Many have asked about the name of this blog-- Ibn Bint Jbeil. It is my adopted title, constructed of three Arabic words:
- "ibn" is Arabic for "son"
- "bint" is Arabic for "daughter"
- "jbeil" is Arabic for "mountains".
Therefor "Ibn Bint Jbeil" means Son of Bint Jbeil, "Bint Jbeil" (بنت جبيل) being the Southern Lebanese town from where I originate. Hence Ibn Bint Jbeil could ultimately translate as "Son of the Daughter of Jbeil." But where does the name of the town of "Bint Jbeil" come from? The town's name could literally translate as "Daughter of the Mountains," as it sits on a hilltop which itself is nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains.
But it could also be a reference to the Northern Lebanese city of Jbeil. Historians claim that the founders of Bint Jbeil were the Phoenecians who came from the Northern Lebanese town of Jbeil (جبيل Jubayl), which is also known by its Greek name "Byblos" (βύβλος). Bint Jbeil could literally mean 'Daughter of Byblos.' The Greeks apparently called Jbeil "Byblos" because it was through that city that bublos (βύβλος "Egyptian papyrus") was imported into Greece. Although it is still referred to as Byblos by scholars, the city is now known by the Arabic name Jubayl or Jbeil (جبيل), a direct derivation of the Canaanite name Gubal, who was king of the city.
According to other historians, the name of the town of Bint Jbeil is derived from a Yemeni name. It could be linked to Yemeni tribes that migrated and settled in the region of South Lebanon thousands of years ago from Yemeni towns such as Jibla, Jabalan Al Ardaba, and Jabalan Al Raymah, or the two territories of the Jubail lowland and Jubail highland in Yemen. This is a possibility because South Lebanon itself is referred to today as "Jabal Amil" (جبل عامل), which means "Mount Amil," a reference to the Yemeni tribe Banu Amila that migrated and settled South Lebanon in ancient times.