|Decoding the silencing process in modern Palestinian historiography
Source: A paper presented at the conference: Worlds & Visions,
Perspectives on the Middle East Today; Local and
National Histories , 5-7 December 1997, University
of Århus, Denmark
by Mahmoud Issa
Local histories began to play a fundamental role
in reconstructing and reinterpreting the modern historical
narratives in different corners of the modern world.
The victorious, through power relations, dictate
their own discourse and consequently annulling the
others'. Keith Whitelam wrote newly a controversial
book with the title: "The invention of Ancient Israel
- The silencing of Palestinian history"; where he
argued that the history of ancient Israel is modelled
by modern European nationalism and motivated by modern
reasons political as well as religious, especially
after the establishment of Israel in 1948. These
studies were prevailing in different European and
American universities where they try, by highlighting
the short period of Jewish history in Palestine,
to deprive the Palestinians not only from their land,
but from their Can'anite history and space as well.
These approaches are not silencing the old history
of Palestine, but the new history as well. 418 villages
and the expulsion of 2/3 of the Palestinian people
from their homeland was the direct product of the
victorious narrative. I will not touch on the old
histories; but my task here is to uncover a tiny
microcosmic piece of history in our modern era.
In this paper, my concern will be mainly concentrated
about the local historiography of a small Palestinian
village, Lubieh, from the end of the Ottoman Empire,
through the British Mandate period 1917-1948, and
the fate of its inhabitants in exile after its total
demolishment in 1948.
Lubya - a small village in Galilee with a population
of 2730 people in 1945, the largest village in the
Tiberias district in Mandate Palestine - was totally
demolished, and its inhabitants uprooted and dispersed
to as many as 23 countries: Within, nearby, and far
from Palestine. Yet before its demolition, this village
once had its own historical, cultural and social
Fifty years' displacement did not succeed in abolishing
its history in the minds of its inhabitants, nor
in the minds of those who uprooted them. The stream
of past memories is still fresh in the mind of its
older generation. Men and women in their sixties,
seventies and eighties are still talking and recollecting
their past, for their own sake and for the children's;
and the latter were transforming, more or less accurately,
the same histories and traditions to their sons and
The recounting of historical and social facts are
changing from one generation to another; but the
main stream of collective memories, of remembered
images, still dominate their subconscious as well
as their present life, older and younger generation
alike. The images are not crystal clear as they were
before while living in Lubya. The image of the past,
the "common sense", to use Gramsci's words, is "ambiguous,
contradictory...multiform and strangely composite"  in
the minds of the new generation. But that is not
the case for the elder generation, whose memories
are still more coherent and reliable. Gramsci distinguishes
between civil and political society  :
Civil society in Lubya was a voluntarily network:
school, cultural club, family relations, common religious
and social traditions; while a political society
of their own, involving army, police and central
administrative bureaucracy, in the form of state
institutions, was absent in the village. Culture
and social harmony operated within this microcosmic
civil society, without repression, according to internal
social codes voluntarily agreed upon between villagers
themselves. The Ottoman, British and Zionist institutions
were outsiders, posing their repressing and dominant
narrative on the civil society of Lubyans in their
own interests, thus helping to consolidate familial
hierarchy and tribal conflicts. Time and place ,
although vital in reconstructing the past, could
not abolish the collective account of the villagers'
past before 1948; their culture "is reproduced by
remembrance put into words and deeds"  ,
in modern times.
Memory is a battlefield
Conditions of exile and memories of the past have
had colossal effects on the social, religious and
political life of Lubya's dispersed inhabitants.
What are those social consequences? To what extent
have integration, assimilation or alienation policies
affected Lubyans in the different countries where
they now live? How does the socio-political history
of their village form their modern collective history?
Is it "real", "invented nostalgia", or "reinvented
history" of Lubya that dominates their imaginations
and their discourse as well? What about the official
and dominant narrative of the Israelis who displaced
them, and repress the very existence of any trace?
Those who stayed in Palestine after 1948 and until
1966 lived under strict military rules. It was totally
forbidden for the few Lubyans who remained in Palestine
to visit the debris of their village. Even the name,
Lubya, that had existed for hundred of years, was
transformed to Lavi , the name of the kibbutz
established on the land of Lubya for Jewish immigrants
from Britain. On 8.2.1949, Y.A.Arikha, the secretary
of the names committee of Israel, addressed the religious
pioneers at the agricultural centre of the Poel
Ha Mizrahi :
"We have the honour of informing you that at its
meeting yesterday the names committee discussed the
selection of an appropriate name for your settlement
which is going to be established on the land belonging
to Lubya in lower Galilee. After a thorough discussion,
the committee decided to select for your settlement
the historical place name from the Second Temple
period Lavi. 2) It is worth noting that aside from
the historical considerations, the name Lavi symbolises
the revival of the Jewish people and the establishment
of Israel in their land.........) 
The reinvention and reinterpretation of religious
mythology is always ready, in the present, for pure
political reasons, to justify the abolition of others'
heritage. The suppression of other's histories, the
razing of Lubya's houses, the censorship of identification
with one's origin, and the censorship of Palestinian
historiography, seek justification in the victorious
narrative written by Israeli historiographers. The
natural response from the defeated and the repressed
is to repossess, reshape, reorder, and retain the
past experiences of their society; through oral histories,
accounts about past events, reminiscences, socio-cultural
traditions: songs, proverbs, jokes...etc. .
For those who are teenagers, middle-aged or elderly
people, Lubya plays a central identical image , a
theoretical and subconscious reference , a
pattern of cultural framework, a present and past
imaginary picture that shapes, inspires
and even changes their current, personal life. Hundreds
joined the promising Palestinian revolution in the
late sixties and seventies. But in the late eighties
and early nineties their dreams ended in frustration
and despair - with another uprooting and exile in
Arabic, Scandinavian and European countries. Their
children, ironically, are repeating the experiences
of their uprooted parents. Nevertheless, living in
Diaspora - in Denmark, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Germany
or Israel - did not change the identical foundation
upon which their present lives were built, and their "mental
self-portrait" continued to be nourished. Their past
histories become, ironically, their future pattern
of thought, although they are living half a century
away in time and place from their original land.
Reminiscences, eyewitness accounts, irrelevant and
inconvenient histories, collective historiography
based on daily traditions: all these are the fountain
head of the lives of the elderly, as well as the
new generations' identity.
Two generations have not been born in Lubya, but
in exile; nevertheless, it is their objective to
return to their original land. This was the answer
given by the majority of
those interviewed: young, middle or older generation.
What are the social and historical features, both
of present and past experiences, that influenced
this desire? Many Lubyans who never saw their village
before now return to see it. This is possible, as
it was for me, because they were newly naturalised:
Danes, Canadians, Swedes, Germans and others. In
an interview with Denmark's Radio, standing on the
ruins of his house in Lubya, an old man who had returned
after forty six years in exile, to see his demolished
village, said: "I will never exchange all the palaces
of the queen in Denmark with a tent on the ruins
of my house here..... And if there is a wish I want
to fulfil, it is to die here right now, where I am
standing, rather than to leave again"  .
Lubya, among hundreds of other Palestinian villages,
was recreated to Wavel camp, in Lebanon,
named after a British officer, Ein al - Hilwi , Yarmouk in
Syria, Bak'a camp in Jordan - and later
on, the suburbs of Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm
replaced the name of Lubya for the refugees. Displaced
refugees was the broad category that sheltered
them wherever they lived. Nationalities, citizenship,
asylum or alien identity cards were only practical
papers to facilitate daily life; but in their latent
background, the shrouded historical memories, fresh
or withered, they were still attached to this piece
of history about Lubya: Their village was erased
from the map, but still existing in ruins: both physical,
in the remaining debris of wells, caves, cemetery,
olive and cactus trees in the original location and
memorial, in the condensed past images of social
and historical memories.
Today, Lubya has become a "Promenade park" and named "South
African Forest", financed by South African and Rhodesian
donors  ,
as part of the other's strategy to erase and conceal
all that could be a reminder of an Arab village.
After demolition, heavy afforestation becomes the
best way to obliterate Lubya's narrative and historiology.
1948: A Focal Point
In space and time, 1948 was the vital historical
year for Lubyans. Up to 1948 there was a lively,
active and dynamic society; after 1948 there was
a ravished village with no inhabitants. That year
saw the exodus of the inhabitants, recorded by those
who survived the war. Therefore 1948 must be a central
point for the interviewees and for understanding
the disruption in the social and historical life
of Lubyans, reflected naturally in disruption in
their narrative accounts as well . The year 1948
was, and is still, the cornerstone for two historical
stages in the life of this mini-social community,
a microcosmic example for a macrocosmic tragedy that
implicated the displacement of 2/3 of the Palestinian
people - almost one million then.
Lubyans left no written documents behind. Not even
a picture of their village is available, apart from
one photo taken by British air forces in 1945, found
in Israeli institutions, in Tel-Aviv maps office,
and another picture, from an old magazine, of a farmer
plowing the earth. None of the inhabitants thought
what their future could hide for them: to be uprooted
from a land they had cultivated, and a society they
had built, and a history they had creatively participated
in through many generations. Therefore the only method
that remains, in addition to archival documents of
the other, is to give a chance to the old to tell,
through interviews, their accumulated and conserved
histories. Lubyans themselves can recount their personal,
social, political and economic history; from their
own point of view.
To reconstruct the history of Lubya's village, and
to explore the complex relation of present life of
Lubyans with their past memories, four distinct resources
- British Mandatory Documents
- The Israeli archives
- Literature on Lubya
The recent removal of secrecy rules on historical
Israeli documents of the forties and fifties, has
helped to establish a new source for Israeli and
Palestinian historians. These documents reveal vital
information concerning the history of Lubya, including,
for the first time, accounts of officers and soldiers
who participated in the occupation of the village.
i. From British documents one can
find statistics on population through three main
surveys: 1922, 1931, 1945; on land registrations
and petitions between Lubyans and Jewish and Israeli
Colonisation Organisation - JCO and ICO; on the establishment
of a local council committee, on decisions concerning
health standards in Lubya and statistics of the diseases
that prevailed in the thirties, ....and other detailed
ii . Jewish and Zionist documents,
before the establishment of Israel, are useful in
understanding the history of northern Palestine (Galilee)
and the process that ended in dispossessing Lubyans
of their land, and by consequence of their historiographical
context . These documents are not neutral.
They were written from a specific point of view that
reflected the Zionist's experience of current events.
It is therefore necessary to analyse these documents
in the light of the different motivation that dominated
events at that time. When rewriting their own modern
history in the fifties, Israeli historians usually
mentioned Lubya as a place for "criminals", "murderers",
and "thieves"  .
An Israeli Prof. Ilan Pape in his newly article "Post
Zionist Critique on Israel and the Palestinians" referred
to a survey issued by Daniel Bartal, of the school
of education at Tel Aviv University, at the beginning
of November 1996, showing that in most Israeli text
books throughout the educational system, Arabs are
depicted as "murderers", "villains", "blood suckers" and
so on  .
From the Israeli standpoint, the others (Palestinians)
had neither history nor social existence. Only through
recent interviews with Israeli officers who participated
in the offensive on the village in 1948, were Lubyans
mentioned as brave, respected and courageous people.
