Touristic sites of Shweir and Ain Al Sindyaneh: Located across from the hall of fame, the above stand will display a large aerial view of the area with a front panel that will include the following touristic sites, which will be identified interactively by the visitors. Once the visitor selects a site, it will be lit on the map showing its location, and a brief on the selected site will prompt next to the button:

 -         Old Churches of Shweir & Ain Al Sindyaneh
-         Shweir town square, the fountains, and the old Souk and the stairs connecting the square with Dahr El Sheer
-         Shweir Secondary School / names of the buildings
-         Antoun Saadeh Memorial
-         Al Mashrah area and Sarfad Restaurant
-         Ste. Elias Monastery
-         Al- Ghowab area and hiking Trail
-         Churches of Dhour El Shweir
-         Dr. Khalil Saadeh memorial
-         Municipality building and Nehme Jafet memorial
-         Hotel Dhour Shweir
-         Central Hotel

iv-                Information Center / Attendant: The desk will be located just after the entrance area. The attendant will be supplied with a PC that will include all the necessary information regarding books, list of members, and inventory of all furnishing items. The attendant who will be assigned on a part time basis and should be preferably trilingual and capable of attending to visitors queries.

B-    Zone 2 / Support Area: comprises two main rooms:

i-                    Computer room: will be equipped with 4 computer desks and 4 PC’s, a scanner and a printer and UPS. The computers will be available to students who wish to conduct a research or use the office software. Connecting one Computer to the internet is a possibility.

ii-                  Tutoring room: located adjacently to the Computer room and will include four tables with double seats, adequate for the tutor and the student. A white board will be mounted in a central location. The tutors will be on call to offer help to students on voluntary basis.

C-    Zone 3 / Library

The library area comprises four main sections:

i-                    Children’s Corner: located next to the entrance and across from the attendant, this corner will feature cases that will include books that are suitable for kids between 5 and 10 years old. It will also include educational toys and some board games.

ii-                  Books stacks, Area A: Four rows of double-sided stacks with a total length of 11.6m with a height of 2.10m. This will yield a face area of 46.4m2.  The average number of books/ m2 is 75. An approximate number of 3450 books will be stacked in this area. Next to the stacks, a group of 10 tables and 10 chairs will be available for reference / research reading.

iii-                 Book Stacks / Area B: This area will include 3 double and one single row of stacks. The overall face area will be 25.2 m2, which will be adequate to accommodate a total number of 1890 books. Next to the stacks, a group of 8 tables and 8 chairs are also available for reference / research reading.

The total number of books in both zones will total 5340 books, excluding the children’s books.

iv-                Reading Lounge: This area will be located in the far corner of the center and will feature periodicals / magazines and newspapers. Ten single seating couches are arranged in a circular pattern. However, it is worth noting that this area is flexible in terms of rearranging the seating area, including the chairs and tables in the reference / research reading sections for different usage of the space. Refer to the adjacent layouts for possible rearrangement of the space.

2- Installation & Furnishing / suggested materials

The proposed layout reflects an open space that has been zoned by the interior furnishing rather than partitioning, which has been minimized and applied only around the support area (computer and tutoring rooms).

Suggested materials:

a-      False ceiling: 60x60cm mineral fiber on exposed T grid with Fluorescent light fixtures 60x120cm. The grid will be installed between the drop beams. All other exposed areas will be painted. (refer to false ceiling plan)

b-     Partitions: Light partitions in gypsum boards on metal studs, 220cm above floor level, painted in latex paint. Colors and paint to be selected.

c-      Floor Covering: The entrance area has been tiled in stone. Except for the book stacks area which will be maintained in exposed terrazzo tiles. All other areas will be covered with 60x60 synthetic carpet tiles.

d-     All walls will be painted in emulsion paint. Colours to be selected.

e-      Interior furnishing: (refer to drawing A5 for the schedule and layout of interior furnishing).

All installation and furnishing will be sourced through vendors and skilled labour from Shweir and Ain Al Sindyaneh.

 3- Timetable

a- Submittal of preliminary proposal to Baladieh and launching of the fund           drive:  January 20th 2003
b- Finalizing and firming up drawings incorporating viable comments if any before 15th March 2003:
c- Installation begins March 27th 2003
d- Expected shipment and clearance of books April 15th 2003
e- Finalization of installation & furnishing May 31st / 2003
f- Unofficial opening June 8th 2003
g- Official opening / during Eid Al Mughtaribin as scheduled function. 

4- Financing

In addition to the appreciated help from the municipality, a wide fund raising campaign will be launched on local level as well as through the site. The fund drive which will target the collection of funds as well as books, could be undertaken as follows:

1-     Direct Contribution of money from individuals or groups.

2-     Covering the expenses of a full package that could be selected from the budgetary cost estimate table, ex. Partitions, chairs, false ceiling etc...

3-     Books: as suggested earlier, books could be collected in three main locations abroad. The shipments could be forwarded simultaneously in order to ease the clearance from the customs.

A committee of four members will be formed to handle the financial transactions and expenditures. The committee will include two members from the municipality and two members from the working team. A bank account will be opened in the local bank in Dhour El shweir in order to facilitate the transfer of money from abroad, details will be advised once formalities are finalized.

5- Operation

1-     Opening Hours

Fall / Winter (October through March) schedule:
10:00 – 12:30 P.M.  and 3:00 – 7:00 P.M. Monday to Friday
10:00 – 12:30 P.M  and  2:00 – 7:00 P.M.   Saturday

Spring / Summer (April through September) schedule:
9:30 – 12:30 A.M.  and 3:30 – 8:00 P.M. Monday - Saturday

2-     Membership              Although not obligatory, it’s highly recommended to set a nominal fee for membership in the center that will be renewable on yearly basis and will help in covering some expenses of the center as follows:

3-     Exhibitions & Art shows  Art rails will be mounted on the walls of the library and could be rented by artists to display their Paintings and Art Work for a limited time and against a nominal fee.

4-     Group sessions and Forums  The library area could be booked by groups for discussion sessions and forums that could be held on hourly basis and against certain fees.

6-      Emblem / Logo  The proposed emblem for the center is an open book that has the center’s name written in English and Arabic. Although this is just a proposal, any suggestions regarding this item could be forwarded and a committee will select the best graphical proposal


In the photos below:  Oula Aoun, George Moujaes & Riad Khuneisser
presented the above report to Mayor Nabil Ghosn and Baladieh Administrator Sandy Moujaes
(Note that the tile flooring (rekham) of future Community is now completed) sorry photo is of low resolution)



----- Original Message -----
From:  Bechara Merhej

Dear Riad,

I lately sent an email to, (through this same email, that you can find enclosed here), in which I expressed my deep gratitude to my classmates and especially to my friend Nabil Matar who put great efforts to prepare the beautiful letters about our gathering of class 1962, Eid al Mughtaribin, and had time to prepare also the beautiful piece about me.

This reflected a high commitment towards his village and deep cherish to friendship as a value by itself. This is not strange of Nabil who always was and still is a prominent figure in shweir and in Mahjar and a sincere friend and a person who makes friendship flourish and develop regardless of  distance and time.

I read about your project concerning the library in Shweir, it is a very important and constructive initiative, and above all it is very necessary to our village, well known as a cultural center. I congratulate for the idea and I will support your work.

Sincerely yours,

Beshara Merhej

Thanks to all the supporters and contributors from around the world for your help. 
 Thank you Riad and Omar Khuneisser for scanning and sending us this detailed report. 
Thank you George Moujaes and Oula Aoun for creating a great design, specs and budget
Thanks to Dr. Ghosn, the City Council, Sandy Moujaes and all who worked on this report. 


Community Center Fund Raiser
for Total updated Budget of $22,364

Excitement in the Air

Thank you to all our supporters,
we achieved our Goal in less than 3 months.

Dr. Karim K. Nasser
pledges an additional $4,000 for a total of $5,000
to the Shweir Foundation for the Community Center and Library. 
Payable to Shweir Foundation as soon as the tax exempt status is complete. 
This pledge to be…

In Honor of:
My aunt Badre Bou Laila Khnaisser Akiki
“Thank you for your Love, Sacrifice, Guidance and Inspiration”

 In Memory of:
My sister Jouliette Wadih Nasr Khnaisser
My aunt Marie Bou Laila “Im Fares” Khnaisser
My uncle Sabi’ Bou Laila Khnaisser

“Thank you for your love, dedication, sacrifice and contribution to the education of many people”


Distinguished Contributors


$$ paid

Baladieh - Generous start from Mayor Ghosn & Council  10,000
Dr. Karim Nasser - Canada - Via Shweir Foundation    5,000
Yousef Halabi donated "Drop Ceiling"    1,300
Mansour Harik via Shweir Foundation    1,000

Further, Dr Ghosun is sending a letter in English and Arabic, to "officials in Shweir": Heads of schools, priests of all churches, political parties, non profit organizations, athletics clubs, etc., enlist their support of  the project.

Six of our young gentlemen who are, computer engineering or computer science major, are working together on a project for the Community Center, software to be used in the library.

Thank you Riad for the above report.

To post you comments and contribution, visit our Shweir Bulletin Board at

To view or add to BB posts: Supporters of Shweir Community Center

Lets keep that excitement and momentum going,  Do you feel it?


-----Original Message-----
From: Sawaya, Michael N (SCC) [mailto: michael.sawaya at]
Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2003 1:11 AM
Subject: RE: Comunity Center

 As Promised the first batch was collected and will be sent to Lebanon ASAP.   I will inform Amal my sister to deliver the money to Riad Khunieser   - No big parties Riad ;-)
All the Guys generously donated their shares as always, Thanks in a Million

Saudi Arabia  Total :      $1007

Habib Halabi              
Mike Sawaya
Mekhael Samaha       
Roustom Moujaes       

Aziz Kurban
Beshara Abou Nakhla
Omar Halabi
More to come:

 As Per UAE, I will dedicate some of my efforts to that wealthy side of the Gulf region J I heard that my cousin Lara, George, Salam and Hala sawaya already donated so please guys
Collect all the money in one location. Fidaa Sawaya have showed interest in Helping  
fsawaya at  Please coordinate with her. 

 United Arab Emirates  Total:    $200

Lara sawaya jouby + khalid
George Elias Sawaya

Salam Sawaya                        
Hala Sawaya                           

One last word, I am proud of everyone showing interest to this project. Special thanks goes to My buddy Habib Halabi and Beshara Abou Nakhla our Dynamo in the Gulf.


-----Original Message-----
From: Matar, George []
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 7:02 AM
Subject: Shweir Center update

Sabah Il Kheir

It has been a while since my last update, please excuse my delay, it is work

As of early this week we have: 
Committed:      $10,740
Received:       $9,240 combined collections in Lebanon, USA, Saudi, and
Outstanding:    $1,500
We also have five names on the list that offer to help but have not enclosed
the amount, so hopefully they will let us know.

