Fishing generally conjures up water, while fishing in the village of Haqel conjures up only one thing: rocks. Water fishing calls for tools like nets and hooks, whilst rock fishing calls for only chisels and hammers. Fish is spoiled within hours out of the water while Hakel's fish, extracted from the mountain, didn't spoil even after 100 million years of existence and are now fossilized forever.
In the heart of Hakel, Rizkallah Nohra has founded the first museum of fossilized fish in Lebanon . The whole adventure began in 1970 when he was a seven year-old boy back then, started to gather some stones with peculiar designs and engravings, from a piece of land owned by his family in Hakel. This hobby became more of a passion as years went by.
However, he always had a dream which he wanted to come true; to create an international standard museum. Unfortunately, such project didn't' see the light yet due to his small resources and lack of support from the government. Undeterred by such obstacles, Nohra started to restore, on his own, a typical old Lebanese village house where he could gather and display all the fossils he had collected over the past twenty years. 1991 witnessed the opening of “Expo Hakel” the first natural history museum for marine fossils in Lebanon . The museum was later qualified by paleontologist and scientists as one of the most important in the world for its collection of the rarest specimen of all kinds of Lebanese fish fossils from Hakel.
Expo Hakel is opened seven days a week from 9:00 to 17:00 o'clock in winter and 19:00 o'clock in summer.
Please feel free to contact for reservations or for more information about groups' visits, school trips or quarry visits.