Villages

2015-03-30 12:59:58

 

 Artas  Nahaline  Battir
 Husan  Wadi Fukin  Al-Walaja
 al-Ju'beh  Mirah Ma'la  Um Salamo

 

 

Artas

A road passing the Pools leads down to the Village of Artas; the name is a corruption of the Latin word Hortus, meaning garden. Its ruins are possibly those of the ancient city Etam. To the southeast, there opens a small fertile valley whose luxuriant vegetation contrasts with the aridity of the surrounding mountains that enclose it on all sides. This rich valley is the site of the Gardens of Solomon. It is probable that Solomon alludes to the gardens Hortus Conclusus when he speaks of his beloved in the Canticle of Canticles: ”My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed a fountain sealed up. The plants are a paradise of pomegranates” (IV 12-13). According to Josephus, the Roman historian, King Solomon, escorted by his armed guards, used to go every day at dawn to enjoy the abundance of the running waters in the middle of the gardens.   On the southern side of the valley, opposite the village, stand the pretty convent and the graceful chapel of The Sealed Garden. It was erected by the Archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1901, after obtaining the permission from the Turkish ruler at that time. This convent was built by two architects from Bethlehem. It is now occupied by the sisters of the Hortus Conclusus, who came from Montevideo to make their home in the country of Jesus. Donations are the main source of income for this convent which provides important social services including an orphanage to the surrounding community. In close proximity to the church are remains of a Crusader church, a Roman palace, several Roman mills, Roman channels and a spring.  An annual Lettuce Festival is organized in the village in April by the Artas Folklore Center, with popular dance and a tour of the village.

 

 

 

Nahaline

A Palestinian village in the eastern hills, located 12 kilometers south west of Bethlehem City. The village is built on the ruins of a Medieval settlement. To its west is Khirbet el Kabra with remains of several rectangular structures made of hewn stones.

It is 650 meters above sea level. The built up area is 730 dunums. It was so nomad due to its old fame of breeding bees and tens of beehives are still in it. The occupation authorities confiscated large areas of its lands and established five settlements there which are: Alon Shevot in 1971, Gibot in 1984, Rosh Zrim in 1969 Kfar Azion in 1967 and Beitar in 1989 on the confiscated lands of Nahaline, Husan and Wadi Fukin.

The inhabitants are 3634 people. There are two secondary schools having 41 classes, 647 male students and 640 female students, 25 male teachers and 24 female teachers. There are two kindergartens with 82 children in the school year 1996-97. There is an agricultural marketing and saving society that grants loans for farmers. There is also a maternity and childhood center that supervises a kindergarten as well as a center for teaching sewing. Nahaline is famous for its olive, almond, and vine trees as well as vegetables such as parsley, onions, beans and others.

 

Husan

A Palestinian village in the eastern hills, located seven kilometers west of Bethlehem City. Within the village are remains from the Iron, post-Babylonian Exile, and until the Middle Ages. It lies about 9 kms to the west of Bethlehem. It is situated on a local crossroads. It is 800 meters above sea level. The built-up area is 649. It is surrounded by Battir, al-Khader, Nahaline and Wadi Fukine. A cruel Israeli aggression took place in it on 25 September 1956 and the losses were 31 martyrs. Its inhabitants are 3470 in 1996. There are two secondary schools run by the government with 42 classes and 1210 students, and 51 teachers. There is a kindergarten with 122 children. In the vicinity of Husan lies Khirbet al-shuqaf and khirbet Umm al-Qal'ah. The occupation authorities confiscated some of Husan's lands and established Beitar in 1989 with a built up area of 1075 dunams

 

Battir

A Palestinian village located in the Jerusalem hills, 9 kms south-west of Bethlehem. It was built on the ruins of an ancient town called Bether. Still exist in the village a spring and a pool from which a complex system of channels conducts water to the neighboring fields. Most of the remains are buried but remnants of a wall, towers and rock-hewn agricultural structures are visible. It is accessible by a local road connecting it to the main road, the length of which is 1.8 kms. It is 630 meters above sea level. The built up area is 686 dunums surrounded by al-Walaja, Beit-Jala, Husan and al-Khader. There are several interpretations for so naming it whether its name is derived from Beit Tira meaning the house of birds or from Beit iara meaning the sheep fold, or it might be Phonician from "beter" which means cut. During the Roman period Battir was a fortified castle. The population is around 1520. There is a primary government school for boys with 10 classes and 94 students and a kindergarten with 110 children. Battir charitable Society was established in 1975. The society carries out cultural, educational and social activities. Not far from Battir is a group of springs in the eastern hills, located two kilometers north east of Battir village and called Ein Hanyya. Alongside are remains of a sixth century Byzantine church. Christian tradition identifies this spring with the St. Philip's fountain mentioned in the New Testament .

 

Wadi Fukin

It is 12 kms to the west of Bethlehem, 660 meters above sea level. The built up area is 199 dunums. It is surrounded by the Qabu, Ras Abu Ammar, Jaba'a, Sorif, Nahaline and Hussan. The nearest village is Hussan . The origin of the word Fukin might go back to Aramaic meaning thorns and if this is the case, it means the valley of thorns. The occupation authorities confiscated land from Wadi Fukin and Hussan to build Bitar Illit settlement established in 1982 with a built up area of 875 dunams. The population is 685 in 1966. There is a mixed elementary school with 9 class , 200 students 104 and 11 teachers. There is an archeological site in Fukin in addition to three ancient villages: Tibnah on which the Canaanite city of Timna was built and Khirbet al-abed. There are five springs in Wadi Fukin . Due to the abundance of its waters, vegetables, fruit, figs, almond, mulberry and grapes are plentiful.

 

Al-Walaja

It is located to the north west of Bethlehem and in the western part of the Bethlehem Governorate. It is 6.5 kms from the city center. It is 750 meters above sea level. The built up area is 850 dunums. The nearest location from it is al-Khader. The number of its inhabitants in 1996 was about 1169 people. There is a UNRWA basic school with 9 classes , 138 male students and 98 female students, 4 male teachers and 6 female teachers. There is also a kindergarten with 42 children. Students complete their education in al-Khader. The settlement of har Gilo established in 1976 lies on the confiscated lands of al-Walaja and Beit Jala.

Al-Ju'beh

 

The President of the Council in  al-Ju'beh is Yaqub Abu Latifeh
Tel: 050 413488

 

Mirah Ma'la

 

The President of the Council in Mirah Maila is Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Shaqra.
Tel: 9934138, 050526291

 

Um Salamoneh

 

The President of the Council in Um Salamoneh is Mahmoud Rashid.
Tel: 9934884,  052 319580

 

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