Even though war has swirled near and occasionally into El-Kfeir many times in the past, you'd think this ancient Lebanese village has remained relatively untouched by the outside world. However, a biblical aura remains and the honey-combs the figs, plumbs, olives, apples, pears, almond trees and grapevines, the donkeys, sheep and goats--reinforce the impression. Glancing out of a window one sees the snow-mantled peaks of Mount Hermon where Jesus may have undergone his transfiguration.
What the courtly Arab is saying to. you as he sips a small cup of coffee seems like a reasonable boast: "One of our citizens became the presiding officer of the United Nations and we've got a US Senator, a member of the House of Representatives and a provincial governor in Canada. Not bad for one village!" The speaker is Arreph El-Khoury, author, journalist, landowner and probably Kfeir's biggest booster.
Worried that descendants of Kfeir scattered around the world will grow up ignorant of their roots, El-Khoury has written an engrossing book subtitled "The Cradle of Genius" and billed as "The Biggest Little Village in Lebanon." Some of El=Khoury's commentary seems to echo those heard in many societies---the passing of spontaneous dancing and singing and the ancient local sports. But he lauds the great achievements of its citizens.