The Beqaa Valley is watered by two rivers that rise in the watershed near Baalbeck: the Orontes flowing north (in Arabic it is called Nahr al Asi, the Rebel River, because this direction is unusual), and the Litani flowing south into the hill region of the southern Beqaa Valley, where it makes an abrupt turn to the west and is thereafter called the Al Qasmiyah River. The Orontes continues to flow north into Syria and eventually reaches the Mediterranean in Turkey. Its waters, for much of its course, flow through a channel considerably lower than the surface of the ground. The Nahr Barada, which waters Damascus, has as its source a spring in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains.
Smaller springs and streams serve as tributaries to the principal rivers. Because the rivers and streams have such steep gradients and are so fast moving, they are erosive instead of depository in nature. This process is aided by the soft character of the limestone that composes much of the mountains, the steep slopes of the mountains, and the heavy rainstorms. The only permanent lake is Buhayrat al Qirawn, about ten kilometers east of Jazzine. There is one seasonal lake, fed by springs, on the eastern slopes of the Lebanon Mountains near Yammunah, about forty kilometers southeast of Traplous.
Source: Federal Research Division - Library of Congress
(Edited by Thomas Collelo, December 1987)
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