Region of Lebanon.
The Shuf is the district (qada ) located in southern Lebanon between the Jizzin and al-Matn districts, and between the Mediterranean Sea and the Biqa valley. It has more than 220 towns. The main city is the predominantly Druze town of Baʿaklin, which was, for a while, the seat of government for the Maʿnids. The Shuf was made part of the governorate of Mount Lebanon because a sectarian balance between Maronite Christians and Druze was desired. Historically, the electoral battles in the region were between the candidates of Kamal Jumblatt and those of Camille Chamoun, but the presence of a number of sects in the region forced both leaders to seek support among nonaligned sects to win the election. For example, the Shuf had a Sunni Muslim seat, and even the Maronite Chamoun had to field a Sunni candidate to win the election. Druze leader Walid Jumblatt has been demanding the division of the Mount Lebanon governorate into two sections to achieve a degree of sectarian parity. He does not feel he should have to seek support among the Maronites, who constitute a majority in the northern part of the governorate. By the early 2000s, however, Jumblatt—whose traditional pro-Syrian stance had shifted—began making political alliances with Christian candidates.
see also biqa valley; chamoun, camille; jumblatt, kamal; jumblatt, walid.
AbuKhalil, As'ad. Historical Dictionary of Lebanon. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998.
updated by michael r. fischbach