Anjar, also known as Haoush Mousa is a town of Lebanon located in the Bekaa Valley. The population is 2,400,consisting almost entirely of Armenians. The total area is about twenty square kilometers (7.7 square miles). In the summer, the population swells to 3,500, as members of the Armenian diasporareturn to visit there.
Anjar was resettled in 1939 with several thousand Armenian refugees from the Musa Dagh area of Turkey. Its neighborhoods are named after the six villages of Musa Dagh: Haji Hababli, Kabusia, Vakif, Khodr Bek, Yoghun Oluk and Bitias. The Syrian Army chose it as one of its main military bases in the Beqaa Valley and the headquarters of its intelligence services.
Religion and Education
The majority of Anjar's Armenians are Armenian Apostolics (Orthodox) who belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church and Holy See of Cilicia. Armenian Apostolic Saint Paul Church is the second largest Armenian church in Lebanon. The Armenian Apostolic community has its own school, Haratch Calouste Gulbenkian Secondary School. In 1940, the chief editor of the Armenian newspaper Haratch in Paris, Shavarsh Missakian, organized a fundraising campaign among the Armenians living in France which enabled the building of the "Haratch" Elementary School next to the newly established St. Paul Armenian Apostolic Church. The official opening of the school took place in 1941. The administration of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation contributed to the expansion of the school, which was named in honor of Calouste Gulbenkian.
Formerly known as Gerrha, a stronghold built by Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid ibn Abdel Malek in the 8th century, the site was later abandoned, leaving a number of well-preserved ruins. The present-day name derives from Arabic Ayn Gerrha, or "source of Gerrha". The ruins have been recognized as a World Heritage Site.