Therefore oral history , through
interviews, is a necessary technique for recording
Lubya's history: Ottoman laws concerning land, educational
clubs, school system, land cultivation, songs and
dancing, weddings and burials, families and their
conflicts, Muchtars and notables, British forces
and their influences, Jewish-Palestinian relationships,
Lubyans and their Palestinian neighbours, Lubyans
and the Arab saving army, the Lubyans' resistance
to their evacuation, Lubyan uprooting, and finally
Lubyans in Diaspora.
iii . Qualitative interviews are
to evaluate the events that Lubya underwent before
its total disappearance from the map. These interviews
comprise set of questions on:
1. patterns of social life in Lubya, 2. gender relation,3.
disputes and ways of resolving them, 4. relations
with British authorities, 5. relations with Jewish
neighbours, 6. the year of exodus, 7. life in exile,
8. the question of identity, vacillation between
national and religious feelings, 9. the present situation,
10. relation with other communities in exile: integration/assimilation/alienation,
11. expectations of the future and consequences.
I have interviewed 80 people from the different
areas where Lubyans have dispersed, including Israel
(35), West Bank and Gaza (5), Lebanon (3), Jordan
(15), Germany (8), Sweden (3), Denmark (21). I have
also interviewed Jewish veterans and academics
iv. Complexities in the course of interviews: In
a special socio-historical case like Lubya, every
old man or woman is a lost library; each one needs
to talk or rewrite his or her past. Happy experiences
were darkened by present bitterness and disappointment.
The gap seemed unbridgable between a life rooted
in social, traditional, and historical harmony (despite
a few violent accidental incidents) and the life
of an uprooted exile without social, geographical
and historical association (despite the seemingly
well living abroad). Although the Arab states have
the same cultural, religious and historical background,
attacks on Palestinians were routine - 1948: the
uprooting of Palestinians; 1965: the massacre in
Kufur Kasim in Israel; 1967: the occupation of the
rest of Palestine and creation of 1_ million more
refugees; 1971: massacres in Jordan; 1982: massacres
in Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon; 1991: expulsion
of almost 400,000 Palestinians from Kuwait, not to
mention the daily oppression through discriminatory
legislation, sometimes under the pretext of supporting
the Palestinians' right of return. (The last example
refers to Palestinians deported from Libya in September
1995 and up to January 1997, living in miserable
conditions on the border between Egypt and Libya
Oral history method has its own deficiencies. Nevertheless
there are techniques to avoid imprecise or incorrect
memories, names, dates and events. On one hand, comparative
technique between different interviewees
assists in clarifying the "reality" of the event,
bearing in mind that pure facts do not exist; and
on the other hand, written documents from different
sources, British, Israeli and Palestinian, can play
a vital role in clarifying unclear histories concerning
dates, names and objective "facts". Documents and
literature are therefore the main source of reference,
when available; with interviews as the supplementary
Lubya was a small village, where all the inhabitants
knew one another. The isolation caused by poor transport,
and the social relationships built around household
units, family and tribal relationships, provide the
picture of a social structure with a high degree
of credibility. In 1945, according to British statistics,
there were only 2730 inhabitants. According to the
inhabitants there were more; they say that they refused
to give true numbers when the census took place,
because they feared the process, as they wanted to
avoid conscription in the Ottoman army. People were
even afraid to register their land, because of the
fear of being called to military service. Most young
men who were recruited, were sent to areas as far
as the Russian borders and never returned. A very
few returned after many years abroad. For this reason
Lubyans were willing to marry into other villages
as a secured means to avoid being called to military
service. Therefore only a few people, namely the
Muchtars and notables dared to register their land
in official Kushans (Turkish word for the
land registration). This reluctance to register land
opened the way for Jewish and Israeli Colonisation
Associations, JCA and ICA, who claimed the right
to buy unregistered and mortgaged land in Lubya,
through rich Afandis who lived in Beirut,
for example Abdil Ghani Beidun, who sold many mortgaged
plots to the JCA at the end of ninetieth and beginning
of the twentieth century  .
Even now, with about 40 thousand Lubyans spread
throughout many countries, the internal social network
is still applicable. In Denmark alone (and in one
area of Århus) there are 98 Lubyan families
living within one square kilometre, recalling the
old description of an isolated community, the
ghetto . (In Denmark there are a total of
794 Lubyans until 1994). The news from Lebanon, Palestine
or Jordan is immediately spread among the Lubyans
in Denmark, by what the French called "telephone
Arab". This communality gives the general impression
of the credibility of the interviewees' accounts,
both of past and present experiences.
My relationship to Palestinians, both personal and
public, arising from work in the Palestine trade
union movement and other institutions, has given
me the opportunity to be in daily and direct contact
with Lubyans . Therefore the usual
difficulties ethnographers have at the start of his
or her anthropological research, of arriving at a
new unknown, undiscovered area, does not apply to
me. My origin as a Palestinian, my involvement in
the Palestinian question, and my long stay in Europe
provides a dual vision that does not totally fit
either in the eastern pattern in which I was born
and brought up, or the western pattern in which I
have lived for the past sixteen years. But I may
say that my knowledge of and contact with the origins
of Lubya, and to those Lubyans who remained in Israel,
as well as the "others" who have occupied the village
and overtaken its historical narrative, could be
seen as my "first contact" to a new area and new
space of study.
Different approaches were necessary to cope with
this wide-spread net of Lubyans, from Gaza and Ramallah
in the Palestinian self rule areas, to Deir Hanna,
Nazareth, Um el-Fahim, and al-Makr in Israel, to
Irbid and Amman in Jordan, to Wavel camp in Lebanon,
to Lubyans in Berlin, Denmark and Sweden. Although
there is one pattern of common histories and common
plight that traverse this wide spectrum, nevertheless
the response to the questions are at times as different
as the geographical locations. Interviewing Lubyans
in Denmark is different from interviewing in Israel,
or in Jordan. The social situation and the personal
status of the interviewee, and the political situation
of the country, therefore played a vital role in
the narrative. To overcome obstacles , earlier
taped information might be compared with the new,
and in some cases meetings could be held with two
or three interviewees together.
Different psychological factors, such as fear and insecurity, played
a vital role, especially in countries where discrimination
is practised against Palestinian minorities, either
in Israel or in some Arab countries. An interview
with a Palestinian from Lubya, who visited his village
in 1994, cost him a permanent restriction from returning,
even as a visitor, because of what he said in the
interview  .
Nevertheless, speaking out their past, Lubyans found
it an easier task than giving their views about recent
events and the present political situation. But we
must bear in mind that, during the course of the
interview, the past is actually intertwined with
the present. Here one has to pay attention in order
not to mutilate the past reminiscences, nor to reduce
all the past for the benefit of the present, as many
sociologists claim on past memories.
In recalling the past memories, present fear is
a factor that dominated the interviews. Expulsion
and refugee life cost Lubyans, and is still costing
them, oppression and marginalization in both private
and social life. This feeling complicated the interviewers'
task. Only when assured of anonymity, would the interviewee
start to speak. Only a few insisted that their full
name be given. This would not be a problem for Israeli
officers. They spoke with confidence and without
reservation; they are not afraid now to speak of
their past, compared to their counterparts: the Palestinians.
Without the elderly people, modern history would
lack its foundation; namely the social history
of the oppressed, the marginalized, the exiled, the "others",
or the defeated . Most modern history is
written by the victors. Such registered history by
the victorious powers, can never establish the "truth" or
the "real" history of events from all its aspects.
Therefore the undiscovered part of history, the history
of the conquered or defeated, should be studied independently
through its socio-historical context .
It was the job of the "others themselves" to write
their own version of their history. One can classify
their account under a broad modern terminology: "oppositional
The language problem pauses a
real threat to the credibility of the interviews.
That is true whenever the researcher will investigate
another linguistic and symbolic aspect of the village
concerned. Originally, the language is a complex
representation of the real events. Therefore, I have
marked the different specific words used by the villagers
in italics , followed by English translation.
I take the responsibility of translating the recorded
texts from Arabic to English, bearing in mind that
total rendering of accounts and tales are impossible,
because we could not render in written words gestures,
body movements, enthusiasm and other features of
the spoken language. Unfortunately, only a very few
papers found in British and Israeli archives were
written in Arabic, which could otherwise show different
socio-historical aspects of the village. The registration
of the recorded tapes remains an unoriginal copy
of life as lived by people. But through the employment
of different techniques in the qualitative interviews,
and critical analyses of the available documents
and literature, it has been possible to some extent
to bridge the gap between real events of the past
and the textual narrative of which this research
I. Historical landmarks
a. The battle of Hittin on Lubya's fields
in the year 1187:
The name Lubya appears already in the middle ages,
as the battlefield where the European Crusaders were
defeated on the fourth of July 1187. Although named
after the heights of Hittin, the actual battle was
fought on the land of Lubya. After this decisive
battle, other cities fell one after the other, including
Jerusalem, which fell Friday the second of October
1187. Lubya was well known for its water resources,
as was nearby Hittin. Salah al-Din, the Kurdish Muslim
leader, established his headquarters south of Lubya,
in Kufur Sabt, where he could clearly observe the
battle on Lubya's fields. Actually, when the Crusaders
no longer had access to the water resources of Lubya,
Hittin and Tiberias, they surrendered, losing a fierce
final battle which ended the wave of their attack.
The Crusaders had attempted to reach the large reservoir
tanks in both Touraan and Lubya, but there were empty.  "Damia",
one of the famous fields of Lubya, is said to have
its name from the blood which watered the fields-
( Dam in Arabic means blood).
The famous historian Ibn al-Athir (1160 - 1232),
555-630h. described the battle as follows: "Those
who saw the killed thought that there were no prisoners,
and those who saw the prisoners thought that there
was no one killed  ".
A teacher from Lubya, Abu Isam  ,
has provided me with another geographical and historical
reference to the battle of Salah al-Din on Lubya's
land based on a book written by Hilal Ibn Shaddad
in his book Tarikh Salah al-Din , (The history
of Salah al-Din) . Hilal accompanied Salah
al-Din in all his battles, and in the battle of Hittin
he wrote in detail of the tactics of Salah al-Din:
how his cutting off the water supply from the springs
of Hittin played a fundamental role in the victory,
because the army of the Crusaders was thirsty and
the weather was hot. In the north of Lubya in a land
called al-rik , where the war between Salah
al-Din and the Crusaders took place.
Lubya was the birth place of Abu Bakr al-Lubyani
(Abu Bakr Abd-Alrahman Bin Rahhal Bin Mansour Al-Lubyani),
a famous Muslim scholar of the fifteenth century,
who taught Islamic religious sciences in Damascus.
He was known as the "Fikhist and Muslim's Mufti" as
it is written in Tarajim al-Siyar, (see al-Shahabi,
b. The death of Damascus governor, Sulayman
Basha, in Lubya in 1743:
The second important incident that of historical
importance was the death of the leader of Damascus
province, Suleman Basha al-Athim, the 24th of August
1743 while he on his way to Deir Hanna to challenge
the dissident Dahir al-Umar, who had refused to pay
taxes to the central government in Damascus  .
(Ironically, the majority of Lubyans who stayed in
Israel after Lubya's demolishment, are living now
in Deir Hanna). Dahir al-Umar became one of the most
powerful leaders of the area, especially after annexing
Akka, Haifa, Yafa, and the whole area around: Lubya,
Safforia, Shafa-Amr, Tiberias and Ajlone. One of
the titles of Dahir al-Omar was The Prince of
c. Napoleon's march through Lubya in route
Napoleon Bonaparte's attack on Egypt and Syria (1798-1801)
marked the beginning of the struggle between the
French and English in the Middle East which lasted
more than a century. The followers of Dahir al-Umar,
Ahmad Basha al-Jazzar (1722-1804) succeeded in defending
Akka against the French attack. The English sided
with al-Jazzar, while the French occupied Safad and
Nazareth. The Ottoman forces, arriving from Damascus,
occupied Tiberias and Lubya village, but were defeated
near Mount Tabor (South-west Lubya). The French burned
many villages on their way through the Lubya area
to besiege Akka.