Additionally:   From the City Council:  $5,000 already spent on the basic
modification of the hall, and an additional $5,000 allocated for a

The total Budget is close to $22,000

Thanks to all that have given their time and effort to help with the
collection, specially, Elias Mattar In England, Michael Sawaya, in Saudi,
Elie Bou Kheir in Texas....  Thanks guys but we are not done yet, just stay
with us for just s little while longer.
We will be sending the donations to Dhour by the end of the March so if you
have not submitted your donation please do so, and for the rest of you "IT
IS NOT TOO LATE" please send donation at your convience to :
Dhour Shweir via George J. Moujaes, Riad Eid Khonaisser, or through the
In the USA through (endorse your Check to Shweir Foundation)
Shweir Foundation Inc.
2302 Greenbush Rd.
Katy, Texas 77494
In the Gulf Contact Michael Sawaya at
In Europe contact  Elias Mattar his email address

Here is the list of names (Million thanks).  If your name SHOULD be on the
list and I missed it PLEASE let me know.  The reason could be beacuse you
did not let me know, or we have not received a donation.
Abi Kheir Walid                
Abou Nakhla Beshara            
Abou Nakhla Hani               
Baaklini Nabih *               
Baaklini Toufic        
Benab Nadia     In memory of Lourice Houbeika  
Bou Chebl Salim                
Bou Kheir Elie         
Collection from England (need Names)           
Goodson Frankie                
Halabi Habib           
Halabi Omar            
Halabi Yousef          
Hammam Nijad           
Hammam Samir           
Mattar Elias           
Khattar Leila Mattar           
Harik Iliya *   Will Pay In Shweir     
Harik Mansour   In memory of Iskandar Mansour Harik    
Heinl Christina Sawaya         
Johnson Don            
Jouby Khalid Lara Sawaya *             
Kenicer Anwar          
Kurban Aziz            
Mapar Kamal & Victoria         
Matar George           
Matar Nabil            
Mirhej Michael         
Mirhej Saad            
Moujaes Alfred         
Moujaes Ayat S.                
Moujaes Miric          
Moujaes Mounir Shahadeh In memory of Jeiryes & Barbara Moujaes 
Moujaes Mounir *               
Moujaes Roustom                
Moujaes Samir & Sylvia         
Moujaes Waleed         
Nacol Habib            
Nassar Nada            
Nasser Karim           
Salameh Norman & Shirley.              
Samaha Mekhael         
Sawaya George Elias *          
Sawaya Hala            
Sawaya Mike            
Sawaya Rani            
Sawaya Salam           
Sawaya Wajih & Lamia           


Thanks to all the supporters and contributors from around the world for your help. 
 Thank you Riad and Omar Khuneisser for scanning and sending us this detailed report. 
Thank you George Moujaes and Oula Aoun for creating a great design, specs and budget
Thanks to Dr. Ghosn, the City Council, Sandy Moujaes and all who worked on this report. 



Holiday Decorations in Saha:  12-2002

and latest picture of progress  on Library & Community Center > > >

Wow, this is amazing production, yes we are proud of everyone who helped.  Bravo.

photos are courtesy of Fawj El Shweir Al  Awwal, the scouts group of Shweir
Yes, the photography is surreal, click on the red manger (Mghara), it is multi dimensional. 
Congratulations Fadi & the Scouts on your newly found talent.



And this postcard courtesy of Alfred and Arlette Sawaya


----- Original Message -----

From: Fadi Abdel Ahad
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 11:01 AM


I am hereby sending you the photos for the latest event that crowned The DHOUR SHWEIR SQUARE early today's evening (Thursday December 12, 2002). The event was the opening of the newly decorated cave in the Se7a, right in front of the municipality building.


A detailed text will be mailed to you by Adelle Halabi (The scout leader) that accredits all the people that have really joined their efforts to achieve this lovely decoration work in our town square.


All that I can say, after I saw the Town Square this night and upon gathering some information concerning the preparations for this year's Christmas, is that we, the Shweiryeh who will be spending their Holidays in Town, are going to love it, and we will be envied by all the people around the world.


I WISH YOU ALL A MERRY MERRY X-MAS and whoever is hesitating to come during his vacation just grab your luggage and come join us.


Please do inform me whether you received the ten photos or not


Thank you

Fadi Abdel Ahad


List of Photos:

(Kindly do note that the photos are courtesy of Fawj El Shweir Al  Awwal, the scouts group of Shweir)


01-  Photo of the cave with the municipality building in the background

02-  Same as the above

03-  Some shweirieh that were involved in the decoration works with father Elie Khonaysser (the coordinator of the works)

From left to right: Wissam Sawaya, George Rahbani, Father Elie Khonaysser, Fouad Sawaya, Nayla Sawaya, I can't recognize the second lady, and the last to the right is Ziad Hawchar

04-  Photo of the Rond point with the Moukhales Church in the Back

05-  Photo depicting the Rond point, the Municipality with the cave in front of it, and the Dhour Shweir Hotel to the right.

06-  Photo depicting the Rond point, the Municipality with the cave in front of it, and the Moukhales church to the left.

07-  Photo depicting the Rond point and the Municipality with the cave in front of it.

08-  From left to right: Ziad Hawchar, Father Elie Khonaysser, and Fouad Sawaya.

09-  A detail of the portraying the virgin Mary and St. Joseph standing in front of the newly born Jesus, who is laying in his manger.

10-  In the for ground, the virgin Mary and St. Joseph standing in front of the newly born Jesus and are being approached by the first wise man . The back ground the Main Elevation of the Dhour El Shweir Hotel.


Comments about Christmas Decorations from the Shweir Bulletin Board:


Author Topic: Christmas in the SAHA
George Matar
Member # 4

posted 12-13-2002 01:05 PM      Profile for George Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Man that picture on the front is so beautiful and nostalgic. The fact is I've never seen the Saha so lit in the winter. They must have spent a lot of money for the preparation.... on that note, I have an idea.
After Christmas all the stores run their Christmas lights, ornament, etc. at really reduced rates, so if those planning to go to lebanon can buy several light strands and carry them to Shweir, I bet you will be able to buy 5 boxes (100 light) for about $10. These do not take a lot of space in your suit cases. This will help add to the decoration for next year. If you do, please deliver to the Municipality to Sandy, she will know what to do with them

Posts: 990 | From: Houston, Texas USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged

Member # 5

posted 12-13-2002 02:53 PM      Profile for Webmaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

This creativity and artistic talent is tremendous. They must have spent weeks and months in preparation and logistic to come up with the final plan. The outcome surpasses our expectations.

They spent over $5,000 in hard cost, not to mention the countless volunteer hours by so many groups and individuals. That is a bargain. Nabil Matar and I pledged $50 each to help. Some of you offered to help and asked where to send a donation. I am waiting for the answer, as soon as I find out, I will post it.

To FR. Elie and all the volunteers and supporters, you have lit up the main square and lifted the spirit of the town at the slowest time of year.

On behalf of Shweirieh from around the world, and the family, Congratulations on a fantastic and successful project. Thank you. Thank YOU.


Posts: 386 | From: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged

Nabil E. Matar
Member # 11

posted 12-13-2002 04:39 PM      Profile for Nabil E. Matar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Man Sahet Al Dhour never looked better, congratulation to each and every Shweiry who help decorating the Saha. Seeing this magnificent picture of our Saha brought tears to my eyes. I wish I am there to celebrate Xmas ( sorry Lulloos) with you all Ya Habayeb albi Ya Shweirieh. Events like that will make you proud of being Shweiry.
I hope people from all over Lebanon come and see the creativity of our home folks.
Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all .
God bless our town

Posts: 423 | From: Groves, Texas USA | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

Habeeb M. Nacol
Member # 15

posted 12-13-2002 08:57 PM      Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I cannot imagine receiving a better Christmas card than the picture of the saha that is currently gracing our web page. Is Dhour beautiful or what? May our little city be always mnowarah (bathed in light)

Author Topic: The Hell With Pessimism!
Habeeb M. Nacol
Member # 15

posted 12-13-2002 09:11 PM      Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Yes, the hell with pessimism--here I said it again!

Look at the pictures that are currently featured by our webmaster. To the left, a giant of our community Bshara Mirhij, look at the beautiful and so confident smile of our friend and honorable minister Bshara. Look to the right Dr. Rania abu Kheir--our future never looked so beautiful and bright; and the center our saha shining, defying, and mocking all the recent adversities that failed to bring our people down to their knees. I am so optimistic! Thank God for all His goodness--He is smiling at us.

Posts: 414 | From: Beaumont, Texas, U.S.A. | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged

Miss Lebanon/Miss International Christina Sawaya visits Baytna in Dhour

----- Original Message -----
From: "Riad Khunieser"
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2002 5:51 AM
Subject: Miss International and Baytna Party

Miss Christina Sawaya, Miss International 2002, Miss Lebanon 2001/2003, was the guest of honor in the surprise party at BAYTNA, which was given by the Elderly Guests at the home and the Baytna administration with few ladies and gentlemen from both societies and Baytna helpers. 

Christina, a Shweirieh in the identity card and the First Lady in her, deep hearted, feelings towards our elderly parents, came with her mother and father to pay a visit to our parents living in Baytna, as she always does. Christina was back from Tokyo after electing her Miss International. Every time she travels, the fist thing she does after coming back, is paying a visit to the Elderly Ladies and Gentlemen living in Bytna, the project that she works for and is helping in making it better and bigger.

The ladies of the two societies, Sayidet Al Bishara and Is3aaf, were ready for the visit. Each one of them prepared a special dish for the occasion to congratulate Christina in her new title. Christina was surprised by the ladies action when she saw all the food that was prepared specially for her. Christina was very happy in seeing the elderly ladies laughing and clapping their hand to salute her. The first thing Christina did was kissing the old ladies and asking them about how they feel.  Every body was happy with Christina and her parents. Drinks and food were served and every body raised their cups to drink for the queen health and

Mr. Nassif Sawaya, Christina father, read a poem of his, about Christina success, Shweir and Lebanon. It was a piece of heart from a father to his daughter and to his hometown and country.  Christina, a young and very beautiful modest lady, made every body loves her in Shweir and everywhere. She made her aim, the helping of old people in their last part of life in a descent healthy way, and she worked and is working with the other societies in Shweir to make the dream true. Every time she is in the Media, in every place she appears, Shweir and elderly project comes first in her speech. Her attitude and actions made all of us thing of her highly not because she is very beautiful and attractive from outside only but because she is more beautiful from inside.

Thank you Riad & Omar Khuneisser for taking, scanning and sending the pictures and for your report. note:  can someone provide us with copy of Nassif Sawaya's poem about his daughter Christina so we can post here?
Thank you.  and Thank Riad for sending us a copy... click on it below to enlarge...

