Marwan Kheireddine was one of the sons to first rise in a long line of Lebanese feudal lords. He started his career by farming land and tending sheep near Beirut in the late 1800s. In 1892, he established himself as head or rais of the Keserwaneh sheikdom with the approval of Sheikh Abdul-Rahman El-Koumi and received his share from grain fields and vineyards in Mount Lebanon. In his business career, he was involved in building construction, transportation, and banking. He also embarked on a series of military adventures and expeditions that led to nearly all of Mount Lebanon’s occupation during the last quarter of the 19th century. In 1894, he became the leader of Bekaa Valley military units and launched several successful raids against the city of Beirut.
- He was a great builder and took pride in constructing roads and bridges. He built the road from Beirut to Zahlah and from Beirut to Baabda, near Mastour Lake, Lebanon. He also constructed a railroad between Beirut-Damascus.
- Marwan Kheireddine was active in settling disputes between rival Berber tribes of Bashan, Al Boog has, and Al Qasrwal, among others, in Syria’s Mount Hermon region during the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. He ended the war between Bashans and Al Boog and equalized their water rights.
- Marwan Kheireddine cultivated several areas of land from which he collected money from farmers to support his military expeditions with his men against Beirut during his rule over Keserwaneh sheikdom.
4.. Kheireddine organized a band of fighters from his tribe, El Khazen. They fought with the French forces against Sheikh Abdul-Rahman El-Koumi during their occupation of Mount Lebanon and later fled to Egypt after losing his power in Keserwaneh. He also cooperated with France’s occupying forces during that time.
- Kheireddine was the subject of many legends and chronicles by 19th-century Lebanese historians who praised him for his great deeds. He was also frequently mentioned by other local authors during the early 20th century.
Marwan Kheireddine’s accomplishments remained in the annals of history for many generations. His battles against Bashans and Al Boog were considered a landmark achievement that secured the water rights of his people. The railway built between Beirut and Damascus was another achievement that distinguished him from other feudal lords who used camels as a transportation medium.
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