Villages which are eligible to the label “Ajmal Baldet Lebnen” must comply with the following requirements:
1Constitute a locality recognized by the presence of a local elected official (at least a Mukhtar)
2Benefit from rural characteristics
3Benefit from a natural and/or architectural heritage of exceptional value
In the absence of a legal definition of a village or an accurate census of the resident population, localities meeting the following criteria were considered as urban centers and thus weren’t eligible for the label:
The existence of a large number of buildings of urban typology- in particular buildings of 4 floors and more
The presence of an important modern agglomeration around the historic village
The existence of commercial and shopping centres
The awarding of the label “Ajmal Baldet Lebnen” relies on a detailed quality chart based on 3 sets of criteria:
A village should get a defined total of points, as well as a determined number of points in each set of criteria, in order to be awarded the label “Ajmal Baldet Lebnen” in its 3 classifications: 1 oak, 2 oaks or 3 oaks.
The label “Ajmal Baldet Lebnen” is not a competition and there is no limitation to the number of villages that are to be labelled. The 63 villages which have been granted the label should place at their entry/entries the standardized sign displaying the logo of the label.
Labelled villages are maintained, promoted or demoted every 3 years, following an expert visit by members of the Circle of Experts.
Labelled villages will have access to a network of local and international institutions and organizations which have the capacity to examine and finance their potential projects.
A journey to the roots
The evaluation process is based on 2 major steps: compiling the village file and awarding the label.
Compiling the village file
The NGO has carried out inspection visits to villages all over the Lebanese territory. It has achieved a technical inspection based on specific evaluation criteria. These visits allowed the NGO to compile files of shortlisted villages which were examined and evaluated at a later stage by the Circle of Experts.
Awarding the label
The Circle of Experts involves experts in architecture, urbanism, archaeology, territory development, landscaping, tourism and history of Lebanon, and has deliberated over the shortlisted villages and awarded the label “Ajmal Baldet Lebnen” to 63 Lebanese villages in its 3 classifications:
The Circle of Experts will make recommendations and give advice to the relevant municipalities to highlight their heritage and improve the living environment of their inhabitants.