Cheikh Mohammad is situated in the district of Akkar in the northern province of Lebanon. It is approximately 115 km. away from Beirut and stands at an altitude of 200 - 220 meters above sea level. The town extends over an area of 99 acres, with farmland making up 70 acres.
The majority of town residents are of the Roman Catholic or Orthodox faiths; however, the name Cheikh Mohammad (an Islamic name) derives from one the town’s natives who was notorious for his knowledge and faith.
The town’s registered population is estimated at 3,600, but the resident population numbers no more than 2,000 people distributed among 300 households.
Number of voters
In the year 2000, registered voters totalled 1,540 but voter turnout was a mere 41% or 630 people. In terms of confessional breakdown, the distribution was as follows:
• Orthodox: 63.3%
• Roman Catholics: 31.3%
• Maronites: 3.7%
• Other sects (Armenian, Sunnite, and Shiite): 1.7%
Based on the number of voters, the main families are the following:
• Taoum (109 Orthodox)
• Taoum (57 Catholic)
• Rahhal (97 voters)
• Fares (91 voters)
• Bitar (68 voters)
• Khoury (62 voters)
• Assi (59 voters)
• Hanna (57 voters )
• Mahfouz (56 voters)
• Kousa (50 voters)
• Nehme (46 voters)
• Nasr (49 voters)
• Mikhail (44 voters)
• Helwi (40 voters)
• Moussa (39 voters)
• Sheikh (36 voters)
The municipal council is made up of 12 members, headed by Habib Sheikh and includes three women and the town mayor - Riyad Mahfouz.
The town has three educational institutes:
• The Cheikh Mohammad Intermediate Public School which counts 300 students and 24 teachers.
• The Saida Najat School that is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. It is a subsidized private elementary school and teaches approximately 300 students and employs 17 teachers.
• The Akkar Technical School is also a private institution with close to 250 student and 50 teachers.
Organizations and clubs
An agricultural cooperative was established in the town in 1988 and now numbers 60 members. Its main functions include agricultural matters such as fertilizer distribution and marketing of agricultural products.
The main source of income for town residents is agriculture, especially in the areas of olive and tobacco production (25%). Another 15% of income is estimated to come in the form of international money transfers, and a textile factory located in the town employs approximately 50 people.
Cheikh Mohammad has two supermarkets, four grocery stores, two pharmacies, two shoe stores, four clothing stores, four electrical and household appliances shops and one gas station. The town also boasts the first hospital (Rahal) built in the district of Akkar 20 years ago. The staff includes 50 doctors on a part-time, full-time and contract basis, as well as 70 nurses and administrative staff. The town is notable for its educated population relative to neighboring areas of Akkar and many students from nearby villages journey to attend school there.
Exceptionally however, it remains a Christian town with a Muslim name.
|Municipality of Cheikh Mohammad (2008) (4)|
|Address||Main Road - Municipality of Cheikh Mohammad - Kaza of Aakkar|
|Phone Number||06/ 693 683|
|Fax Number||06/ 693 683|
|P.O. Box||Not available|
|Web sites||Not available|
Sources : http://www.iimonthly.com
Sources : CDR (31/12/1999)