Nine consecutive attacks failed to defeat Ahmad
Bash al-Jazzar. (The first attack on Akka took place
March 28, 1799)  .
Napoleon gave up the siege, and ordered his forces
to return to Egypt. It was the beginning of a new
era of conflict of the region between the emerging
powers of the industrial revolution in Europe  .
The leader of al-Jazzar's artillery forces was an
officer from Lubya, Khalil Ibrahim Azzam. The following
is the story Abu Isam wrote concerning the family
of the officer, al-Shanashri, a family to which Abu
Isam also belonged:
"The family of al-Shanashra were known by their
influence in the area. For example, Khalil Ibrahim
Azzam was an artillery officer in the army of
Ahmad Basha al-Jazzar  .
He was well known in his fight with al-Jazzar
against Napoleon. But later on he disagreed with
al-Jazzar, who imprisoned his father Ibrahim Azzam
for ransom. But Azzam refused to pay. While in
prison, his father met the prince Youssef al-Shihabi,
then governor of Lebanon. The guards found a paper
in the food, on which was written a promise from
Azzam to free both the prince and the father. Azzam
deserted with a contingent, and Jazzar followed
him to Lubya, partly destroying the village in
revenge. I have been told by elderly people who
were present when Lubya was destroyed, by Jazzar
forces, that the villagers have always been able
to communicate with each other by the sound of
birds and animals so as to evade Jazzar's men."
II. Topography, Geography, Names and Population
According to al-Maoso'a al-Filastiniya, Lubya was
the largest village in Tiberias district; it was
also one of the largest villages in Palestine. The
distance from Tiberias to Lubya, lying west-southwest
of Tiberias, on the road to Nazareth, is 10,5 km.
The village was built on a hill 325 meters over sea
level, and its ground is extended in a plain that
covers the area to the east and towards the north-west
hill, Jabalah, which is 294 meters over sea level  .
The area of the populated village was 210 dunums,
(one dunum is about one thousand square meters),
while the area of its land was 39,629 dunums.
Before his death on December 28, 1989 Abu Isam,
Mohammad Khalil (born in 1914) recited to his son
several pages of the history of Lubya. He was a teacher
in Lubya, and a director for the schools in Ailoot and
Nazareth. His father, Haj Khalil Abid Alkadir Lubani,
who died in 1952 at the age of 65, was the most respected Muktar of
Lubya. His wife and his ten children are still living
in Nazareth. I will preface the history of Lubya
as written by Abu Isam, with comments from other
sources. As far as I know, Abu Isam is the only Lubyan
of the elderly generation who left a written history
"Lubya was situated on the caravans road between
al-Sham and Egypt and south Palestine, and at crossways
between Houran, in Syria, and the coast (of the
Mediterranean sea) where Akka was known as a main
starting point for caravans from the coast. There
was a road that crossed Lubya from north to south
al-Sham , Alsham road. ( al-Sham is
the old name of all the area roughly comprising Syria,
Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan today). Another road
that crossed the village is called, Tariik Houran  . Thus
caravans passed through Lubya from east to west,
and from the north to south. From Houran, the caravans
carried seeds Akka, and goods were carried from
Syria to Egypt and vice versa. There were two wells
there where water gathered from the rain. At the
east of the village there was also a lake. The
walls of this lake were built of stones and looked
strong, even though built long ago".
In the early nineteenth century the British traveller
Buckingham described Lubya as a very large village
on top of a high hill.[Buckingham 1821:491].The Swiss
traveller Burckhardt, writing in 1822, noted the
wild artichokes that covered the plain where the
village was located. [Burckhardt 1822:333]  .
Later in the nineteenth century, Lubya was described
as a stone village, on top of a limestone ridge.
The inhabitants, between 400 - 700, cultivated olive
and fig trees. The older houses were clustered on
the eastern side of the village site, as were the
newer buildings constructed during the British Mandate.
[SWP(1881)I:361]  .
Khan Lubya, two kilometres from the eastern part
of the village, is used as a caravansary during the
Ottoman period. There are sights of a destroyed pool
and the ruins of old houses build of big stones.
Lubya was known as an archaeological site. Many caves
and tunnels were discovered under the village.
In 1903 Murray's Handbook for Travellers in Syria
and Palestine , Lubya is described on the way from
Nazareth to Tiberias:
"Our road lies across the plain to the E., and
there is nothing of interest to detain us by the
way. After 5 m. (1 hr.) we pass Lûbieh on
our rt., standing on the top of a low rocky hill,
and surrounded by hedges of prickly pear. Several
caves, tombs, and sarcophagi, rock-cut winepresses
and cisterns, are to be found in this village,
which thus probably occupies some ancient important
site.... After crossing the caravan-road from Damascus
to Jerusalem and Egypt, by the side of which are
some deep wells, we come in sight of a saddle....The
horns of Hittin, the scene of the famous victory
of Saladin over the Crusaders on July 5, 1187.
The battle itself was fought on the irregular plateau
between Hittin and Lûbieh,
which we are now crossing. The Crusaders were nearly
annihilated in this desperate conflict."  .
It is typical of all those who visited Palestine
to describe the geographical places without mentioning
any thing about its inhabitants. It was part of the
orientalist's mentality that dominate the pioneers'
In a British document (Hagana archives, Tel-Aviv)
more details were written:
"Lubya is located at Tiberias-Nazareth road. There
was a khan at two kms. from the village.
The houses are from stones. The roofs are made of
wood or cement. Cactus trees form the walls of the
village. There are two valleys al-A'laka, and al-Hima"  .
Abu Isam's diaries gives us a detailed and precise
picture of the borders of the village and the history
of the different tribes and villages near by Lubya.
"The inhabitants of the village were prosperous
farmers, because of its rich and extensive fields.
Then extended to the east to the borders of Tiberias
( Tal al-Ma'oon  ) which
is a land owned by al-Tabari family (Sheik Said al-Tabari).
It is a high hill. To the east of this hill was Ard
al-Manara , a wide field overlooking Tiberias
and Sahl al-Hima , a very rich plain with
a high temperature. To the east of this plain lived
a tribe called Dalaika . They sold their
land to the Jews who built on it the Kibbutz of Beit
Jan and Yamma  .
To the north of the village, the land of Lubya bordered Hittin's land
and the horn of Hittin . To the west are
the lands of Tur'an and al-Shajara, and
to the south al-Shajara and Kufur - Sabt .
Originally, the Kufur - Sabt inhabitants
were from Morocco. They immigrated from their country
in the period of Abdil Kadir al- Jazairi ,
from Algeria, who fought against the French and was
expelled with his followers to Syria. Prince Abdil Kadir remained
in Syria but the others came to live in the south
of Lubya in a land called al- Shafa. They
established different villages: Kufur-Sabt, `Olam,
Ma'thar. A few of them lived in Samakh and
others lived near Shafa Amr , al-Kasair ,
and Kokab .
"The fields of Lubya are fertile, with black and
volcanic earth. Lubya was well-known for its seeds
which were exported to Nazareth, Akka and Haifa.
There were two harvests annually, summer and winter  .
In the south west of the plain al-Hima was
located a very rich area called Khirbit Damia ,
rich with springs. In this area there was an old
lake used for watering cattle: sheep, cows and camels.
The fields nearby were watered as well. South of
the plain on the slope of the mountain was Makkam
Bassoum  . There
were also springs of water in al-Bassoum and Wadi
al-Nassa, and from these the Jews took water
to their two Kibbutzes. In the north of al-Hima was
located Khirbit-Sarjouni , its name taken
from the Roman word for "sergeant". It was believed
to be a military settlement where a Roman sergeant
lived. Later on, this area was inhabited by Arab-alkhawalid .
There were Roman ruins in Ard al-Tal east
of the village."
Origins of the name Lubya
In Mu'jam al-Buldan  ,
al-Bagdadi quotes Bin katta's definition of Lubya
as a kind of bean if it ends with Alif, lub(ya) .
But if it ends with Ta , i.e. Lubi(eh),
then it is the name of a city between Alexandria
and Burka. He quotes Abu al-Rihan al-Bairuti concerning
the Greek division of the planet to three with Egypt
as the centre. The land south of Egypt was named
Lubieh. (The other two parts were `Aoraki and Asia).
Ihsan Hakki  ,
however, says Lubya is a Greek word which means the " Bilad
al-Biid , (white countries)". This area lies
in modern Libya. South of these lands are the "black
countries" (Ithyobia)". Ahmad Dawood  says
that "Libya" is the name of the king's daughter of
Tire. While for Dabbag (in Biladona Falastine , V.6,
p. 424) it was the name of a plant, Lubya, or the
name of an old Greek city. Dabbag refers also to
a book : al-Daw' allami' (11/43) to confirm
the relation of the well known Islamic scholar Abu
Bakir bin abd al-Ruhman bin Rahhal bin Mansoor al-Taki
al-Loubiani with Lubya. Abu Bakir died in Damascus
in the year 838 ( Higri) .
In Abu Isam's diaries:
"Lubya is originally a word that means Labwa ,
or the feminine of the lion. It was so named because
of its strong position, built on hills surrounded
by valleys. It was a fortified castle, difficult
for anyone to attack".
Jewish sources also refer the name of the village
to: "A Jewish town from Roman Byzantine period whose
name was retained in that of the Arab village of
Lubya"  .
In another reference they refer the name to the Hebrew
origin of the word Lavan, which means white,
and also to the Arabic word that means Laban  (Yoghurt).
Another reference is to daughter of king Tooran,
whose daughter was named Lavi. I had mentioned in
the introduction the justification of the committee
to name the new settlements by referring to the old
In 1596, Lubya was a village in the nahiya of
Tiberias ( liwa' of Safad) with a population
of 1117. Shomachar  in
1886, gives the population of Lubya 2730. British
Census in 1922, 1931, 1944/45 are accordingly 1712,
1850, 2350 (see diagram p.82). Preacher of al-Hula
district, Sheikh Sha'ban Salman, gives the population
of Lubya 3000 in March 1936  .
III. Families and Tribes
This section is based firstly on British documents
which classify the families, and the relations between
them and the authorities; secondly, the sources given
by Lubyans interviewed; and thirdly, Abu Isam's diary
concerning the origins of the families from the ninetieth
century until recently.
a. According to the British sources ,
based on a document (Lubya: 1943-1944) found in Hagana
Archives, there were six families and three Muchtars
who were officially appointed by the British authorities.
"1. Shahaybi, the original of the village inhabitants,
coming from Huran, Tal Shihab, arrived long ago
and settled in this land. They possessed 3/5 of
the land and property. Their financial situation
was moderate. They were numbered at 500, and their
leaders were Yihya Said and Fozi al-Ali.
2. al-Atwat: 500 people, their Muktar being Hassan
Abu Duyis (or more correctly Duhais ). Some
descended from the original inhabitants, others are
from Abood town, in the Ramallah area. They had 2
of the land. Their financial situation was good.
This clan consisted of the following families: a.
al-Hajajwi: 100, their Muchtar being Ahmad Suleman
and b. al-Shanashri, 300, their Muchtar being Haj
Commenting on this family, the sources tell that
there was no corruption among them. But there was
the possibility of violence in the village, because
one thought badly of the other  .