Shweir Non Profit Organizations working co-operatively together

-----Original Message-----
From:   Riad Khunieser 
Sent:   Friday, April 12, 2002 9:00 AM
To:     Matar, George
Working Together  

Dear Nabil, Anwar & George
I am very happy to tell you that at last good events are happening in our
home town these days. As you all know, all "non profit organizations" working in Shweir are doing their best for the welfare of the people in Shweir and the neighbourhood (no doubt about that), but they are used to work separately and not as group. Each society does whatever seems to her its the most important. The only cooperation between them stops after congratulation visits or celebrations.
The Shweir Social Services & Rescue, Is3af, group started ,alone working on
a big project (for more than two years), The project was for a  retirement home. This project was the aim and dream for all societies in Shweir for a long time, but non of them could make it true.  As you know, Mar Elias Orthodox Monastry gave the land (14.000m2) and the
Is3af started working for the official papers and for the maps. The Is3af
found out that the project will take time and the need for a retirement home now is essential. The idea of a mini retirement home came out.  I can tell you now that the two societies, Akhawiyet Sayidet Al Beshara and the Is3af are working together to make this project real. ţFor the first time in years we see two groups working together aiming at the same point.  The Retirement Home (mini retirement home) will open its doors to our parents very soon
(may be next month) after the new furniture and equipments are ready. Both
societies will share in every thing, money, helping, directing etc. The openning will happen with the presence of Miss Lebanon and both Orthodox and Catholic Archbishops and others.  The project is a very important one for Shweir and others and we hope every body will join. The door is open for all organizations to join and share while every effort is needed.
I want to tell you friend, that the cooperation and working togather for
Shweir between our organizations made us more than happy.   God bless them and bless you all in helping each other.
Riad Khunieser

-----Original Message-----
From: Matar, George
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2002 9:31 AM

This is a great message ya Riad, I love hearing stuff like that, it confirms
to me that there is hope for our village.  Working together is the only way.
I pasted the message on the Bulletin Board for all to see.
Thank you Ya Riad

-----Original Message-----
From: Matar, Nabil
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2002 7:47 AM
Habib Al Alb Abou Najib
That goes for me too, I hope the third Society (Al Aghathy) will join the
effort too. This Goes in line with the unity massage my brother Archbishop Habib posted in the web site.
Riad, I came back today to the office and will be in Houston next week, I
hope you and Rouba have a chance to work on the Plaques.
Thanks for this nice massage buddy
Nabil E. Matar

-----Original Message-----
From: A. G. Kenicer 
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2002 11:41 AM

This is terrific news!  Halleluiah! I will  post the message on the web with the next update.


-----Original Message-----
From: Riad Khuneiser
Sent: Wednesday, May 8, 7:47 AM

Invitation card, for each and every one of you, >to the opening ceremony of "BEITANA", "Our Home". family,  Marhaba, In the name of the two societies; Sayidet Al Beshara and Al Isaaf wal Khadamat, who like to invite you to the opening of their new shared project "Beitana", I tell you, ahlan wa sahlan, welcome on the 19th of May 2002 in Shweir to celebrate with our old shabab, men and women, their new temporary home. This project, "The Retirement Home", was the dream of all societies and old Shweirieh since ages.

On this occasion, I can't say except that, there is still men and women in Shweir working together in new projects for the benefit of all Shweirieh and neighbours. Your support, in all deferent ways, is much needed.  Thank you, keep working for your Shweir, and God bless you all.


-----Original Message-----
From: Matar, George []
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 9:59 AM
Subject: A reminder and an Invitation Card

Dear Shweirieh All Over

Second I received this invitation from Riad Eid Khunieser that he addresses
to the Family.  This is a truly unified effort for the two organization, and nothing pleases me better that seeing Shweiri hands joins together for the benefit of our village.  When you go to Shweir this year make sure you go visit and carry a small gift or flower to make one or more of the residents smile....I bet you it will be worth your while.

Your Mukhtar bil Mahjar
George Matar 


Grand Opening "Baytna"

-----Original Message-----
From: Fincorp []
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 12:09 AM
To: George Matar; Nabil' 'Matar; 'Kenicer Anwar'

 Dear Family

On Saturday I received the stretchers in Dhour (Stretchers1.jpg)
The Box looked great (so did the stretchers) good job Nabil & Habib !!
I sent the stretchers and accessories to the Social &Rescue Services in
preparation to Sunday's opening of their new Elderly rest home "Baytna".  (baytna3.jpg + baytna5.jpg)
This is a house they rented until the retirement Home is completed. It
is made up of 4 bedrooms , a living and dinning area, a kitchen and two baths.
It is a well equipped starter home with 3 rooms for non critical elderly
(Baytna1.jpg) and one with special beds and emergency equipment(Baytna.jpg).
Two organizations have joined hand in this project, The Social and
rescue services (SRSS)and the Lady of "Bechara" (Saydet Al Bechara).
Pictured with the Miss Lebanon (Christina Sawaya) (Baytna6.jpg)who is an
Honorary member of the SRSS and a spokeswomen for the project.)I am in the picture representing the Family.
One of the stretchers will be used by the center, the other two by the
ambulances of the SRSS.
During the open House I Officially presented the stretchers in the name
of SHWEIR.COM to the president of the SRSS Mr. Elie Korban  (Stretchers2.jpg) and to the Director of the center, Mrs. Antonia Korban (Baytna2.jpg)(With a cute volunteer trying one out.) 

During the ceremony Mr. Salah Nohra, the architect of the Elderly home was at hand to show the Scaled model of the home(Baytna4.jpg).
The celebration was attended by local clergymen, Deputies, Minister
Merhej, the Mayor and members of the council, local organizations, and people from Shweir and surrounding area.
Now This is a project that deserves our continuous support.

Good Job!

Habib Moujaes


The Ambulance Stretchers have arrived from Houston


-----Original Message-----
From: Matar, George
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 10:44 AM
Subject: The Stretchers

Dear Shweirieh

It has been A while since my last email, please forgive the delay.   As most
of you know by now the stretchers, or Gurneys have found a home in Shweir, and they couldn't have arrived at a better time.  The arrival coincided with the Grand opening of the Bytna project.  You must check the <>  to know all the facts, and behind the scenes communication and all the pictures associated with this wonderful project.

There are So many people to thank and I will start with those that
contributed their hard earned money to make this dream come true: The Families of
Habib Nacol     Texas  
Nabil Matar     Texas  
George Matar    Texas  
Elias Mattar    London 
Anwar Kenicer   California     
Suheil Baaklini Texas  
Saad Merhej     UAE    
Samih & Dolly Baaklini  Texas  
Leila Matar Khattar     London 
Nijad Hammam    London 
Samir Hammam    London 
Salim Bou Cheble        Texas  
Iliya & Elsa Harik      Texas  
Samir Moujaes   Arizona
Hilda Sawaya    Tennessee      
Barnie Hatem    Washington D.C.
Michael Merhej         
Dr. Klee Benvinste      Australia      
Jackline Forti         

If you do not see your name on the list and did send a contribution, this is
basically to let you know that we did not receive it.

Also thanks to the Port Arthur Ambulance Services for offering the Stretchers at a great price.
Thanks to the Wilson Family for The Expertise in Boxing and actually building the Box
Thanks to George Haddad for all his efforts on finding us the best shipping value.
Thanks to Habib K. Moujaes for handling the Stretchers once they got to Lebanon, It is my understanding that the Lebanese Port Authority Slammed us with a large Gemrook fee (no thanks to them) Which Habib and the Isaaf had to pay.

Alone, we might not be able to do much, but together, wow,  The Potential is limitless

One Shweir

Mukhtar Bil Mahjar
George Matar


-----Original Message-----
From: Riad Khunieser []
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 5:07 AM
To: A. G. Kenicer
Subject: Pictures

Dear Anwar,
One of the stretchers was at the entrance of BAYTNA, and the wheelchairs
were in every room. Yesterday at 11:45 am, the new temporary retirement house was opened, the church at 10:00 am was full of Shweirieh and friends, the house was crowded.
What I am sending now are (old) pictures, of last week. Pictures for the
house when the furniture and equipment were brought and installed. The plan was to send them before the opening, so that everyone of you can see, on the web, and feel as if he is between us on Sunday.  Omar's computer refused to scan, and I had to wait for Monday to send it from the office. One word for now, "It's a mini hospital, very well equipped, Brimo, Bravo". These were some of the words, both organizations heard yesterday. Sunday was a wonderful day.
I will send you more pictures from the, opening day, in the coming days.



More pictures, forms, applications of Baytna and Almasih Kaam

Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 15:23:29 +0300
To: "A. G. Kenicer" <>
>From: Riad Khunieser <>

This is to inform you all that Bytna is officially opened for everybody. 
Guests and residents are welcome. For more information,

Mrs. A. Korban is ready to answer your inquiries;

Tel. at Bytna 04-391541 , cell. 03-325773 .

>1-As you know, before the opening, there was a mass in the church.
2-After that the opening of the house, soft drinks, cake, cocktail food.
3-Lunch at Dhour Hotel.

I am sending pictures for all steps, the two speeches giving by Archbishop Elias Najim and representetive of the Catholic Archbishop,  head of Marihana, father Tony Nadaf.


Comments from 
Thank you Habib and Riad for your reports and sending the pictures and representing



Mothers' Day and Miss Lebanon - March 16, 2002 

Moms Day 3-16-02.jpg (26954 bytes)

Anwar, Some thing nice from Riad.  Nabil

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Riad Khunieser" <>
Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2002 6:43 AM

Dear Nabil, I would like to wish you a happy easter for this time, i'll wish you another one next time too.

This is the picture from the magazine AL MAR'A for April issue 2002.i will give you details when i go to work .   ciao

Thank you Riad for sending the data, thank you Nabil for forwarding them  and thank you Omar for mastering the scanner.  
These pictures look great.  

Moms Day 1 C Sawaya.jpg (35381 bytes)
Moms Day 9.jpg (25289 bytes)

Moms Day 2.jpg (31819 bytes)


Moms Day 3.jpg (35683 bytes)


4 Moms Day 4.jpg (103441 bytes)
5 Moms Day 5.jpg (29028 bytes) Moms Day 6.jpg (34638 bytes)


Moms Day 7.jpg (34553 bytes)


Moms Day 8.jpg (30961 bytes)


Anwar, Fantastic pictures from Riad for mothers day dinner for the Isaaf. Now that is what you call good news from home. Thanks Abou Najib.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Riad Khunieser" <>
To: "Nabil Matar" <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 1:51 AM
Subject: pictures

Dear Nabil, > I promised to send pictures for the "Mothers Day" dinner on the 16th of Mar.  Here are few that I have already.

