Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































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[P.11]and their satellites have now entirely destroyed them; and the
inhabitants of Baalbec, instead of eating their own - Page 42
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[P.11]And Their Satellites Have Now Entirely Destroyed Them; And The Inhabitants Of Baalbec, Instead Of Eating Their Own Grapes, Which Were Renowned For Their Superior Flavour, Are Obliged To Import Them From Fursul And Zahle.

The government of Baalbec has been for many years in the hands of the family of Harfush, the head

Family of the Metaweli of Syria.[The Metaweli are of the sect of Ali, like the Persians; they have more than 200 houses at Damascus, but they conform there to the rites of the orthodox Mohammedans.] In later times, two brothers, Djahdjah and Sultan, have disputed with each other the possession of the government; more than fifteen individuals of their own family have perished in these contests, and they have dispossessed each other by turns, according to the degree of friendship or enmity which the Pashas of Damascus bore to the one or the other. During the reign of Youssef Pasha, Sultan was Emir; as soon as Soleiman was in possession of Damascus, Sultan was obliged to fly, and in August, 1810, his brother Djahdjah returned to his seat, which he had already once occupied. He pays a certain annual sum to the Pasha, and extorts double its amount from the peasant. The Emir Beshir has, since the reign of Soleiman Pasha, likewise acquired a certain influence over Baalbec, and is now entitled to the yearly sum of fifteen purses from this district. The Emir Djahdjah resides at Baalbec, and keeps there about 200 Metaweli horsemen, whom he equips and feeds out of his own purse.

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