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For the surname, see Abboud. For the Romanian village of Abud, see Ghindari.
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic عابود
 • Also spelled 'Abud (official)
Abboud (unofficial)
Aboud is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Aboud within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 32°00′54.06″N 35°04′05.28″E / 32.0150167°N 35.0681333°E / 32.0150167; 35.0681333Coordinates: 32°00′54.06″N 35°04′05.28″E / 32.0150167°N 35.0681333°E / 32.0150167; 35.0681333
Palestine grid 156/158
Governorate Ramallah & al-Bireh
 • Type Village council
 • Head of Municipality Elias Azar
 • Jurisdiction 15,000 dunams (15.0 km2 or 5.8 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 2,084
Name meaning Abud, personal name, from "to worship"[1]

Aboud (Arabic: عابود‎‎, `Ābūd) is a Palestinian village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in the central West Bank, Palestinian territories, about 22 kilometers northwest of Ramallah and 30 kilometers north of Jerusalem. Other nearby towns include al-Lubban to the northeast and Bani Zeid to the northwest. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the village had a population of approximately 2,084 inhabitants in 2007.[2] It has a mixed population of Christians and Muslims. Near the village are a large number of natural springs which are sources for the Yarkon River.


There is evidence that the village was inhabited during the Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman eras.[3]

Medieval era[edit]

During Fatimid, in 1030, a monk from Aboud named Elias copied Syriac manuscripts in Antioch, and later returned to Aboud and founded the Deir al-Kaukab monastery near the village.[4] A Palestinian-Syriac inscription in the St. Mary Church in Aboud indicate that the church existed in the village by at least 1058, also during Fatimid rule.[5]

In 1099, Aboud and much of Syria was conquered by the Crusaders. During the Crusader period, Aboud was known by the Latin name Casale Santa Maria. At the time, it was an unfortified agricultural village mostly inhabited by local Orthodox Christians. However, a minority of the population consisted of Crusader settlers.[5] The Crusaders made improvements and additions to the church, such as the nave and the north aisle.[6]

In 1104, a monk from Aboud named Mufarij ibn Abu al-Hayr al-Abudi copied Syriac manuscripts in the Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai.[4] In 1167, Casal Santa Maria was sold by King Baldwin IV to the Knights Hospitallers. Starting in 1176, revenues from the village were designated for the supply of white bread for the sick in the hospital of Jerusalem.[3]

In 1225, Yaqut al-Hamawi noted Aboud was a "small town in Filastin Province, near Jerusalem. The name is Hebrew, and [has] become Arabicized."[7] At another point in the 13th century, a monk from Aboud named Sarur ibn Abd al-Masih al-Abudi copied Syriac manuscripts in Cairo.[4] The southern part of Aboud was founded in the 13th or 14th century, during Mamluk rule. Two ornate mausoleums in this part of Aboud were built during the Mamluk period.[8] Arab historian al-Maqrizi mentioned it in the 14th century.[3]

Ottoman era[edit]

Like all of Palestine, Aboud was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. In the 1553-57 tax records, Aboud had a population of 35 families, 19 of which were Christian and 16 Muslim.[8] In the 1596 Ottoman tax records, it was part of the nahiya ("sub-district") of Ramla, part of the Sanjak of Gaza. Its population remained the same, with 19 Christian households and 16 Muslim households, and the inhabitants paid taxes on wheat, barley, and other produce.[9] It was later a part of the Bani Zeid administrative region, still under the Ottomans.[3]

In 1870 the French explorer Victor Guérin found that Aboud contained 800 inhabitants, half Greek Orthodox and half Muslims.[10] In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village as "a large and flourishing Christian village, of stone, the houses nearly all marked with the Cross in red paint," with a population of 400 Orthodox Christians and 100 Muslims.[11]

British Mandate period[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Aboud had a population of 754; 352 Muslim and 402 Christians,[12] where the Christians were 335 Orthodox, 41 Roman Catholics and 26 Church of England.[13] At the time of the 1931 census the population had increased to 910; 470 Christians and 440 Muslims, in 215 houses.[14] The Christians largely inhabited the older, northern part of Aboud, while the Muslims inhabited the relatively newer, southern part.[8]

In 1945 the population was 1,080, all Arabs, while the total land area was 15,007 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[15] Of this, 4,843 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 1,905 for cereals,[16] while 55 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[17]

Ancient churches[edit]

Adjacent to Aboud is an ancient monastery named after Saint Barbara. Located on a hill due west of the village, the Church of Saint Barbara was erected in the Byzantine period.[3] Archaeologists trace its history back to the 6th century CE.[18] By the church, ancient catacombs have been uncovered whose dating is uncertain. One of the burial caves is especially grandiose, with a door post decorated with carvings of wreaths, grape vines and grape clusters standing at its entrance.[3] Locals consider it to be the oldest and most sacred of Aboud's churches. Palestinian Christians visit the church annually on 17 December to celebrate the St. Barbara's Day festival. On 31 May 2002, the church was blown up by the Israeli army. The Israeli military claimed that they were unaware of the church's significance and demolished it by mistake.[18]

Al-Abudiyah Church, also known as Saint Mary's Church, lies in the center of Aboud and was presumably founded during the Crusader period of rule in Palestine with the name Casal Santa Maria. However, an Aramaic inscription on a vault in the church indicates that it was founded before the arrival of Crusader, but fell into disrepair. According to the inscription it was rebuilt in 1058 CE during the Fatimid era. In the 18th century an additional wall as well as several windows and doors were constructed. Restorations occurred in 1997, with the replacement of cement plaster in the vaulting of the church with traditional mortar, the cleaning of stones inside the church, the repaving of the atrium and the construction of a reinforcing northern wall.[3] In 2013 Christians from the UK worked on a project with the church choir of St. Mary's Church to record The Mary Prayers[19] as a fundraising initiative. Proceeds from the sales of the CD or downloads are directed to humanitarian projects for the Muslims and Christians in Aboud.

There are also churches dedicated to St. Anastasia (to the south of the village) and St. Theodore (in the center of the village), both from the 7th–8th centuries.[20]


Historically, Aboud's economy was centered on agriculture, specifically olives—which today take up 43% of village lands. In total, 57% of Aboud's lands are cultivable with olives, figs, apples, grapes, and almonds being grown. Its primary agricultural products are olive oil, olive-based soap, dried figs and almonds. Agriculture in 2005, accounted for 19% of the village's labor force. The remaining 81% work in the governmental and private sectors, construction and animal husbandry. Following the Second Intifada which began in 2000, the inhabitants who worked in Israel (10% of Aboud's labor force) lost their jobs there.[18]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 221
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p. 112.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g H. Taha (1997). "A salvage excavation at the 'Abudiyah Church in Abud – Samaria" (PDF). Liber Annuus. 47: 359–374 and plates 17–20. 
  4. ^ a b c Ellenblum, 2003, pp. 131-132.
  5. ^ a b Ellenblum, 2003, pp. 130-131.
  6. ^ Ellenblum, 2003, p. 133.
  7. ^ Yaqut al-Hamawi quoted in le Strange, 1890, p. 382.
  8. ^ a b c Ellenblum, 2003, p. 132.
  9. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 156
  10. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp.87–90
  11. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 289
  12. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramallah, p. 16
  13. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XIV, p. 45
  14. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 47
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 64
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 111
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 161
  18. ^ a b c 'Aboud, the city of flowers, threatened by the Israeli Segregation Wall Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem. 2005-06-09.
  19. ^ The Mary Prayers
  20. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 825


External links[edit]