> Start with:

> no. 9, I think you can read "WAFA'AN LLSHWEIR ALHABIBA",Alkafa'at. 
> no. 4, (in 3 pictures) Mothers around the cake, cutting and celebrating.
> no. 6, Miss Lebanon and her mother and more mothers.
> no. 8, From L to R : Elie Korban, Eng.Raief Shweirieh(General Manager of
> Kafa'at), son of Mr. Nadim Shweirieh, Miss Christina Sawaya, and Habib Juka  Mujaies.  
> no. 2 I don,t have to tell you the names.
> no. 7 Chritina with few members of the Isaf group.
> no. 3 More ladies and gentlmen from the Isaf.
> no. 1 Christima given her speach.
> no. 5 A nice good looking young lady (unmarried), who was sitting on my table, > (this to make you jealous, )

> I don't know if anybody had send you pictures and/or an article on the  occasion. If not advise so I can take care of that. Any how I have send you > few of what I have, if you see it's worth putting on the web do it please.  

> You should know at least that the Shweirieh Family gave every thing free to  the Isaf to help in the Retirement Project and you can see what chief Ramzi, the son of Nadim Shweirieh, wrote on the cake.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Habib Moujaes []
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 1:51 AM

To: Matar, George
Subject: Mother's day dinner

<<Mother's day.jpg>> Dear George
Here's a picture of the Mother's day Dinner held by the Social and Rescue Service's.
In this picture Miss. Lebanon is posing with newly elected councilmen.  

Elie Kiameh, Miss Lebanon, Imad Jordak, Habib Moujaes (Wife Monda sitting) and friend looking afar.




Christmas 2001 Concert in Shweir

----- Original Message ----- 
lamloom katul 
Saturday, January 19, 2002 11:36 PM
Xmas Concert in Shweir

Hi Anwar,  Long time no speak, anyways while i was in Lebanon i went to a Christmas concert so i got pictures and i wrote a report feel free to change any errors in the text and i want u to post it on even though its bit late but sorry i wasn't allowed to use the computer until my exams were over! So here you go:

I arrived  at  the nuns school and entered  the auditorium . The auditorium was filled with chairs that after minutes would be filled up with people who are coming to enjoy the evening.  Soon the auditorium was filled up with people who were coming to watch the concert.

What am I talking about? A concert that was setup by a group of teenagers that were her to sing  and entertain us for the next hour. What is the concert called? White Christmas  it was a combination of of Arabic and English songs and French. Most of the Arabic songs were new produced by Maher Sabagh some of these songs were "Khabroony Kusat" "Jayee Habiby"

"Tajak Najim Wa Satie" "Wahdoo Sahran" . There was also a combination of famous English Christmas carols like " Deck the Halls" "Silent Night" "Hark the Herald" "White Christmas" and "We Wish you a Merry Xmas". One of the French songs that was sung was "Petit Papa Noel"

The stage was beautifully designed with a black background and yellow and silver lights hung on the black wall. In the center of the wall are gold silvery stars hung also on the wall.

There is a lovely Christmas tree in the back center of the stage designed with red Christmas balls and a golden star on the top .  

Then come the group of singers that are a group of girls and guys they are all dressed in black and red Santa Claus hats on the head. All the music was played by them and there was a pianist and violin player and a saxophone player.

All in all they were excellent they made their concert an incredible success everyone loved them (including me) they all  had perfect voices and did a great job! A big cheer goes to all these young shweirieh who were able to make a great success that night!

                                                                                                           Lama Katoul

P.S. Unfortunately  to lack of time i wasnt able to get names of these singers and players so plz anyone who knows the names plz provide them for us!  

Webmaster's note:  Thank you Lama for an excellent report.  We would love to receive and feature the photos to complement your report.   Please send them in JPEG format.  


Tennis Competition Matches organized by Elie Bou Kheir, sponsored by  

In USA:  

-----Original Message-----
From: Matar, George []
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 7:17 AM
Subject: A Shweiry Pride

 Marhaba Ya Shweirieh

Here is some news that make you all feel so proud,  Elie Bou Kheir is Officially named as the # 3 seed tennis player in the USA for the 50 and
over age group.  That by itself is a major accomplishment,  additionally he was invited to represent the USA in the international tournament  "Fred Perry Cup" this April in Florida.  Like the Davies Cup the Fred Perry Cup is also an annual tournament where countries compete against each other, this year it happens to be in the USA this year. 
Following the tournament Elie will be playing in another tournament for the National Title.

Join me in wishing Elie the best in both tournaments

Bring it Home Baaaaaaaabbbbbbyyyyyyy.

We will be working on a full article regarding Elie and his passion, look for it on <>  soon


In Shweir:  organized by Elie Bou Kheir, sponsored by  

The players played impressive matches that were professional and exciting to watch... 

At the Tennis club, I met for the first time my cousin Najib Khnaisser and said hello to Elie's son Jamil after their tennis match P8030022.jpg (54382 bytes) players, spectators & cheerleaders 


P8030023.jpg (136671 bytes)
P8030024.jpg (40214 bytes)

champions on the court

Tennis 4.JPG (21695 bytes) Tennis 3.JPG (30320 bytes) Tennis 2.JPG (29727 bytes) Tennis 7.JPG (47695 bytes) 
2001 36.JPG (33515 bytes)
Tennis 9.JPG (46219 bytes) Tennis 6.JPG (40013 bytes) Tennis 1.JPG (28427 bytes) Tennis 5.JPG (39859 bytes) Tennis 8.JPG (36705 bytes)
Aug 2001 08.JPG (31940 bytes)   Aug 2001 06.JPG (38060 bytes)    

Elie, we would welcome a report or a summary of these events... setting, names of award recipients... etc... 





Proposal from National Alliance Of Lebanese Americans (NALA)

 -----Original Message-----
From: Toufic Baaklini
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2003 3:18 PM
To: George Matar
Subject: Wheelchairs

Dear George, 
Our organization the National Alliance Of Lebanese Americans (NALA) is sending  a shipment of wheelchairs  to Lebanon. I can allocate as many wheelchairs as needed to be given to Shweir. The container will arrive to Lebanon by the end of March. Please let me know how many you would need for Shwier.
Best regards,
Toufic Baaklini

Hello Toufic

Thank you so much for this offer, I will pass it on the SSSR (isaaf), via Riad and Nancy.  I am copying them on this email so you can establish contact directly with them.  With Baytna and the beginigntof the building of the new Home for the elderly, I believe they might need some more.  Riad, Nancy could you get back with Toufic on this? 
Toufic, what would be the cost per chair?  I am sure they will need to know.
I tell this line of communication is so wonderful.  I just love it
George Matar

----- Original Message -----
From: Toufic Baaklini
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: Wheelchairs

George, Our organization is paying for the wheelchairs so the chairs will be donated to Shweir.  Regards,
Toufic Baaklini

From: Anwar Kenicer
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: Wheelchairs
Hello Toufic,
Fantastic.  Congratulations to NALA on this worthy endeavor and your efforts to include Shweir in this distribution. Bravo.
If I am not mistaken, a container will hold 240 wheelchairs which will be distributed through out Lebanon.
I agree with what George wrote and wish to add: 
Aside from Shweir needs, please also check with the following: 
Minister Bechara Merhej.  He heads and is on committees to several handicap organizations In Lebanon.
Mary Ofeish:  She is familiar with many organizations throughout Lebanon.  She would know who is in need right now.
                    She assisted in the distribution of a container of wheelchairs donated by the Lebanese American Association (LAA) and Wheelchair Foundation in 2001 to many organizations.. 
Alexa Kiame:  When I was in Shweir in 2001 and told her about the wheelchair donation, she said that she knew of a couple of organizations that are very much in need of wheelchairs.
Patricia Nabti:  A PhD from California, married to Dr. Nabti, This lady founded  "Association for Volunteer Services" and almost single handedly linked a majority of volunteer and non profit groups in Lebanon under one umbrella to give them national and international recognition and assistance. I again urge our Shweir Non Profit groups to join this fine organization.
If you need contact info to any of the people mentioned above, please let me know.
BTW.  the LAA has expressed plans to send two containers of wheelchairs to Lebanon this summer.  Nothing definite yet.
Best regards,
From: "Matar, Nabil"
To: "'Riad Khunieser'"

 Marahaba Riad,
 I am back in the office today and will leave tomorrow to Ohio. I am so happy  to see that the fund raise is moving alone well, Also happy to hear that Mr.  Toufic baaklini working to get wheelchairs to our town. One suggestion for  Riad. Please include the Aghathy , Sayedt al bechara Societies and don't forget to give a chair or two to Mrs. Bechara Merhij Wife's organization.
 Nabil E. Matar

-----Original Message-----
From: Riad Khunieser

Hello Toufic,
Thank you, Toufic and NALA for this offer and for including Shweir in this donation. The SSSR (Isaaf), which is covering not only Shweir in its activities and help but also all our neighbors in Jwar, Chreen, Bikfaia, Bolonia, Mrouj, Zaroun, etc., whomever comes to us for help, we are ready to help him. Our needs for now and the near future are for twenty wheelchairs for the use in Bytna (Home for the Elderly) and for other patients. The wheelchairs, which we got as donation from the ALA by the help of in 2001 plus the ones we bought before, are now between the hands of many users and they need maintenance and repair after each use.
Thank you and God bless you

----- Original Message -----
From:  Bechara Merhej
To: Riad

Dear Riad,
 I received read your email dated February 4, 2003,  in which you conveyed the message sent by Mister Baaklini, I thank you all for these initiatives which prove that our society in Shweir as well as overseas is  a healthy dynamic and productive. Regarding the wheelchairs, the social institutions of Shweir can decide for the needs of our beloved village. And I think you have done your duty over there. If the offer is extended elsewhere, then we can discuss the matter on other grounds where this commodity is badly needed in Lebanon.

Dear Riad, I read about your project concerning the library in Shweir, it is a very important and constructive initiative, and above all it is very necessary to our village, well known as a cultural center. I congratulate for the idea and I will support your work.

Sincerely yours,

Beshara Merhej





Wheelchairs from contributors, Wheelchair Foundation and Lebanese American Association (LAA)

Meet Rose Barakat from Jouwaar

What makes a Community's Effort Worthwhile?

It is a letter like this... 

SSSR Rose Barakat ltr.JPG (15912 bytes)

and pictures like these...

RSSA Rose Barakat 2.JPG (33846 bytes)
Rose with her newly acquired wheelchair...
SSSR wc thank u ltr.JPG (21800 bytes) RSSA + Rose Barakat.JPG (38574 bytes) <<< Rose with members of Shweir Social Services and Rescue

(Sorry for the ink stamp smudge on your arm) >>>

RSSA Rose Barakat 1.JPG (62368 bytes)

Rose's receipt of this wheelchair is equivalent to any of us receiving our fanciest car as a present... 
Rose,  if you have internet connection, we invite you to sign Shweir Guest Book and to join us in discussions on the Bulletin Board... you will be surprised on how many friend you can meet among the family...  we wish you the best...


August 21, 2001  Ekadat al Atibbaa, (Association of Doctors) building in Beirut where the distribution of Wheelchairs took place... 