3. al-Ajaini: 200, Muchtar: Mahmoud Hussein
4. al-Asafri: 150, Muchtar: Youssef al-Musa
5. al-Za'atmi: 150, (correctly: al-Za'atri), Muchtar:
6. al-Fukara: 200, Muchtar: Gharib al-Mughawish
All the village were allied to Tabari family in
Following the British sources there were
three main Muchtars in Lubya in 1943-44:
1. Khalil al-Abid: From Atwat, an old Muchtar appointed
by the British government, and accepted by the inhabitants
of the village. He was leader of the local council, Majlis Mahalli ,
2. Hassan Abu Duhais: Appointed by the government,
a well-known personality. He was married to Said
Afandi's daughter from Tiberias. Through his marriage
he became influential in the Tiberias area. Accepted
by all the citizens and the government.
3. Yahya Said: From al-Shahaibi, appointed by the
government, with whom he had a normal relationship.
b. Lubyans themselves gave different
accounts in naming the tribes or clans. There follows
an overview of the different families in the village,
collected from Lubyans themselves:
1. al-Ajaini . Muchtar  :
Mahmoud Hussein. They came originally from Ajlon
in Jordan. The four brothers were Mulhim, Othman,
Rihayil and Subuh. Their name was still Samadi. They
are descendants of Hussein Bin Ali the fourth Kalifa
in Islam. Their grandfather was Nasir Bin Salem,
from Anjara 
- Almalahima: Hassan and Hussein Issa, Kalil Joodi.
- Alathamni: Younis Ali, Karroob Alzein, Suliman
- Ammouri: Fawwaz Muharib, Awad Yasin, Ali Ammouri
- Alhamzat: Ismael Hamza, Hamada Hussein, Kalil
and Yasin Ismael
-Ruhayil: Hussein Ali, Ahmad Amin Ali, Salim Muhammad
2. al-Shanashri . Muchtar: Kalil
- Rashdan; Ali Bash; Ahmad and Hassan Younis; Suleman
Atiya; Saleh Muhammad Taha (Gaith); Ahmad Kalid.
3. al-Samallot . Muchtar: Ibrahim
- Dirawi; Ali Alkalil (nickname Korkashi); Awad
Shabkon; Mufaddi Mahmoud; Rashrash Alshiri; Abdulla
Abu Alsheik (their grandfather is Azzam)
4. al-Atwat . Muchtar: Mohammad
Mustafa Yasin, sons: Kwatin, Kuftan, Ukla, Hijris
- Alasafri; Almanasra: Ata Mansour; Abid Alruhman;
5. al-Hajajwi 
- Alkafarni: Oda, Ali Alyasin, Abdirazak Dabbas,
Ibrahim Taha; Ibrahim Asi; Kayid; Karzon; Hadrous.
6. al-Shahaibi. Originally came
from Lebanon  .
- Kasim Sihabi, his sons were: Ali, Salih and Haidar;
Said Yahya, Ali Odwan, Fawaz Ali, Ali Hussein Mahmoud.
7. al-Fokara . Rifaiya and Kilaniya
- Grand father was Zeid Alrifai  ;
Ali Raja, Suliman Musleh, Ali Mohammad, Muhammad
Mahmoud, Ahmad Darwish, Mahmoud Hamodi, Mar'i Hamodi,
8. al-Awaidi . Muktar: Abdu Alaidi
- Kasim Alaidi, Ali Warda, Mohamad Abu alhumum,
9. al-Talalzi. Originally they
came from Nablus in the West-bank
- Zaid and Muhamad Albadir
10. al-Lababidi. They came originally
from Huran, Kufursoom
11. al-Galila : Originally from
12. al-Jamal . Originally from
Distribution of land between the inhabitants:
The village was geographically divided into four
equal plots of land:
1. al-Ajaini + al-Hajajwi
2. al-Atwat + al-Asafri
3. al-Samallote + al-Shahaibi
4. Al-Shanashri + al-Awaidi + al-Fokara
c. Abu Isam's diaries gives a
detailed picture of the origins of each hamula or
family, and its members and their different family
names which spread mainly from Lubya after a family
dispute, to be found in villages, towns and cities
in Palestine and nearby. He started with the history
of Shanshiri family to which he belongs. According
to his account, Shanshiri were the first inhabitants
of the village:
"There were two brothers who came from a village
named Kufur Allaban, in Toulkarim Area, from a family
named Aboudi. Those two brothers were Shinshir and Madi .
These were the first two people known to have settled
in Lubya. The sons of Shanshir lived in the eastern
part of the village while the sons of Madi lived
in the western part. A mosque was built between the
two families, by a member from Madi family. This
mosque  was
built on special Basalt pillars, in the same architectural
style as the white mosque in Nazareth and upper mosque
in Tiberias. This mosque stood until 1948. The village
multiplied during the years, and a dispute was occurred
between the two families; the Shanshiri family took
control of the village after they defeated Madi family.
Some of the Madi family were killed, and others emigrated
to neighbouring villages. So a few of them settled
in Safforia, in the Nazareth region, known as Dar
Abu Haite . From this family descended the Abbassi
and Touba families whom were big landowners in the
"An other part of the Madi family settled in Al-Mijaidil village,
and were known by the family name of Lubani (in relation
to Lubya  ).
They were land owners and of good standing in the
village.  Others
from the Madi family lived in Ja'oni village,
and is today named Roshbina . The family
named al-Amayri , left fro Lebanon and Syrian.
Also part of the family left to Beit Fourik ,
east of Nablus, and from them has descended the family
with the name Jabir . A few of them lived
in Nablus. Also there were some who settled in Hamama village
near Jerusalem, their family being al-Hardanin .
Others settled in Ijzim in the Haifa region, and
retain the name of Madi. Others also settled in Tantoura, a
village on the coast near Kisaria and Itlit .
They were intelligent and well educated  ,
and renowned for their generosity. All left for Lebanon".
"In the past it was difficult to be in contact with
all these people from different villages, but later
on, after roads were improved, the original close
relationships were re-established; now the members
meet together as one family, although they are dispersed
all over the country".
Following Abu Isam:
"During the Ottoman period aal Yasin  and
aal-Hamzat (from al-Ajaini) emigrated to Tiberias
and Jordan; Sharif Mansour and his sons Muhammad
and Ahmad emigrated to Haifa, where they were known
as big traders. Muhammad Sharif was very well known
as a property owner, and had a good standing among
the merchants. His sons, Adib and Hassan, studied
at the Arabic University in Beirut where they received
good degrees, but they refrain from teaching and
continued their jobs with their father."
"Lubya was renowned for its generosity, especially
because of its fortunate location between different
places and capitals, and travellers were accustomed
to sleep, eat, and feed their animals freely, without
any thing in return. Attached to every family there
was a guest house (Arabic: Manzool ). Here
traders would sleep and eat. Thus Lubya was known
for its hospitality, and foreigners were always to
be seen in the village. Lubya was a rich land with
fertile fields, and many domestic animals such as
sheep and cows which contributed to the prosperity
of the village. Lubyans were renowned for always
being ready to help others when asked."
"They were brave and defend themselves when others
attacked them. An example is found in the story of
Subeih tribe who tried to steal from Lubya as they
did from other villages. Many battles took place
between Lubya and Subeih tribe, until one day when
Subeih launched a big attack on Lubya. The Lubyans
were ready the night before, and arranged the fight
that took place on a field called Ra'as al-Zaytoon.
When the Subeih drew near, the Lubyans opened fire,
and later on the battle changed to face to face combat,
with swords and spears. The Subeih suffered causalities
and returned to their tribe defeated. From that time
on, the Subeih were dispersed  ."
"There was also dispute with the Druze, near Makam
Shu'aab in Hittin.
The Lubyans fought against all the attacks with
success. They remained in control of Lubya while
all the villages and cities : Al-Kuds, Yafa, Haifa,
Akka, Bisan, Safad, Nazareth were defeated or capitulated.
Lubyans left their village, full of all its prosperity
and richness, to the Jews, after fighting to the
end. They dispersed to Lebanon and Syria in 1948."
IV. Education in Lubya
a. The school:
According to information documented by the British
authorities in the years 1942-1943, the school was
a governmental institution, with about 135 students
The teachers recorded by the British are different
than those remembered by Lubyans. The reason for
this is that Lubyans remember teachers who taught
earlier. According to the British documents, the
teachers were: Nasri Nakhla (the director), from
Nazareth; Mohammad Ali Fahoom, from Nazareth; Hassan
al-Haj, from Safad; Muhammad Abd Al-Kadir, from Raini.
According to this document all the teachers were
employed by the state, and one third of Lubyans were
There was one radio, in Abu Duhais' house. The newspapers  read
by the people were Palestine and al- Difa'a (it
was not mentioned in the list in the above footnote).
There was one tractor in the village also owned by
Abu Duhais, which he rented out. In the village there
was one carpenter, Awad Muhammad, and one master
builder, Mansoor Bakkar.
The first school was established in the year 1315 Higri, (
1896  ),
during the Ottoman period. The building was financed
by the villagers themselves. This school continued
to function under the British Mandate. The Inspector
at the beginning of the forties was Mr. Booman. The
Director was Sami al- Kouri, who was succeeded by
Nasri Nakhla, both from Nazareth. The teachers, as
Lubyans remember them were:
Abdulla-Gaza, Alkartabil from Tiberias; Muhammed
Abd-Alkadir from Tiberias; Abdil-Ruhman Hajo from
Lubya; Muhammed Johar from Lubya; Najib al-Kadra
from Safad; Mohammad al-Sifrini from Sifrin (West
Bank); Mustafa al-Anabtawi from Anabta (teacher of
There was also a one room school, headed by Sheik
Ali Shihabi, who, for a period of two years, taught
the Arabic alphabet and the Koran. about sixty pupils
attended. It was considered as a preparatory school
which normally took five years to finish  .
The subjects studied were religion, geography, history,
arithmetic, Arabic, English (from the fourth class),
drawing and sport. There were twenty students in
After the fifth class, one could continue education
in Tiberias. There were very few children from Lubya
who were able to do this. Further education depended
on the economic situation of the family. In the forties,
Horan Abid al-Ruhman sold a plot of his land and
part of his cattle to pay for his son's education
in Beirut. The son Abdil al-Ruhman returned after
two years because of shortage of money  .
b. The Educational Club
On 29.7.41 a letter in Arabic was sent from Lubya
to the councillor of Tiberias and to the assistant
commissioner, demanding the establishment of an Educational
Club. Six articles were written to clarify the aims
and laws of the club. There was also to be a connection
between the Club and the British Council Institute
On 5.12.1941 a group of people from Lubya (30 members)  signed
another application, including 20 articles signed
by other committee members, asking the British authorities
to answer their demand to establish the Educational
Club in the village:
the name of society: Lubya Educational Club ;
The address: Lubya village - Tiberias.
Aim of society: to encourage education, agriculture,
trade and development.
The letter was addressed to Tiberias District Commissioner,
asking permission to establish the Club according
to article 6 of the Ottoman law for forming societies.
The rules for the club were  :
The letter was signed by Chairman Secretary Najib
Anabtawi and secretary Fozi M. Shihabi.
On 2.1.41, the divisional police headquarters in
Tiberias answered the assistant district Commissioner
concerning the establishment of the society in the
"I am not very much in favour of the formation of
such a club in Lubya village. The responsible persons
are not altogether trustworthy and are reported to
be inclined towards agitation."
Finally on the 24th of January 1942, the chairman
of the "Lubya Educational Club" received the acknowledgement
of the society from D. Headly, District Commissioner,
Galilee District, after amending article one that
should read "20 years of age in lieu of 18 years".
