“The Christian Kings of the Middle East” – new documentary released

 

The general public has no idea that the Middle East had a long reigning mighty Christian dynasty that flourished until very recently.
The Ghassanid Kings ruled several Middle Eastern regions, from 220 CE until the mid 18th century, a duration of over 1500 years. As the oldest active Christian Royal House in the world, they ruled over the largest territory for the longest period; more than any other Arab Dynasty.
The Ghassanid Kings’ lawful heirs are the Sheikhs El Chemor of Lebanon. Many were forced to move to the Americas and change their last names after being persecuted by the Ottoman Empire. But many never stopped using their titles and have recently been internationally recognized.
The Christian Kings of the Middle East“, a feature length documentary, is part of the “One Voice for Christians” initiative by the Royal House of Ghassan, in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, whose purpose is to raise awareness not only about the family’s history, but especially regarding the imminent extinction and exodus of Christianity in the Middle East.
The upcoming documentary “The Invisible People” is currently in production and will seek to explore the past, present and future of Christianity in the Middle East.
To support this project and our ongoing efforts to help raise awareness for the plight of Christianity make your tax deductible donation HERE:

More information about the Royal House of Ghassan HERE

More information about the “One Voice for Christians” initiative HERE

Ghassanids, the sovereigns of the Island of Rhodes

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The beautiful Greek island of Rhodes

Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of land area and also the island group’s historical capital. It’s famous for its magnificent resorts, ruins and for being occupied by the Hospitaller Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem.

However, what many people don’t know is that the island was ruled by Ghassanid sovereigns for over half century. The precise date of the island control is not known but the fact that Leo Gabalas (Greek transliteration of “Jablah” referring to the last King of Ghassan) was recognized as “Ceasar” (in Byzantium a sort of Imperial Sovereign ruler) and master of Rhodes in 1203 CE is widely documented adding another imperial title to the Ghassanid Dynasty (other being ‘Basileus Araves’ or “Emperor of all Arabs” in 529 CE and Byzantine Emperor in 802 CE). This imperial dignity is also recognized by Islamic sources like the Research Centre for Islamic History.

Gabalas

The Leo’s early life and the origin of title of “Caesar” and the details of his establishment of control over Rhodes are unclear. Contemporary sources make clear that Rhodes had slipped out of imperial Byzantine control and was held by an independent ruler already at the time of the Fourth Crusade (1203–04 CE). This ruler is usually identified with Leo, but Nikephoros Blemmydes claims that Leo held his title by hereditary right, which may indicate an unknown predecessor who actually seized control of the island. This theory is defended, amongst others,  by scholar Michael F. Hendy. It has been surmised that at some point Leo acknowledged the suzerainty of the Empire of Nicaea, and that the title of Caesar may have been granted by the Nicaean rulers Theodore I Laskaris (ruled 1205–1222 CE) or John III Vatatzes (r. 1221–1254 CE). On the other hand, if he (or a relative) held power on Rhodes since before 1203, the title may have been granted by the Angeloi emperors.

Emperor Leo Gabalas ruled until 1240 CE being succeeded by his brother John. It’s also known that both rulers were part of international treaties with the neighboring States like the Venetian Republic and also had their own coinage.

 

 

It’s also known that Leo’s brother and successor John Gabalas ruled the island until the Nicaean annexation (around 1250 CE).

More about the Ghassanid Dynasty HERE 

 

Prince Gharios El Chemor participates of the 74th Lebanese Independence Day in Los Angeles

 

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HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor with His Excellency Msgr. Boulos Matar, the Maronite Archbishop of Beirut   

 

On Monday, November 20th, HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor  has participated of the celebrations of the 74th Independence Day of the Republic of Lebanon at the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, invited by His Excellency Ambassador Hon. Johnny Ibrahim, the Lebanese Consul General of Los Angeles. There, Prince Gharios El Chemor had met His Excellency Msgr. Boulos Youssef Matar, the Maronite Archbishop of Beirut who has immediately manifested the knowledge of the El Chemor/Gharios family and its history.

