Tourza lies on the entrance of the sacred valley
Kadisha .It is one of the first villages in Casa
Becharri , far from the
capital , by 85 km and far from Tripolie by 20 km , and
Becharri , the
casa center , by 25 km . It is 700 meters above sea
level . The village's
area is about 430 hecters or 4,300,000 meters squares.
From the east both Serel and Arbit kozhayya,Zgarta.
From the west Mogor El Ahwal and Richdibbin, Koura.
From the south abbdine and Boulla, Bcharri.
Fron the north Kadisha river, also known as Abou Ali.
The origins of the name:
Tourza is an " ARAMIAN " name which has three possible
TUR-ARZO which means the Arz mountain , maybe because it
lies at the entrance of the Arz mountain.
TUR-ZAITO which means the dive mountain , may be because
there is as abundance of dive trees on its lands.
TUR-ZAYO which means the beautiful mountain, due to the
picturesque views that the village has.
Number of inhabitants:
Nowadays, only 500 people live in Tourza , in
about 250 houses, and the rest of the houses are totally
deserted because of high rate of immigration.
In 1975 , before the Lebanese war , about 1200 people
used to live in Tourza , and although many of the
immigrants have not registered their children in the
Lebanese official sit was noticeable that the number of
the people who participated in the elections for the
year 2000 reached up to 1922 person .
It has also been estimated according to some statistics
that in Canada and in the U.S.A there are about 14,000
immigrants from Tourza , 6,000 immigrants in Venezuela,
and more in other countries like Australia , Argentine ,
Brazil , and other European and Arab countries.
Families in Tourza:
It has been mentioned in one of the reports to his
Excellency , the Lebanese Maronite patriarch, that the
origin of the families in Tourza goes back to the
following names : Abi Elias and Zakariyya (origin from
Kfirsgab), Abi Hanna(origines from Yammouni) , EK-Khoury
(origin from ban), El-Khoury Bchara(origin from Kehhali),
Abi Saad and El Rahib (origin from Akkar), Greish and
Kyrlus ( origin from Barsa) .
Today , in Torza the following family names still exist
: Najem ,Boutros , Maksoud , Naim , Kasbar , Francis , Leba ,
El-Raheb , Gasibe , Saad , Rachid , El-Khoury , Sarkis ,
Mikael , Gerges , Youssef ,Moawad,yaakoub, Greige ,
Lotfallah , Khalil , El-barish , Bou-sleiman , El-Tabbagi
, Nohra , Semaan , Aaziz , El-nakhl , Raffoul,Estphan,
Merhi , Philip , Amin , Mansour , Wehbe , Ibrahim ,
Nassif , Sassine , Issa , Daoud , Abbas , saad , Dib ,
Yaghi , Bou-nassif , Kyrlus , Zoghbi , Saba , Bou-saab ,sleiman
, Elias ...
It is worthy mentioning , however, that a big number of
the families mentioned above do not exist anymore in
Tourza since they have all immigrated for good , like
Mahfoud and Badawi .
1-The Phoenician age:Torza was inhibited by different
people and mainly thre Phoenicians who've left many
traces ; the most important of these traces Phoenician
kings . These traces is the SABEH GROTTO which was
graveyard for Phoenician kings . These caves lie at the
western side of the village According to historians ,
Tourza was a Phoenician kingdom in itself which dates
back to the year 3000 B.C.
2-The Roman's age:There is a rock in the woods of Tourza
which goes back to the Roman period and it shows that
the empire's road passed through this village which
means that Tourza was inhibited in that days . More over
, the story of St. Marina , which most probably took
place during the 4th and 5th centuries , mentions Tourza
as a prosperous and inhibited city.
3-The Crusader's age: During the Crusades , it seems that Tourza played an important role . the crusaders for
example turned the DELMAZ GROTTO into a fortress . Then
, the same DELMAZ GROTTO was made a monastery and a
shelter for many monks known as AL-AHBAASH . they
appeared as priests , and at night they formed a gang
which robbed , kidnapped and killed . Up till now AL
DELMAZ and the traces around it prove that.
Modern history :
It has been known that different
families have come to Tourza due to its fertile land and
abundant waters . However , after the crusades new
invaders ruled the village and suppressed the Maronites
not only in power but also in number , and they brought
a new sect AL-SHIAA to inhibit the village . it is said
that at that time only one family was able to live and
socialize with the new sect and they are the Mahfoud
During that period , AL HAMADA one of the Shiaa
families and others became very powerful and kept
suppressing the Maronites and their patriarchs until one
day a revolution started under the leadership of Youssef
el Shahabi and Saad El- Khoury and the Shiaa were
totally expelled from Bcharri and Ehden towards Baalbeck
In 1767 Prince Youssef gave the village of Tourza , as a
reward , to Saad El-Khoury , and his life and his heirs
later . Since then , different families started coming
to the village seeking work as there were plenty of
fertile land and fresh streams of which AL MSHOUR has
been and still is the most famous. And so Tourza
remained on this way up to about 50 years. Then people
started immigrating to transville in south Africa , and
South America , especially Saint selvador , Brasil ,
Argentina and Mexico , leaving behing them their
families in the village to which they retuned years
later carrying with them huge sums of money to buy some
land from Saad El-Khoury or his descendents in order to
build houses , and this went on until nearly the whole
village belonged to the people in Tourza .
In 1886 , a great dispute took place between "Ghandour
saad beik el Khoury and the people in Tourza , and this
dispute wasn't resolved except when Al Sheikh Raji
Zaiter Elias intervened with some Turkish responsibles
and got a sentence against Ghandour Beik which ordered
him to leave the village and take with him 4000 gold
Liras , and that was his remaining right from the
But since the people didn't have this amount of money
they had to put under mortgage the northern part of the
village to the reverend , the late Youssef Najem and
when they got the 4000 Liras of gold , they now had to
travel again , look for work , and come back to pay the
amount of the mortgage to get their lands back . During
the first world war , Tourza like every other village or
city wad deeply affected by famine , suppression and
military service , (1914-1918) .
After the war , immigration to the USA and Canada was
at its peak , and so a great number of the people and
the families left for no return . Tourza has given its
country , church and society important figures and names
who have been a source of pride . There were the lawyers
, doctors , military , officers , engineers, clergymen ,
nuns and monks , and all of whom have reached to the
highest positions not only in their homeland but also
else where .