Archive | History

Lebanese Identified as The Modern-Day Descendants of Canaanites

A paper published in the American Journal of Human Genetics yesterday revealed that more than 90 percent of the genetic ancestry of modern Lebanese is derived from ancient Canaanites.

This revelation is quite intriguing now since historical records about the Canaanites are relatively limited. What we know about them from the Bible is that they were annihilated, and most facts about their community are written by their enemies (ancient Romans, Greeks and Israelites) while their origin and fate remain mysterious.

Researchers were able to sequence the Canaanite genome from the remains of five individuals buried in the ancient city of Sidon (Saida nowadays) around 4,000 years ago, and analysed the genetic relationship between the ancient Canaanites and modern Lebanese by sequencing the genome of 99 modern-day Lebanese.

It’s worth noting though that some historians consider the Phoenicians a sub-group of the Canaanites, but a study earlier in 2016 concluded that we are not related to them… I have no idea how can one interpret this.

Anyway, you can read more about this interesting study here and here.

Photo via National Geographic

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Stunning Silent Mini Documentary of Beirut in 1921

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I’m a sucker for old photos and videos of Beirut and the below two videos I found on medmem.eu are an absolute gem!

The videos are both silent and were taken in 1921 during the French mandate. The first part shows several areas of Beirut like Saint George, Raouche, and The Grand Serail with brief descriptions in between the different scenes. It was quite interesting to learn from that part that a french aviation line used to connect Lebanon to Europe back then  through seaplanes.

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On the other hand, the second part focuses on education institutions at that time with scenes showing USJ univerity and Hotel Dieu hospital among others institutes. Towards the end of it you can also see the Patriarch during that time Elias Peter Hoayek sitting between some officials at College du Sacre-Coeur.

I will be searching to check if there are other related video to this documentary and will definitely be sharing them if I found any.

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Scientifically Proven – We’re Not Descendants of The Phoenicians!

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A group of scientists from the University of Otago and the Lebanese American University have recently succeeded at sequencing and analyzing the DNA obtained from the remaining of a 2500-year-old Phoenician called “The Young Man of Byrsa”. Their work is of good importance because we know less information about the Phoenicians than other populations, and this analysis will help uncover more about their culture and origins.

You can check the research details along with the results the scientists obtained here. What caught my attention the most though was the conclusion that modern Lebanese (47 of them to be precise) are not related to the Phoenicians! It is quite weird to be honest given how we pride ourselves with the Phoenicians being our ancestors, and the fact that they’re thought to have originated from here and expanded to the west.

I hope some other research soon reveals we also have no relation with the Arab world so we can dissociate ourselves from all the chaos around us!

photo via Modern Readers

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