I had shared a post earlier last week about “Piste Nabil” at Mzaar and the reason behind its naming, and one of the blog’s readers (Thank you Lesly!) was kind enough to send me the real story and some exciting information on Nabil Salameh, the Lebanese ski champion and the designer and technician of Mzaar Ski Slopes.
Nabil Salameh is a Lebanese Ski champion who was born in 1938 in Faraya and who represented Lebanon in several ski championships abroad, including Switzerland, France, Spain & Austria. In 1960, the first chairlift was imported from Switzerland to be installed in Mzaar after getting the approval from Sheikh Salim El Khazen who was the principal shareholder and the man with the vision.
In the 1960s, the Mzaar ski slopes started to expand with the help of European (mainly Swiss) technicians that came to examine the area, provide consultancy, and install the chairlifts of the slopes we know today. Back then, Nabil worked with the European technicians to design the slopes. Somewhere between 1968 and 1970 and after the European technicians left, Nabil completed the design and installation of the chairlifts of Jonction and Piste Nabil.
After doing so, he asked Joseph Abdo El-Khoury, who was a shareholder and who financed Mzaar and later became the company chairman and General Manager, what shall we call these slopes? To which El-Khoury replied and said we will name one after you. And that’s how we got “Piste Nabil”.
Lesly was kind enough to share few exclusive pictures she got from Nabil’s son that I am sharing below. I learned Nabil passed away unfortunately last year, but his legacy and outstanding work will live on for many generations to come.