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Abdallah Al Zakher Printing Press

The printing press founded by Deacon Abdallah Al Zakher in Khenchara in 1731 is considered as one of the main landmarks of St. John Convent and of Khenchara Al-Jwar. It was the first Arabic printing press in the East that was entirely established by Deacon Abdallah Al Zakher. He crafted and molded all parts of the printer and the letters by himself, since he originated from a family who practiced molding for many years. Abdallah Al Zakher Printing Press operated till 1899.

The printing press was specialized in the printing of religious books, the first being “Mizan El-Zaman” (The Balance of Time). Deacon Abdallah Al Zakher managed the printing press until his death and the Convent was providing him with paper, carton, leather and other raw materials for the production of ink. The books printed by the printing press of St. John Convent spread in the Levant and Egypt. Its records show that many presents, mainly the Book of Epistles, were offered to clergymen and lay people. In 1997, the Directorate General of Antiquities in Lebanon turned the printing press into a museum that was opened in 1998, at the 250th Anniversary of the death of Deacon Abdallah Al Zakher.

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