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Location

Wadi el-Ratl is located in the Qada’a of Hermel in the Mohafaza of Beqa’a, at an altitude of 1200m above the sea level. It lies 150 km from Beirut and 94 km from the Mohafaza center and spreads across 5 hectares.

The town may be reached by the Hermel-Wadi Terkman road.

Population

The number of registered inhabitants at the town’s personal status register is estimated at 1200 people, of whom 70% are Shia’a and 30% Maronite. There are around 40 houses in Wadi el-Ratl in addition to two commercial shops.

Voters

In 2000, the number of voters in Wadi el-Ratl was 705 of whom 224 cast their ballots. This number decreased to 675 in 2005 with 222 casting their ballots. In 2009, 779 people were eligible to vote but only 218 headed to the ballot boxes. Voters in Wadi el-Ratl are distributed among the following families:

Shia’a

  • A’allaw: 350 voters
  • Allam: 160 voters
  • Yazbek: 35 voters

Maronite

  • Hadshiti: 176 voters
  • Sukkar: 28 voters
  • Fakhri: 23 voters
  • Tawk: 6 voters

Local authorities

There is no municipal council in Wadi el-Ratl, and the main local authority is represented by Mukhtar Akram A’allaw and a 3-member Ikhtiyariah body.

Educational institutions

There are no schools in Wadi el-Ratl and the town’s few students attend schools in the neighboring towns.

Economic activities

Wadi el-Ratl’s residents rely on tourism (restaurants, coffee shops etc.) and local commerce as their primary source of income, but the seasonal advantages of these two sectors expose them to poverty in low seasons; Wadi el-Ratl is one of the poorest towns in Lebanon.

The town includes no significant landmarks except the remnants of the house where Gebran Khalil Gebran was born in 1883 and lived the first years of his life before moving to the neighboring town of Bsharri.

Problems

The town lacks access to basic services including water supply, electricity and proper roads, and its rough geography makes winter an especially difficult season. 



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