press releases 2007
The U. S. Embassy Emphasizes Its Continued Support of Tourism – the Msaylha Fort in Hamat is Restored
December 14, 2007
Today, Stephen Herbaly, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Lebanon General Development Officer, Nada Sardouk, the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Frederic Husseni, the Director General of Antiquities Mezher Karam, and Mezher Karam, the Mayor of Hamat, and members of the Hamat community inaugurated the refurbished Msaylha Fort in Hamat. This unique fort, built in 1624 by Fakhreddine II, rests atop a large limestone outcrop, is easily visible along the Beirut-Tripoli highway and is a significant addition to tourism in Lebanon.
The restoration of this historically important fort occurred because the American people through USAID provided $70,000 and formed a partnership with SRI International, the Ministry of Tourism, the Directorate General of Antiquities and the Municipality of Hamat. The three-storied fort was restored, including the attached mill, tourist amenities were constructed and visitor information panels in English, Arabic and French describe the site. Restoration of the Msaylha Fort is part of USAID’s $2.2 million, three-year tourism development project in Lebanon.
USAID has worked in Lebanon since 1951, funding development projects to benefit Lebanese citizens. With funds from the American people, USAID creates jobs, invests in youth and protects the environment in Lebanon. USAID’s work reflects the strong friendship between the Lebanese and American people.