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Habib Abela

Habib Abela, sometimes Habib Abila, was a consul in the town of Sidon, Lebanon, and a member of the notable Abela family of merchants in 19th century.

He was involved in the archaeological discovery of the Sarcophagus of Eshmunazar II in 1855.[1] In diplomatic affairs he was involved in the 1860 intercommunal crisis[2] and in similar events during 1877 crisis.[3]

Abela was descended from a Maltese doctor who was part of Napoleon's 1799 campaign to Acre. Initially serving as a dragoman for the British Consul in Sidon, he became an unpaid Vice Consul of Sidon. He ran a trading business with his brothers.[4][5]

The family intermarried with other wealthy families in the region, for example the Durighello family,[6] as described in an 1877 letter from the British Consul General in Beirut to the British Ambassador in Istanbul:

They [the Abela brothers] all hold Consular appointments under various Foreign Governments, and are connected by marriage with all, or almost all, their colleagues as well as with many wealthy and important families of the native Christians of Sidon, and likewise of Beyrout, Damascus and other places in Syria. They thus form a compact family body which certainly gives them a great advantage in addition to the privileges which they enjoy in virtue of their consular functions.[7]


  1. ^ Chancellerie du Consulat général de France à Beyrouth (24 April 1855). Litige entre Habib Abela el Alphonse Durighello à propos du sarcophage d'Eshmunazor II (PDF) (Report). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 October 2020.
  2. ^ Levi, L. (1861). Annals of British Legislation. Smith, Elder. p. 349-363. Retrieved 2023-06-17.
  3. ^ Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons. Ordered to be printed. 1877. p. 5-PA34. Retrieved 2023-06-17.
  4. ^ Yoshihiro Kimura (木村 喜博) (1987). A Study on the Formation of National Identity in the Arab East (東アラブ国家形成の研究). 研究双書. アジア経済研究所 (Institute of Developing Economies). p. 93. ISBN 978-4-258-04354-5.
  5. ^ Fawaz, Leila Tarazi (1983). Merchants and Migrants in Nineteenth-century Beirut. Harvard Middle Eastern studies. Harvard University Press. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-0-674-56925-6. Retrieved 2023-06-17.
  6. ^ Klat, Michel G. (2002). "The Durighello Family" (PDF). Archaeology & History in Lebanon. London: Lebanese British Friends of the National Museum (16): 103. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-02-11. Alphonse Durighello and his wife Celeste had twelve children of which only seven - four girls and three boys - survived to adulthood. Of the girls Eulalie - born in Aleppo in 1845 - married in 1864 Job Abela (brother of Habib mentioned earlier)... According to Dr. Shaker Khoury, writing about the families of Damour, the wedding of Shaker Haykal to Eugenie Durighello and his brother Boutros to Angelique Abela, (daughter of the British Consul in Saida), which was celebrated on the same day, was hailed as the best the country had ever seen.
  7. ^ F.O. 195/1153, George Jackson Eldridge to Austen Henry Layard, No. 48, 10-5-1877; quoted in Fawaz, 1983, p.90
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Habib Abela
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