Entrance to Mlikh A village  in South Lebanon. Situated in a valley at an altitude ranging between 900m and 1050m above sea level, Mlikh is surrounded by characteristic and beautiful mountains with a river passing through it. It  is steeped in history and has a mixed Christian and Muslim population. Its families include: Abou Zeid, Abou Milhem, Matta and others.

Mlikh is rich in flora and fauna and rocks. This was helped, in part, by being uninhabited between 1985 and 2000 and "frozen in time" after its people fled when it became unsafe. In Man's absence and non-interference, nature re-established itself. After visiting it, many international scientists were amazed by Mlikh's ecological richness and diversity. It is therefore our moral responsibility to protect and preserve this increasingly rare environment for our enjoyment and as a legacy to future generations. We are entrusted with the safe-keeping of this "jewel".

Mlikh's people, like their environment are also special. Upholding old-fashioned and timeless values of kindness, genuineness and hospitality, they live in harmony and have a strong community spirit and a sense of belonging. Mlikh gave the world cultured and shining beacons including scientists, doctors, engineers, journalists, poets, authors, musicians and senior civil servants.

Mlikh's people have been busy rebuilding their village after the war's destruction and neglect. Great strides have been made. New water, telephone and electricity networks have already been installed. A brand new school has been built, roads re-surfaced and land mines are being cleared. Worthy of encouragement, individual efforts are being made to re-start agriculture including land reclamation, building of terraces' stone walls, ploughing and re-planting of trees and vines. Pre-war crops included olives, figs, grapes, wheat, chick peas, lentils, tobacco, various fruits, walnuts and managed oak logging while livestock included cattle and goats.                         

Summer time is special in Mlikh when the population swells. Some escape Beirut's heat and humidity and enjoy Mlikh's cool and dry weather while others come for holiday from overseas. Old friendships and relationships blossom again and it's often "any excuse for a party." St. Elias's Church celebrated its centenary in 2001 and the construction of a new church hall has been completed. The patron Saint's festival on July 20 is an event not to be missed with traditional village dabke, music, ambience and food.

Mlikh's uniqueness is under threat from potential over-development and haphazard opening of roads. Great efforts are being made to classify a large area as "Nature Reserve". The Lebanese Cabinet approved the Nature Reserve and it is getting the necessary legal frameworks from the Lebanese Parliament. Previously, the UNESCO has classified and approved the Jabal Rihane Nature Reserve as a "Biosphere Reserve." The aim of this Reserve is to promote human sustainable development, environmental tourism and scientific research in Jabal Rihane and its surrounding areas, as well as promoting awareness for humans of living in harmony with nature.
Mlikh needs your moral and practical support in any way you can to preserve its unique identity and heritage and to defend them against any future threats. Please visit www.jabalrihane.org  for further details.