The Bekaa Plain ( Arabic البقاع al-Biqāʿ ) is a plateau in Lebanon , which is located between the mountain ranges of the Lebanon Mountains and the Anti-Lebanon . The plain is also known as the country's fruit and vegetable chamber. It extends in a north-south direction in the east of the country. The most important and largest cities are Zahlé and Baalbek . Most of the settlements are on the edges of the Bekaa.
The plain is the northern continuation of the Jordan Rift Valley and thus part of the Great African Rift Valley . It is approximately 120 km long and 8 to 12 km wide and is nestled between the Lebanon Mountains and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains at an altitude of approx. 900 m. Two rivers have their source in the northern Bekaa plain: the Orontes ( Nahr al-Asi ) crosses the Syrian border to the north and follows the rift valley that continues through the Syrian Ghab plain. The Litani flows through the plain to the south. The irrigated agriculture is carried out to a greater extent by surface water , and increasingly also by pump irrigation from the groundwater.
The Bekaa Plain has an almost continental climate. During the year it is drier, hotter in summer and colder in winter than in the areas to the west of the mountains. Some of the areas already have a steppe character because they are so dry. It only snows in the Bekaa Plain, in the north and on the mountains of Lebanon, not in the rest of the country. In the winter of 1991/92 the snow was partly 8 meters high. The climate at the edges is milder and more humid, and this is where the country's fruit and vegetable chamber was coined. Most of the plains' settlements are in this green belt.
The Bekaa plain is known for the Roman temple ruins in Baalbek and the ruins of the Omayyad city of Anjar . Also worth seeing is a pyramid-shaped grave monument ten kilometers from the city of Hermel. The 27 meter high pyramid dates from the first or second century BC. Other Roman temple buildings in Niha , Qsarnaba and Majdal Anjar also suggest the importance that the Bekaa plain had for the Romans - not least, the region was considered an important granary and made a major contribution to the supply of the ancient city of Rome .
On June 10, 1982, a battle between Israel and Syria took place in the city of Sultan Jakub on the Bekaa plain.
The Bekaa Plain is the most important agricultural area in Lebanon. Are cultivated u. a. Wine, olives, cucumber, peas, almonds, tobacco and onions. The degree of mechanization of the cultivation is very low and is operated with cheap labor from Syria , who can receive a wage four times higher here than at home. Often whole families come who live in extremely poor camps with very poor hygienic conditions. Most of the time, piecework wages are used , where you earn up to 8,000 Lebanese pounds , the equivalent of 4 euros, for a ten-hour working day . The Shavish, the employment agency, keeps 1500 to 2000 Lebanese pounds. Work takes place without public holidays, exposure to toxic chemicals and unnatural work postures that result in musculoskeletal disorders . To pay the cost of an operation for a herniated disc , the relatives have to work for several months to raise the 1.5 million Lebanese pounds (770 euros).
- Syria. Lebanon. Nelles Guide. From Gockel, Wolfgang / Bruns, Helga. Munich 2010. ISBN 3-88618-824-8
- Lebanon. Travel manual. Anke Röhl, Andrea Rosebrock. Kronshagen, 1998. ISBN 3-89392-213-X
- Florian Neukirchen: The East African Trench. In: riannek.de. July 5, 2006, accessed June 2, 2012 .
- George C. Solley: The Israeli Experience In Lebanon, 1982-1985. In: globalsecurity.org. May 10, 1987, accessed December 24, 2015 .
- Tom Cooper , Yaser al-Abed: Syrian Tank-Hunters in Lebanon, 1982. In: acig.org. May 11, 2003, accessed October 28, 2011 .
- Lucile Garçon, Rami Zurayk: Nomads of the vegetable fields. In: Le Monde diplomatique , September 10, 2000.