Mleeta Resistance Tourist Landmark


An intriguing mix of memorial, museum and theme park, this resistance monument at Mleeta, on Mt A'mel near Nabatieh, celebrates and commemorates Hezbollah's fight against the 1982–2000 Israeli occupation of Lebanon and the month-long 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War. This bleak but strategically important mountaintop, covered in oak trees and rocky caves, was one of the spots where Hezbollah resistance fighters were garrisoned during the occupation.

The principal exhibits include a rousing 12-minute film about the occupation and resistance, an introductory exhibition and 'The Abyss', a bizarre pit structure filled with armoured vehicles and weapons abandoned by the Israelis. Landmine and cluster bomb remnants serve as a reminder of the brutality inflicted on Lebanese civilians. From here, you can follow paths that the fighters took through the forest, enter the tunnel system where they sheltered, and admire the views from their lookout points. Well-maintained rose gardens commemorate the dead.

There's nothing balanced about the historical narrative being recounted here; elements of the very real Lebanese tragedy and cynical global realpolitik that exacerbated it are juxtaposed with dogmatic fantasy. The insight that it offers into the Hezbollah point of view is fascinating; there's nothing else in Lebanon quite like it. Guides (free) speak many languages.

Mleeta is an 82km (approximately 90-minute) drive southeast of Beirut, via Saida. Tyre is another 50km (one hour) south. You'll need a car to get here, as there is no public transport. Allow two hours for your visit.