Geography & Demographics of Anjar

Anjar in 1943


The Name
Anjar is also known as Haoush Mousa. It is divided into six quarters: Haji Hababli, Kabusia, Vakif, Khdr Bek, Yoghun Oluk, and Bitias. Originally, these names were the names of the six villages of Musa Dagh.

The six quarters of Anjar
The Six Quarters of Anjar

Historical Facts
In 1939 the place called Anjar in the Bekaa Valley was a dry, dusty land, full of insects and deseases such as Malaria. That's when 5000 Armenian refugees from Musa Dagh, Turkey, were relocated to Anjar by the help of the French navy. During the first few months in exile, more than 500 Anjarians died due to desease and malnutrition. During that time the refugees lived under tents. Later, conditions became better when water fountains and houses, with one room and an external bathroom, were built by the help of the French Government.

The French Houses

The people of Anjar are heroic and hard working. Today that former dry and rugged terrain is transformed into a green land, full of trees and large beautiful houses.

Anjar Today

Nowadays, approximately 2400 people, 99.99% of them Armenians, live in Anjar. Anjar has its own municipality, under the directorate of Zahle, with Mr. Sebouh Sekayan as the mayor. Besides the mayor, six "Moukhtar"s, or regional representatives, and 14 city council members form the local government.

A very popular place in Anjar is the spring of Anjar, where every Sunday hundreds of people from the surrounding villages gather for picnicking and dining in the famous Lebanese restaurants, where fresh water fish is served. The trout is the most popular fish.

During the summer of 1993 a Musical Festival took place in the Umayyad ruins. The Ruins attract a great number of local and European tourists, specially during the summer.

Social Life
There are three schools in Anjar. The Armenian Catholics' elementary School, the Armenian Evangelical School (K-12), "Haratch" elementary, and Kalousd Gulbengian College (9-12).

Anjar has an athletic club called HOMENTMEN. Basketball and Soccer are the most popular sports in Anjar. HOMENTMEN also has girl and boy scout troops, and a marching band.

The Barouyr Sevag chapter of the cultural organization of HAMZKAYIN has its own club in the center of the village. Theatrical and dance performances take place regularly. HAMAZKAYIN is also active in promoting Armenian art and culture.

St. Paul Apostolic Church, "Haratch" elementary,
K. Gulbengian High School (From left to right)

Anjar is famous for its apples. There are more than 500 apple orchards and approximately 50 vineyards in Anjar. Not all Anjarians are farmers though. Some farmers rely on the sales of their crops as their primary source of income. However, the new generation of teenagers and some older people, are turning their backs to farming and looking towards other occupations, such as manufacturing of jewelry, which is the second largest industry in Anjar.

There is also a government sponsored fish farm in Anjar, where trout and other fresh water fish are raised.