RAYAK: A Historical City. The Train Station, The Museum, The Schools, Winery and Tasty Food

Our trip today is in that village, 1,700m from sea level you can see the airport, its a military airport village called Rayak, it has 3 important places the airport, the military aircraft museum and the largest train railway in Bekaa Mechwar starts now! you thought I would be in a bakery to show you a delicious Zaatar Mankooche today its different, we’re in Rayak there is more than bakeries and wonderful people in Rayak there is a military aircraft museum for the Lebanese Army that anyone could visit there is the military airport and the train station and many more we’ll start with something you won’t believe that we have it here in Lebanon, lets go lets play a game, there is 8 aircrafts. 6 airplanes and 2 helicopters anyone of you who loves airplanes name the planes for us this way we help each other look at them while waiting you have to try the toasted cheese sandwich of the Lebanese Army the guys are great, they made us coffee they can’t show on the camera but they are the most amazing people this sandwich smells toasted from the heater cheese is molten its also crunchy, better than any dinner the was suspense in the military airbase we waited for the license for a long time till they sent it by fax but the soldiers were amazing, they took care of us and we drank coffee made us a toasted cheese sandwich on the heater first phase is done in the second phase we will discover the village quickly, its very nice and calm The Old Cabin at Nathalie first dinner and we continue good evening hey, you started eating? I came from Beirut I’m very hungry and I still didn’t eat, they told me its delicious here of course very delicious preparation took an hour we sit on this amazing table it has all colors very nice smell and very rich when someone comes here you do all this? it depends what they order some people order only Lebanese food we make everything The Old Cabin is made by the French from a long time ago its still the same its your family’s house and you live with them we didn’t introduce Elias cos we’re going to meet him tomorrow, he has a winery in Rayak so we all met to have dinner together tomorrow is your turn what a great dinner awesome people the house is great the food is very delicious very delicious food this is Rayak Rayak is a very old village it has great people, it has food and a restaurant we spend the night here and tomorrow morning we begin now we’re going to a place called ” El Houch ” its a surprise we arrived to a place called ” El Houch ” in a place called ” Houch El Ghanam “

we’ll spend the night here tomorrow morning you’ll see wonderful scenery from the drone this is second time I come here it wasn’t a long day, but it was vert nice the food was delicious, we discovered great things sleeping in this calm place will we great I will sleep now, we’ll meet in the morning its almost 7 degrees Celsius, a bit cold but we have heaters woke up on the rooster’s crowing and the animals voices sunrise behind the mountains and now we’re getting warm its 7am a long day with Mechwar starts with a tasty breakfast from the village then we head to Rayak what are we going to do today? first we have Kawarma its sheep meat I noticed that its different from the one I know we cook everything with this meat its supposed to be big pieces this is fat not water right? I cook it then separate the fat from the meat then I start mixing 3 kinds of cheese, Green cheese Keshik beans vegetables great cucumber also we have Labneh everyone knows how much I love meat with eggs the one that’s made with Margarine the is another type of Margarine, its called Jmesh its red Margarine, like butter but Lebanese this is the Jmesh it has some salt in it as if you’re eating salted butter very delicious I can’t find the words that describe the difference between the eggs that is made with butter at home and the village made eggs with meat and the real Margarine amazing breakfast this is Lebanon Faisal, without explaining the pics show how amazing it is here this is the second time for me here first time it was an amazing discovery, today its way better people say that they would come here to spend time with Saab Family true the reason is that it should feel like home that’s why its called a guest house not a hotel if I wanted to spoil myself I couldn’t be spoiled like this

I’m very glad, thanks for everything other than having a great sleep, its rare for me to eat an amazing food like this is there anything better than this? we continue there is no better bread than kiln bread first stop is for a Mano’uche made of kiln bread the bread is put on the side I always wanted to find villages that still use the kiln, hope this tradition won’t die look how its done nothing better than this listen to the crunch and how it breaks the air inside it there is no better bread than this hope to find it in Beirut its amazing with Labneh and olive oil welcome good morning ” My Cousin’s Bakery ” this is our second stop one thyme ofcourse with Labneh and vegetables why is this bakery called like this because we’re all cousins here everyone is your cousin also NoGarlicNoOnions is your cousin? Yes ofcourse I love their accent here whats your name cousin? Chadi why do you ask for your cousin’s name? You should know it you knew my name but I didn’t know yours I will introduce you to Chadi for how long have you been here? for 4 years Keshik, meat, cheese, tomato and sausage with cheese there is a nice house infront of it you can take pics you will feel like coming here another time I came to Rayak to make a normal episode its one of 1,500 villages in Lebanon but Rayak is not like any other place Rayak is a village between Zahle and Bekaa its more than 400 years old it has a train station one of the biggest train stations in the Middle East it used to connect Turkey with Syria, Palestine and Lebanon and there was a plane factory and a train factory you know the old sooks also military museum Rayak is a very important place you have to come visit come discover Rayak, let me show you as much as I can we continue Mr Assaad the last train driver in Lebanon Hello Mr Assaad how are you? they told me that you’re the last train driver in Lebanon right? which year was that? since 1946 till 1993 you used to drive it in Beirut or here? Beirut, Syria, Turkey all the Middle East I want to listen to all your stories you are welcomed when was the last time? 1989 in 1989 trains stopped when Rafic Hariri started building roads in the Lebanese war was it still working? yes I used to drive the train from Beirut to Jbeil I used to go to Tripoli, but when it closed the Madfoon bridge closed I stopped going to Tripoli, I started going to Jbeil I pick up people from Beirut to Jbeil from all sects in the 1975 war

