Awlam

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Awlam
Arabic عولم
Name meaning possibly from the Arabic form of “a full well”[1]
Also spelled 'Ulam
Subdistrict Tiberias
Population 720[2] (1945)
Area 18,546 dunams

18.5 km²

Date of depopulation April 6, 1948[3]
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.[4]

History[edit]

Awlam is identified as Oulamma, an important town that existed during the Roman era of rule in Palestine.[4]

The Crusaders referred to it as Heulem. In 1144 the tithes of the village was given to the bishop of Tiberias. In 1174, the Bishop conceded its tithes to the church of Mount Tabor.[4][5]

Ottoman era[edit]

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.[6][7]

In 1859 there were 120 souls in the village, and the cultivation was 14 feddans, according to the British consul Rogers.[8] However, when Victor Guérin visited in 1875, he described the village as “abandoned”. He further noted;

“Ancient materials are plentiful there. I noticed in particular a number of column stumps and various fragments of sculptures coming from some building now destroyed. A church, converted later into a mosque, then into a stable, is quite well preserved. It had been built with alternately white and black stones, the former limestone, the latter basalt. On the lintel of the main entrance door one may observe, in the centre, a small circle, which formerly enclosed a cross, today completely effaced. Inside, some column shafts are lying on the ground, with their capitals broken.[9]

In 1882, it was described as an agricultural village of 120, built of adobe bricks.[8] The Ottomans built an elementary school in this time period.[4]

British Mandate era[edit]

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, all Muslims, who numbered 555 in 1931,[10] grew and cultivated grain, figs, grapes, and pomegranates. They drew their drinking and domestic water from six springs.[4]

By 1945, the village population was 720, and the total land area was 18,546 dunums of land.[2] 360 dunams were irrigated or used for orchards, 11,139 used for cereals,[11] while 28 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[12]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

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".[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 159
  2. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 73
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p.xvii village #107. Also gives cause of depopulation
  4. ^ a b c d e f Khalidi, 1992, p. 514
  5. ^ Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 136, No 515; cited in Pringle, 1998, p. 372
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 189. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 514
  7. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
  8. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 82
  9. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 136- 137; as translated in Pringle, 1998, p. 372
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 85
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 123
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 173

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]