Ain El Assis (the spring of the Assisi)
Our beloved Shweir Secondary
is now a beautiful Evangelical Retreat Center
An evening of
Poetry by prominent poet Henry Zghaib
presented and accompanied by the elegant Alexa Kiamy and
Life Achievement Awards Honoring Eight Prominent Shweirys
presented by the eloquent Rita Rahbany in
Ain El Assis, August 6, 2003
Life Achievement Awards started a few years ago by Nabil Matar and now is continued via Shweir.com
Shweir.com 2003 Honorees are:
Life Achievement Award
Bechara Jamil Merhej
Elias Rahbani and Family
ex Minister of Interior
Master of Music, Culture and Art
Civic Pride Award
Shweir Scouts, Fawj Al Shweir
|Singer - Humanitarian - Leader
The pride of our youths
Business Development Award
|The Michel Kiamy
George Nassib Sadallah Samaha
Al Sad Restaurant - La Voute night club
Shweiry of the Year Award
Salim Bahij Sawaya
2002 - Miss Int'l 2003
Beer Fest - Wine Fest - Media
And here are some pictures
|Work in progress,
Report & text of plaques and more pixs on the way...
|Here George Matar and Anwar Kenicer talk about Shweir.com|
|It was a memorable night|
After the event, George
Sadallah Samaha invited all Honorees and
their significant others to a very nice dinner at his new AlSad Restaurant that seats up to 500 persons.
Thank you George for a
Congratulations to all the honorees...
Cedar Building Rededication on October 26, 2002
----- Original Message -----
Attached you find the program for the re-opening of Arzy Building. I will write you about it later. I can only say now: Beshara, in his speech and feelings, was the real l962 class representative.
Spiritual evening and the reopening of Arzi Building.
I didn't receive the invitation for the ceremony of the reopening of the building even though Mrs Kassab told me that she sent one. Do I need an invitation to be in the same place, where I used to be daily for the best twelve years of my childhood and youth? I don't have to answer because if you were in my place you would do the same. I was there on the Saturday afternoon October 26, 2002 to joint others in the celebration of the reopening of Arzi Building after the new reconstruction.
When you enter the main gate of the Evangelical Center (Our SSS), you feel the slope of the road that is taken you down, and in every step you feel years of your age is disappearing until you reach Carslaw Hall. You stop to look at the building and you hear voices of boys and girls all around you. You even see faces of kids you know and love. Time disappeared and you are back to school carrying your books and zewady. I thought, I am the only one feeling so, until I heard one of the speakers, Reverent Awad, if I am not mistaken, expressing himself towards Ain Al Assis the same way I am doing. It's funny how things get mix-up in one's mind when he is under the power of the place.
Music, opening speech Dr. Mikhaial , a pray, then Mrs Najla Kassab,the center administrator, Dr. Nabil Ghosun, music again, Minister Beshara Merhej, 1962 class representative, another pray, Reverent Awad, Chairman of the National Evangelical Synod, and the last word was for Reverent Fadi Dagher. The speakers were excellent in describing Ain Al Assis and the relation between the place, the fouders, Dr Carslaw, the Synod and Shweir . Dr. Ghosun and others were against the idea of putting Arzi building down and starting a new one, (this was one of the options). The building is history (built in 1882), as he said, and each stone carries a different story of the place and the people who lived here. It's true that repairing the building coasted more than rebuilding a new one, but we can say that they saved part of Shweir and Synod memories, which is more precious than money.
Minister Beshara Merhej, our representative, the 1962 class, spoke for all of us. His words were our feelings toward Ain Al Assis, the Arzi Building, the place and all the persons who founded, built or rebuild stones and souls. I will not describe the building from inside; I will leave this to Mrs Kassab. I only can say, it's a very nice place to stay in. Cake, cookies and soft drinks were served after cutting the ribbon and visiting all the rooms of the building.
Thanks to The National Evangelic Synod, Mrs Najla Kassab and all
the persons who helped in making Arzi Building live again either by there work,
decisions or money.
Take a peak at the interior...
