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For the ethnic territory of Lak people in Russia, see Lakia.
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew לָקִיָּה
 • Also spelled Laqye (official)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic اللقية
WikiAir IL-12-01 412.JPG
Lakiya is located in Israel
Coordinates: 31°19′11″N 34°51′33″E / 31.31972°N 34.85917°E / 31.31972; 34.85917Coordinates: 31°19′11″N 34°51′33″E / 31.31972°N 34.85917°E / 31.31972; 34.85917
District Southern
Founded 1982
 • Type Local council
 • Head of Municipality Khaled el-Sana[1]
 • Total 5,728 dunams (5.728 km2 or 2.212 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 9,943

Lakiya, or Laqye (Hebrew: לָקִיָּה) is a Bedouin town (local council) in the Southern District of Israel.


Lakiya was founded in 1982 as part of a government project to settle Bedouins in permanent settlements. It is one of seven Bedouin townships in the Negev desert with approved plans and developed infrastructure (other six are: Hura, Tel as-Sabi (Tel Sheva), Ar'arat an-Naqab (Ar'ara BaNegev), Shaqib al-Salam (Segev Shalom), Kuseife (Kseife) and the city of Rahat, the largest among them).[2]

In December 2009, the town was ranked lowest (1 out of 10) in socio-economic standing, with an average income of 4,360 shekels to the national average's of 7,070. Only 58.2% of grade twelve students are eligible to graduate from high school.

In 1999 first elections to the local council were held with Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Maharab to take the chair of the council head, later succeeded by Khaled al-Sana.


According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the population of Lakiya was 9,943 in December 2010[3] (7,600 in December 2004). Its annual growth rate is 3.1%. Lakiya's jurisdiction is 5,728 dunams (5.7 km²).

There are several Bedouin clans residing in Lakiya, al-Sana - the biggest among them. Other families are: Al-Assad, Abu Ammar and Abu Maharab. Some clans don't live inside Lakiya, but on the territory adjacent to it.


In 2013, Arab-Bedouin women from Lakiya and other Bedouin towns participated in a sewing course for fashion design at the Amal College in Beer Sheva, including lessons on sewing and cutting, personal empowerment and business initiatives.[4]

Weaving and embroidery projects[edit]

Lakiya weaving project

The Lakiya Negev Weaving Project was founded in 1991, its aim is to empower Negev Bedouin women by applying their traditional weaving skills to the manufacture and sale of woven products.[5] It is based completely on the unique Bedouin heritage passed on from mother to daughter. Approximately 130 Bedouin women are involved in this project in all the stages of the production from initial wool treatment, weaving the rugs, cushion covers and pouches, and selling.[6] These women were provided guidance, professional consulting and hands-on assistance in the fields of marketing, branding, sales, the business's organizational structure and business plan, fundraising and networking. The project's aim was to make it a successful, profitable and financially independent cooperative business.[7] It is about to succeed - several retailers and chains sell Bedouin traditional ground-looms all over Israel, including Haifa, and also abroad.[8] A new visitors' center will be open soon but it has already become a tourist site.

Another tourist site is called the Desert Embroidery project.[9] Some 20 women completed their professional entrepreneurial and business training and guidance and initiated a project based on the design and production of the traditional Bedouin costume jewelry. They are producing this embroidery at home with traditional Bedouin motifs and decorations. The women also hold Bedouin embroidery workshops and events based on the Bedouin tradition. Their workshop is also a visitors' center and it is a famous tourist attraction in the area.[10]


There are branches of several health funds (medical clinics) in Lakiya: Leumit, Clalit and several perinatal (baby care) centers Tipat Halav.

Education and culture[edit]

There is a number of schools in the township and a communal activity center.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Taleb el-Sana, an Israeli politician, the longest serving Arab member of the Knesset
  • Ismael Abu-Saad, professor of education, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev[11]
  • Amal Elsana Alh'jooj, spokesperson for the Bedouin women, co-executive director of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (NISPED), a founding director of the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation (AJEEC); a member of Prime Minister’s Commission for Economic Development of the Arab Sector.[12] She established the first Arab Bedouin women's organization to improve the situation of Bedouin women at the age of 17.[13]
  • Roz Willey as-Sana, Bedouin Weaving project coordinator[14][15]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Lakiya Negev Weaving - website of one of Lakiya's main businesses
  • Lands of the Negev, a short film presented by Israel Land Administration describing the challenges faced in providing land management and infrastructure to the Bedouins in Israel's southern Negev region