Baakleen, birth place of Amir Fakhereddine Al Maani, stands proudly on Mount Lebanon overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Location : Mount Lebanon, Shouf District, 45 KM SE of Beirut
Altitude : 850 - 920 meters
Area : 14 square Kilometers
Number of homes : 2,870
Bordering Towns: Deir El Kamar, Beit Eddine, Aynbal, Deir Dourit,Symkanieh, and Jahlieh
Baakleen holds an important place in Lebanon’s history. The roots of Lebanon as we know it today go back to Baakleen. Around the year 1120 A.D., Amir Maan Ibn Rabeaah, the great grandfather of Amir Fakher Eddine Al Maani the second who established “Lubnan Al Kabeer”, settled in Baakleen with his tribe. He was supported by his in-laws, the Tanoukhyeen. Amir Maan was married to the daughter of Amir Noaaman Al Tanoukhy. Historians agree that Baakleen was the capital of the Maani Emirate.
Due to water shortages in Baakleen, the Maani Amirs were attracted to Neighboring Deir Al Kamar (according to Druze archives, called Dar Al Kamar), where they built many palaces and a mosque (see photo) that still stands in the middle of the town square carrying the name of Amir Fakher Eddine Ibn Othman Ibn Al Hajj Younis Al Maani (1493 AD).
The last of the Maan family Amirs was Amir Ahmad who died in 1697 A.D. and with his death, the rulers of the Emirate became the Shihab family who were tied to the Maan family through intermarriages and alliances. Under the Ottoman rule, Baakleen came back to the forefront as one of the “Qasabat” or major towns. It served as the summer home for the Druze “Qaem Makqam” or the local governor in the name of the Ottoman Sultan.
The “Qaem Maqams” were mostly from the Areslan family. Among them were Amir Amin Areslan, Amir Mustapha Areslan, and Amir Shakeeb Areslan