Aita Shaab


Tebnine (تبنين, also spelled Tibnin),is a Mediterranean village spread across several hills (ranging in altitude from 700m to 800m (2,275' to 2,600') above sea level) located about 25km 915.6 miles) east of Tyre (Lebanon), in the heart of what is known as "Jabal Amel" or the mountain of "Amel". "Jabal Amel" designates the plateau situated between the western mountain range of Lebanon and the Galilee. (See map)

Social and Economic Culture

Tebnine has several economic resources such as a governmental hospital, a police station, post office, financial institutions as well as cafes and commercial shops.

In the summer, Tebnine is a lively place as people come from both Beirut and foreign countries for their summer vacation. The nightlife is marked with a family-like gathering of the townspeople who often dress fashionably and "hang out" at the various cafes.

Tebnine is also well known for the "Kazdoura" a long stretch of road that extends from the beginning to the end of the village and where the townspeople often take their evening strolls. It also hosts a weekly flea market called the "Souk El Jomaa". Most of the larger villages have these flea markets and each have their own specific day. Since "Jomaa" means Friday, Tebnine hosts the flea market on that day.

Ninety percent of the townspeople speak English due to the presence of the United Nations and the US dollar is their primary monetary exchange.

In the summer of 2005 a year before the Israelis and Lebanon war Tebnine had a record number of foreigners and returning nationals visit the village.


Tebnine is the ancient town of Toron, which was a center for the Crusaders during the Middle Ages.

The town's population are mostly Shia Muslims and Christians. No exact population count has been taken since the census of 1932, however estimates show that the population is around 5,000.

The town could be ancient as there are references to the second largest town in the vicinity, Bint Jbeil; in the Book of Joshua, usually regarded as having been written in the 13th century BC. It is also widely believed that Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at Cana.


The climate in the village varies by season. It should be noted that in the summer it never rains.

Political figures

Nabih Berri Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament
Ali Harajli Previous Minister
Ali Nasrat Alassad Previous Minister
Joseph Moughaisel Previous Deputy
Hamid Dakroub Previous Deputy
Said Fawaz Previous Deputy
Abdallah Ghtaimi Previous Deputy
Mohamad Ali Ghtaimi Previous Deputy
Fawzi Fawaz Ambassador
Assad Fawaz Mayor

Crusader Castle

Prince Hugh of Saint Omer, the governor of Tiberias built the Crusader Castle in the year 1105 to prepare for the siege of Tyre but it was later conquered by Saladin in 1187 and then taken back by the Franks in 1229. Mamluke Sultan Al-Zahir Baibars of Egypt finally conquered it in 1266 and it's been in Arab hands ever since.

The castle has been confused with other castles in the country e.g. Beaufort Castle. But it is originally the Toron Castle. Today it is mostly referred to as "The Tebnine Castle".

The Crusader Castle has been used by many different factions and armies over the years because of its stragetic position overlooking miles of terrain.

With its historic castle and South Lebanon's history of occupiers and conquerors that include Alexander the Great, Tebnine has the potential to be a monumental tourist attraction in more peaceful times.

Civil War

During the civil war, the town was mostly unaffected despite the co-existence of Muslims and Christians. The town as a whole however, was subjected to the taunting of the South Lebanese Army (Israelis backed Phalanges) who would every now and then fire on the outskirts of the town.

According to many of the elders in the village, the Palestine Liberation Organization was never allowed to set up in and or around Tebnine which would explain why the town often went unscathed during Israelis incursions in the seventies and eighties.

United Nations

In 1978, the United Nations took over the security of South Lebanon by replacing the Lebanese Army. The Irish Battalion renamed the Tebnine army base Camp Shamrock.

The United Nations can be credited with providing jobs and social services to Tebnine and the surrounding villages. Camp Shamrock was responsible for the building and assistance of the Tebnin Orphanage.

Israel-Lebanon conflict

During the war between Israel and Lebanon in July 2006, like other villages, Tebnine had many homes destroyed but not of the magnitude of villages like Bint Jbeil, Qana and Aita Shaab.

In the old center (Zakouk), located in the upper part of town near The Crusader Castle, most of the homes are completely destroyed or damaged.

Near the government hospital there is a central hub for transportation in and out of the village. The Israelis dropped several bombs near it forcing some 2000 civilians to take refuge inside of the hospital.

It has been estimated that Israel dropped 100,000 cluster bombs in the area of Tebnine and the surrounding villages. Two hundred cluster bombs were found by bomb defusing experts on the first day of the ceasefire near the government hospital, where the civilians were hiding. Experts say it will take months, if not years, to remove the unexploded bombs. A Chinese battalion attached to the U.N. forces in southern Lebanon was clearing 250 to 300 unexploded devices a day.

For the first time since the civil war in 1975, The Lebanese Army has returned to South Lebanon including Tebnine as one of the conditions of UN Resolution 1701.


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