The Wheelchair Foundation (WF) and the Lebanese American Association (LAA) brought a container with 240 wheelchairs to Lebanon.  Along with, 10 wheelchairs were reserved and distributed among the three non profit organizations of Shweir.  LAA founder Fouad Malouf, and Nasser Abou Khalil, LAA  president, and LAA Board member in Lebanon, Dr Fouad Freiha, prominent surgeon at Stanford University in California and the guest of Honor,  Mrs. Lahoud, the First Lady of Lebanon were among those coordinating or attending this great event.    May Ofeish, who has a home in Dhour facilitated the distribution of the wheelchairs throughout Lebanon. 

The wheelchair distribution was a great success...

Here are some photos...

P8210176.JPG (30337 bytes)
Dr. Fuad Freiha &
Fouad Malouf
P8210178.JPG (56394 bytes) What a great feeling...

what a great team!

P8210179.JPG (42688 bytes) P8210180.JPG (41405 bytes)
P8210184.JPG (29519 bytes) P8210182.JPG (41378 bytes)
Salwa Mirhej
Acknowledging Receipt
P8210185.JPG (57755 bytes)
Lebanese, Americans &
Patricia Nabti (> on Left), Founder & president of the Lebanese "Association for Volunteer Services (AVS)" > P8210186.JPG (60435 bytes)
with the Shweir Contingency
P8210191.JPG (46355 bytes)  P8210187.JPG (44185 bytes) Thank You
Lebanese American Association,
Wheelchair Foundation, and all the volunteers who helped.
P8210188.JPG (52900 bytes)
It feels Great to stand tall, just ask Dr. Freiha
P8210190.JPG (55326 bytes)

Thanks to LAA, Wheelchair Foundation, & SSSR for making all this possible.


Wheelchairs June 2001 Update:   Here is a copy of entries from Shweir Bulletin Board...

Author Topic:   Wheelchairs to be delivered August 2001
posted 06-23-2001 02:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Webmaster      Reply w/Quote
We have a commitment for 10 Wheelchairs to be delivered to the Jam3yat and SSSR (Shweir Social Services and Rescue) tentatively on August 20, 2001.

A brief overview: Comparable WC retails for $350 - $450 in U.S. add tax, shipping and customs and it sure can be costly. Wheelchair Foundation orders them from the manufacturer for a wholesale cost of $150, WC Foundation would pay $75 plus shipping, insurance, distribution and logistics costs. Of the balance, initially, LAA (Lebanese American Association) offered to do matching fund where by for our contribution of $75 they would match it with $75 for a total of 2 wc to be donated to the org. or donor's choice. Effectively, our cost per wc would have been $37.50.

LAA officials were taken by surprise by our prompt and enthusiastic response and our request for 20 chairs. Also they received requests from all across Lebanon that was beyond their expectations. For the great majority of the other towns, cities and organizations, they are sending 2-5 WC. It appeared that we were best represented Lebanese cybertown, they felt perhaps that we can lend a hand to other towns that are less fortunate. As such, in order for us to ensure at least 10 WC to Shweir, we opted to pay the full $75 / WC so that LAA's fund could help send WC to towns that do not have such cyber support. It is all for a good cause. Anyone who wish to contribute additional funds to the LAA, please contact me.

I have advanced $400 and two cousins advanced $100 each to LAA. As such, that buys us 8 wc. LAA indicated that they would contribute some which would be the other 2.
No need to rush and collect money yet. Lets wait until we establish a bank account for Shweir Foundation, Inc. Then we can request making contributions to it which will be tax deductible. Any extras would go to other good causes for Shweir.
I acknowledge that we have more people who are ready to contribute for the chairs than we have chairs. We anticipate that the LAA will send another container in the future and we hope we can accommodate those who were unable to secure a wheelchair with the first shipment.

On behalf of the family, we thank you for your support of your town and confidence in this noble cause.

Oh, did you know about a new Library for Shweir? It is on one of the web pages with pictures, etc.

Ya Mukhtaar, did I forget anything? Oh, thanks, "Shweir on the Bay 2002" will take place in June 2002 in San Francisco Bay Area...

Anwar                                               IP: Logged

George Matar
posted 06-23-2001 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for George Matar      Reply w/Quote
Another YEEEEEEEEEHHHHHAAAAAA ya Anwar, So the LAA were overwhlemed!!!! Tell them they haven't seen anything yet.
$75 per Wheelchair is nothing short than a, hold on I need to pick a new song...Zuronee kil sana mara....Some tears, back to the subject.

Yes $75 a WC is a great bargain specially knowing that we are helping some other unfortunate town get some chairs....I hope LAA will recognize SHWEIR for this.

I am fighting hard to keep my vacation on schedule, if my company is flexible, I will be in Dhour through August 24th welcoming WF with arms wide open with my wife and Nabil and Wadad.

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Habeeb M. Nacol
posted 06-23-2001 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Habeeb M. Nacol      Reply w/Quote
Anwar, you are nothing short of amazing. May God bless you always for all you are doing. These chairs are going to make the quality of life of some of the elderly and unfortunate ones in Shweir, as well as the surrounding areas so much better. This would not have been accomplished if it were not for your leadership, persistence and vision. I sincerely believe that when the upcoming generations look back at you, George, Alfred, Elie, Habeeb, Mona, Hilda, Ghassan, Elias Waleed and all those individual who are participating in revival of the great Shweiri Spirit, they will know that you are the pillars who laid the foundation of the "New Shweir". Keep the ball rolling and your eyes on the prize. Its out there. I think that you are finally destroying the pessimistic, and the apathetic mood that has permeated our town.

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posted 06-25-2001 07:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Webmaster      Reply w/Quote
Yes, I applaud our team at OUr team means you, our readers and chearleaders for your inspiration, support, positive outlook and the best team spirit.

Yes, we are blessed that our team is growing to cover countries from A to Z... "A" for Australia where Dr. Klee is, and "A" For Arabia where Lama is, to "B" for Brazil where Rozalie Touma Sawaya Khoury to "C" for Cananda where the Zghaibs and Khayrallah and Eid Khonaissers are, to "C" of China where Waleed Moujaes first contacted to "D" for Dhour or Dhabi of Abu Dhabi ... it is tempting to go on since I have a country for "Q" (Quebec) but before I get carried away, let us go all the way to "Z" for Zealand of New Zealand where my friend Ihsan bou Sauder and his family and congregation are.

Remember the definition of the "Power of
a Team" and the "Power of an Idea" when we first started... well, we are proud of how far you, we, our team has achieved in less than one year.

Congratulations to you, to us.                                 IP: Logged

posted 06-25-2001 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Webmaster      Reply w/Quote
See what happens when you get carried away ... you start mixing countries with cities and regions. As soon as I read what I wrote I realized my error... Quebec is not a country. I should have referred to geographic regions rather than countries.  I stand corrected.

Anwar                                                                   IP: Logged

George Matar
posted 06-26-2001 06:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for George Matar      Reply w/Quote
Very Well put Habeeb, thank you Bro, but Anwar is absolutely on target “it’s all of US” doing it. I am really hoping this is the beginning of turning “that corner” for our village, only time will tell and time is on our side.

Anwar... Anwar... Anwar…What am I going to do with you? There are also:
D for Dubai
E for England
F for France (how could you forget that ?)
G for Germany and Ghana
J for Jordon
I for Ibiza and Ivory Coast
Q for Qatar
S for Saudia
and how can we forget U for USA and the numerous states and United Arab Emirates
now back to A……ARUBA
Now, I can assure you, I forgot few others .               
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posted 06-26-2001 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Webmaster      Reply w/Quote
Excellent letter to Country match. Keep it up to complete the Alpha family.  Now you all see why we call George our "Al Mukhtaar bil Mahjar".




Wheelchair Update May 2001

First of all, I wish to congratulate all of you who responded so enthusiastically to this worthy cause. 

 Second, I wish to offer my sincere apology for the delay in my response.  Finally, I can provide you with some worthwhile information.   I was so pleased with your response from all across the world that I made copies of the emails showing that within one business day from receipt of our request, you sent commitments to cover more than the 20 wheelchairs.  I requested to meet with key people of the Lebanese American Association (LAA) to tell them the good news and respond and celebrate with you such a success.  I guess we caught the LAA by surprise by the speed of our response and the number of chairs requested. LAA received many requests for the wheelchairs and most organizations including those who are already operating senior citizen and handicap centers would be receiving 2 to 5 wheelchairs. 

 It took a while to get clarification on guidelines from the Wheelchair Foundation (WCF).  That is the organization that is spearheading the wheelchair project worldwide.  Just to summarize how this works.  The value of such wheel chairs in U.S. is about $350 to $500.  Add another $100 for tax, shipping and customs.  WCF buys these from the manufacturer directly by the 10,000 to 25,000 chairs at a time for a wholesale cost of $150 each.  They find someone or an organization like LAA to do matching fund to pay one half of the wholesale cost and WCF pays the other $75 and they (WCF) pay for shipping, customs, custom fitting to any individual handicap’s needs and distribute to the recipients so long as it is used by those who need it and by non profit group. 

 I thought that by offering to pay one half of the $75 cost with the LAA, or if we pay $75 for one chair, they would match $75 for another chair, we would stand a better chance of securing the needed 20 chairs for Shweir and its neighboring villages.  From LAA perspective, they received a large number of requests for a limited number of WC and did not want to appear of favoring one town over another even though we are offering to pay for our request. 

In order to make a strong request for at least 10 wheelchairs for Shweir and its neighboring towns, I have advanced some funds of my own.  This time, I am proposing that we make donations that may not require matching fund from LAA.  As such, the cost for each WC would be $75 and right now we anticipate a max of 10 WC.  My apologies that the formula I have suggested of matching fund with LAA would not workout for as much as 20 WC.  I believe that LAA may honor a matching fund for a few WC.  If any of you who made a commitment based on the old figures I provided is disappointed and wants to hold us to our representations, I will personally honor that and contribute the difference personally.

 Since we are so blessed with you, our responsive and enthusiastic members of, I feel that if we were to pay the new amount of $75 per wheelchair, then LAA would be able to utilize its funds to help some more handicaps and additional villages who are not as fortunate to have a web site like we do. 

 Granted that Shweir is still in need of a lot of help for medicine, medical equipment, infrastructure, environment, tree planting, education, and to cover cost of operating   However, I do feel that as they say in Arabic “Amaale Mneeh wa kubb bil Bahr” (do good deeds and cast them to sea).  The LAA is a fine organization that has done many good and humanitarian things for Lebanon.  They already have provided our Elementary and High School with about two dozen computer books, the third box is on its way.  As such we need to show our support to them. 

 Considering the large demand for the initial container, the LAA may consider sending another container of 240 WC in the future.  Since we may get as much as 10 wheelchairs with this shipment allocated to Shweir, and two people already donated $100 each to LAA, we need to re-allocate the other eight WC and account for the new donation.  Those who do not get to sponsor a WC, there may be another opportunity for the second container.  Or you may wish to make a contribution to go to Shweir General fund.  Our treasurer, Elie Bou Kheir is leaving the end of May to Shweir and will there through mid August.  Therefore, we need someone else to collect and account for the contributions.   Until our Shweir Fund is official, the contribution will be made in the name of the person collecting the funds. 

