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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 narrative.

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 daughters.

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" [1] 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 [2] : 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" [3] , in modern times.

Memory is a battlefield[4]
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.........) [5]

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" [6] .

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 [7] , 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 are necessary:

  1. British Mandatory Documents
  2. The Israeli archives
  3. Literature on Lubya
  4. Interviews:

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 information.

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" [8] . 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 [9] . 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 [10]).

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 reference.

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 [11] .

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.

Field work
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 [12] . 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 literature".

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 consists. [13]

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. [14] "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 [15] ".

A teacher from Lubya, Abu Isam [16] , 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, 1994, pI)

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 [17] . (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 Galilee .

c. Napoleon's march through Lubya in route to Akka:
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) [18] . 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 [19] .

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 [20] . 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 [21] . 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 of Lubya.

"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 called Tariik 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 [22] . 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] [23] . 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] [24] .

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." [25] .

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' excavations.

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" [26] .

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 [27] ) 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 [28] . 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 [29] . 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 [30] . 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 [31] , 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 [32] , 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 [33] 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" [34] . 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 [35] (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 testament.

In 1596, Lubya was a village in the nahiya of Tiberias ( liwa' of Safad) with a population of 1117. Shomachar [36] 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 [37] .

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.

The families:

"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 Khalil al-Abid.

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 [38] .

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: Hafith al-Issa

6. al-Fukara: 200, Muchtar: Gharib al-Mughawish

All the village were allied to Tabari family in Tiberias".

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 , of Lubya.

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 [39] : 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 [40]

- Allababidi

- Almalahima: Hassan and Hussein Issa, Kalil Joodi.

- Alathamni: Younis Ali, Karroob Alzein, Suliman Ali, Raja

- 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 al-Abid

- Rashdan; Ali Bash; Ahmad and Hassan Younis; Suleman Atiya; Saleh Muhammad Taha (Gaith); Ahmad Kalid.

3. al-Samallot . Muchtar: Ibrahim al-Thiab

- 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 and Hadrus

- Alasafri; Almanasra: Ata Mansour; Abid Alruhman; Aldabiat; Alza'atri

5. al-Hajajwi [41]

- Alkafarni: Oda, Ali Alyasin, Abdirazak Dabbas, Ibrahim Taha; Ibrahim Asi; Kayid; Karzon; Hadrous.

6. al-Shahaibi. Originally came from Lebanon [42] .

- 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 [43] ; Ali Raja, Suliman Musleh, Ali Mohammad, Muhammad Mahmoud, Ahmad Darwish, Mahmoud Hamodi, Mar'i Hamodi, Mohammed Abdilgani.

8. al-Awaidi . Muktar: Abdu Alaidi

- Kasim Alaidi, Ali Warda, Mohamad Abu alhumum, Abu alsaid

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 Nablus

12. al-Jamal . Originally from Nablus

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 [44] 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 village. [45]

"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 [46] ). They were land owners and of good standing in the village. [47] 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 [48] , 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 [49] 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's Reputation:

"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 [50] ."

"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 literate.

There was one radio, in Abu Duhais' house. The newspapers [51] 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 [52] ), 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 religion).

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 [53] . The subjects studied were religion, geography, history, arithmetic, Arabic, English (from the fourth class), drawing and sport. There were twenty students in each class.

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 [54] .

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 in Palestine.

On 5.12.1941 a group of people from Lubya (30 members) [55] 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 [56] : 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 following:

"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 Locusts).

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 al-Hima.

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 the mosque.

Trees :

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 totalled 480.

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" [57] , while 1520 dunums were planted with trees [58] . 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 al-Falastini ).

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" [59] . 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 [60] ". 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 [61] 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 [62] they paid one".

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 [63] .

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 [64]

"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" [65] .

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". [66]

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 [67] . 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 [68] . 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 the mortgages.

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 :

  1. Many peasants found it expensive to pay registration fees.
  2. Fear of being conscripted. The best way for authorities to conscript men was to pick up the required names from the land registration lists.
  3. 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.
  4. Some registered their plots as Wakf , controlled by religious authorities, so as to evade paying taxes.
  5. 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% [69] .
  6. Thus the Muchtars and the family leaders were the main winners of this system, being unafraid of registration.

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. [70]

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" [71] .

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... [72]

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 [73] 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 twentieth century.

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" [74] . 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" [75] . 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 were shrouded.

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 shown above;

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 in dunums:











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)



Preliminary Perspectives

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 military forces.

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 [76] ). 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 [77] . The former identity of Lubyans continued until the beginning of 1968 [78] 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 recent status?

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 [79] . 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 [80] . 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 of integration.

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 [81] .

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%) [82] .

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 [83] 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 [85] ).

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:

  1. 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 and eighties.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 towards violence.
  5. 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%.) [86]

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.


[1] Ted Swedenburg in Memoires of Revolt, the 1936-1939 Rebillion and the Palestinian National Past , p.27; quoting Gramsci (1971: 324, 423; 1985:189)

[2] See Said, Edward Orientalism, 1978, pp.6-7

[3] Van Vansina, Oral Tradition as History , 1985, p. xi

[4] Op.Cit. Ted quoting Alistair Thomson, P.5

[5] A Hebrew document from the Central Zionist Archives.

[6] Quoted from a documentary film in Danish Television DR, broadcasted on 31.3.95, "The Grand Fathers Land".

[7] One of the donors is Hans Riesenfield from Zimbabwe.

[8] See book: Hahatishvot BiGalil Hatahton , (Settlement in Lower Galilee), pp. 105-107; 572-575

[9] Journal of Palestine Studies, V.XXV1, 104, 1997, p.60.

