At half an hour from it is the
spring called Ain Bahr; three quarters of an hour beyond it is a high
level country, still on the western side of the summit of the mountain.
This district is called Watty el Bordj
WATTY EL BORDJ.
[p.26] [Arabic], from a small ruined tower. It is three or four hours in
length, and two in breadth. In the spring the Arabs Abid, Turkmans, and
Kourdines, here pasture their cattle. These Kourdines bring annually
into Syria from twenty to thirty thousand sheep, from the mountains of
Kourdistan; the greater part of which are consumed by Aleppo, Damascus,
and the mountains, as Syria does not produce a sufficient number for its
inhabitants. The Kourd sheep are larger than those of Syria, but their
flesh is less esteemed. The Kourd sheep-dealers first visit with their
flocks Aleppo, then Hama, Homs, and Baalbec; and what they do not sell
on the road, they bring to pasture at Watty el Bordj, whither the people
of Zahle, Deir el Kammar, and other towns in the mountains repair, and
buy up thousands of them, which they afterwards sell in retail to the
peasants of the mountains.
They buy them for ready money at twenty to thirty piastres a head, and
sell them two months afterwards at thirty to forty. The mountaineers of
the Druse and Maronite districts breed very few sheep, and very seldom
eat animal food. On the approach of their respective great festivals,
(Christmas with the Maronites, and Ramadan with the Druses) each head of
a family kills one or two sheep; during the rest of the year, he feeds
his people on Borgul, with occasionally some old cow's, or goat's flesh.
It is only in the largest of the mountain towns of the Druses and
Maronites that flesh is brought daily to market.
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