From: Matar, Nabil [mailto:Nabil.Matar@premcor.com]
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2002 7:38 AM
It gave me great pleasure and honor that I had a chance to meet you this summer, my friend you are really a special lady.
One behalf of SSS, class of 62 I would like to thank you for the lovely branch we had, you really made us feel welcome in your beautiful center..
My dear friend, we are grateful to you and the National Evangelical Synod of turning Ain Al Assis (my old school) to a magnificent place. a place that all Shweirieh will be proud of. It is no secret to you if I say that Ain Al Assis has a special place in the heart of every student who attend SSS. We hope one day soon with your help can host a reunion for all the Shweirieh and non Shweirieh who attended the school.
Najla, as per our conversation, I will anxiously be waiting for your report so we could post with the pictures I took in our web site.
PLease always stay in touch and god bless you my friend.
Nabil E. Matar
Lost School Bell.
The present administration of the Evangelical Center would like to get a better picture of the school bell in order to recreate it.
Better yet, if anyone knows where the original bell is, please let email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the school.
This bell means a lot more to the graduates of the SSS and to the new Center. As such, we will give you a great reward for telling us where the bell is and pay an excellent price to the present owner of the bell.
An email about Dr. William Carslaw
Courtesy of Riad Khunieser, Yaffet Memorial Library, AUB
Dr. William Carslaw
The article attached was published in the issue of February 1914 of Al-Kulliyeh, the AUB journal, and the author is a well-known Shweiry, Dr Habib Hammam. Dr. Hammam says that he new Dr. Carslaw since he came to Lebanon in 1876 until he died in October 1, 1913. He calls him "My master and teacher". Dr Carslaw born in Clasco, Scotland on the eighth of September 1837. He was in his forties when he came to Shweir and he spent thirty-seven years between Shweirieh. He came to help as a doctor in the Shweir station. When Rev. Ray resigned in 1879, Dr Carslaw had to take over.
Henry Harris Jessup,D.D. Wrote in his book "Fifty-Three Years In Syria" v.1
(1910) Pages 384-385:
".The whole difficulty arose from the fact that the Scotch committee, ignorant of Turkish law, had allowed their buildings to be erected on land belonging to an employee, and that this individual, knowing the law, had concealed the facts from them. After Dr. Carslaw had secured the title deeds, he sold the entire premises in Suk to the American Presbyterian Mission in 1888; and in 1900 the Scotch committee donated in fee simple the entire property in Shweir, consisting of church, manse, boys' boarding-school and girls' boarding-school to the American Presbyterian Mission, on condition: 1st, That these buildings be used only for Christian missionary purposes, and 2d, That the Missionary Committee of Free Church of Scotland will continue the salary of Rev. William Carslaw so long as he is able and willing to do missionary work. Dr. Carslaw was licensed and ordained to the gospel ministry by the Lebanon Presbytery, December 16, 1883, and has continued until the present time as acting pastor of the
Shweir church. Dr. Carslaw always preaches in English, his translator standing by his side and interpreting his sermons in Arabic.This is probably the only case of the kind in the Turkish Empire. The doctor was forced into it by having entered the work in mature years when the acquisition of new language was difficult, and from the fact that from the outset he was over-whelmed with medical practice, and given no time to study the Arabic. His great success as a teacher in the school and pastor of the church is greatly to his credit. Few men in similar circumstances could have succeeded so well.
"This is a brief history of a man who gave Shweir best of his years in education, culture and health care."
In the November 1913, issue of Al-Kulliyeh, the English part, I copy: "A devoted friend of the College (AUB) passed away on October first, in the person of Rev. W. Carslaw, M.D., for many years the Principal of the Boys School in Shweir. Dr Carslaw served the College (AUB) for long period as a member of its Board of Managers. He has left his impress upon many students
among whom his memory will be cherished."
