Kfar Matta

District of Aley

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Kfar Matta

Arabic: كفرمتى
Located in the District of Aley, 12 km from Aley. Relics in its vicinity date back to the time of the Phoenicians and Crusaders.


“Kfarmatta” means “Village of Matthew”, and is home to the remnants of the ancient monastery of St. Matthew


Longitude: 33° 43′ 36″ N Latitude: 35° 31′ 31″ E Area: • City 11.64 km2 Elevation: 700 – 800 m
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Discover Kfarmatta

The beautiful town of Kfarmatta, located in the Al-Shahar area in the District of Aley, famous for its pines and olive groves, was named by the Syriac Aramaic compound of “Kufr ” in the sense of a “village”, becoming “village of Matthew” or the village of the Man of God.

In a courtyard of the village were once the remnants of the ancient monastery of St. Matthew, including a wooden gate clad in iron. Legend has it the gate was removed and given to the journalist Ghassan Tueni.

The first family to build a house near the ruins of the monastery was Humaidan Abu Ammar – he took stones from the old monastery for his new building. The inheritors of Humaidan Abu Ammar took over the dwelling, then Yusuf Mansour Humaidan sold to Amin Mahmoud al-Gharib.

New houses belonging to the family of Hamad Al-Dhib were later built on the site of the old monastery in Kfarmatta.

Buildings in Kfarmatta date back to the beginning of the thirteenth century AD.

The western neighborhood of Kfarmatta is known as  “Bshaqab” and pre-dates the actual village – archaeological evidence suggests it was occupied in the era B.C.

Famous Places - Kfarmatta

One of the most historic attractions in Kfarmatta is the ruins of the old silk factory, built in 1860. It was one of the first mills to be constructed in Lebanon, and one of the largest. Located just off the main road, it sits on a 36,000 sq metre plot of land, offering views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Although in a serious state of disrepair, and unlikely to ever be restored, the Kfarmatta silk factory offers a glimpse into Lebanon’s architectural and economic history. Although its roof has completely disintegrated, shattered red tiles litter the ground as a reminder of what once existed.

Trees have overtaken much of the interior and most of the upper floor has crumbled. There is a well on the property, not far from the factory, with an irrigation system leading to the workrooms.

Lebanon’s only restored Silk Museum is located in Bsous, about 15  minutes from Kfarmatta.


Famous Faces - Kfarmatta

Kfarmatta was the birthplace of one of the great Arab poets of the first half of the twentieth century, Amin Nasir al-Din (1876-1953).

A veteran journalist, novelist and linguist, and accomplished speaker, he belonged to the Nasserite religion and to the Tannoukh princes who ruled Lebanon from the 10th to the 16th century.

A street was named in his honor in Ashrafieh, Beirut.

His father was Sheikh Ali Yusuf Nasir al-Din (1847-1922), the first to establish a Druze newspaper – Al Safaa (Serenity) – in 1886 – one of the first newspapers in the Arab world.

Born in Kfarmatta, Ali Yusuf Nasir al-Din is considered one of the pillars of the literary renaissance in Lebanon. He ran the Daoudi school in Aabey for nearly twenty years.
He founded the newspaper “Al-Safaa”, in Beirut in 1886, and the School of Knowledge in KfarMatta until 1906.
He also established “The Reform” magazine in Aley in 1911.

Said Boutros Abi Abdullah (1898-?) was a respected poet, born in the village of Kfarmatta.

Henry Abu Fadel: Poet, writer, diplomat and scientist, born in Kfarmatta in 1918.
He established Lebanese code symbols in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Latin equations of Arabic letters for use by state administrations in their telegrams. Head of Missions, appointed consul, member of scientific, academic and social associations.

Sheikh Zeineddine Taqi al-Din was Sheikh Akl of the Druze Monotheists in the 17th Century. He has a shrine in Kfarmatta.

Randa Amin Abu Hana: Writer, publisher and journalist, born 1958 in Kfarmatta. She was Editor-in-chief of “Mashour”, establishing a publishing house with her husband, Sami.

Adel Khadaj: Lebanese zajal poet, born 1948 in Kfarmatta, founded the “Choir of the Mountain Eagles”, one of the founders of the Lebanese Union headed by the poet Youssef Abi Khalil, composed the “Theatre Choir” (1977) and
The “Choir of the Nights”, (1988). He joined the “Citadel Choir” with the poet Musa Zgheib.

Ali Hussein Khadaj (1914-1984) was a journalist and writer.

Mohammed al-Deeb: A new writer, born in 1920 in Kfarmatta.

Tarek Nadim Nasser al-Din: Lawyer and writer, born 1942 –  President of the Arab Pens Association, Cultural Advisor of the Lebanese Congress and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Youth Union of Lebanon.

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History of Kfarmatta

The village of Kfarmatta also contains ruins of  the Phoenicians, Crusaders and Tannoukians.

"More info soon"

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more information about kfarmatta coming soon

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Take a Hike

Hiking is a must in Kfar Matta, attracting outdoor enthusiasts from all over Lebanon. Enjoy an agricultural trail filled with the pine, olive and citrus trees that the village is famous for. Stroll through the Mazraat Kfar Matta farms, where you can have a picnic before passing under “Al-Fuzer,” a naturally formed rock fissure between two mountains that lets the sunlight peek through. This breathtaking passage leads to the Damour River, where you can enjoy a swim in peaceful waters.

Picture of Heather & Sami Eljurdi

Heather & Sami Eljurdi

Founders • Archivists • Editors

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