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The winding road leading into the mountains in Chambouq, above the village of Qobeiyat on the far edge of Akkar overlooking the Syrian border, is pitted from the trucks carrying loads of watermelons and other goods from the Bekaa Valley.Since 2003, Mikhael has built by hand a restaurant, a trio of chalets where travelers can stay, a small pond and the stone house where he lives. Last year, he began constructing another building, which will become a chapel. He raised cows in the village of Lassa in the Jbeil district, before political problems forced him to leave in 1987, he said.After that, he took his cattle and returned to the mountains of Akkar. There, he fixed an old house on the family property in Chambouq, which had been damaged in the war, and stayed there for four years with his wife and children. "In February , it was open, but without bathrooms, without a kitchen, just sandwiches on a bar," he said. Gradually, the restaurant expanded, as did his business. Most days there are guests occupying at least one of the chalets.
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