Last modification : 13/04/2007
The village of “Jouret El-Ballout” owes its name to its geographical position in a pit - a low point surrounded by mountains- (“Joura” in Familiar Arabic). It is also surrounded by tall pine and oak trees bearing acorns (“Ballout” in Arabic). Therefore, the name is a description of the village: The Pit of Acorns.
Jouret El-Ballout, situated 20 km east of Beirut, covers an area of 169 hectares in the Qada’a of the Northern Metn, in the Mohafaza of Mount Lebanon. It is bordered by Nabay from the North, Deir Mar Cha’aya from the East, Broummana from the south and Kannaba Broummana from the west. It stands at an altitude of 640 m above sea level and can be reached via 2 different routes:
Mkalles - Beit Merry - Broumanna - Jouret El-Ballout
or Antelias - Deir As-Salib - Nabay - Jouret El-Ballout
The registered population of Jouret El-Ballout is 1,200 people, although the number of residents does not exceed 700. The village counts around 170 houses.
The population is distributed among the following confessions:
Maronite 72 % - Orthodox 18 % - Catholic 6 % - Others 4 %
There were 713 registered voters in the village in 2004, distributed among the main families as follows:
Abou Jaoudeh: 410 voters
Al Hajj: 90 voters
Tadros: 52 voters
Njeim: 50 voters
Bchara: 23 voters
Other local families include: Aznavourian, Khoury, Al Sayegh, Shamaoun, Mousalli, Wasaf, Awwad, Al Zinati, Jibrael, Semaan, Cha’aya.
The village has no municipality, but instead, a mayor and an elective council made up of three members.
Educational and Social Institutions
A public school was founded in the village in 1946, but it closed in 1966. Today, there are two private schools in Jouret El-Ballout:
Collège Louise Wegmann, with almost 780 students
Valley International School, with 200 Students
In addition to this, there is the “Haniba’al” sports club in the village, but it is currently inactive.
Archeological and Cultural Sites
Despite the relatively recent inception of the village, remains of several stone and earthen sarcophagi have been found there. The region of A’aranta in Jouret El-Ballout is in fact well-known for its archeological wealth: remains of an old fortress were discovered, as well as some Phoenicians and Romanian tombs. Excavation works also showed that wood blast furnaces going back to the Phoenician era existed on this site.
Local economic life is based mainly on employment and certain tourist activities, given the village’s proximity to Broummana. In total, there are around 25 commercial establishments in the village.
Although Jouret El-Ballout remains unknown to many Lebanese, the village plays a crucial role in connecting Lebanon to the world, due to its Satellite Station which has been active since 1987.
Sources : http://www.iimonthly.com