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 2:14 AM
Subject: New Entry in Shweir Guestbook
Name: Ronald W. Somerville
Location: Kelowna, B.C. Canada
Time: Saturday, February 16, 2002 at 02:14:05
Comments: My Father James's Uncle was Dr. William Carslaw. My fathers Grandfather Richard came to the Lebanon in 1846, his daughter Isabella became the wife of Dr. Carslaw. I was born in Broumana, but the 'family' home was Carslaw House. Dr. Carslaw established a school there (from which Dad graduated before attending AUB. Isabellas sister was Jeanette (Nettie to all) Somerville,who later lived at 48 Rue Jeanne d'Arc,until her death in '52. Dad married my mother, Sadeeca As'ad, in '21, worked in Iraq till '33 and Palestine till '48, then moved to the Nazarian Bldg on Sidani St. He worked at rthe AUB till his retirement.I emigrated to Canada in '54, revisiting several times until I returned with Donna my wife and David and Richard my sons for nearly 3 years, from Jan. '73 till Oct. '75. We naturally visited Shweir many times in drives over the countryside. My Great Grandfather Richard was the engineer who in 1846 installed the first automatic weaving looms for the manufacture of silk brocades in the Lebanon. My sister Agnes Shamma'a married Michel Shamma'a,who also taught at the AUB, still lives in Beirut, on the 4th floor of the building on the corner of Bliss and Jeanne d'Arc.
I travelled extensively for Carrier Int'l over Africa and the Middle East,
then Latin America and the Carribbean till ,84, then as a consultant in
Cleveland OH, Atlanta GA, New Orleans LA until I retired here in '94. My sons
are married, living in South Carolina and Tennessee respectively. My very good
friend here is As'ad Farrah, who was raised in Shweir,even to attending school
that Dr. Carslaw established. Agnes and my cousin Elizabeth had the Testimonial
Marble Plaque in front of Carslaw House ( damaged during the war) replaced (from
a picture that my cousin Carlene in Phoenix had, taken by her Father when he and
her Mother Olive spent their Honeymoon there. All in all, we have so many happy
memories of Shweir and Lebanon. If we can, we would like to return this summer
for Agnes' 50th Wedding Anniversary. 'In Allah Rad' Those who know of me or my family, PLEASE e-mail me. Memories are made of this. A wonderful surprise for me to find your website!! I read every entry!
Hello Ronald and Ahlan wa Sahlan to the Shweir.com Family. Sorry for the delay in my response, I just returned from a business trip to Aruba, and now trying to catch up on 207 emails in my in-box. I could not re4sist but answer yours as I finished reading it. Wow, this is absolutely a great morning. Dr William Carslaw who in Shweir could not know that name, I doubt any.
I visited the Center this summer and I tell your it is been beautifully
restored. The Carslaw Building is just breathtaking, I don't know if you
notice but there is a link on the front page called "Ain Assis" that
will take you there, and you can view many of the pictures, including the
restored Testimonial Marble Plaque.
So many Questioned to ask, and I could write for a long time but please forgive my short message I have so much catch-up work to do. But I can't tell you how happy and proud to welcome you to our Shweir.com Family, we
would be honored to have you consider us your hometown web page.
Mr. Ronald W. Somerville,
The attached is for both of you to read and keep. I hope Mr. Somerville knows Arabic well to understand what the poem says. If not you might, perhaps one of our readers would be kind to translate and send it to Anwar to post it. The poet is Mr. Najib Mushraq (the advocate). His book was published in 1931 (Al Mushraqiat). The poem was published first in 1914 in one of the Beirut newspapers (Al Muhazzeb), after the memorial ceremony in Shweir for the late Dr. Carslaw.
When I saw your letter on the shweir.com, I decided to look for something
said about Dr. Carslaw and the school that gave Shweir unforgotten men, women
and memories, to send for you. Thank you Mr.Somerville and we like you to
visit Shweir always.
These were sent to George Matar at his Houston web site. It is of importance because of the dedication of Cedar Hall , October 26th. Some of the contents of the successive e mails pertain to Carslaw House, the Carslaw family (Carslaw and Somervilles) and the planting of the cedar tree in front of Cedar Hall by my great Aunt, Jeanette Catherine Somerville - sister Isabella (Somerville) Carslaw, wife of Dr. Carslaw in approximately 1920. I hope that the information gets to you in time.