Letters were addressed to the agricultural office
in Tiberias demanding permission for different kinds
of trees, both olive and apple trees, (Cinchona and
V. Economy and Agriculture
a. Cultivation and Harvesting: the village
as a common social network
The British document in the Hagana Museum, covering
the years 1943-1944, entitled Lubya, Tiberias
Region , holds detailed information about the
different aspects of Lubyan life.
"In Lubya the houses are of stone. The roofs are
made of wood or cement. Cactus trees form the walls
of the village. There are two valleys al-A'laka and
In Lubya there are 1800 sheep, 400 cows, 100 horses,
80 donkeys, 40 camels, 3000 chickens".
According to the British document, the area of the
village was 22,000 dunums, of which almost 5000 were
unproductive (Other British sources gives the area
as 39,629 dunums, might include the different kinds
of fields- rocky, cultivable,... etc.). One half
of the rest was flat, the other half rocky. Each
family had between 100 and 150 dunums. There were
50 families without land. Those families lived from
casual work, planting, breeding cattle and as merchants.
Later on, 200 extra dunums of land were cultivated.
There were 100 dunums Wakf, (religious property),
registered for 65 Palestinian pounds under the name
of the mosque. There is no official appointed for
Olive trees in Lubya produced about 600 pots or Jarra (
containers made of earth, used for domestic purposes)
of oil; Figs, about 10 Kuntar (one kuntar
is about 330 kg); Grapes, about 10 kuntars. There
were four different fruit trees which produced in
all about 15 Kuntars.
The villagers worked mainly as farmers. The population
was given as 2400, men between 18 to 48 years old
The economy of the village was largely based on
agriculture. "In 1944/45 a total of 31,026 dunums
was allocated to cereals; 1,655 dunums were irrigated
or used for orchards"  ,
while 1520 dunums were planted with trees  .
The people lived mainly from the product of their
fields. But when there was extra produce, it would
be sold in Tiberias or exchanged for other products.
The currency was the Palestinian pound (in Arabic: al-Jinaih
Harvest time remembered by Lubyans :
Usually, all men, women and children participated
in the harvest. But every one had his or her own
role. Normally, the men were responsible for cutting
the grain, which was mainly barely and wheat, with
scythes; then the women collected and transported
it to the threshing floor. Saadiya Younis, 67 years
old, remembers the harvest days:
"We used to collect the cut grains in a place called Hilli ,
a gathering place for sheaves. We made many Hillis
depending on the size of Maris al-Ard ,
or field. Then a man from the family came with a
camel to transport the sheaves to the threshing floor"  .
Sa'diya describes the different ways of collecting
the harvest: "In April we began picking by hand,
beans, lentil, ervil and lentil vetch. Then we sent
it to be threshed, after being dried. In May we started
our usual gathering of wheat and barley". Her husband
Youssef M. interrupts to mention a remembered phrase
confirming the beginning of the harvest " Fi
Khamistash Ayyar Ihmil Minjalak wa Ghar , on
the 15th of May carry your scythe and start to work".
Normally one mule, cow or horse with a threshing
sledge was used to thresh the grains. Which animals
were used depended on the financial situation of
the family as Youssef Issa comments:
"Children were mainly used to drive the animal.
After we separated the grains from the straw, with
the wooden pitchfork, we collected the grain and
the straw into different sacks. Our family used to
make from 15 to 20 Kail , one kail being
about 60 kilograms. We stored the grain in clay bins,
for the whole year. The rest we would sell. The extra
straw, we sold as animal fodder  ".
To the question, how a normal day started for the
farmer, he said: "Early in the morning the work started.
I used to pray first, then we prepared the donkeys
and horses and started our journey to our fields.
It took us one hour or a little more to arrive at Mawarisna, our
plots of land. Normally there were five to six people
from our family. A few people who had no children
hired a Muzari' , or a cropper. He would
be paid five Palestinian kroush (one pound
= 100 kirsh) . We started our harvest with
beans, lenticel and lentil vetch, kirsanni ,
which dried early. If we didn't harvest the kirsanni
in time it would fall to the ground. After we completed
the harvest, we gathered the sheaves, which took
four days, and then camels transported the harvest
to the threshing floor in Lubya. Families who had
not enough men used to hire boys to work as thresher.
The boys would work from eleven until four. We used
to give a boy one Kail , about 60 kilograms,
for threshing the whole Baidar, or threshing
floor. It took about twenty days to finish the beans
and lentils. Then we started collecting
the wheat. All during May month we would harvest
the wheat. In June and August we threshed this harvest.
We used to say: In Fatak `Ab wa ma tharrait,
Ka'innak bilhawa ingharrait : or, if you do
not thresh in August, it is like falling in love
with air. At the end of August we started to collect
durra. After the durra we collected the Miktha (water
melon), okra, tomatos and Zucchini. We practiced
the art of planting Miktha without water".
b. Oil and Grain Mills
Youssef Issa continued:
"At the end of September the olive season began.
Normally we didn't have enough oil, so we used to
buy what we needed from Ailaboon and Rami. There
were two mills in Lubya to extract the oil: one was
owned by Hassan Abu Dhais and the other by Qwatiin.
They used to halter a horse to the main stone, and
it circled the stone. Normally the owners of the
mill took one carafe of oil for every twelve carafes.
Al-Sharkasi, his name is Said al-Shami, originally
from Kufurkama (his brother was officer in the British
boarder army), owned a mill for the grains. For every Kail ,
he took two or three kirsh, or he took Rub'iyyi (a
pot used by villagers to weigh the amount of grains);
this means that one quarter of the Saa', one Saa'=
5kg. (The mill stone can still be seen though the
mill was demolished in 1948)".
There were three levels of income in the village
according to Youssef Issa:
"Those who lived well with a good income; those
in the middle, and those who were poor; which means
that they had no land to plant and no permanent job.
The man who had no land used to work on the others'
land. His salary was four Kail , while
his wife received 1_. This meant that a couple could
earn 5_ Kail, or about 75 kilogram of flour. This
was enough to cover the family needs for the whole
year. Many transient workers came from Julise, Kufur
Yassif and al-Bi'ni with their camels to work transporting
the sheaves. For every twelve Kails  transported,
they received one. In the late thirties two hamoulas ,
about twelve families from Lubya, from al-Asafra
and Samallote bought a tractor. They used it for
their own benefit as well as for that of others,
who could hire it at the usual rate, for every 12 kail  they
In winter, the people prepared for the spring by
sowing and planting. Sa'diyya Younis remembered a
proverb about the necessity for being ready to work
in December, called al-ajrad : Illi
Ma Bishid Bilijrad, `Ind al-Salayib Bihrad ;
if one does not work hard in December, then one is
sorry when harvest comes.
The braziers, which correspond to stoves of today,
were made by women from clay and water. They were
dried in the sun. The women used a kind of soil called Hizria to
make jars, vessels and vats. "When I was child I
remember that we did not have a Primus ,
or kerosine cooker. We used to cook and to warm ourselves
by the brazier. We used to collect wood from Ailaboun
and al-Maghar, nearby villages. The Brimus was
used in Lubya only later, just before our expulsion
in 48", said Saadiya  .
To sum up, a kind of social solidarity prevailed
in the village. Those who didn't own land or other
means of production had the possibility of living
decently. People helped one another. The shepherd,
barber, merchant, teacher, and Imam of the mosque
- every villager was connected socially and by interest
to the other.
c. Employment in the British Administration
An overview of the list of 49 men employed by the
British (4 teachers, 24 policemen, 16 guardians,
4 railway guardians) gives a precise picture of the
income of the villagers, through the different sectors
of the society.
There was four families who immigrated to Tiberias
and worked in trade.
Every Hamula (big family) had a Madafi (gathering
house to meet guests or hold family meetings) financed
by the whole family. Later they had Diwan (another
name for a Madafi, which was bigger).
The British documents stated that Lubyans had no
relations with Jews, while Lubyans themselves tell
the opposite. One of the interviewed, Youssef I.
said: "We used to invite our neighbours the Jews
for a cup of coffee when we worked near one another.
We used to greet one another, and trade between us
was good. Even in the worst conditions they used
to send delegations to our Muchtars asking for the
continuation of the good relations between Lubya
and the nearby settlements ".
There was one mosque in the village. The Imam was
Sheikh Saleh Yihya. It is worthy noting one comment
on the villagers' relation to the British authorities
as mentioned in the document entitled: Lubya(1943-1944
): "The relationship between the villagers and the
government was normal. There were no Mukhbirin (spies)
for the government among the villagers. There was
no debt on the village, and there were no smugglers".
VI. The Land Question 
"When we occupy the land we shall bring immediate
benefits to the state that receives us. We
must expropriate gently the private property on the
estates assigned to us ..We shall
try to spirit the penniless population across the
border by procuring employment for it in
the transit countries. While denying it any employment
in our own country...The property owners will come
over to our side. Both the process of expropriation
and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly
and circumspectly ...Let the owners of immovable
property believe that they are cheating us, selling
us something far more than they are worth...But we
are not going to sell them any thing back"  .
Theodore Herzl, 12 June 1895
"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab
villages. You do not even know the names of these
Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography
books no longer exist. Not only do the books not
exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal
arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the
place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis;
and Kefar Yehushu'a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There
is not one single place built in this country that
did not have a former Arab population". 
Moshe Dayan, 4 April 1969
a. Land Registration
At the end of nineteenth century different Jewish
organisations began buying plots of land in Lubya
and other areas of Galilee  .
At that time, the long-term policy of those Jewish
organisations was unclear to the farmers. Most of
the land sold by Lubyans was negotiated between Abdul
Ghani Beidun, a Lebanese, and Jewish organisations.
The first transaction took place in 1880. A few shares
were sold to Ziki Effendi Beydoun, who sold them
later by auction to Abdul Ghani Beydoun, and then
to the representative of the Jewish/Israeli Colonisation
Association (PICA) Nathan Narcis Leven.
Another transaction took place on February 1888,
between Mustafa el Ali and Abdul Ghani Beydoun. The
former mortgaged the properties registered in his
name as per kushans no. 113-112. This was the first
written proof that land sales took place at the end
of the nineteenth century concerning the sales which
will be shown clearly through the following British
documents in this chapter.
Lubyans borrowed money from Abdul Ghani Beydoun
in return for mortgaging their land. There was an
agricultural bank in Samack through which such transactions
took place. Youssef Ka'war was remembered as the
man who used to lend Lubyans money in return for
mortgaging their land  .
Beydoun, Sursuk and other rich families were known
to own large areas in Palestine. Land owners had
good relations with the Ottoman regime in Lebanon,
Egypt, Syria and Palestine, and they owned banks
in different central towns, through which they arranged
b. The Ottoman and British Land Laws:
In 1848 the Ottoman authorities issued a decree
entitled "the Ottoman land laws", through which they
tried to create a strong central government. Another
reason for these laws was to increase income. The
old system of land distribution had to be replaced
by a new one which would encourage improvement in
cultivation, and thus could increase tax income.
The official personal registration of the plots of
land, the tabu system, was meant as a step
forward for every farmer, to improve the quality
of his own land. But these laws were not implemented
until the year 1871. It can be seen, through the
statistics of land registrations 1871-1914, that
no more than a quarter of Palestine land was registered.
The reasons for this failure was :
- Many peasants found it expensive to pay registration
- Fear of being conscripted. The best way for
authorities to conscript men was to pick up the
required names from the land registration lists.
- Few families chose one man to register whole
plots of land under his name. This was a mean
of protecting themselves, but opened the way for
family disputes later on, when they started to
distribute the land between themselves.
- Some registered their plots as Wakf ,
controlled by religious authorities, so as to
evade paying taxes.
