It was once a beautiful village, famous for its greenery with a plentiful supply of water from deep wells but now all that remains are the deteriorated walls of houses that were once the homes of its villagers. Its population left last century at the outbreak of World War I and never returned. That's the sad story of the village of Bjerrine as told by 87-year-old Simon Mershad Nehme.
Mr. Nehme said villagers were driven from their homes by famine that ravaged Lebanon during the period of the Great War and those that left Bjerrine took the keys to their homes and never returned to reopen the doors, heading to parts of the world they knew nothing about . Mr. Nehme's long memory recalls a time in that area where the people lived together in love and contentment, working the land farming tobacco and helping each other build the stone houses that now lie in ruins.
He said since his childhood he had heard his parents and relatives talk about the tragedy of Bjerrine village, which sits on the periphery of the suburb of Gharfine.
The stones of the abandoned houses are still strong but the thatched roofs have long collapsed. A summertime visit to Bjerrine by AL MOHAJER began and ended at the top of a mountain ridge because a road into the village no longer exists.
Mr. Nehme recalled the area was known for its wheat crops, silk production and tobacco plants. Today the land has become the property of the mayor of Gharfine and the Nehme family but it still carries a lingering sadness at the loss of its people all those years ago and begs the question....will the people of Jberrine ever return or are they lost forever?