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If you haven’t visited the pine forests of Bkassine, you are long overdue.

The village is part of the Jezzine district in South Lebanon, about half an hour’s drive from Saida. There’s a great place to eat within the forest, run by the people behind the trendy Beirut restaurant Tawlet.  You can try some local specialities such as Jezzine Kibbeh (left) and Jezzine potatoes (center).

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I love how the restaurant seems designed to preserve the trees around it:

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We paid $20 per person for a spread of small plates and grilled meats. But I’m sure there are cheaper restaurants in the area.

Try to go around sunset to watch the mountains turn purple behind the forest.

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Habib Battah
Habib Battah is an investigative journalist and founder of the news site beirutreport.com. Battah has covered Lebanon and the Middle East for over 15 years and teaches journalism and media studies at the American University of Beirut. He is a contributor to Monocle, The Guardian, BBC World, Al Jazeera and others, a former fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University and two-time recipient of the Samir Kassir Press Freedom Award. Battah's investigative work was recently recognized for outstanding local reporting by the Columbia University Oakes Award for Environmental Reporting. Battah earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Near East Studies and Journalism from New York University.

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