a politically influential family in lebanon.
The Chehab (also Shihab) family can be traced to Arab tribes from Hawran, Syria, who settled in southern Lebanon. The power of the family was established in 1697, when it inherited the leadership of the Mount Lebanon area from the last Maʿnid prince, who had no heirs. Originally a Sunni Muslim, Bashir II converted to Maronite Christianity, which displeased the Druze population in the mountains. Family members continued to occupy important positions in government and administration in the twentieth century. Its best-known member is General Fuʾad Chehab, one of the most powerful and popular presidents in twentieth-century Lebanon.
see also chehab, bashir; chehab, fuʾad; lebanon, mount.