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The Cedars Forest (Arz Al Rab)

The millenium Cedars forest of LebanonJust seven kilometres from Bcharreh is the world-famous Cedars Forest, now the most important surviving piece of the vast greenery that once made the mountains of Lebanon a paradise on earth. Today, the grove consists of just 450 cedar trees and receives important attention from the Cedar Friends, working to preserve it and turn it into an open-air art museum. For example, the Bcharreh artist Rudy Rahme is creating sculptures out of the dead trees.

The living trees, however, tell 4500 years of history. For centuries, the Cedars of Lebanon have been sought after by kings and leaders like Khufu [Cheops], Nebuchadnezzer, King David and Solomon. Fortunately, in 1877, the Moutassaref Rustum Pasha built the forest walls that were instrumental in preserving what remains today. Perhaps he was inspired by the 1832 visit of the French poet Lamartine, in commemoration of which, in 1925, the Youth of Bcharreh mounted on a cedar a marble stone bearing the name of the poet.
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