Between now and next week, (after the main characters meet at Shweir on the Beach 2001 in Texas) our al Mukhtaar will send an email with instructions on where to send your donations and the best approach to select the balance of Wheelchairs. 

Thank you for your support and understanding.



Below is a copy of a letter that I sent to the LAA.  

From:  A. G. Kenicer

May 22, 2001

 To:  Lebanese American Association 
P. O. Box 4464 
Burlingame, CA 94010, USA

I wish to thank LAA Founder, Fouad Malouf, for his personal invitation for me to attend recent LAA Board meetings and to LAA President, Nasser AbouKhalil for nominating me to the Board and to you for your vote of confidence.

 Congratulations on the successful wheelchair drive.  Enclosed please find an advance check in the amount of $400.  That together with $200 from my two cousins E. Khenaisser and G. Tabashrani who already sent to LAA $100 each, add up to $600 so far.  Please note that the $400 is not coming from one person but it is being sent on behalf of many people from all over the world, most of whom I never met, who responded to my personal appeal to them to support this worthy cause, their town’s three non-profit organizations and the LAA in accordance with the guidelines as stated in the letter that was sent by the LAA.  Many of them intend to make their donations in the name of or in memory of a loved one.  Shortly, I will provide you with a list of donors and the requested captions to go on each chair.

 Although the LAA has pledged to match funds for any donations made and honor donors’ request:

“…to donate the wheelchairs to a specific institution of your choice, and deliver them to that institution in your name, as long as the institution meets our charitable and non-profit criteria….”,

we trust that the amount above together with other donations sent and yet to be sent by our group should cover the cost of ten wheelchairs that we are requesting for the three non profit organizations that serve Dhour Shweir and the villages around it with the additional funds going to help other towns and institutions as LAA deem appropriate.   As such, the LAA would not have to do a matching fund for our request for the ten wheelchairs. 

  I feel that the Wheelchair drive has a magic of its own.  It helped mobilize and bring forward more people than any previous cause I was involved in.  Nasser told us at the last meeting how pleased he was with the positive response received from LAA members.   The director of WC Foundation told us how a wheelchair uplifts the spirit of its recipient.  I wish to add that based to the very enthusiastic response I experienced by rallying the people from my town over the internet, the WC drive has uplifted the spirit of the people of an entire town that saw nothing but destruction and disappointments for over 20 years of civil war.  I hope that by continuing in a positive momentum, we can uplift the spirit of many more people across Lebanon. 


 Anwar George Kenicer 


Wheelchair project... a great first step...

Congratulations to you, our readers and supporters... 

Upon a recent visit by Mona Khoury to Shweir, she reported to us that the Shweir community is in need (among other things) of wheelchairs, stretchers, emergency kits, medical equipment and medicine.  

We came across a great opportunity regarding the wheelchairs via Lebanese American Association, (LAA) and shared that information with you.  Your response to sponsor the 20 wheelchairs that our community needs was quite impressive.

Last weekend I sent an update about a recent meeting held by LAA about wheelchairs.  George Matar, sent a summary by email to those on the list. 

Within 24 hours, by Monday, 6:57 a.m. we had sponsors to 11 wheelchairs, one hour later, we had sponsors for 17 and before Monday noon we had commitments to sponsor 23 chairs.  

Your responses give Shweir hope that finally Shweir will rise again and recapture its glory days.  

Thank you, thank you and thank you. 

Below are relevant copies of emails and communications. 


From:  George Matar 
Date:  Monday April 9, 2001  6:57 AM

Habayebna AL Shweirieh.  

We unintentionally left you out of the loop on a big and worthwhile project that we have been pursuing mostly by email. Instead of copying and pasting all the articles, I will give you a quick Summary on it with out all the details (check the BB if you want more).

Wheel Chairs project units all three organization in Dhour Shweir. the Igatheh, Saydet al Bechara, and Isaaf al Madani. * A couple of months ago Anwar Kenicer found through his continuous contact with the Lebanese American Association (LAA).

* That the Wheelchair Foundation (WF) which buys direct from factory at 10,000 units at a wholesale cost of $150. they will find a non profit organization to pay half or $75 and WF will match the other $75 and WF will pay for shipping and sending its reps to distribute them in Lebanon and pay any import taxes.

* Dhour Shweir three Organization unite and request about 20 wheel chairs, 16 for the town and four to be giving to surrounding village as a good neighbor gesture * LAA, is volunteering to pitch in $37.5 for each chair

* Leaving the Shweirieh raise the balance of $37.50 per chair of $750 for 20 chairs

* The among our immediate contacts, Several of our Shweir Fund members and friends have committed to donate chairs in memory of loved ones.

Here's where we stand:

* Anwar Kenicer 1 Chair   * Nabil Matar 2 Chairs  * Samia (Bou Rizk) Chedid 2 Chairs   * Habib Khalil Moujaes 2 Chairs   * Mona Khoury 1 Chair   * Elie Bou Kheir 2 Chairs    * George Matar 1 Chairs.  

* Total 11 Chairs

We were able to raise this (commitment) over the weekend.  There are 9 Chairs left ($338). If you would like to be a part of this campaign we still have a spot for you, We need 9 Shweirieh, or 13 and that way nobody will buy more than one chair, this will ease the burden on those trying to buy 2 Wheel chairs. Any additional funds more people contributing, the balance will go towards the next project.

This is a great opportunity and we are very lucky to be at the right place at the right time.  Hopefully the Wheel chair Foundation and LAA will come through for us.

Elie Bou Kheir (Treasurer)   23738 Indian Hills way,   Kay Texas 77494  
Ps We still have a little less than $200 from the previous fund drive

Are we doing good??? I want to tell you that there are SOOOO MAANNNY things happening on the web page <> Stay in the loop, 
We really need each other 
Mukhtar bil Mahjar

George Matar

"Now the rest of the story, if you want more details" here is the email from Anwar Kenicer: 

The meeting at the Lebanese American Association (LAA) went very well.  They debated and made motions on whether to send 120 or 240 wheelchairs. Although I am not a board member, I could not help but get swept away with the lively debate and voice my opinions.

Anyway, they voted to send a full container of 240. Having the information handy was helpful although they were not at the stage to identify the recipients yet.  One of the ideas was to do a matching fund... an overview of value and cost is as follows:

Retail in USA $350 to $400 per chair Wheelchair Foundation (WF) buys direct from factory at 10,000 units at a wholesale cost of $150. they will find a non profit organization to pay half or $75 and WF will match the other $75 and WF will pay for shipping and sending its reps to distribute them in Lebanon and pay any import taxes.

So, it will cost the LAA $18,000 (75 x 240). LAA will raise funds for this worthy project.  The treasurer suggested that it would be helpful if they took that formula of matching funds one step further. LAA will pay $37.50 and those requesting chairs raise funds for the other $37.50 or go with only half a container or limit their exposure to $9,000. At $37.50 per chair delivered to Lebanon is less than the cost of shipping and one tenth of the cost of its retail value.

Habib Moujaes did an excellent job in representing the Jam3yat and al Isaaf as a united voice and informed me that they will need a total of 16 chairs plus 4 to offer as a goodwill gesture to the neighboring towns like Mrouge and Khinshara.

The following are our options:  
1. We can place our request to LAA of 20 chairs and we do not know how many they can assign to our request. It could be all or a small fraction.  
2. To ensure reserving 20 chairs, we can propose to LAA that we will raise the $37.50 per chair (all it takes are 20 people to contribute $37.50 each) and LAA will match the other $37.50. For those who contribute, they may donate it in the name of a loved one etc.

I know many of you want to wait until we establish our selves as non profit or have a Board of directors and votes. If we wait we may lose this opportunity. And at time that method can be much slower to wait for a meeting and get an answer. We achieved so much because we were able to make decisions on the spot. 

I would like to ask your opinions or vote to the above choices.  



From:  George Matar 
Date:  Monday April 9, 2001  8:12 AM

This is the good news bad news email ya Elias, I don't think I like it. I am having some serious problem getting reservation to Lebanon. So Chances are I am not going. And you are not coming to Texas... SO we are going to miss each other......Not Good. Man we were promoting you coming to Texas, don't change that, otherwise Elie Bou Kheir, And Suheil Baaklini Tennis practice will go to waste..... And of course miss seeing you...... Then we might all go to Shweirrrrrrrr later in the year.

Elie & Anwar. For the count, Elias Matar (London) is willing to contribute 2 Chairs, Saad Merhej (Abu Dhabi) another two chairs, and Elie Khenisser (Chicago, 2 Chairs). As of now we are at 17 Chairs.

Anwar, Be happy man 

George Matar



From:  George Matar 
Date:  Monday April 9, 2001  11:36 AM

Dear Friends

Another one in the Bag People, this has really been very good. I can say this is our second Achievable Project..... I guess the Families of and Shweir Fund are proving themselves as solid supporters for Dhour Shweir.

Anwar Good luck on presenting this to LAA we all are depending on you..... Hopefully this project will be a success not just for Dhour Shweir, but for all the needy Lebanese.

I am Hoping that the 3 organization will unite and reciprocate with something "extra" for Dhour Shweir and its people. That way the town will benefit twice....Right? I am still waiting to see what the schools are going to do, school year is almost over.

Here is a list of people that will cover the bill on the Wheel chairs. 

Anwar Kenicer 1 Chair   Nabil Matar 2 Chair    Samia (Bou Rizk) Chedid 2 Chair    Habib Khalil Moujaes 2 Chair   Mona Khoury 1 Chair   Elie Bou Kheir 2 Chair    George Matar 1 Chair    Saad Merhej 2 Chair    Elie Kheneisser 2 Chair    Elias Matar 2 Chair   Suheil Baaklini 2 Chair   Habib Matar Nacol 2 Chair    Micheline El Maalouf 1 Chair    Walid Bou Saab 1 Chair     You may notice that there are more chairs that have been contributed.

Please DO NOT COUNT MORE THAN 20. The commitment is for 20 Wheelchairs Only. Additional funds received will be applied to our next project.  It might be medical, environmental or any other type.  There is NOT going to be a commitment on the next project until we have our Board Member meeting during the Shweir On the Beach 2001 next May and we will vote on it.


Three things to Add  

1. Nabil Matar has being doing some extraordinary contributions monetary as well as advisory. I move we appoint him "Top Adviser" to the Shweir Fund organization. He will be the senior member and he does travel to Dhour "Every Summer". I am sorry that I am putting you all on the spot by this email, but by God He deserves it, and when it comes to things like this he is a doer.

2. I am Including Miss Mary Sawaya, Mrs Mary Shehadeh Moujaes and Nijad Chalhoub on this email they are the representatives to the 3 relief organization....Congratulations, and pray with us that the rest of process by LAA and WF will be as smooth.

