Up north, this town may just be one of the oldest towns in the interior of Lebanon. It is Amioun, the capital of the Koura district, located on a chain of beautiful hills, at 18 km from Tripoli and about 42 km from the Cedars of God.
#1 Historical Town
Amioun is located on the top of an ancient hill dating back to before the 2nd millennium B.C. It is cited on an important archaeological tell, proving the historical depth of the town.
#2 It is the cited “Amia” of ancient times
In his book on the Monuments of Lebanon, historian Henri Lammens mentions a town named Amia that is suspected to refer to Amioun.
Historian Anis Freiha stated that the name Amia comes from the Semitic word Emun, meaning “invincible fort.”
Amioun is also referred to as Amia in the Letters of Tell el Amarna, sent by Local governors in the 14th century to the Pharaohs of Egypt.
#3 Amioun has 28 manmade caves from the Paleolithic period
In the old city, 28 manmade caves were found on this rocky cliff. These little caves were studied by several archaeologists that say Amioun’s history can be traced back to the Paleolithic period.
#4 Amioun is the largest Eastern Orthodox town in Lebanon
Predominantly populated by Greek Orthodox, Amioun is the largest Eastern Orthodox town in Lebanon.
It has 13 beautiful churches, namely Saint George Cathedral and Saint John “al-sheer” Church.
#5 Almost a third of Amioun’s population works in the medical field
In the 20th century, this old historical town is deemed one of the highest educated in Lebanon. It has three public and two private schools, a public library, and the University of Balamand Koura Campus is close by, 12 km north of the town. Amioun has also a private hospital.
#6 Amioun is famous for its olives
The old town has always relied on agriculture, making it known for its olive groves and high-grade olive oil as well as soap production.
#7 Amioun is home to notable Lebanese personalities
Since the town’s history dates so far back, the list of Amioun’s notable people has grown long over the years. To cite a few:
Dr. George N. Attieh
The librarian and scholar Dr. George N. Attieh contributed to many great works, including the article “Jerusalem in Medieval Christian Thought” as well as other books on Arab philosophy and Christian-Muslim relations.
Attieh studied at the American University of Beirut and at the University of Chicago. He became a professor and administrator at the University of Puerto Rico and later joined the Library of Congress.
Jacques A. Nasser
The business executive and philanthropist Jacques A. Nasser is an Australian Lebanese born in Amioun.
He is known for a management career at Ford Motor Company, as he served as Ford’s CEO and president for a few years.
Nasser was named #6 on “Most powerful people in Australia boardrooms” by the Smart Company.
Lamia Charlebois is a Lebanese-Canadian public relations consultant who launched her own company and has a wide range of clients from large companies to start-ups.
Lamia is also an author and reporter, and occasionally writes for magazines, and is also the co-founder of the Nouhad F. Ghantous Breast Cancer Center.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Born in Amioun, Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the author of the famous book The Black Swan, one of the most influential books since World War II as described by The Sunday Times.