[10] 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.

[11] Concerning this point see Part I, Chapter VII: The Land Question.

[12] Abu 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 in 1948.

[13] The 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.

[14] Al-Maosoaa Al-Falastinia : Volume II, p. 408

[15] Ibid, p. 511 cited from Ibn Al-Athir: Alkamil , vol.II, pp. 532-537

[16] More detailed information About Abu Isam and the papers he left will be discussed in details; plus interviews with his family.

[17] Ibid , p. 834, quoting Al-Bidairi: T he daily incidents of Damascus, pp. 42-47

see also Khalidi's reference to (Abu Dayya, 1986:19).

[18] Mohammad Omar Hamada; A'lam Filastin , Part I, Dar Kutaiba, 1985, pp 162-3.

[19] Ibid, pp. 720-727

[20] Ahmad Basha Al-Jazzar was known in history as the man who fought against Napoleon, preventing him to take over Akka.

[21] Al-Maosoaa al-Falastinia , Four Volumes, Fourth Volume, pp. 54- 55, Damascus, 1984; citing from: Mustafah Dabag, Biladona Falastine , Volume Six, Beirut , 1974.

[22] According to Y.I. account: it is Tarik al-Hawarni and not Houran.

[23] Kalidi, Walid, All that Remains , 1992, The Institute of Palestine Studies, p. 527. The reference to Johann Ludvig Burchkart: Reisen in Syria, Palæstina (1823-1824)

[24] Ibid

[25] Quoted from the files of the Foreign Office and Colonial Office (FCO) in Britain, Murray 1903, p 244.

[26] British document Lubya (1943-1944), Hagana Archives

[27] (N.B. 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 .

[28] Ibid, these two settlements were built long time ago, since the Ottoman Empire.

[29] Ibid, in summer dura, water melon and sesame were planted; while in winter beans, corn, Kirsanna, lentil and beans.

[30] Ibid. 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.

[31] Shihab al-Din al-Hamawi al-Romi al-Bagdadi, Mu'jam al-Buldan , Volume V, Beirut 1376/ 1975, p. 25.

[32] Ihsan Hakki, al-Jaza'ir al-Arabiyya - Ard al-Kifah al-Majid , Beirut, al-Maktab al-Tijari, 1971, p.15

[33] Ahmad 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).

[34] From the official Guide to Israel, Ministry of Defence, Carta, the Israel Maps and Publ. Co. L+d, p 287

[35] Ernest Klein, A comprehensive etyonological dictionary of the Hebrew language , 1987, p. 292

[36] Rafik 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 VIII

[37] From a report written by Sha'ban to the Islamic leadership in Jerusalem.

[38] This 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.

[39] Muktar is the one who acts as a mayor in our time, but with less authority.

[40] I 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".

[41] According 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.

[42] There 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.

[43] It was wrongly mentioned in the above book that their grandfather was Saleh Alrifai

[44] Ibid. 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.

[45] From 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.

[46] .

[47] From 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.

[48] From them were lawers as Muin Madi, Mahmoud Madi and Fihmi Madi. With those people I (Abu Isam reporting) learned and studied together.

[49] Ibid. 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.

[50] This account and the following one were told by all the elderly interviews.

[51] 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

[52] According to the annual book of the ministry of education for the year 1321, p443. See also Dabbag( Biladuna Falastin , 1991,PP.424-426)

[53] These notes was given through an interview with Ahmad Azzam, in Århus, in 4.1.95, and confirmed by others.

[54] From an interview with Youssef Issa, 13.1.1997, Copenhagen.

[55] Copies of the application, answers of the British authorities and a list of members will be shown in the appendix no VII

[56] Different wording, but the same meaning has been used to rewrite the original document. See a copy of the document in the appendix VII

[57] Khalidi, p.527

[58] Al-Maosoaa Al-Falastinia , P.55

[59] Interview with Saadiya Ali, Copenhagen, 15.10.96

[60] Interview with Youssef, Copenhagen, 15.10.96

[61] Measures of weight are: one Kail = 12 Saa', one `Ulba = 6 Saa', one Mid = two Saa', one Saa'= 5kg.

[62] One kail = 20 palestinian Kirsh. One Palestinian Jinaih = approx.one English pound

[63] Opcit, 15.10.96

[64] The British documents and letters in this chapter come from the Israel State Archives.

[65] Ibid, 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 Section.

[66] In 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)

[67] In 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 , pp3-4

[68] From an interview with Yousssef I. On 10.10.96 in Copenhagen

[69] Hazmawi, 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. 1994,pp 60-69


71] Nur 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

[72] Opcit , citation with reference were mentioned in the beginning of the chapter: Land Question.

[73] For 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., ibid, p.29

[74] Mikhaili, BenZohion, Sajara, its history and people , (Sajara, Tuldotaih V'ashaih), 75 years of its establishment, 1899-1973, ed. A'm Ovaid, culture and education, pp. 20-21

[75] Quoted from a letter sent to me by an Israeli writer and journalist, Amos Wolin, in reply to my question About ICA and PICA organisations.

[76] The 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.

[77] This 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.

[78] The new revolution started in 1.1.1965, but became a dominant factor among Palestinains in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan in 1968.

[79] In 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.

[80] In 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

[81] In 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 countries concerned.

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 ).

[82] Ibid

[83] "There 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. p.81).

[84] al-Khalidi, p.527 citating (M:xv, 200-203)

[85] The 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.

[86] It 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 above.

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