3. Mona, is there anything we can do in Texas to expedite the forming of the NP organization...Just advise.

Your Mukhtar bil Mahjar

George Matar


The above was only Monday...  And , we had more responses...on Tuesday:

From:  George Matar 
Tuesday April 10, 2001  7:29 AM

Shukran Ya Shwierieh

I am Impressed with such a quick response, we now have the commitment of 19 people to cover the cost of the 20 Wheelchairs for the Village. In reality many of the generous contributors wanted to donate more than "one" Chair, but now we are assured that if the Wheelchair Foundation (WF) & Lebanese American Association deal comes the through, Dhour Shweir will receive their share of Wheelchairs.

We, thanks to Anwar Kenicer, are in the right place at the right time to capitalize on such a wonderful opportunity.  Thanks to WF & LAA for carrying such a worthwhile program, but above all thanks to the following people for putting Dhour Shweir in the drivers seat to benefit from it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our Shweiri contributors, (in alphabatical order) the Families of:

Baaklini Suheil, Bou Kheir Elie, Bou Saab Walid, Chedid Samia (Bou Rizk), Harik Mary, Kenicer Anwar, Khairallah Khaled, Khairallah Paul Anis, Khairallah Rania, Kheneisser Elie, Khoury Mona, Maalouf Micheline (Bou Saab), Mattar Elias, Matar George, Matar Nabil, Merhej Saad, Moujaes Habib Khalil, Nacol Habib Matar, Rahbani Elie Mattar.

Allow me to take this opportunity to Wish you all, Mughtaribeen and Locals, a Very Happy Easter. May our Lord grant us the vision, strength, and commitment to carry through with our dreams of rebuilding our beloved hometown. United we will succeed.

Happy Easter Ya Shweirieh

Mukhtar Bil Mahjar

George Matar


-----Original Message----- 
From: Rahbani Elie [
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 8:52 AM 
To: Matar, George 
Subject: Weelchairs ...

Good morning Mukhtarna,

Always considering it both a privilege and a duty to serve our Saviour & Lord and others.  I am pleased to be able to help & participate in what our Shweir and Shweirieh need as to providing wheelchairs or others...

You can count on my contribution of US$ 150.-  Please forward bank account and address to which money should be wired.

God bless you,

Elie Mattar Rahbani


-----Original Message----- 
from: SOMAC [
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 10:43 AM 
To: IHJ (Sam) Bosauder 
Subject: Re: Are you up to date?? 
Dear Mr. Bosauder,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 10-04-2001. Mr. Elie is in Lebanon, so I  took the mail message. On his behalf, myself and Mikhael Samaha will get one wheel chair each.

- Elie Aoun - 1 Wheel Chair 
- Rustom Mujaes - 1 Wheel Chair 
- Mikhael Samaha - 1 Wheel Chair

Please advice us how to transfer the money. 

With best regards, 
Rustom Mujaes 
SOMAC, Dammam.


Marhaba Ya Rustom

We are thrilled to know that you want to join us in helping with the Wheelchairs. We had 19 names and with the three of you it will make 22. Absolutely Great.

Rustom, I am glad that somehow my email got to you through New Zealand, don't you wish you can be one of those receiving this type of information Directly?

What I am trying to Say is Why don't ALL the Shweirieh in Saudi join us on the Web page by signing the guestbook I know there are many Shweirieh in Saudi, Dubai, Abu Dhabi etc.. You sure could light up the web page. If you don't do it I' tell Hana!!!! Just Kidding with you, but please You, Elie, and Mikhael consider it an open invitation. You were there on the first project and here you are on the second, this makes us all very proud.

By the way did you three see on the <> Elie's picture on the Shaanini (many years ago) Mounir Moujaes was Carrying need to see it. It is called the Magnificent Seven.

Give my Best to Elie and Mikhael. Stay in touch

George Matar




Invitation to a Complimentary Virtual Shweir Sahra
courtesy of Shweir New Bulletin Board 
with Al Mukhtaar as your host. 

(Taking a peek at what many of you may be missing at the New Shweir Bulletin Board).

Author Topic:   Italians? Shmeetalians? Read this
George Matar
posted 03-16-2001 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for George Matar      Reply w/Quote
I copied Dr Klee's message from the other Bulletin just to set the stage

Here's Dr Klee on her last reply to Salim Sawaya BB and the discussions around that subject.

Thanks, Salim, this raised such interest that it is going for the current record for follow-ups. And what atmosphere. It's just like we are sitting together laughing in Shweir, maybe in the living room that Anwar mentioned where Amin Nasr hosted town story telling. Or around a felafel stand...yes, another felafel please, with lots of hoummous, no tomato...and we are all laughing... "What, Italian! No man, you look Spanish! Here, Prince Salim, have a felafel". And then another says, "If it wasn't for the Casinos we'd be millionaires and own the place". "Sure, sure, but the belly dancers were good, and that bear act was a classic. Pass the garlic sauce". And as the stars come out, we laugh and tell stories and reminisce about all the things we always wondered about, over a strong coffee at, and no-one would want to be anywhere else.

Here's My BB which I posted on the previous discussion but I figure this could be a start of a brand new direction

Like the beer commercial says(American beer of coarse): "It doesn't get any better than that"!!!! This is exactly what Hilda keeps referring to "Virtual Village". The setting you described is pretty accurate, you did forget to say “Kasak” this is how we toast when we are drinking Arak, unless you’re a vegetarian, please pass the lahim mishwee (shish kabob) and Kibbi, and “you, yes you quit hogging the tabbuli pass it around” . Nobody fixes kibbi and Tabbuli better than the Shweirieh, except maybe Zihlaweieh.

A clarification on the Casinos, They used to be a combination of Restaurant, western & Arabic Music, dancing, live entertainment, French style outside cafe, the best French pastries, cafe tretoir Lebanese style w/Tawleh wo Arghieli (Backgammon and water pipe), special shows etc... But to my collection "No Gambling" unless it was in a back room.

And Ya Dr. Klee, the Mountain Banadura (Tomato) in Lebanon is the World’s Uncontested BEST. If you go to Lebanon, don’t miss it. Not passing the tomato is a blasphemy, you will not be able to get away with it. The other must on the table is Zaytoon, (olives) a dinning table is never complete with out it and then there is the fresh vegetable platter, Oh Boy I am Really Home Sick Now. NO, NO, NO, Keep going George don’t stop now!!!!

Okay…smack… smack.. At these Casino’s You’ll walk in with your friends and order Arak and a full “Mezza”….Oooooohhh the Mezza! Dr. Klee, this is hard to describe. The Casino’s used to compete who’s Mezza is the best, some used to brag that their mezza reached about 100 plates….. Maybe you are wondering what a “Mezza” is? Elie Nasr Kheneisser can probably describe it better since “Nasr” on the Rouche used to do one of the best in Lebanon…What the heck “In the World”.
Mezza are multi delicious appetizers served in small boat shaped dishes, each one is about 4 scoops or bites. I know all the Lebanese reading this are smacking their lips by now, and maybe several others are on the phone calling their travel agent to book a trip back to Dhour. What Have I done???

Oh, Don’t forget about the Mountain fruits and Bzouratt…….Sorry I have got to stop now, Can’t take it anymore….See you in Dhour in August, if I can find a flight. All flights from Lebanon to Europe ARE BOOKED
IP: Logged

Elias Khonaisser
posted 03-16-2001 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Elias Khonaisser      Reply w/Quote
Marhaba Mukhtar,

you opened my wounds all of them right now :-(

yalla lets set a sakra online and my turn to make you hungry cause you STARVED ME with your descriptions :-)

here are some sample sakraS :-)

Sample 1:

In Dhour, on the terrace of our house, on a beautiful Shweir night. KARKIT 'IM ELIAS 3AM TCHIL ARAK ( Karke Dr Klee i hope i can explain correctly is the thing they make ARAK with, we used to gather around it and have a sakra cause it used to drop the arak one drop at a time and had to be monitored so we seized the opportunity to monitor it and have fun at the same time) ok so the KARKE is set and is dropping arak, WAJIH Nasr, SLEIMAN SHA3YA, Joseph Nasr, Shakib Sha3ya, Khattar Kourban and many others (all of whom are twice my age but i used to love thier company and so they went no where without me and i did nothing of the sort without them, well almost never :-)) we used to get a woman who would bake the MARKOUK bread, Kebbe Nayeh, Nkha3at, Taboule, Hommos, BAYD GHANAM, Baba Ghanouj, Tomatoes with Summak and lemon, Labneh with Garlic, Hummos with freshly made KAWARMA, 'oum Kalthoum playing loudly and wajih getting drunk and telling stories that would make hearts stop from the intensity of the laughter :-) My mom stops by eats a bite check on the arak and how much we drank so far get a few Wajih Laughs and leaves, we drink eat and laugh until the mashawi are ready, Chich Taouk, Lahm Mishwe, Kafta, w KOL ya MUKHTAR ba'a KOL. and we would stay that way until all 11 or 12 gallons of arak were filled.

Sakra sample 2:

Scene: Nasr raouche ( My Favorite )

ok let's start now i will really make your mouth water :-)

JAT KHODRA containing the best in vegetables especially tomatoes, they are so good they even have a smell to them funny isn't it youcan never smell tomatoes here in the US they don't even have a smell, but as soon as you cut the tomatoe open you could smell its freshness, ROKA w ZA3TAR, Taboule, Fattoush, JAT KABISS W LIFIT W MI'TE, Hommos, w HOMMOS bi 'awarma, w hommos bi LAHME ma3 SNAWBAR, w MOUTABAL, w LAbneh bil TOUM, w labneh BIL 'AWARMA, NKHA3at PLEASE don't forget nkha3at, w dafadi3, w kibbeh nayeh, tomatoes with summak and lemon, SAWDA NAYEH, w KESS ARAK baladeh i used to have over there just for me and my guests :-) bass thething i am really craving ya Mukhtar is SULTAN IBRAHIM, fresh from the MASMAKE, fresh sultan w kess arak and the most beautiful sunset i have ever witnessed in my entire lifefrom Nasr Restaurant you feel you are flying in the air and therei snothing to block the view of the sea or the sun as it sets, after all this meal shu badda ya mukhtar?? badda nawme gheir shikil bil Dhour.

akh ya mukhtar you and Dr. klee have opened my wounds DARBE wihde. hehehehehee i missed those says so much.

khalouha bil alb tijrah la titla3 la barra w tifdah.

however we should all set a date and all be in lebanon at the same time DR KLEE INCLUDED and we will have one heck of a sakra at my house, you will all be my guests and we will make arak that night and we will bring wajih and all the guys and we will have a blast, that we should do for sure, not this summer but the next keep your agendas open all of you.

akhh akhh ya shweir how i miss you.


And yes, there is plenty more... that was a tiny glimpse about one of many Sahras over a virtual kass arak among new Shweirieh friends connecting from around the world from Australia to Arabia to Cananda, Europe and USA.  

Are you getting hungry yet, do you smell the Mishwee and Samak?  Did you book your flight to Beirut?  Are we going to see you in Shweir in August?  