Prince Gharios El Chemor participates in official event invited by Lebanese Government

 

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Prince Gharios El Chemor in Las Vegas for the LDE- Lebanese Diaspora Energy North America

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII  has participated of the LDE – Lebanese Diaspora Energy – North America edition in Las Vegas last weekend.

After participating in the 4th Lebanese Diaspora Energy event last May in Beirut, His Excellency Gebran Bassil, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants officially invited Prince Gharios El Chemor for the event’s second regional version, the Lebanese Diaspora Energy – North America in Las Vegas. It was the fourth time that Prince Gharios was officially invited by the Lebanese government.

 

The Lebanese Diaspora events are very exclusive, not open to the general public. Below the criteria to participate:

Necessarily an individual of Lebanese origin residing abroad.

  • Currently or formerly holding a high official position (political, religious, military, or judicial) whether on the national, federal, provincial, or municipal level in the country of residency.
  • Currently or formerly holding a high managerial position in a company / organization / international organization within the private or public sector (CEO, CFO, CCO, General Director, etc.).
  • Academia / Sciences: President of a university, Dean of a faculty, highly recognized and published researcher, awardee, patent holder, etc.
  • Sports: National or international participation with recognition.
  • NGOs / Diaspora Institutions with good records and high membership base within the Lebanese Diaspora.
  • Media figure of high standing.
  • Entrepreneur / Investor of a big company (in size, outreach, etc.).
  • Artist of international fame (awardee, sales records, cinema actor / producer, etc.).
  • Individual having a success story of national or international recognition.

More about the Lebanese Diaspora Energy event please Click HERE 

 

Father Ignatios El Khoury, one of the most acclaimed Maronite historians of the 20th century

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Father Ignatios Tannos El Khoury wearing the highest Academic Order of the French Government the “Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms)” in the rank of officer

Around 300 years ago, His Beatitude Estephan II Boutros El Douaihy, Maronite Patriarch (1630-1704) and one of the most respected Lebanese historians, mentioned the ruling Sheikhs El Chemor in his chronicles about the Maronite history. In 1948, Father Ignatios Tannos El Khoury, one of the most acclaimed and respected Maronite historians of the 20th century, published a historical scientific research about the family called “Sheikhs El Chemor rulers of Akoura (1211-1633) and rulers of Zgharta-Zawyie (1641-1747)”. In this study, Father El Khoury states about the origins of the family El Chemor as being princes from the Ghassanid Royal Family and descending from the last King of Ghassan. That being the reason why they were respected by the Maronites as princes and sovereign rulers. Even regardless of the Ghassanid claim, the El Chemor family is undoubtedly a princely family since their titles didn’t come from any higher authority (prince, King nor emperor). They were sovereign and therefore royal, differently than many Sheikhs in Lebanon who got their titles from the princes that ruled Lebanon as “Ottoman puppets”. Not even those princes were technically sovereign since their power emanated conditionally and exclusively from the Ottoman empire. He also states that the Gharios (Guerios) family from Jbeil and Chiyah in Lebanon was originated from the El Chemor family.

The accounts about the El Chemor/Gharios (Guerios) family were never contested in over 300 years. Not even one line was written against the documents, books or even about the authors. On the contrary, patriarch Douaihy was Blessed by Pope Benedict XVI in 1998 and is in the process of becoming a saint. Father Ignatios had published several historical books published not only in Lebanon but also in Europe and 6 years after the El Chemor scientific study was laureated by the French Government with their highest academic Order, the “Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms)” in the rank of officer, the second highest. This honor is even higher in precedence than the well known “Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters)”.

Father Ignatios Khoury has over 35 (thirty five) academic publications plus several peer revised articles and scholarly essays published in renowned magazines and newspapers in Lebanon, other Middle Eastern countries and Europe.

