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Roumieh ( ) is a village north-east of Beirutmarker in Lebanonmarker. Surrounded by pine-forested hills, Roumieh is a 5/10-minute drive from the coast. Roumieh is known as a pleasant, picturesque small mountain town with many gardens.

Public institutions

  • "Dahr el-Beche'" hospital (It was established for the treatment of people diagnosed with Tuberculosis)




  • Roumieh prison, Lebanon's largest prison located at a lower elevation at the western entrance of the town.


  • The Catholic School: Saint Doumit school for the Antonine Sisters(Trilingual School)


  • 7 Nains Nursery


  • Deir Al Rahmeh (Retirement Home / Senior citizens)


Agriculture

In addition to pine forests; vineyards, fig orchards, olive trees and thyme grow in abundance. The village is well known for the Arak it produces; to the extent that some of the local residents claim that it is some of the best made in the country. One of the very well know producers is the legendary Doumit who is the son of the late Hanna Doumit, the beloved shopkeeper.

Demographics

The village's community is mainly constituted of Maronite Catholics and Greek Catholic, but also Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox.

Topography

The word "Roumieh" comes from Arameic, meaning "hills" and refers to this characterising feature of the local terrain. This is understandable when one sees the "bumpy" pinetree-ridden hills in the pastures of the village.

Like all Lebanese mountain villages, Roumieh is marked with very beautiful terraces (Jleleh), designed to optimise the use of its land for agriculture and horticulture. Indeed, as cited above, some of the crops grown in Roumieh are exceptionally good given that the community had ceased to be an agrarian one nearly half a century ago.

There used to be several natural streams (Ain) that surfaced in the village which was a good source of water for the village community. However, due to disorganised and sporadic construction in some of the marginal parts of town, most of these have disappeared; and there is only one that remains properly functional, at the fountain in the centre of the village.The square surrounding the fountain has always been very pretty but has now been somewhat damaged by political slogan graffiti and the sticking of political propaganda posters on its premises.

One can find some very pretty traditional Lebanese houses (pyramidal red brick roofs, white or sand stone walls with overlooking balconies and verandas shaped with arches in the old Levantine style) in Roumieh. Examples of this are some surrounding the Saydeh Church, but also others in the Naas and Haret el Tahta and Fawka neighbourhoods.

History and People

Whilst the village itself is quite old (founded circa 1500), the 20th Century saw the village coming to a more prominent role in the area. With the diaspora towards the West and Latin America ongoing, the village acquired wealth, and relatively to other similar villages, its inhabitants became increasingly educated (partially thanks to the proximity of both the Capital and its institutions)

During the Civil War, the inhabitants of Roumieh were renown for their valor and courage in battle. Many of the young men let everything drop to join the local militias, to protect the area against the Palestinians' forces and their allies' invasion; which would have inevitably led to massacre and exodus.

The village is known for having some very kindly and wise people, but also very strong and stubborn characters; which contributes very much to its charm.

Although Roumieh is known for its people quarrelling over politics and even fighting from time to time, it is a tight-knit community that has survived the most divisive horrors of the Lebanese Civil War and the ongoing political turmoil. The village's diversity of opinions underlines its development that outdoes by far other villages in the area. The villagers may strongly disagree with each other on matters of politics, and given how seriously they take this, they may even go as far as being hostile to each other; however, it remains the community that its forefathers built and will remain so thanks to some outstanding members who have been known to put family and village before anything else.

Sport and Activities

Roumieh has a very well known Football team, although perhaps not for its skill and talent. It is led by Coach Mickey Sawaya, the Captain Charbel Abi-Habib "Dabdoub" and the team manager Sami Khalaf; it includes characters such as Elias Saad and zico (known for their violent reactions), Riad Jabbour (known to come up with quality quotes), Johnny Antar "Flash", and Teophile Ghoul "The Bear" (know for his amazing agility) and many others. Its best players are:Tony Bou Habib. Karim Hankash, Roland Ayoub, Issam Ashkar, John-Louis Jamous, Georgio Bader, Hany Azar, Roger "Assir" Samaha and Hamed the Egyptian.The team has a slogan that proved its efficiency many times "beat us on the field, we will beat you outside the field"The village also has a basketball team, usually led by the Sakhra Jabbour and Elie Awwad , who used to play for an FLB club and trains many teams throughout the country.The Municipality and both the rival Kataeb and FPM political parties organise activities for both the young and adult members of the village community. Examples of this have been: sports tournaments, egg hunts, rally papers, charity and environment projects...In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Roumieh had one of the best Volleyball teams in the area, trained by Joseph Zeinoun, the team had players such as Hanna Abi Habib, Elias Antar, Sami Achkar and Hanna Shaia.


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