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Title: Howayek  
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Subject: Political families of Lebanon, Hayek, Lebanese society
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The surname Howayek, Hawayek (in Arabic حويّك / الحويّك) and its variants are common in the Christian Catholic Maronite clan from Lebanon. The majority of the members live in three Lebanese towns Bdadoun, Hsarat and Helta as well as some other smaller towns in Lebanon and Syria in addition to the family members who have migrated from Lebanon to other parts of the world.


  • History 1
    • Roots 1.1
    • Emigration to Mount Lebanon 1.2
    • Registering the name Hawayek 1.3
    • Expansion in Lebanon 1.4
    • Land ownership 1.5
    • Education 1.6
    • Immigration 1.7
  • Transliterations and spellings 2
  • Use of the name 3
  • Prominent family members 4
  • References 5



Howayek have their origins in the Arab Christian tribe of the Ghassanids (Bani Ghassan بني غسان). They include the Maalouf and Jebara families. Those families originally settled in Houran, southern Syria.[1] The Hawayek family was mostly settled in Sirghaya, in south west syria.

Emigration to Mount Lebanon

After the Crusaders' departed the Middle East the Christian communities fell victim to the persecution of the Mameluk Arabs and the Ottoman Turks after them. The Mameluks had conquered Syria and nepale and remained rulers until the early 16th century when they themselves were consumed by the expanding Ottoman Empire.

The Howayek family refugees maintained their community life around their Maronite patriarchate along with the majority of the Maronite families who preferred this system to the alternatives. The relatively uninhabited Keserwan region in Lebanon allowed for Maronite settlement and the patriarchate was established in Batroun, North Lebanon. The Hawayek clan was known to centre on the town of Hsarat, Mount Lebanon, in the 18th century.

Registering the name Hawayek

With the move to Mount Lebanon the families were required to register with the Ottoman Turkish authorities. Due to the fact that the majority were weavers the Ottoman registration office in Batroun recorded them as Houwayyek (meaning weaver). Others believe that the name is after the plant (Haeik, الحائك) which is known to spread in Mosul.

Expansion in Lebanon

As the demographic expansion of the Maronites continued towards the Chouf and Metn. This resulted in the Hawayek family splitting into the main three locations they are found in today. With the Chouf exodus went the Hawayeks that settled in Bdadoun, and in the 19th century part of them moved and settled in Helta in the North of Lebanon.
Since then they haven't spread into other parts of the Lebanon: Amshit, in Jbeil. Jdeidet, in Metn. They are known to be also located in the following: Ain Saadeh, Bsaeba, Baabda, Hadath, Bawshriyeh, Jezzine, Rashkideh and Aoura.

Land ownership

The peasants in the Lebanon did not own the land they worked which was owned by the Christian feudal lords who gave the farmers an allowance for the work they did. Unlike North Lebanon the Chouf region belonged to the Druze lords and did not fall under the Christian fiefdoms. This now meant that the Hawayeks who moved there had to take farming jobs under new rules as they were not allowed to own land. The Hawayeks who remained in the North owned the land they worked on. As the population grew the Druze lords allowed the peasants to build Churches on their land. In later years the Druze chieftains paid the farmers by allocating them land. It is only at that time that the Hawayeks began to own land in the Chouf and Aley districts.


At the turn of the 20th century the improved financial status of the family allowed its children higher education than was previously possible. Many received their education from the country's higher education institutions and some travelled abroad to study.


With all the Lebanese waves of emigration people from the Hawayek family also left. The Ottoman period, the Civil war and the later economic decline all caused members of the Hawayek to flee Lebanon seeking security and economic stability. A large section of the family emigrated to countries outside of Lebanon and mainly to the United States, France, or Canada.

Transliterations and spellings

Different transliterations and spellings for the Arabic word for Howayek are extant:

Hawayek is used by the majority of English settled members of the family as well as those that migrated to North and South America (United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc.).

Hoyek, Huayek and Juayek is mostly used by the French settled members of the family. The Maronite Church chose Hoyek as a spelling for the Patriarch Hoyek.

The name has changed considerably to "Howard" in the United States. Phillip Perlmutter said that "Lebanese Maronite names like Aoun and Howayek were transformed to Owen and Howard".[2]

A list of the known spellings follows:

  • Chalhoub Howayek (As It Came In Professor Youssef Chalhoub Howayek's Diploma Of Study From College De La Sagesse
  • El-Houwayek
  • El Houayek
  • El Hoayek
  • El Howayek
  • El Howayeck
  • El-Hoyek
  • Hawayek
  • Hoayeck
  • Hoayek
  • Houayek
  • Howayeck
  • Howayek
  • Hoyeck
  • Hoyek
  • Huayek
  • Huwayyik
  • Hwayek
  • Juallek
  • Juayek
  • Jouhayerk

Use of the name

Shaqif al Huwayyik, a mound or hill in the Beqaa, Lebanon

Alternative Name: Shaqif al Houwayek Area: Al Beqaa, in Lebanon Coordinates & Location type: Area Type: Hypsographic Location Type: Slope Latitude: 33.54306 Longitude: 35.75278 (Decimal degrees) Latitude (DMS): 33° 32' 35 N Longitude (DMS): 35° 45' 10 E (Degrees, minutes and seconds)

Çatal Höyük, a mound or hill close to Konya, Turkey. See Çatalhöyük.