Please, click below to read his academic biography and publications (Original in Arabic)

Father Ignatios Arabic

Please, click below to read his academic biography and publications (English Legal sworn translation)

Father Ignatios Legal English

Please CLICK HERE  for an official 2014’s article (in Arabic) from the Lebanese Government News’s Agency (Lebanese Republic – Ministry of Information) quoting the book about the El Chemor princely family (recognizing the titles and citing some family members) and validating Father Ignatios as an official source.  

Please, click below of the English legal translation of the article

lebanese-ministry-of-information-artice

Recently, Professor Dr. Abbot Antoine Daou, one of the top modern Maronite historians, have confirmed the aforementioned statements in a sworn affidavit.  Prof. Dr. Daou is not only an acclaimed Maronite historian and author of the book “History of the Maronites” (Beirut, 1970) amongst many others, but was graduated by the Pontifical Angelicum University in Rome with Doctorates in Theology and Canon law. He is a siting professor of the La Sagesse University in Lebanon and is the Abbot of the Antoinine Maronite Order. He also serves as the Secretary of the Commission of the Lebanese Bishops’ Conference for Dialogue with Islam.

Prof. Dr. Abbot Daou categorically states that the book about the El Chemor family by Father Ignatios “has been considered as an essential reference of Maronite’s and Lebanon history’s references” and that “no book or criticism has been issued by the Maronite church opposing this chronicling.” About Father Ignatios he states “a well-known historian and writer”.

Please, click here to access the document and the sworn legal translation in English: 

affidavit-professor-dr-antoine-daou

Please, click here to access the document and the sworn legal translation in German: 

affidavit-professor-dr-antoine-daou-german

Please, click HERE for the sworn legal statement from the world’s leading scholar in Middle eastern Royal Succession corroborating with Father Ignatios El Khoury’s chronicles of the El Chemor/Gharios Family

Royal House of Ghassan provides English legal translations of 1948’s Historical Scientific Research about the family

cover book sheik chemor

The Royal Family of Ghassan, after the advent of the Islamic conquest and the fall of the first Ghassanid State (220-636 CE), moved to the domains of the Byzantine Empire and safe Christian places like the area of today’s Lebanon.That’s attested by several known sources:

 “After the disappearance of the Ghassanid state, isolated Ghassanian Princes continued to reign in some oases and castles, along with Salihids and some other phylae.” Bowesock/Brown/Grabar “Late Antiquity” –, Harvard University Press, 1999, p. 469

It’s also known that after the fall of the aforementioned first State, the Byzantine Empire recognized the Ghassanid Royal Family‘s status of what’s known today as “Government-in-exile”.

“Heraclius [Byzantine Emperor] received him [King Jabalh Abu Chemor] with honour and bestowed upon him estates and palaces.” (Professor Yasmine Zahran, “Ghassan Resurrected”, Stacey International2006, p. 13)

Certainly, the most noteworthy of those Ghassanid reigns after Islam was the Byzatine Empire in the 9th Century CE.

 “Although little is known of Jabala’s activities after his emigration to Anatolia, his place in the history of the Ghassanids in the Middle Byzantine period is important, since it was he who established a strong Ghassanid presence in Byzantine Anatolia, one which lasted for many centuries. The climax of this presence was the elevation of one of his descendants to the purple and his establishment of a short-lived dynasty which might be described as the House of Nicephorus.” “Ghassan post Ghassan” by Prof. Irfan Shahid, Festschrift  “The Islamic World – From classical to modern times”, for Bernard Lewis, Darwin Press l989, pg. 325

“Nicephorus (A.D. 802-11) was a descendant of the Ghassanid [King] Jabala [Abu Chemor].” (Ibid.)

This assertion was even stronger not merely citing the King Jabala as ancestor, but the eponym of the Royal Ghassanid Dynasty using the name of King Jafna, the founder of the Ghassanid Kingdom. Therefore, we can conclude that Emperor Nicephorus (or Nikephoros) was not only citing his ascendancy but by using the term “Jafna” he was claiming to be the head of the Ghassanid Dynasty.