----- Original Message -----
Honoring Khalil Saadeh
Monday, August 5, 2002
Held in Ain El Assis at the old Shweir Secondary School
Dr. Saadeh's grand daughters Elissar & Sophia attended the event
Sophia was also one of the speakers
Farid Abou Kheir
Mrs. Samia Farid Abou Kheir
(Farid's wife), holding the plaque
|Naseeb Touma Sawaya|
Also, a report about this event would be great.
Anwar George Kenicer, George Matar
and Elie Bou Kheir
visit the school of their youth... Shweir Secondary School (SSS)
Text and more photos to come...
Aug. 12, 2001 Sunday 7:00 p.m. Ain Al Assis
Celebration in remembrance of the Author and Educator Girges Nijm Hammam.
Honoring JERJES HAMMAM
Organized by Women’s Renaissance Gathering – Shweir
(Tajamo3 al Nahda al Nisa’ia )
Thank you Samer Moujaes for scanning and emailing this portrait.
On the 12th of August 2001
people were gathered in “Ain el Kassis” to honor the teacher Jerjes Hammam.
Silence covered all the area and the weather was so cool as if everything was
paying respect to that great person.
All the eyes were moving between his
picture standing on the stage and the presenters at the podium talking about the
periods of Jerjes Hammam’s life achievements.
This remembrance was organized by
the Women’s Renaissance Gathering _ Shweir. This association was first created
in 1979, in Beirut, and spread through many branches all over Lebanon; with a
main aim to help the Lebanese women by teaching them many things like craft
work, languages, computer, ……..
The Shweir branch was found in
1997 with a goal “ Shweir Culture and lost Heritage “.
Their projects were:
1998 : Honoring the Poet Khalil
1999: Honoring the Writer Sa’id
Taki el Dine By performing the play “ Hafnet Rih “
directed by Dr. Nabil Abou Mrad,
2000 : Honoring the Scientist (
nuclear physicist ) Salwa Nassar,
2001 : Honoring the Teacher Jerjes
Honoring Jerjes Hammam who
died 80 years ago was a big challenge especially with the shortage of
information, but with the help of many people and especially his Mrs. Rida
Nassib Hammam, 100 years ago has devised a modern educational method that is
used nowadays at our schools with a series of graded books which revolutionized
teaching techniques in the Near East.
Jerjes Hammam was born in 1857, his parents sent him to the English Primary School in Shweir. He excelled to such a degree that an English inspection team in 1870 recommended he be transferred to the high school in Souk al Gharb where he met Reverend Ray in 1872. In 1873, he became the Reverend’s translator and he focused his efforts on translating geometry and algebra books to Arabic. When in 1874, Reverend Ray transferred his post to Shweir and founded its high school he brought Jerjes Hammam with him and appointed him as a teacher.
1887, he published in association with
Salim Kassab an Arabic _ English
1908, Jerjes Hammam published an Arabic
_ Arabic dictionary for students, he called it “Mu3jam” al Taleb, the
dictionary reflects his concern and ongoing crusade to improve the teaching
1907, Jerjes was invited to participate
in the design and later the administration of the Orthodox high school in Homs,
Syria where in addition to his administrative duties he taught Mathematics.
Jerjes Hammam Died on the 22nd of June 1921.
By Nissrine & Rawan Moujaes
Thank you Nissrine & Rawan Moujaes on a great report about this event.
Following are some photos to go with the report...
|Celebration in remembrance of the Author and Educator Girges Nijm Hammam|
|Our Eloquent & Beautiful MC (Master of
Ceremony) Rita Rahbany
The great smile is a bonus
|Can you see yourself or someone you know in this audience?|
|In Memory &
|OK ladies, lets take a group picture...
and w/ Mrs. Hammam in the middle
|Lets make a big circle...
We did it... Thank you...
|Look this way... No, look that
One of the benefits of attending such a great event in Ain El Assis, is that no matter which way you look, you see beauty
Past Shweir Honorees include...
Salwa Nassar >
The Booklets which covers appear above are courtesy of Rima Abi Kheir... when we have more time, we would like to scan and feature the entire contents... unless someone from Shweir can scan them, copy them onto a CD and send them to us...