Locatit sooth-east o Beirut, the region comprises a narrae coastal strip notable for the Christian toun o Damour, an the valleys an muntains o the wastren slopes o Jabal Barouk, the name o the local Munt Lebanon massif. Chouf is the hertland o the Lebanese Druze community, wi Druze leader Walid Jumblatt residin at the Jumblatt palace in the toun o Moukhtara. The Emirs o Lebanon uised tae hae their residence in Chouf, maist notably Bachir Chehab II, who built the magnificent palace o Beiteddine durin the first hauf o the 19t century. Anither historical toun, locatit juist belaw Beiteddine, is Deir al Qamar (the monastery o the Moon).
Baakline, anither lairge toun in the Chouf, uised tae be the caipital o auld Muntain o Lebanon, whaur Amir Fakher El-Deen wis born. He wis well liked bi baith Christians an Druze. He switched his residence tae Deir al Qamar seembolizin his neutrality.
The Chouf is livin proof o the harmony atween Maronite Christians an Druze, although several violent clashes hae occurred atween the twa groups in 1848, 1860 an maist recently in 1983-1984, durin the Lebanese Ceevil War (Muntain War, Arabic: Harb el-Jabal). This saw the Progressive Socialist Pairty (PSP), a fundamentally Druze pairty, face the Lebanese Forces (LF), comprisin Maronite Christians. Reconciliation atween the Druze an Christian communities came tae fruition on August 8, 2001, when the Maronite Patriarch o Antioch, Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir made a historic visit tae the Chouf an met wi Druze leader, Jumblatt.
Despite a bloody history, the Chouf is ane o the best-preserved Lebanese destricts an its natur haes been generally spared frae the intense biggin frenzy that haes spoiled neighbourin Metn an Kesrouan. The biggest forest o Cedars o Lebanon is foond on the flanks o Jabal Barouk.
Despite the historical feuds atween Maronites an Druze, the Chouf destrict is ane o the maist releegiously diverse regions in Lebanon. The Druze, Maronite Catholics an Sunni Muslims are the lairgest releegious groups. Mairower, there is a substantial Greek Catholic population, as well as a smawer Shi'a Muslim population. The current population is maistly Druze, but the oreeginal population wis Predominantly Maronite, wi a lairge minority o Druze an a smawer Sunni minority. Maist o the Christians muivit tae Beirut, an some who immigratit ootside Lebanon.
Ceeties an tounsEedit
- Deir el Qamar
- El Bireh
- Mazraat el chouf
- Moukhtara (Home to Walid Jumblatt; Politician and Leader of the Druze Progressive Socialist Party)