The first part of the name, “Zgharta,” means a place surrounded by a fence, as the village looks like it is bounded by a fence. The second part of the name, “Al-Matawleh” means Shia’a to distinguish it from Zgharta El Mtaoule.
Zgharta El Mtaoule is situated in the Kaza of Koura in the Mohafazat of the North and extends over 163 hectares. The village is 85 kilometers away from Beirut and has an altitude of 730 meters above sea level. It can be reached via the following road:
Amioun- Deir Blala- Zgharta El Mtaoule.
Zgharta El Mtaoule is one of the five smallest villages in Koura but has one of the highest altitudes.
There are around 500 residents registered in Zgharta El Mtaoule, with a majority of Muslim Shia’a. The village has around 35 houses. Many of its residents started to emigrate since the independence and during the civil war and left toward Argentina and North America. Other residents settled in Trablous, a nearby city.
The number of voters registered in 2004 was 166, distributed among the following families:
Deeb: 40 voters
Tamer: 21 voters
Ibrahim: 13 voters
Hajj: 20 voters
Melhem: 17 voters
Mohammad: 17 voters
Rshaid: 12 voters
Asa’ad: 11 voters
Hamad: 9 voters
There are also six people from other families.
In addition to a mayor, Hassan Ali Mohammad Asa’ad, who was elected in 1998, the town has a mayoral council formed of two members.
Educational and Social Institutions
There are no schools in the village and students go to schools in nearby towns.
Archeological and Cultural Sites
Zgharta El Mtaoule has few archeological sites, including the historical Saydeh Church which was built on the remains of a pagan temple. A water grotto, known as the cascade grotto, was recently discovered under Al-Ousfour riverbed. However, the grotto was not well explored due to the high costs of the project.
In the past, residents used to cultivate olive trees and tobacco. However, today, and following the large movements of emigration, residents work as employees in the public and private sectors. Residents also depend on trade in the cities and on the money sent from abroad by their children or relatives. The village has some shops and stores, which provide food and basic needs.
Zgharta El Mtaoule’s Road network map :
Zgharta El Mtaoule’s Map of desertification risk :
Zgharta El Mtaoule’s Map of rivers and springs :
Sources : http://www.iimonthly.com
Sources : CDR (31/12/1999)