Activities Feel like visiting Jabal Moussa?

Various activities can be organized around the reserve to provide you with an exceptional cultural experience.

Lebbedeh making: an endangered craft

Youssef Akiki is the last remaining craftsman in Lebanon who possesses the traditional knowledge and skills required to make the iconic “Lebbedeh” headwear. This unique head covering, which has been worn by Lebanese men since the Phoenician period, is now on the verge of extinction.

Originally, the Lebbedeh was a practical item of clothing worn for thousands of years. It has been regularly worn by the Lebanese peasants until the 1980’s. Nowadays, it is mostly used as part of the traditional Lebanese costume during folkloric performances and other cultural events.
The word “Lebbedeh” comes from the word “labbada - لبّد”, in reference to the process of felting which involves mixing and compacting loose fibers of wool, compressing them into a thick, durable fabric. The felting consists of adding gradually natural olive oil soap and water to the wool, and rubbing the dough-like mixture for more than half an hour, until it is shaped into a hat. Once done, the hat is left to dry naturally in the sun for one day.

"Zajal” in Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve

Briefing about the history of the Lebanese “Zajal”
The Lebanese Zajal has been recognized as a UNESCO "Intangible Cultural Heritage" since 2014.
“Zajal” is an art of folk literature and a traditional form of Arabic poetry in the Lebanese dialect. It is semi-sung and is often improvised. It is typically performed in the format of a duel, or a debate between “zajjalin” (Poets who improvise the zajal) to the rhythm of accompanying musical instruments, mainly the “daff” (tambourine) and sometimes the darbuka. The “zajjalin” are accompanied by the “Reddadi”, a chanting chorus who repeats key verses recited by the poets. In informal events, the audience itself takes on this role.
Apart from being a poet and a performer, “Al-Zajjal” needs to be quick-witted, audacious, and eloquent. Depending on the context, the “Al-Zajjal” can sing about beauty, homeland, nature, love… his verses can mourn a dead, celebrate newlyweds, or praise someone - including oneself.
There are several genres of Lebanese zajal, following musical meters and poetic prose, and sometimes slipping classical rules of written poetry. Some of these genres are: Maanna, Muwachah, Erradi, Qasid, Moustahilet, Mukhammas Mardud, Dalaona, Aataba, Mijana and Chrouqi.
Zajal is closely related to Lebanese customs and traditions, especially in the mountains where it has witnessed significant developments in the past century. Several poets would form a jawqa­ (Zajal group), and contests were organized between the groups, mostly in rural areas, with thousands of people attending.
A celebration of the “Myth of Adonis and Astarte” by two poets

Karkeh making

Arak is a local traditional anise-based distilled alcoholic drink commonly consumed in social settings.

A local villager, demonstrates the Arak making process using a “Karkeh”, and rural women prepare an open buffet of Lebanese mezza and BBQ.
The distillation process in the Karkeh takes the whole day and night to produce the Arak. The word Arak"عرق" is Arabic and means precipitation. The 2 main ingredients are grapes and crushed anise seeds that give the taste. Aniseed is added to the distilled alcohol during the second out of three distillation processes.
The festival features many cultural activities such as Tawleh (traditional backgammon game), Dabkeh dance, Zajal and competitive singing.

Lots of drinking, eating and socializing awaits you!

Dabke, dabke ya chabab

The Lebanese folkloric joyful dance called “Dabke” is danced in a line or a circle where dancers stomp their feet to the ground on the rhythm, holding hands, aligning shoulders, and repeating the synchronized movements following the music beats.
The Lebanese traditional Dabke has gathered many people on weddings, events, celebrations and has been representing a symbol of unity in Lebanon. It has first started in the rural villages and then was spread all over the country. Learning Dabke is easy, there is no need to have previous dancing skills to enjoy it, as much as having a fun spirit and energy within a group of people.

To book any activity, please call us in advance

09 643 464
71 944 405