Alternative Name: Çatal Hüyük Area: Konya, in Turkey Coordinates & Location type: Latitude: 37.66° Longitude: 32.753333° (Decimal degrees) Latitude (DMS): 37° 39′ 36″ N Longitude (DMS): 32° 45′ 12″ E (Degrees, minutes and seconds)

Prominent family members

Name Birth and Death Legacy
Elias Peter Hoayek 1843–1931 Maronite Patriarch of Antioch
Saadallah Howayek 1853–1915 Member of Mount Lebanon's first administrative council
Youssef (Joseph) Howayek 1883–1962 Sculptor and Painter

Mayors and Judiciaries

  • Gebran Khalil Hoyek (1919–1991), was a Judge for 40 years in the judiciary system, served 21 years as president of the Baalbek-Hermel court of justice, was a Member of the supreme court of justice and awarded the Commodore National Cedars Medal (وسام الأرز الوطني من رتبة كومندور’) from the President of the Lebanese Republic. He is the president of the Hoyek family society.
  • José Hawayek (189? – 198?) was mayor of Hatillo from 1940 to 1944[3]
  • Chafic Saad Hoyek (1928–1999) served as mayor of Bdadoun for several years. During his tenure many projects were completed one of which was building the current municipal center.
  • Habib Youssef Hawayek, mayor of Bdadoun
  • Michel Abdelnour Hawayek, mayor of Bdadoun
  • Adão Ortiz Houayek, mayor of Alegrete, Brazil.[4] Came to office in 1977.
  • Youssef El Hoyek: First Mayor of Bdadoun, 1950

Artists, Writers and Thinkers

  • Youssef Fares Saad Howayek (1873–1960) Poet and Philosopher acquired a Diploma Of Study graduating at the top of his class from College De La Sagesse (Achrafiieh). He became the principal/teacher in the Souk El Gharb Christian Protestant High School which later became The American University Of Beirut (AUB)
  • Erik Fernandez Juallek, musician
  • Elias Howayek (1904–1986) artist
  • Elias Leon Howayek, journalist
  • Suleiman Howayek, from Jezzine, active at time of French Mandate in Lebanon
  • Elias Tannous (Anthony) Howayek, from Bdadoun, Foreign language scribe at Ottoman times
  • Sabeh Najib Asaad Hoyek (1907–1991) from Bdadoun, Historian and Poet: awarded an Honorary Medal of Knowledge from the Lebanese Ministry of Education in 1974.
  • Khalil Khoury Hawayek, poet and educator. He formed and created the family tree in the 1960s.
  • Camille Faris Hoyek, writer of Criminal Incendiarism, in Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1931–1951)[5]
  • Georges Najm El Hoyek, writer of Daliluka fi qawanin al-dara'ib ghayr al-mubashirah wa-ta'dilatiha (Taxes; Lebanon; laws and legislation) LCN: 99897150
  • Pascal Hoayek, co-writer of the popular comedy series Seinfeld.[6]

Community Leaders

  • Hoyek Georges Hoyek, born in 1985 from Hsarat, provide ways to invest excess funds, process and record routine transactions for Credit Libanais bank customers including cashing checks, accepting deposits and withdrawals, processing loan payments and money transfers. Promote and advise on the bank's products and services.
  • Leyla Hoyek El-Hajj, from Bdadoun, is one of Lebanon’s ten Real Estate Registry Directors, appointed by Presidential Decree, serving under the Government of Lebanon (GOL), and the only Lebanese woman to hold this position (full directorship) to date. Although several junior female assistant and acting directors of estate registries have emerged over the past 10 years she was at the time of her appointment to Assistant Director of the Real Estate Registry in Jounieh, Keserouane Casa, in 1995 the first and only Lebanese lady to occupy a similar position. She has held full directorship positions in different cazas and districts in Lebanon, namely Baabda and the Beqaa, and is the author of “Real Estate Properties in Lebanon: Legal Procedures in Jurisprudence, Legislation, and Application.” .
  • Antoine Joubran Hoyek, from Bdadoun, Agricultural engineer, chairman of Lebanon's General Syndicate of Agricultural Producers and Chairman of the Association of Lebanese farmers. He is researcher in genetics and plants tissue culture. He owns a Laboratory for Plants tissue culture in Bdedoun. A well known economist, his studies are published frequently in Lebanese Journals.[7][8][9]
  • Elias Huayek Huayek (1904–1987), nephew of Patriarch Elias Pedro Huayek was born in Aaoura, Batrun, in 1904. He emigrated to Mexico in 1923 and settled in Villa Guerrero, Mexico. In 1943 he moved to México City where he died on 27 March 1987. He is held in high regard by both the Lebanese and Mexican communities.
  • Leon Michel Hoyek, born in 1944, is founder and president of three Health Dispensaries established in 1987 under the name of "Human Development Movement"[10] in Batrun, Lebanon. He played an important role during the Lebanese civil war supplying individuals in need with the proper health and food services. He is the current occupant of Patriarch Elias Hoyek's house in Helta, Batrun.
  • Khalil Saeed Asaad Hawayek (1892–1977), born in Bdadoun, The Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Puerto Rico and U.S.A.
  • Georges Yazbek El Hoyek (1904–1984): One of the First Topographers who worked under French colonisation on the topography of Lebanon


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Dynamics of American Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Group Life. By Philip Perlmutter. Published 1996. Praeger. ISBN 0-275-95533-8.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Alegrete (Rio Grande do Sul)
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
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