“…This valuable information comes from Tabari; see Tarik (Cairo, 1966), VIII, 307, when he speaks of [King] Jafna, the eponym of the Ghassanids, rather than [King] Jabala.” (Ibid. pg.334)

Since there’s a lack of English references and sources about the 500 years reign (1211-1747 CE) of descendants of King Jabla Abu Chemor in today’s Lebanon, the Royal House of Ghassan has commissioned an English sworn legal translation of sensitive excerpts of the 1948’s official Historical Scientific Research made by a famous Maronite historian, Ignatious Tannos El-Khoury and recognized by the Lebanese Republic until the present date.

Important to note that there are only 2 (two) ancestral families/tribes in the Middle East with the name “Chemor” or “Shummar” or “Shammar” (all are different transliterations to the Arabic word for the plant “Fennel“). One, is a Bedouin Muslim tribe originally named “Tayy” that started to adopt the name “Shammar” or “Shammari” only after the XIV century. The one in Lebanon was originated from the Ghassanid Royal Family since the last king of the first State was known as “Jabla Abu Chemor“. It’s documented that this family uses the name “Chemor” at least since 1211 CE, almost two centuries before the Tayys.

Here download the .PDF English Legal Translation

Here download the .PDF full book in Arabic

Here, read about the recent validation of the book by a leading Maronite historian

Here, the Sworn Legal Affidavit from the world’s leading Expert in Middle Eastern Royal Succession recognizing the Royal Rights and Titles of the El Chemor/Gharios Family

As previously mentioned, the Lebanese Republic recognizes the El Chemor family and its heritage. Some of the Lebanese family members kept their titles on their passports from the times of the Ottoman Empire until the Lebanese passports today. That can also be attested by this 2014’s article from the Lebanese Ministry of Information where the family is cited with the recognized titles and also the 1948’s Historical Scientific Research is mentioned and validated.

Official 2014’s article from the Lebanese Ministry of Information

Here download the .PDF Legal Translation of the official article from the Lebanese Ministry of Information

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Photo: The grave of His Highness Sheikh Selim El Chemor (passed away 1909 CE, the great grandfather of HRH Prince Sheikh Selim El Chemor, honorary head of the Royal House of Ghassan), note that the royal title of Sheikh (in Arabic, upper right side) is on his tombstone, a capital proof that the family has been publicly using the ‘sui iuris’ titles for centuries until the present date. (Grave at the cemetery at the Mar Mama Ancient Church in Kferhata, Lebanon) Understand the legality of the titles here:

sheikhs-el-chemor-a-legal-study-of-titles/

Prince Gharios El Chemor meets Lebanese Minister Gebran Bassil in NY

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HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor with HE Gebran Bassil Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants

After participating in the 3rd Lebanese Diaspora Energy event last May in Beirut, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants officially invited Prince Gharios El Chemor for the event’s first regional version, the Lebanese Diaspora Energy – North America in New York City (September 16th and 17th).

The Minister personally invited Prince Gharios for the next international event, the 4th Lebanese Diaspora Energy, in Beirut in May 2017.

The Lebanese Diaspora events are very exclusive, not open to the general public. Below the criteria to participate:

Necessarily an individual of Lebanese origin residing abroad.

  • Currently or formerly holding a high official position (political, religious, military, or judicial) whether on the national, federal, provincial, or municipal level in the country of residency.
  • Currently or formerly holding a high managerial position in a company / organization / international organization within the private or public sector (CEO, CFO, CCO, General Director, etc.).
  • Academia / Sciences: President of a university, Dean of a faculty, highly recognized and published researcher, awardee, patent holder, etc.
  • Sports: National or international participation with recognition.
  • NGOs / Diaspora Institutions with good records and high membership base within the Lebanese Diaspora.
  • Media figure of high standing.
  • Entrepreneur / Investor of a big company (in size, outreach, etc.).
  • Artist of international fame (awardee, sales records, cinema actor / producer, etc.).
  • Individual having a success story of national or international recognition.

 

More about the Lebanese Diaspora Energy event please Click HERE