Children of the Famine (Abna' al majaa)
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Between 1915 and 1918, a famine killed an estimated two hundred thousand people, almost half of the population of Mount Lebanon at that time, a region that formed the ‘Moutasarrifiya’ and had a special status in the Ottoman Empire. During the tragedy, villages were entirely emptied; today only ruins remain there. The hungry who fled to cities like Beirut and Tripoli that were outside Mount Lebanon begged and moaned for food while watching the luxurious meals from the windows of wealthy monopolists. The dead were buried in unmarked mass graves all over the territory, and some were even thrown into the sea. Despite the extent of the disaster, today there is no memorial or national day for these dead. Why has the memory of this famine been excluded from official history?