Written by Rania Doueihy
Translated by Assaad Maalouf
Toula, that magnificent village on the top of Zgharta District’s highlands, cannot but exhibit to the eyes that charming nature created by God over most of Mount Lebanon’s villages. Its own wealth relies on the good heartedness of its people who still preserve the traditions of old people in the hills, in terms of their loving, generosity, and all good ethical values, especially in dealing with new guests to their country. Toula’s people, like most Lebanese spots, are deploying abroad throughout different states and countries.
Three probabilities of Toula’s name:
1- It can be the Syriac Towla which means small crawling insects
2- It can be Tela that means high altitude
3- It can be Tolta meaning one third
4- It can also mean group of silky thread
Yet the prevailing opinion in this regard is that Toula could be that beautiful summit that overlooks the sea from the western direction.
Toula is 1120 m above the sea surface, at 29 km distance away from the center of the district, 35 km form the center of North province, 105 km from Beirut. The population is 1256 registered, 812 capable of voting. The number of residence units is 122.
Families: Yazbeck, Barakat, Saad, Jelwan, Makdessi, Farah
Saint Asia Church
A splendid church build at the end of the 19th Century over the remaining of a small church that goes back to old time. Saint Asia’s Day is celebrated by Toula’s people on the last Sunday of September, as all of them gather to celebrate the ceremony in the end of Summer.
Since Toula goes back to the Crusades period, old priests of Toula used to be the teachers of Toula School and the teacher’s fee used to be paid by the people of the village and religious Wakf. Amongst the teachers had been Priest John Younis from Hmeiss, Priest Jacob Shbat, Priest Abdallah Farah Barakat, Priest Youssof Nasr, Priest Jelwan and others.
Toula’s famous men of letter:
Poet Michael Tannous Farah (1927 – 1975) whose teacher was Priest Jelwan. He traveled to USA in 1953 where he worked and made achievements. In 1958 he established the new cultural library in Tripoli. He struggled throughout his poems and literary works against tyranny and cruelty and called for revolution and change in the Lebanese and Arab society. He also has poems relevant to love and travel.