Al-Mazar, Haifa

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Al-Mazar is located in Mandatory Palestine
Subdistrict Haifa
Coordinates 32°40′56.4″N 34°57′52.2″E / 32.682333°N 34.964500°E / 32.682333; 34.964500Coordinates: 32°40′56.4″N 34°57′52.2″E / 32.682333°N 34.964500°E / 32.682333; 34.964500
Palestine grid 147/232
Population 210[1] (1945)
Date of depopulation July 15, 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities 'En Karmel

Al-Mazar was a Palestinian Arab village located 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) northeast of al-Sarafand.[3] In 1945, it had a population of 210.


The village name Mazar, which is Arabic for "shrine", "a place one visits", was probably meant to commemorate the many people who were killed and buried there in the wars against the Crusaders.[4]

British Mandate period[edit]

In the British Mandate of Palestine period, in the 1922 census of Palestine ‘’Al Mazar’’ had a population of 134; all Muslims.[5] In the 1931 census, Al-Mazar was counted together with Khirbat Al-Manara, Ijzim and Qumbaza. The total population was 2,160; 88 Christians, 2,082 Muslims, in a total of 442 houses.[6]

By 1945 the population was 210, all Muslims[1] with a total of 7,976 dunams of land.[7] Of this, 5 dunams were for citrus and bananas, 473 were plantations or irrigable land, 3,750 were for cereals,[8] while 39 dunams were classified built-up, (urban), land.[9]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

The village was first raided by the Israel Forces (IDF) on May 17 during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, with the aim of "rendering [the village] unworthy of use."[3] The IDF encountered only 10-20 Arabs, who ran away, and the troops proceeded to "burn what could be burned."[3] Within days of the IDF's withdrawal, some of the villagers had returned, Arab militants and civilians.[3][10] The village was permanently depopulated as a result of another IDF military assault in mid-July 1948.[10]

Shaykh Yahia/Ahya shrine[edit]

The shrine was located on the lower slopes of a hill.[11] In 1881, E. H. Palmer described the name as possibly coming from St. John of Tyre, who was noted in this direction in 1187.[12] Ahya is also a name for John the Baptist.[13]

The shrine was surveyed by Ronen and Olami in 1964/5. They found a two roomed structure, facing east-west. The eastern room seemed the oldest; it was a domed rectangular room made of kurkar stone, where the surface were coated with plaster containing Byzantine pottery fragments. The western room was built of limestone.[14]

The shrine has now been destroyed, and the area has been converted into orchards.[11]


  1. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 14
  2. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #169. Also gives cause of depopulation
  3. ^ a b c d Morris, 2004, p. 248
  4. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p.178
  5. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 33
  6. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 91
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 48
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 91
  9. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 141
  10. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 438
  11. ^ a b Petersen, 2001, p. 216
  12. ^ de Vogüé, 1860, p. 445; as noted in Palmer, 1881, p. 116
  13. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 116
  14. ^ Ronen and Olami, 1978, as given in Petersen, 2001, p. 216


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