where did the Lebanese train stop in Turkey? inaudible from Lebanon to Turkey I drop them off then pick another I used to drop the empty train and come back with the full one it used to weigh 550 tons so you used to go in a train and come back with another one yes we used to trade all trains were on steam and fire yes with steam you got me excited, show me some pics I’ll wait for you here thank God I’m still strong you can see that from how I rid the bicycle you know how old I am? I’m 91 years old now visit him in Rayak come visit Mr Assaad so he will tell you all the old train stories and you will amuse him also welcome thank you for your time you’re welcomed more than 400 years village Rayak had the train station, had history and also a cinema was called cinema Byblos you can come visit all places here in Rayak words are not coming out cos I got emotional from Assaad’s stories hopefully one day my kids would ride a Lebanese train thank you Elias for this wonderful day this village is getting more famous now we’re entering one of the oldest schools in this area and the largest it was built in 1914 how many meters? almost 160 acres its connected to the airport it has almost 24 large building like this we will show you the first cinema in Lebanon it used to be here we’re only seeing 3 buildings but there is many more yes there is much more, it has an Olympic football stadium also Olympic water pool it has different playgrounds this place originally was a military base this is the train station that Mr Assaad told us about they used to build trains here and also there was a challenge for making a plane in 1943 I will try to look around so you could see he works alone

the wine stays in the barrels for 2 years not only for 6 months or a year like different people he decides if it should be put in wooden or stainless barrels he works on one at a time in this small room he picks the grapes that look good for wine making he mixes the right way he presses them with hand to remove anything from the grapes he doesn’t make 10,000 wine bottles a year how many do you do in a year? we did 12,000 in 4 years before we taste it, why did you say that you Arak is expensive? how much does it cost? 0.5 L for 20$ why 20$ ? my profit is only 2$ cos we’re aging alcohol lets taste I won’t put ice to preserve heat its creamy like milk, yes cos its fatty I forgot to eat cos of the beautiful things here I don’t know how to say it, Rayak needs 10 episodes to finish discovering it like when I went to Siada 6 times I will come to Rayak 6 times its lunch time everybody says to come to Abo Raymond when you are in Rayak we stop here in this main restaurant in front of the train station first lunch its crowded and full, we decided to sit outside the weather is nice, with a view of the railway when you come to Rayak you have to visit Raymond people from all the county come here thank you Elias for the tour Raymond is a childhood friend he introduced me to Elias so we spent a day together since yesterday and we end it with delicious food at Raymond’s ofcourse with Elias’s wine you cant finish touring Rayak in one day its very large and crowded it started raining that’s why I couldn’t show you the whole village the last stop is in the second restaurant called Julia I will visit Rayak again second lunch we can call this day eggs with meat day we ate it all day but we end the day by eating healthy food, you couldn’t expect finding food like this in Rayak Julia has a great smoked salmon meat and chicken I will finish my lunch and I promise you for the 100th time that I will come back soon after 4 years of shooting this is the first time I feel this I went to Tripoli, Saida and Baalbeck for more than 250 villages in Lebanon, each one has a story this is the first time I leave with sadness but I feel like doing something Rayak is over 300 years old it has one of the largest military airport in Middle East it has the largest train station it has an old sook, it had 80 restaurants it has people that need work it has places that you can’t take pictures of and no one can pass Rayak has very long lighten roads they worked on it and we assume that its an ordinary village

Rayak is not only known for the food shops and restaurants its a historical place Rayak can show us the real Lebanon that our elders used to talk about how are we helping? it was an amazing day, started yesterday ended at 4pm today but I’m coming back for a couple of times, to open all the closed shops to visit the cinemas that we couldn’t enter today all schools all the places that has this train, only five trains like this are left worldwide we will break the locks so you can visit, its your right to enter cos they belong to us Lebanese people Lebanon stays the most beautiful country in the world we can show the whole world, visit this village called Rayak and support it so we always live in it Mechwar Rayak ends now, I promise I’ll come back, hopefully I showed you enough places this episode ends here hopefully you enjoyed watching from Rayak, Lebanon to the world the most beautiful country called Lebanon