If not, you can still come to the party... the best Sahra in Shweir and you do not have to spend any $$ or L.L. it is Balash and you do not have to waste any time on the road or at airports to attend.  

Just log on to your personal computer connect to and click on the link to Shweir New Bulletin Board.  You will be at the front door of the party.... 

Excuse me for a moment... 

It looks like our al Mukhtaar had one kass too many from Nabil Matar's home made arak.  So we need a volunteer replace al Mukhtaar in doing an impersonation about "Al Dibb al Muhazzab".... and ... and... here comes Wajih Nasr Khnaisser... he just brought with him Wadih al Safi to sing... but poor Wadih al Safi, he just lost his voice... what happened...?

If you suspect that I am talking in code and are curious about the meaning of all this... go to Shweir New Bulletin Board, not only you would get answers, you would learn so much about your beloved Shweir, laugh your heart out and enjoy the party.  

We look forward to hear you knocking on the door... 



A Prayer
Courtesy of Samia Chedid and Fr. Dcn. George Ihsan Bosauder

This is a Novena to Our Lady used by the Orthodox. 


 One note in the chorus of worship that resounds unceasingly throughout  the Christian Orthodox Churches is the sound of the praise of the Mother of God.   The Orthodox Church exhausts the treasuries of human  imagination and vocabulary in a never-ending symphony honoring the  indescribable dignity of her who brought forth the Word made Flesh, her  immaculate purity, her deep humility and her boundless intercessory power.

 The common Marian tradition of Byzantine Christians encompasses several  liturgical offices, apart from the commemorations and praise of the  Blessed Virgin that occur frequently in the Eucharistic Liturgies as  well as in the daily offices.   There is, for example, the special
 prayer service, the Moleben, sung to invoke Mary's intercession or to  thank her for some favor received.   There is the lovely "Office of
 Consolations" the Paraclisis, sung or said not only during the  early-August fast in preparation for the Feast of the Assumption, but at
 any time of sickness, temptation, suffering, discouragement or  catastrophe.   The Rydanie, or the "Lamentations of the Mother of God,"
 are popularly sung in some communities on Good Friday to commemorate the  compassion of Mary at the Passion and Death of her Son.

 But the crown of the Orthodox Christendom's tribute to Mary in her  unique role as Bearer of the Incarnate Son of God is to be found in the  Akathist Hymn, which ranks, certainly, as one of the outstanding poetic  accomplishments of early Christianity.   The research of scholars has  evidently not positively identified the date of the composition nor the  poet of the Akathist.

 Most popularly - and traditionally - the Akathist has been attributed to the Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople (AD 610-673) or to his
 contemporary, the Deacon George of Pisidia.   An opening chant of the  Akathist seems to indicate that the hymn was composed in thanksgiving  for the miraculous deliverance of the city of Constantinople from the  onslaught of the Turks.   At any rate, according to the testimony of  history, the Akathist was first used in services of thanksgiving for the  protective action of the Blessed virgin during military campaigns  beleaguering Constantinople, one of the citadels of the Primitive Church  of Christ.
 The name Akathistos ("the hymn sung standing") was probably first  applied to the hymn since the solemn nature of a public worship service  as a victory celebration would have precluded any but a posture of  attention.   It appears that the Akathist was included at a relatively  early date in the Byzantine Triodion (a section of the Orthodox Church's  breviary office) for recitation on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent.   This day is still designated as the "Akathist Saturday."   Today,  customarily and popularly, each of the four parts of which the Akathist  is composed may be assigned in consecutive order for recitation during  each of the first four weeks of Lent, and the hymn in its entirety may  be sung during the fifth week.

 The office of the Akathist is frequently preceded, when sung as a public service, by prayers and psalms and by a preliminary poetical composition  (a canon).   During the singing of the collect called in Greek 'Tin  Oraiotita', which is included among other closing prayers, an icon of  the Blessed Virgin is presented by the presiding priest to the faithful  for veneration.   Since the essence of the Akathist as a devotion  consists of the composition of twenty-four chants, only a brief  selection of the introductory prayers which precede the office has been  included here.  These introductory prayers almost invariably precede any  Byzantine liturgical service and they may constitute even the morning  and evening prayer of the Orthodox people.

 Many translations of the Akathist exist.   The present one is primarily  an attempt to present for the perusal of the non-Orthodox people one of  the most ancient sources of Byzantine Marian piety.   It has been the  aim of this translation to compromise modern English readability neither  to an overly-scholarly adherence to literal meaning, nor to an excessively flamboyant poetic language and rhythm scheme which might  possibly render the office unsuitable for ordinary devotional reading.   Such interpretative notes and comments as are included have been  inserted in order to clarify passages that the average reader may find  obscure.   The Akathist may be found suitable for private recitation in  its entirety as a novena or devotion to our Lady, or it may provide  thoughts for spiritual consideration.   It is most fervently hoped that  a greater knowledge of this Orthodox Marian devotion may be conducive to a better understanding on the part of the non-Orthodox people of their brethren of the East, whose boast has always been Mary, Giver of birth  to Him Who is "Everlasting Salvation and Peace beyond understanding." 

 Edward F. James, M. A., 1959

To view the Prayers of the Akathist, click here

A peek behind the scenes:  the following are some emails that led to featuring the Akathist Prayer

---- Original Message -----
To: "'Bou Sader Ihsan'" <>
Sent: 27 February, 2001 03:55
Subject: FW: The Akathist

 This is very awesome!!  Thought you may enjoy it too!  > Have a great week,  

-----Original Message-----
From: IHJ (Sam) Bosauder []
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001 1:39 PM
Subject: Re: The Akathist

Thank you for the article and the Prayers... They are very powerful, and our ancestors in Shweir used these prayers at "Knieset Al Saydeh" in many occasions of trouble. The ladies of the Diah would enter the Church and use their head scarfs to circumbelt the church. Then spend the time praying until the troubles are averted.

Your email is great reminder to me, why don't you send it to Anwar to put on the Web it would be of interest to many I am sure.  
May God's blessings deliver all that is good to you and yours. 

The servant of Christ, in His Loving Grace,
Fr Dcn George

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001 12:44 PM
To: 'Kenicer Anwar'
Subject: FW: The Akathist

Hi Anwar,
Hope you're doing great. Fr Dcn George wanted me to forward this to you.  I
am not sure you want to include prayers on the web, but I liked the
tradition the ladies in Shweir.  I asked him to send me more stories and
miracles attributed to our Saydeh in Shweir if he has any, for I am very
interested in our ancestors' faith and traditions.
Please feel free to delete it if you don't think it is suitable; I leave it
to your discretion.

Hello Samia,

 Nice to hear from you. 

Yes, I will be happy to include prayer on the web so long as we do not favor or discriminate between one religion over another.  As such we can provide equal opportunity for the others.  We can always use more prayers.   
 Also, we need to keep the prayer relevant, short and sweet.  If it is a long prayer, I will be happy to create a link to a web site that features the full version.  
Thank you for taking the time to share this information with us.  Thank you Fr. Dcn. George Ihsan for your insights and prayers. 



From an eMail entitled:  "Don't wait till they leave us!"  by Adib Emile Sawaya:

We need to give tribute to the powerful men and women who are influencing our lovely day'a today.  The normal everyday men and women who stayed in town, saw it through, maintained our identity...

We need to honor those who are still alive...

We need to say thank you to our loved ones who need to hear these words today... one day it might be too late.
We need to get back in touch with those whose veins throb with a life donated to them by Sannine and ainel abou
People like my 'Amtay' Emilie who only leaves Shweir to lavish her relatives, nieces and nephews with love and affection. Then faithfully she traces her way back home ... to her roots. To stay and provide a sense of stability... even sanity in a world lost in a whirlpool of rush and confusion.
Teita Najibe is gone, a sweet memory that will last for eternity, but the unsung heroes of shwier live on.
Reach out today, touch someone you know, tell them you care, send a smile, say a prayer, do it today.
Only God controls the future, but His gift for us is today.
Adib Emile Sawaya (Abu elrjal's grandson). Moughtarib fee Lubnan.


Webmaster's Note:  
Thank you Adib on your very important and well written message.  You have a good writing style, we would like to hear more from you.  


The following are select articles from Shweir Bulletin Board and excerpts from Shweir Guest Book:

Posted by Roula Halabi on August 04, 2000 at 12:33:25:

Once again hello to all shweirieh. There is one thing that I would like to point out as I was reading through the memories page and definetly it brought some memories to me of shweir secondary school. it is true that at the time I attended that school it was during the war time but thanks to ms. mary sawaya a very admirable person the school was reopened and she did her best to get us the best teachers and make a good studying enviroment for us. unfortunately and this is what I heard three years ago that the school was taken away from our students , I don't know if that is still trure, I hope not.

I wish to everybody a happy eid al moughtarebeen and a special message on this special occasion and I wish if someone in shweir if you read this message, me and on behalf all shweirieh all over the world would love to deliver a message saying give us our school back , we deserve it.

Roula Halabi, San Jose, California, USA

Name:Habeeb M. Nacol
Location: Beaumont, Tx USA
Date: Saturday, August 5, 2000 at 07:20:47
". . . .On another subject, I just finnished reading a book by Edward W. Said, a very prominent college professor at Columbia University. Couple of the chapters deal with his memoires in Shweir. Although as a child he did not care for the place much, he brought out some distant memories. I think that some of you may enjoy it. The title is "Out of Place". 

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Posted by Visitor # 660 on August 03, 2000 at 08:41:42:

I have been watching this page growing. Everyday I check it in anticipation that I will find a new story or news about an old lost friend....Yes I am addicted to Shweir. Today I decided I want to be a part of this historical movement. I wanted to leave my mark in and be part of it's history.
660 visitors and only a few wanted to leave a sign that they where there. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?????????
I am not a very smart person but the number of entries can predict what the future of this page will be. If WE AS SHWEIRIEH expect the web page to grow with the input of a handful of people then we are kidding ourselves. is providing us with a golden opportunity to grow united, brake international borders, rebuild our history, and in a way dictate what our future in and out of Shweir will be. LET US NOT WASTE IT.

As I read through the page I can not help but being reminded that the past generations were better than ours. They were the ones that really brought Shweir to its golden age. Their spirit and proactiveness, their competition to outdo each other, their vision and can do attitude is unmatched. THEY WERE NOT WATCHING THE PARADE; THEY WERE THE PARADE.

I salute you Anwar, George, Hilda, Mona, Habib, Nabil, Jamil,Victoria Ghada, Nora, and the few others that provided input to this page. You are rekindling the Shweiry spirit. You started the fire or as we say in Shweir al ABOOLY, but the rest of us must be the fuel that keeps it going.
Let us NOT find reasons not to be a part of this, but find reasons why we should.
I am Visitor # 660 and I want to be added to your elite list.

Well! You mean you read my entire article? Then, what's your reason for not being a contributor? Busy Huh?

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