Maronites on the Mountain Trail

Mainline Customer Mike Cottee sent us a photo of a Maronite Monk that he took whilst walking the Lebanon Mountain Trail.

No Funny Business - Photograph by Mike Cottee 2013

No Funny Business – Photograph by Mike Cottee 2013

The Maronites are a Syriac-Christian ethnoreligious group in the Levant region. They are said to derive their name from the Syriac Aramean saint Mar Maron (Mar, the Syriac title for a Master, is used in reference to saints) whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church.

Maronites were able to maintain an independent status in Mount Lebanon and its coastline after the Arab Islamic conquest, maintaining their religion and language there until the 13th century. Remnants of their language exist in Cyprus and formerly in some secluded mountain villages, which have since adopted Arabic due to government standardization.

The (LMT) is the first long-distance hiking trail in Lebanon. It extends from Al-Qbaiyat in the north of Lebanon to Marjaayoun in the south, a 440-km (275 miles) path that transects more than 75 towns and villages at altitude ranging from 600 meters to 2,000 meters (about 1,800-6,000 feet) above sea level. The LMT showcases the natural beauty and cultural wealth of Lebanon’s mountains and demonstrates the determination of the people of Lebanon to conserve this unique heritage. The trail brings communities closer together and expands economic opportunities in rural areas through environmentally and socially responsible tourism.

http://www.lebanontrail.org/ for more information on the Lebanon Mountain Trail