Noah Passed by the Bekaa
In the village of Karak Nuh, just on the edge of Zahle, there’s a very, very long mosque that contains the tomb of Noah. Yes, Noah. You know, the one with the ark? Fourty-two meters long and around four meters wide, the low, Toblerone-shaped tomb is draped in an aging green cloth cover and one of the room’s porticos is painted with what appears to be a 17th Century Clipper ship, that details Noah’s descent from Adam.
As the tomb attests, Noah was a large man. Apparently so large that he had to be buried with his knees bent. According to another story, Noah was so tall, he could straddle the Beka’a Valley, standing with one leg on Mount Lebanon and the other on the Anti-lebanon and the tomb in Karak Nuh – the first city he built after the floodwaters receded - only contains one of his legs. Bent double, of course.
But if you are wondering how Noah got to the Beka’a from Mt. Ararat – the mountain on the Turkisharmenian border, where tradition has it that his ark landed - he didn’t. Although, for a man who could straddle the Beka’a, the trip from Ararat would probably only have been a ten a minute stroll, tops.
But Noah didn’t come to the Beka’a from Ararat because his ark didn’t land December 2016 on Ararat. At least not according to the inhabitants of Tibnin, who insist it landed near their village. Or up on the Zabadani plateau. Or possibly in Azerbaijan, Jordan, or Iraq. Mr. von Ark is claimed by quite a number of different countries. Turkey, for example, claims him twice. Once for his ark, which is apparently visible near the top of Ararat’s Turkish side and once for his mortal remains, which they claim are buried in Cizre. Obviously, the Turks haven’t met anyone from Karak Nuh, otherwise they wouldn’t go around making such wild claims.
Why favour the Beka’a over Turkey? Simply because Noah isn’t the only member of the world’s first family to be buried there. His incredibly longlived great-great grandfather’s great great-grandfather, Seth, who was the third son of Adam and Eve and who apparently knew Noah as a young man – giving the man who built the world’s biggest ship one degree of separation from the Garden of Eden - is buried in the village mosque over in Nabi Shith. And yes, his tomb is even longer than Noah’s.