- Farmers who dared to register their land had
to borrow money from the banks in exchange for
mortgaging their shares in the land. The interest
rate was 40-50%  .
- Thus the Muchtars and the family leaders were
the main winners of this system, being unafraid
The Ottoman tax collectors registered the fees for
the land and the field's product in official archives
named Weirko , for which one tenth of the
product had to be paid. When the farmer could not
pay the tax, the mortgaged land remained the only
way to pay the debt. The borders between Lebanon,
Syria and Palestine were at that time open; they
were newly shaped only in modern times under the
Saykes-Picot agreement, during World War 1, by which
Lebanon and Syria came under French mandate while,
Palestine, Jordan and Iraq were under British mandate.
British Land Laws:
The occupation of Egypt by the British army in 1882
was a vital date in Palestinian history: it marked
the beginning of the settlement of Zionists in Palestine,
and opened the way for the common interests of both
the British and the Zionists that was concluded formally
in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
At the beginning of the mandate period, in the twenties,
the British mandate authorities introduced special
land laws that facilitated the purchase of land from
Absentee Landlords by the Jewish Organisations, i.e.
from those who lived outside mandatory Palestine
in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. These laws were impossible
to be accepted by the Ottoman authorities. The majority
of the land purchased actually took place during
the mandate period, between 1920-1948. The official
British archive papers give 1923 as the year the
first demands and petitions concerning Lubya's land
were presented. A survey committee was established
to register the land according to the new Land laws,
depending naturally on the old Ottoman kushans as
well as the results of new surveys.
The farmers were poor after the war, and the possibility
of employment was limited to working for the different
British brigades and institutions as clerks, policemen,
guards, border police...etc. But up to 1945, the
number of villagers employed was limited to 27 (including
5 teachers) out of 400 young men in the village. 
c. Jewish/Israeli Colonisation Association
and Keren Kayemet Leisrael
(JCA/ICA and KKL) Purchase of Land in Lubya
Originally, the Israeli or Jewish Colonisation Association,
ICA or JCA (along with the Jewish National Fund-Keren
Kayemet Leisrael-KKL-) was among the most influential
and effective in buying land from Palestinians. The
documents of Land Registration show this. Later on
the name became the Palestine Jewish Colonisation
Association. It was founded as a private organisation
by Baron Moritz Hirsch in 1891, and registered as
a shareholding company under British law. Its founding
capital was two million Pound Sterling. ICA was led
by an administrative council representing the shareholders
and co-operative personalities.
The executive headquarters were located in Paris.
After World War 1, a separate shareholding company
PICA was founded for the purpose of managing the
Palestinian possessions (land and funds) of ICA.
These shares in Palestine consisted mainly of the
Jewish colonies which were founded, financed, supported,
and developed by Baron Rothschild.
PICA was conducted along the same principles, and
the structure was practically the same, the only
exception being that the influence of the Paris house
of the Rothschilds was considerably greater.
Shabati Levi, a land purchasing agent of the organisation,
wrote in his memories the following instructions
he had from Baron Edmund de Rothschild, the French
financier and patron of the early Zionist colonies:
"He advised me to carry on in similar activities,
but it is better, he said, not to transfer the Arabs
to Syria and Transjordan, as these are part of the
Land of Israel, but to Mesopotamia (Iraq). He added
that in these cases he would be ready to send Arabs,
at his expense, new agricultural machines, and agricultural
advisers"  .
For more detailed information concerning the concept
of transfer (the organised removal of the indigenous
population of Palestine to neighbouring countries)
could be traced in the literature of the founding
fathers of Israel, Theodore Hertzl, noted at the
beginning of this chapter: "We must expropriate gently
the private property on the estates assigned to us.
We shall try to spirit the penniless population across
the border by procuring employment for it in the
transit countries.... Both the process of expropriation
and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly
and circumspectly... 
Statements as those above can be found in many letters,
from the beginning of the century up to 1948, written
by Chaim Weizmann, Ben Gurion, Moshe Smilansky (a
Zionist writer and labour leader who immigrated to
Palestine in 1890), Jabotinsky  and
other leading Zionist personalities. The above citation
clarifies the background ideology that drove Jewish
organisation to buy land in Lubya and nearby areas
at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of
d.1902: Baron Rothschild and Lubya
In Benzion Mikhaili's book Sajara, its history and
people , we read in a section about Lubya, "In 1902
Baron Rothschild bought part of the land of Lubya".
The Lubyans "refused to deliver the land to its new
owners in spite of receiving the total price of the
land"  .
Actually this was one of the first confrontations
between the two communities in Lubya and al-Sajara.
One of the main reasons for dissent, as will be shown
later, is that the sale deal took place between Beydoun
and the JCA without informing Lubyans.
PICA had its central offices in Haifa, and like
ICA, the principle of secrecy of its transactions
(mentioned in Theodore Hertzl's citation above) was
paramount and binding. Although formally public shareholding
companies, ICA and PICA affairs were conducted very "privately" and "without
any responsibility vis-a-vis the public"  .
The public was given no information and no reports
were issued. From time to time some private information
was leaked to "interested individuals", but only
strictly in accordance with general secrecy directives,
and only when the management considered it useful
to bring some detail concerning land transactions
or colonial activities to light. Other Jewish colonisation
organisations have since regretted that they were
unable to share the rich experience of ICA/PICA and
to learn from its successes and failures,- due to
the great secrecy in which all ICA/PICA activities
In Lubya there were several different kinds of land:
mulk , that owned by an individual;
miri , which was originally owned by the
state but later was distributed to the families as
Utul , uncultivated land which could be
used for pasture. (Later, Lubyans began to use these
areas for plantation and cultivation). Under the
mandate period, the Utul plots of land, were registered
in the name of the British Commissioner, called in
Arabic al-Mandoub al-Sami.
Agricultural land was divided into two parts: one
for summer the other for winter. Each year the crops
were rotated. The whole area for cultivation was
33,965 dunums, of which the Jews owned 8%( this ratio
has to be verified on the light of newly found documents)
as shown in the following diagram:
Land ownership in 19445
8% of total
1596; Ottoman archives
1886; according to Scomachar list
1922; British Statistics
1931; British Statistics
1944/45; British Statistics
Number of houses (1931)
The patriarchal system, which dominated the social
and cultural structure, was based mainly on family
patterns of life, with Islam as a collective dominant
factor. It played a fundamental role for the continuation
of the solidarity and the sense of responsibility
among Lubyans. Religion functioned as a main frame
that underlies the general pattern of the social
life in the village through all its history - Lubya
was known as the birth place of the famous Muslim
scholar and "Mufti" of the fifteenth century, Abu
Bakr al-Lubyani. This collective consciousness and
unity was displayed, in the modern era, in the common
defence of Lubyans against both British and Zionist
The 1936 "revolution", in Palestinian terminology,
and "disturbances" in British terminology, underlined
the national awareness in the consciousness of the
villagers, manifested through their direct involvement
in the resistance that was initiated under the leadership
of a religious preacher, Iz al-din al-Kassam. The
British mentioned the village as followers of al-Majalis
(in relation to Haj Amin al-Huseini); but in reality,
the main force of young people were followers of
the military branch (Iz al-Din al-Kassam). Those
interviewed state that Haj Amin al-Husseini refused
an invitation to enter the village, while he was
on his way to Tiberias, as a sign of his dissatisfaction
with the village leadership. Up to 1948, the tribal,
family and local identity were the main pattern that
prevailed among Lubyans, while the national identity
was strengthened only when outside powers threatened
the village's existence.
Despite the tribal divisions mentioned in the British
documents, the cultural identity and the affiliation
of Lubyans towards their social system was the main
feature of the village. (An order from the revolutionary
committee to shoot a villager was turned down by
the man who was supposed to execute the order. The
killing of the Muchtar's son could provoke serious
split in the village  ).
The family disputes were temporary, while the interest
of all the village come forward as a priority in
case of a foreign threat.
In exile, after 1948 expulsion, Lubyans continued
to establish different societies and clubs to deal
with urgent and tragic problems among them  .
The former identity of Lubyans continued until the
beginning of 1968  when
the national identity, under the leadership of the
Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) came to dominate,
and the patriarchal identity was weakened, but not
obliterated. Hundreds of Lubyans joined the revolution
as a demonstration of this united identity. After
the evacuation of the PLO forces from Lebanon in
1983, a new wave of emigration started, especially
following the Sabra and Shatila massacres. The religious
identity substituted for the national inside the
refugee camps in the Arabic countries and abroad.
Mosques and religious clubs have been established
in all the communities where Palestinian refugees
are living: Germany, Denmark, Sweden etc.
The failure of the national movement, and the new
wave of immigration after the massacres of Za'tar
and Sabra and Shatila in 1982, drove the majority
of the young people to seek asylum - not only physically,
through migration, but culturally, in religion. Religion,
mainly Islam, gave the young generation,
as they claim, new hope to counter their frustration
and fear. Religion could prevent despair and nourish
their collective identity, especially in countries
such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany, where a common
cultural ground is almost totally absent. Their interviews
reflect different nuances of their dormant but newly
arising identification. The question is to what extent
has religion influenced their cultural and social
identity, especially in the last decade? Has this
tendency any correlation to their background and
Concerning the peace process, the majority of those
interviewed abroad, 81%, were not satisfied with
the DOP, "Declaration of Principles", signed between
the PLO and Israel in 1993. On the other hand, the
majority of Lubyans inside Israel, 75%, were more
positive towards the hope of establishing a Palestinian
state and the rights of refugees to return. Concerning
the right of return to Lubya and the rejection of
compensation, there was almost a unanimous agreement,
97%, among Lubyans from the three generations, inside
and outside Palestine. Those who were optimistic
towards the peace process expected positive results
as the outcome of the negotiations in the Committee
of Refugees  .
The pessimistic atmosphere is more prevailing among
the elderly generation than the young. The hope for
the return to their homeland in Lubya has diminished
dramatically in the last few years  .
This is one of the main reasons that religious preachers
substitute revolutionary leaders in their influence
among the refugees. They are more free to address
the basic demands of the refugees, concerning mainly
the question of "the right to return". Theoretically,
the religious preachers are resurrecting the hopes
of the distressed and disillusioned refugees. This
phenomenon opens the way to a more problematic issue
Therefore this research, with all its implications,
is a necessary piece of the mosaic - both nationally
and internationally - to Palestinians, Israelis and
International organisations, in order to face radically
the problems of the refugees, and to establish a
comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East,
built on international decisions of the UN, and all
the relevant decisions to the Palestinian issues.
In 1948 recognition of Israel was approved as a member
in the UN in condition of accepting all the decisions
of the UN concerning the Palestinian question, including
the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to
their homes and lands  .
Consequently, and according to international law
and UN decisions, the contract of sale approved among
two official Jewish organisations - based on the
Law of Absentees of 1950 - did not legally deprive
Lubyans and their descendants from the right to their
properties, even if they left under war conditions.
The list of the people whose land was confiscated
(240 people, see Appendix 1) is a documentary witness
to the rights of those concerned. There were a few
people (not exceeding 10 according to the interviewers
claim) who sold a few plots of their land, either
through mortgaging, as we have seen in the chapter
of "the land question", or directly, to Jewish Organisations.
Stein confirmed in his book The Land Question in
Palestine 1917-1939 that 2 million dunums out of
26.3 million dunums, the estimated area of Palestine,
were bought by Jewish organisations, up to 1948.
All different sources put the percent of sale since
the beginning of the buying process at the end of
19th century until 1948 to approx. 6.3%)  .
