Beshwat is a Syriac word formed of two parts “bet shwita”. The word “bet” means a “place” and “shwita” or “shawyata” means “flat”. Consequently, Beshwat means a “flat place”.
The town is located in the qada’a of Ba’albeck in the Beqa’a mohafaza and stands at an altitude of 1,260 meters above sea level. Beshwat is 99 kilometers away from Beirut and 49 kilometers from Zahleh. It extends over an area of 1,446 hectares and can be reached through the road of Ba’albeck- Deir al-Ahmar.
The number of registered residents reaches around 1,000 people, who belong to the Maronite confession. The town has around 120 to 150 residential houses and 10 shops.
The number of voters in 2004 reached 589 people, compared with 577 voters in 2000. The majority belong to Keyrouz family, in addition to two small families.
The voters are distributed as follows:
Beshwat has a municipal council formed of 9 members presided by Hamdan Keyrouz. There is also a mukhtar and a mayoral council of two members. The municipality was created in line with decision no. 488/ad of November 18, 1966. Its share from the revenues of the independent municipal fund reached 28.9 million LBP in 2004 compared with 69.7 million LBP in 2003 and 41.6 million LBP in 2002.
The town has a public school for boys and girls, called Beshwat Intermediate School and is composed of about 200 students distributed in 12 classes, in addition to Beit al-Halal Center for the disabled, with 12 to 15 students.
Archeological and Cultural Sites
The town is characterized by Ain Beshwat sites and grottos containing stone sarcophagi and potteries.
Ancient money dating back to the Roman era was also discovered in Beshwat. The town is famous for the miraculous Lady of Beshwat Church, which attracts a large number of visitors.
Residents depend on cattle breeding and agriculture, mainly the cultivation of fruit trees and grapevines. Tourism also generates income to some families, especially when the town became an important religious site. An agricultural cooperative was established in 1985 to improve the sector.
Problems facing the Residents
Residents suffer from the difficult economic situation, especially in the wake of the July-August 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.
Map of the road network :
Map of desertification risk :
Map of rivers and water springs :
Map of zones with fire risks :
Map of forest zones :
Sources : http://www.iimonthly.com
Sources : CDR (10/12/2002)