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Arabic عولم
Also spelled 'Ulam
Subdistrict Tiberias
Population 720 (1945)
Area 18,546 dunams

18.5 km²

Date of depopulation April 6, 1948[1]
Cause(s) of depopulation Abandonment on Arab orders

Awlam (Arabic: عولم‎) was a Palestinian village 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Tiberias situated on the slopes of the westward Wadi Awlam.[2]


Awlam is identified as Oulamma, an important town that existed during the Roman era of rule in Palestine. The Crusaders referred to it as Heulem, and it conceded its tithes to the church of Mount Tabor.[2][3]

Awlam was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and by 1596 it was a village of 83 inhabitants under the administration of the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Tiberias, part of the sanjak of Safad. It paid taxes on wheat, barley, goats, and beehives.[4] In the late 19th century, it was described as an agricultural village of 120, built of adobe bricks.[5] The Ottomans built an elementary school in this time period.[2]

The 'Arab al-Muwaylhat Bedouin tribe settled in the village by the time Awlam was a part of the British Mandate of Palestine. The village had a mosque, but its school was closed down. The residents, who numbered 555 in 1931 and 720 in 1945, grew and cultivated grain, figs, grapes, and pomegranates. They drew their drinking and domestic water from six springs.[2]

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Awlam's villagers were ordered to leave on April 6, 1948, by the Arab Higher Committee who feared they might aid "Zionist forces". But the Haganah states that its Golani Brigade entered the village on May 12, and the inhabitants fled upon their arrival. Awlam became the final village in the eastern Lower Galilee emptied of its Arab inhabitants. According to Walid Khalidi, "nothing remains of the village buildings except stone rubble; only a spring that was used by the villagers has been left unchanged".[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Morris, 2004, p.xvii village #107. Also gives cause of depopulation
  2. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p.514.
  3. ^ Pringle, 1998, p.372
  4. ^ Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter and Kamal Abdulfattah (1977), Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. p. 189. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.514
  5. ^ Conder and Kitchener: SWP II, 1881, p.82. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 514


External links[edit]