The Jewish account of the events of Lubya; The
interviews of two earlier Hagana veterans, who were
involved in occupying Lubya, and the account of the
main leaders of the attacking group were registered
in detail. It shows clearly that the Lubyans fought
with all their poor weapons  against
a well equipped army, supported by aeroplanes, canons,
and armoured vehicles. The assessment of the leader
of the attack, Jacov Dror, demonstrated that Lubyans
themselves, without the support of the Arab army
and before the arrival of help from other villages
(Arabic: al-Faz'a ) had succeeded in turning
back the main Jewish attack on the village. According
to the Israeli military assessment, Lubya was the
first place in the whole land where the Jewish army
was repulsed. Only in the third attempt, and after
the occupation of the main surrounding cities, Tiberias
and Nazareth, was Lubya conquered, after three consecutive
days of shelling in 18 - 21.7.1948. The main official
story in " the History of the War of Independence " 84
reads: "Lubya fell without fighting, and the road
to Tiberias was open to us".
Lubya's struggle to defend its existence is yet
more evidence that contradicts the official Israeli
story that Palestinians left their homes, following
orders from Arab leaders. (All the research done
about this period could not find, until now, any
concrete proof of such claims).
The possibility of a common life between Palestinians
and original Jews of Palestine before 1948 was demonstrated
through the interviews of both groups; Jews and Palestinians.
But the documents showed that the central administration
of the Jewish Agency had worked hard to implement
their ideas of conquering Palestine by the policies
of buying as much land as possible. In 1917, the
Balfour Declaration was instituted as a result of
this policy, implemented in the contradictory decision
of the Mandate declaration: namely the establishment
of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, without
affecting the rights of the indigenous people.
However, the remembrance of these battles and the
commemoration of the incidents has acted not only
as an historical registration of events, but as an
act of education, both for Palestinians and Israelis.
The main step to advance a permanent peaceful solution,
among other principles, is that real reconciliation
must be built on the recognition of events as it
happened and not as ideologists and politicians interpreted
them. Therefore I registered, as much as I could,
the facts that took place around this village until
its final demolition.
Presently, and after The Oslo Declaration, a conference
took place between Palestinians living in Israel,
named as the Arabs of Israel, to ask for the right
of the refugees inside Israel to their own properties.
As holders of Israeli citizenship, they are trying
to achieve their goals through juridical means. (One
from Lubya was an elected member of this committee  ).
Integration, assimilation or more alienation:
The majority of Lubyans from Lebanon have immigrated
to Europe in the last ten years. There are about
1500 living mainly in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
After their arrival in foreign countries, the main
question that worries those is an identity and cultural
problem. The official policies, if any, have fallen
short of achieving its declared goals in integration.
Following the interviewers' accounts the following
points play the corner stones in the lives and worries
of Lubyans and other Palestinian refugees:
- The political and cultural vacuum the refugees
are living in after their movement from an active
revolutionary society. This vacuum is filled
with the religious discourse, which produced the
Islamist phenomenon instead of the nationalistic
atmosphere that was dominant in the sixties, seventies
- The little knowledge the Danish authorities,
and mainly the teachers, knew about the roots
of the original problems of the Palestinian refugees
caused a clear frustration to the young generation.
Teaching history of Palestine in a more objective
manner, and involving Palestinian students in
writing their own history, or at least hearing
their version of Palestine history, would play
a fundamental role in creating social and psychological
stability in their characters.
- The lack of collective traditional, national
and cultural activities among the refugees is strengthening
the solitary tendency at the expense of involvement
in European social activities. Only students have
the real possibility of breaking the ice of integration,
through language and direct contact, while the
older and middle generation had no real chances
as the young. The only horizon for the old is to
consolidate their internal social patterns. It
may be true that the internal inclination among
refugees to gather and live near each other looks
as contradictory to the policies of integration
in the European culture, but it is a necessary
step to fill in the gap between different generations
on the one hand, and between them and "the other", the Europeans, on the other
hand. Disintegrated families and weak personalities
can not contribute positively in the integration
process. The few tragic episodes that implicate refugees
in Denmark show that the weakness in the internal
social life (of the family or the refugee's community)
produces feebleness that results in violence towards "the
others". The study I have conducted of the 3 tragic
episodes, which took place last year, showed that
there is a deep rift in the internal family relations
of those involved in killing.
- The sacred frame implied in the traditional
pattern of the family is diminishing drastically,
especially among the young. The struggle between
the young and their parents, under the liberal
laws in Europe, pushes many refugee parents to
be more inclined to conservative style of life,
e.g. religion, as a protection for the self and
against an unknown culture ; while the young are
struggling to consolidate their own characters
and personal identities. The young women are more
inclined to follow their parents' model, except
in a very few cases (numbers: 4) where Danish social
authorities gave protection to fleeing girls; while
the young men are splitting between the two modes
of life: the majority, 82%, are following the religious
practice and discourse, while a few, 3%, are immersed
in the "liberal" life of the European
cities. (150 people, both male and female, have been
questioned about their religious beliefs and practices).
In Århus community in Denmark, 0.7% out of
2000 Palestinians had shown signs and tendencies
- The decision by the Lebanese authorities in
1995, to prevent any Palestinian holding the Lebanese
refugee document to come back to Lebanon without
official visa has a very negative impact on the
whole group of Palestinian refugees. The prevention
to return to their original land Palestine, and
the later decisions of the Lebanese authorities,
and the lack of any social or political structure
to deal with their daily problems in exile, create
among the refugees a state of scepticism and instability.
The compliments the refugees hail on the host countries
conceal their despair and frustration towards the
authorities who close the doors to their personal
and collective rights. Insecurity and depression
have been the pattern that dominate the Palestinian
community in exile. (The following percentage give
a general idea of unemployment among the Palestinian
refugees in Denmark, Germany and Sweden. There
are 0.6% of people who work. There are app. 10.000
Palestinian refugees in Denmark. This percentage
has changed since the Danish municipalities began
to oblige refugees for temporary jobs at the end
of 1996. In a small district of Copenhagen, Mjølner parken ,
40-50% are now in temporary work..(These numbers
are changing now under the new communal laws of
activating the refugees, adopted in 1997, in which
work becomes an obligatory factor. In Germany the
employment among the Palestinian refugees is 60%
(there are app. 40,000 in Germany, 18-20,000 are
living in Berlin). In Sweden, in a city as Landskrona, the
ratio of employment among Palestinian refugees
had been 80% before 1992, but now it comes to 20%.) 
The possibility to research more in the same subject
is still needed, especially since a lot of topics
such as the central concepts of cultural identity
and integration need more time to investigate. The
issues of the Palestinian refugees was and still
is one of the main sources of unrest in the Middle
East; without seriously addressing it, the circle
of violence will continue moving in the horizon,
not only in the Middle East, but also in the whole
region, and especially in Europe.
Swedenburg in Memoires of Revolt, the 1936-1939 Rebillion
and the Palestinian National Past , p.27; quoting
Gramsci (1971: 324, 423; 1985:189)
Said, Edward Orientalism, 1978, pp.6-7
Vansina, Oral Tradition as History , 1985, p. xi
Ted quoting Alistair Thomson, P.5
Hebrew document from the Central Zionist Archives.
from a documentary film in Danish Television DR,
broadcasted on 31.3.95, "The Grand Fathers Land".
of the donors is Hans Riesenfield from Zimbabwe.
book: Hahatishvot BiGalil Hatahton , (Settlement
in Lower Galilee), pp. 105-107; 572-575
of Palestine Studies, V.XXV1, 104, 1997, p.60.
 UNRWA is discussing the issue of opening a
school for the 71 children who are living in the
camp at the borders. President Kaddafi justify the
deportation of Palestinians to prove that Oslo declaration
between PLO and Israel was a complete failure. Wednesday,
15 January 1997, al-Hayat newspaper no.
12376 published an announcement for the Palestinians,
who were expelled to the borders with Egypt, to return
to Libya. There were almost 1000 persons at the borders.
this point see Part I, Chapter VII: The Land Question.
Samih visited the debris of his village Lubya with
a journalist from al-Haq magazine, issued in Um-Elfahem.
He showed the journalist the places he fought in
whole collection of pictures, original recorded tapes,
video films, pictures, DR documentary film About
Lubya, and other relevant materials would be available
at Carsten Niebuhr Institute (CNI) for any one who
is interested in this field of research. An exhibition
for all findings About Lubya is to be drafted.
Al-Falastinia : Volume II, p. 408
p. 511 cited from Ibn Al-Athir: Alkamil , vol.II,
detailed information About Abu Isam and the papers
he left will be discussed in details; plus interviews
with his family.
, p. 834, quoting Al-Bidairi: T he daily incidents
of Damascus, pp. 42-47
see also Khalidi's reference to (Abu Dayya, 1986:19).
Omar Hamada; A'lam Filastin , Part I, Dar Kutaiba,
1985, pp 162-3.
Basha Al-Jazzar was known in history as the man who
fought against Napoleon, preventing him to take over
al-Falastinia , Four Volumes, Fourth Volume, pp.
54- 55, Damascus, 1984; citing from: Mustafah Dabag,
Biladona Falastine , Volume Six, Beirut , 1974.
to Y.I. account: it is Tarik al-Hawarni and not Houran.
Walid, All that Remains , 1992, The Institute
of Palestine Studies, p. 527. The reference to Johann
Ludvig Burchkart: Reisen in Syria, Palæstina
from the files of the Foreign Office and Colonial
Office (FCO) in Britain, Murray 1903, p 244.
document Lubya (1943-1944), Hagana Archives
from Youssef Issa): This plot belonged to Tiberias'
land, but the land of the hospital which is established
today in Israel, Bouria hospital ,
belonged to Lubya. The piece of land is al- Mi'tirda .
these two settlements were built long time ago, since
the Ottoman Empire.
in summer dura, water melon and sesame were planted;
while in winter beans, corn, Kirsanna, lentil and
The peasants used to put their fields' instruments
in the night in the Makam , and the thiefs
were afraid to enter the Makam because
they thought that God would punish them.
al-Din al-Hamawi al-Romi al-Bagdadi, Mu'jam al-Buldan
, Volume V, Beirut 1376/ 1975, p. 25.
Hakki, al-Jaza'ir al-Arabiyya - Ard al-Kifah al-Majid
, Beirut, al-Maktab al-Tijari, 1971, p.15
Dawood, al-Arab wa al-Samiyoon wa al-'ibraniyoon
wa Banu Israel wa al-Yahood , Damascus, Dar al-Mustakbal,
1991, p. 13.
Both above named books were mentioned by Shahabi
(Karyat Lubya, p. 11).
the official Guide to Israel, Ministry of Defence,
Carta, the Israel Maps and Publ. Co. L+d, p 287
Klein, A comprehensive etyonological dictionary of
the Hebrew language , 1987, p. 292
Abdil-Karim, Palestine in the Ottoman ira, from 19th
century until 1918 , in Al-Maosoaa Al-Falastinia,
2nd Vol. pp 850-976. See Schomakar diagram in Appendix
a report written by Sha'ban to the Islamic leadership
evaluation was discredited when we saw how the village
was united against the British and Zionists in the
years of war: 1936-1939 and 1948; conflicts and disputes
occured rarely, especially when the village faced
an outside menace.
is the one who acts as a mayor in our time, but with
was in Jordan in 1970, and I met the Samadi family
and their "Muktar". He confirmed the information
given that "Alajaini" is decending from the same
Samadi family. Part of the family who lived until
now in Jordan has changed the name from Ajaini to
Samadi. As far as I know, a copy of Ajaini family
can be found with Abu Walid from Yarmook Camp, Damaskus.
