Jouar El-Matn The Place Where You Dream To Be...
- Written by Nicolas Samaha
Jouar El-Matn (The Heaven on Earth...) is a village in El-Matn, Mount Lebanon, Lebanon. It is located between Chrine, Chouweir and Khenchara, on the main road to Bteghrine - Baskinta, and it is 27 kilometers (16.8 mi) North East of Beirut. Covering an area of about 0.96 square kilometers (0.371 sq mi), this village is known for its traditional red-roofed brick houses and its skilled stone masons & pine trees.
Jouar is close to Khenchara which is the home of the Melchite Catholic, where is the Monastery of St. John or Deir et-Tabcheh founded 1696-97, the 18th century church of Saint Nicolas, with its iconostasis of wood. In addition to its magnificent collection of icons and an excellent library, the monastery is the site of the Middle East's first Arabic printing press, which first appeared in 1734. A five-room museum displays the old presses and some 450 related objects and pieces of equipment. Founder of the press was Abdallah el-Zakher from Aleppo, built the oldest machine between 1726 and 1733.