El Mina, Lebanon


Map showing the location of El-Mina within Lebanon

Location within Lebanon

Coordinates: 34°26.82′N 35°49.07′E / 34.44700°N 35.81783°E / 34.44700; 35.81783Coordinates: 34°26.82′N 35°49.07′E / 34.44700°N 35.81783°E / 34.44700; 35.81783
Country  Lebanon
Governorate North Governorate
District Tripoli District
  Total 150,000
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Dialing code +961-6

El-Mina or El Mina (Arabic: الميناء / ALA-LC: al-Mīnā’, which means "harbour"), is a coastal city in Northern Lebanon. El-Mina occupies the location of the old Phoenician city of Tripoli. It acts as the harbour city for modern neighbouring Tripoli, Lebanon's second largest city, situated 5 km to the east.


El Mina is the site of the ancient city of Tripolis that dates back to the Phoenician era, and is one of Lebanon's oldest cities, alongside Byblos, Tyre and Sidon. The site of Tripolis moved inland after the Islamic reconquest from the crusaders, and today's El-Mina became the harbour district of Tripoli, eventually having its own municipal board in the beginning of the twentieth century, separate from that of Tripoli, but within the context of Greater Tripoli.


El-Mina is the city with the largest number of islands surrounding it, along the Levantine coastline. It has nine islands, the closest, the Abdul Wahab Island can be visited by crossing a bridge over the sea. The farthest island, 'Ramkin', is 10 kilometers away from the coast, and has a lighthouse. Four of the islands have been declared as natural reservations, to help breed fish, and preserve their natural habitat. The city's seashore extends 3 to 4 kilometers, and its famous seashore sidewalk, the "corniche", is a popular site frequented by people from all around Lebanon, who come to enjoy the fresh air. The city is mostly flat, and has a diameter of only one km, that extends from the seashore to the border of the city of Tripoli. Due to large expansion, El-Mina and Tripoli are almost attached.


City Parks


El-Mina is one of Lebanon's most demographically diverse cities, with many different denominations liveing together. The city is predominantly Greek Orthodox Christian and Sunni Muslim, with a minority of Maronites. Being at the heart of Mediterranean trade, the city's culture is rich with cross-cultural interaction, and many locals speak many different languages in addition to Arabic.

El-Mina is a municipality on its own. The Port of Tripoli falls within El-Mina jurisdiction but is operated jointly by the municipalities of El-Mina and Tripoli. Alcohol is available for purchase in El-Mina, unlike in neighboring Tripoli, which is almost a "dry" city.

City towers

El-Mina traditionally was a walled city, with five outpost towers to protect the city from external invasion.

Food And Fish



El Mina is mainly a services oriented city, much like most of Lebanon, the services sector is the main source of economic income of the city, and employs the largest number of people. Restaurants and cafes are abundant along the city streets, servicing tourists and locals alike, who frequent the "Corniche" during afternoons and weekends. The second most important sector of the city's economy is the fish industry. As a consequence to the exposure of the city to the sea, the inhabitants have been fishermen and seamen by trade for centuries. The fish industry employs the second largest number of citizens of El Mina, and contributes considerably to the city economy. The city has a mini harbor for fishing boats that hosts a considerable number of small individual fishing boats. The city's fish market is well known by Lebanese from all over the country. Albeit, the fishermen failed to modernize and incorporate the industry into a well established and strong source of economic wealth, and the combined output of the fishermen fails to supply even the local community, often forcing fish traders to import frozen fish from Turkey. In addition, the lack of heavy equipment and deep sea fishing ships has left this sector decades behind.


Because of its location on the Mediterranean coast and its history as a trading hub, similar to metropolitan coastal cities such as Beirut, El-Mina is characterized by its diversity and rich political culture, as most Lebanese political parties hold offices in the city. El Mina citizens, like most Lebanese citizens, are politically aware. The Mayoral elections are always a fierce and closely contested race.

The Municipality of El-Mina is independent from Tripoli and it was established by the Ottomans in 1882 with the Mayor being appointed by the Ottoman district governor and was held chronologically by:

After the First World War, and the French colonization of Lebanon, mayoral position remained by appointment by the French district governor.

The French mandate introduced the municipal committee that would later become the city council.

The posts remained vacant between 1944-1947 after the independence of Lebanon, and the first elections were held in 1947.

With the eruption of the Lebanon Civil War in 1975, mayoral elections were no longer held till 1998, and Alamedine remained in office till then. Many regard Alamedine to be the builder of modern El Mina, notably the construction of the El Mina Corniche, which has become an integral part of the city's attractions and landmarks.

After the war, and the municipality became of 21 members (14 Muslims and 7 Christians by an oral agreement, the Mayor is a Sunni and his deputy is a Christian. In the first election in 1998, Alamedine was re-elected into office,

In 2012, seven members of the city municipality council, that makes third of the council, resigned and thus made the whole council out of office and the municipality of Mina is under the Governor of Tripoli and the North responsibility until the elections of May 2016.

El Mina does not officially have a representative in the Lebanese Parliament, its people elect with the whole Tripoli district. Knowing that traditionally each parliamentary bloc of former Prime Minister Rachid Karami who was assassinated in 1986, representing North Lebanon, would have one member from El Mina.

See also


    External links

    Wikivoyage has a travel guide for El Mina.
    This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.