The Muchtar of Samadis in Jordan has a copy of the
Samadi family tree, as shown below, written on a
Gazal skin; but unfortunately refused to give it
to Muchtar Lubya in Irbid to take a picture of it;
as I was told by Abu Tal'at, Muchtar Lubya, in Irbid.
This is part of the family tree as mentioned in " Karyat
Lubya " given as an example of the origins of the
different tribes of Lubya: NB " bin " in
arabic means the son of). Shahabi quoted the list
from Frederick Baik: " Tarikh Mashrik al Urdun Wa
Kaba'ilaha ", Jerusalem, Dar al-Aytam al-Islamiyya
, 1934 , p.296:
"Nasir bin Salim bin Kalil bin Ahmad bin Muslim
bin Said bin Fahid bin Ali bin Musa bin Mansour bin
Akil bin Tahir bin Thahira bin Karasan bin Gusaib
bin Dahkan bin Alawi bin Bash bin Jawhar bin Ali
bin Rabi'a bin Abdulla bin Masa bin Omar bin Ali
bin Masa Alkadim bin Ja'far Sadik bin Muhamad Albakir
bin Zain Alabidin bin Alhussein bin Ali (the fourth
kalifa after the profet Mohammad".
to the booklet " Karyat Lubya " by Ibrahim Shihabi,
p.63, there is a tribe who has the same name in Beit
Hanon (Gaza), and in Houran in Syria. The writer
gave the name of the family in Alippo, Syrian as
Hajo. The family is Karzon.
is more detailed information About Alshahaibi in
the books of " Biladuna Falastine " ,Mustafa Aldabbag,
published by Dar Altali'a, Beirut, 1974. Also in " Karyat
Lubya ", mentioned above.
was wrongly mentioned in the above book that their
grandfather was Saleh Alrifai
The mosque was large enough for 300 to 400 worshipers.
There was no tower, mi'thani , in it. Two
main preachers of Tiberias and al-Hula, Sha'ban and
al-Khalidi, had visited Lubya many times, to give
religious lectures. See Appendix VII. Elderly villagers
from Lubya showed me the ruins of the mosque, which
was demolished with the rest of the village.
this family descended Muhammad Abdil Kadir al-Touba,
his brothers and sons Ahmad al-Touba and Abu Gazi.
There were also: Asaad and Hussein Abdulla, Khalil
Abbas, Muhammad Abbas, whose sons were living in
Nazareth. From them also Sheik Fadil Abbas who studied
in Egypt and got his doctorate in science of religion
inspite of his blindness. Taha Touba and his brothers,
all emigrated to Syria.
them were Kassab Abdulla and his sons, lived in Nazareth.
Also Fayad and his sons, Ahmad Ali and his sons lived
in Nazareth. The majority of them left to Syria and
Lebanon as the sons of Abid Hussein and others.
them were lawers as Muin Madi, Mahmoud Madi and Fihmi
Madi. With those people I (Abu Isam reporting) learned
and studied together.
From them were Mohammad Yasin, Yasin Hamza and Fathi
Yasin, the son of Muhammad Hamza. Al-Hamzat sold
their land to their relatives and imigrated.
account and the following one were told by all the
names of Non-Governmental Publications in Palestine
in the Twenties (PRO, CO 821/2, p 60) was:
ArabicHebrewEnglish Miraat El Shark Daily, JerusalemDoar
Hayom, Daily JerusalemPalestine Weekly_Jerusalem
Al Jamia Al Arabiyah- Bi weekly - JerusalemHator
- Weekly, JerusalemPalestine Bulletin- Daily, JerusalemSawt
Al Shaab- Bi-weekly, JerusalemKol Israel- Weekly,
JerusalemPalestine and the Near East- Fortnightly,
JaffaLa Palestine- Bi weekly, JaffaHazaphonAl Jazirah-
Weekly, JaffaHaaretz- Daily, Tel-AvivAl Akhbar- Weekly,
JaffaDavar- Daily, Tel-AvivAl Nashra Al Tijariyeh-
Quarterly, Haifa, Jafa Hapoel Hazair- Weekly, Tel-Aviv
Al Yarmuk- Bi weekly, HaifaKtuvim- Weekly-Tel-AvivAl
Carmel- Weekly, HaifaKuntress- Monthly, Tel-AvivAl
Zuhur- Weekly, HaifaHassadeh- Quarterly, Tel-AvivSawt
Al Haq- Thrice-weekly, HaifaHamahar- Monthly, Tel-AvivAl
NafirHashiloah- Monthly, JerusalemHahinukh- Monthly,
Tel-AvivHoledet- Monthly, Jerusalem
to the annual book of the ministry of education for
the year 1321, p443. See also Dabbag( Biladuna Falastin
notes was given through an interview with Ahmad Azzam,
in Århus, in 4.1.95, and confirmed by others.
an interview with Youssef Issa, 13.1.1997, Copenhagen.
of the application, answers of the British authorities
and a list of members will be shown in the appendix
wording, but the same meaning has been used to rewrite
the original document. See a copy of the document
in the appendix VII
Al-Falastinia , P.55
with Saadiya Ali, Copenhagen, 15.10.96
with Youssef, Copenhagen, 15.10.96
of weight are: one Kail = 12 Saa', one `Ulba = 6
Saa', one Mid = two Saa', one Saa'= 5kg.
kail = 20 palestinian Kirsh. One Palestinian Jinaih
= approx.one English pound
British documents and letters in this chapter come
from the Israel State Archives.
p. 9, citating : Raphael Patai, ed . The
Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl , vol. 1 Harry
Zohn, trans., (New York: Herzl Press and T. Yoseloff,
1960), pp.88-89. The Herzl Press is a publishing
house of the Jewish Agency for the Israel-American
an address to the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology),
Haifa (as quoted in Ha'aretz, 4 April
1969), Moshe Dayan, earlier defense minister in
Israel in 1967 acknowledged the following fact.
(Khalidi, All that Remains , p.xxxi)
1921 Sursuk sold large areas comrising 7 villages
to "PLDC, Palestine Land Development Company", a
Zionist American Organization, also other five villages
with their land was sold to the Jewish Organization
Kerin Kiyamit between 1924-1925, including Affoula
village. This was documented in the papers of Colonel
Bircy Bramley papers in Royal Commonwealth Society.
(Reference is an unpublished doctorate by Huneidi,
Sahar: Sir Herbert Samuel, Zionism and The Palestine
Arabs 1920-1925 , Manchester Univ. 1995. Citation
from Al-Hayat daily newspaper Nos.12222-3). Sahar
confirmed that during 70 years, up to 1948 the Zionist
Organizations succeeded to buy only 6.5% of Palestine
land, only approx._% bought from Palestinian owners;
while Kenneth W.Stein put the areas bought until
1948 to approx. 2 million dunums out of 26.3 million
dunums- the estimated land area of Palestine. Ref.
Stein.K.W: The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939 ,
an interview with Yousssef I. On 10.10.96 in Copenhagen
Mohammad Salah al-Deen: Mulkiyyat al-Aradi Fi Falastine
1918-1948 , Ph.D theses, Univ. Amman, 1993. See also
Marii, Ibrahim Jamil: Karyat Zir'in , Bir Zeit Univ.
Masalha citating in: Expulsion of the Palestinians
, The concept of Transfer in Zionist Political Thought,
1882-1948 p.22, from Nevada, " Tochniyot Helufei
Ochlosin ," pp.164-65, quoting Levi's manuscript.
Levi was mentioned in Edward Norman's transfer scheme
to Iraq in 1934 as a useful agent who would be willing
to assist in the scheme. See p.141
, citation with reference were mentioned in the beginning
of the chapter: Land Question.
more information see Masalha book, opcit, pp 1-38.
JAbotinsky established the Revisionist movement,
that influenced two organizations: Irgun Tzvai Leumi
(IZL) and Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisra'el), known later
as Stern Gang, after its founder Avraham Stern.,
BenZohion, Sajara, its history and people , (Sajara,
Tuldotaih V'ashaih), 75 years of its establishment,
1899-1973, ed. A'm Ovaid, culture and education,
from a letter sent to me by an Israeli writer and
journalist, Amos Wolin, in reply to my question About
ICA and PICA organisations.
order was from the leadership of the revolution in
Galilee to shoot Mustafa Abu Duhais, suspected of
working for the British. The man who received the
order was a member of the revolutionary group in
Lubya, al-Tahir. In 1948, Mustafa Abu Duhais was
seen by villagers fighting against Lubya's invasion.
He returned from exile in the seventies, but left
again for Canada.
committee was established in Damascus in the beginning
of the fifties to help, financially, when tragic
incidents happened to individuals. The Committee
had branches in Lebanon and Jordan as well.
new revolution started in 1.1.1965, but became a
dominant factor among Palestinains in Lebanon, Syria
and Jordan in 1968.
an interview with Yosi Bailin, concerning the right
of return of the refugees, he declared that both
parties in Israel, Labor and Likud, are against the
return to 1948 areas, but what differentiate Labor
from Likud is the former acceptance of return to
the Palestinian state, when established.
(Interview in al-Hayat , 10.12.1996, no.12371),
conducted by Ruba al-Husari, Jerusalem. This was
confirmed in a common document, named as Bailin-Itan
document, refusing categorically any return of refugees
to their original land.
an interview with the head of the Palestinain Refugee
Committee in the negotiation with Israel, Ilias Sanbar,
he admitted that four years of negotiations with
Israel ended in nothing. Palestinians insisted on
UN decisions, especially no.194, and Israel continued
to refuse the decision of the UN, concerning the
right of return of Palestinian refugees from 1948.
(Interview in al-Hayat , 18 and 19.12.1996, nos.12350-12451),
conducted by Nuri al-Jarrah
a report published by UNRWA 21.1.1995, in Amman and
presented at an unofficial meeting to countries who
participated in the organizations work, UNRWA expected
to finish its work in a five years time, because
of two reasons: first, the UNRWA will not have any
role after the Palestinian refugees problem is solved,
expected to take place in five years according to
Oslo Declaration of Principles; second, the organisation
claims that no more support is arriving from the
The report adds: The numbers of Palestinians registered
in 1951 in UNRWA archives are 904,122 (877,493 received
help =97.05%), while the numbers in 1995 are: 3,172,641
(171,495 received help=5,72%). The amount of help
received is: 10 kg. Floor, 1000 grams sugar, 1000
g. Rice, 500 g.milk, 150 g. oil.
Reference: (Hussein Sha'ban, report in Majallat
al-Dirasat al-Falastiniya, no.28, 1996, PP147-168
were between 100 and 120 men (including a small infantry
detachment from ALA) armed with 100 rifles, two machine
guns, two Bren guns, two mortars with only two shells,
and with between 70 to 100 rounds of ammunition for
each rifle". An interview with both Haj Sa'id al-'Abid
and Fauzi Mahmoud Abu `Alul, conducted by Nafez Nazzal,
in Ain al-Hilwi Camp, Lebanon, on 18 and 19.2.1973.(Nazzal.
 al-Khalidi, p.527 citating (M:xv, 200-203)
meeting took place in 11.3.1995, and representatives
from 29 villages had participated in Kasr al-Salam .
The members of the elected committee is 15. I had
participated, as a guest, in two of the meetings
of this committee.
is difficult to get the precise percentage for the
Palestinian employment because of the different national
registrations for the Palestinian refugees. (The
majority were registered as Lebanese and Jordanians).
Therefore I used my own research, with the help of
different Palestinain organizations in the countries
concerned, to get the detailed numbers mentioned