Puneet Varma

Abwein

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Grid position  169/160 PAL
Government  Municipality
Area  16.2 km²
Governorate  Ramallah and al-Bireh
Website  www.abwain.org
Abwein
Weather  17°C, Wind N at 13 km/h, 36% Humidity

Abwein (Arabic: عبوين ‎‎) is a Palestinian village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate, located about 37 kilometers north of Ramallah in the northern West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Abwein's population was 3,119 in 2007.

Contents

Map of Abwein

Abwein's main agricultural products are olives, figs, grapes, apples, peaches, pears, and vegetables. There are three schools in the town with about 1,200 students and about 200 students are enrolled in various Palestinian universities. Abwein also has three mosques, the largest of which is the Farouk Mosque.

History

Pottery sherds from Iron Age II, Persian, Hellenistic, Byzantine, and Crusader/Ayyubid era have been found.

Reinhold Röhricht identified Abwein as the Crusader village of Casale Bubil or Casale Bubin.

In the village is an old maqam (holy man's tomb) called ash-Shaykh Ya'qub. According to Moshe Sharon, professor of early Islamic history at Hebrew University, the tomb has been neglected. The tombstone was in secondary use in a terrace. It had an inscription dating to September 1339 in Mamluk naskhi script dedicated to a Hajji Ya'qub, son of Shaikh Dawud ibn Ahmad, who died that year. It also refers to the Mamluk sultan of that time period, al-Nasir Muhammad. Pottery sherds from the Mamluk era and a hoard of 406 silver coins, mostly from the period of Sultan Baibars, have also been found.

Ottoman era

The village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the Ottoman tax registers as being in the nahiya (subdistrict) of Quds, part of the liwa (district) of Quds. It had a population of 53 households, all Muslims, and paid taxes on wheat, barley, olive trees, vineyards, fruit trees, goats and/or beehives.

The French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village, which he called "A'youein", in 1870, and estimated it to have about 300 inhabitants. He described it has having abundant water-sources, beautiful walnut trees, and gardens with figs, olives and pomegranates. An Ottoman village list of about the same year, 1870, showed that Abwein had 158 houses and a population of 429, though the population count included men only.

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Abwein as a village situated on the slope of a hill, with a well to the south, and olive trees on its lower north side.

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Abwein had a population of 543, all Muslim, increasing in the 1931 census to 695, still all Muslim, in 171 houses.

In 1945 the population was 880, all Arabs, while the total land area was 15,007 dunams, according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 1,863 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 8,296 for cereals, while 36 dunams were classified as built-up areas.

Modern era

In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Abwein came under Jordanian rule. After the Six-Day War in 1967, Abwein has been under Israeli occupation.

The Suhweil Castle in Abwein was renovated in 1996. In 2005, a 13-member municipality was established by the Palestinian National Authority to administer the town's civil affairs. In the December 2004 Palestinian municipal elections, 28 candidates competed for the mayoral seat and despite strong opposition from religious parties, Fatima Suhweil, a member of Fatah and principal of a local girls' high school, won. The Fatah list won a total of 12 of Abwein Municipality's 13 seats.

Most of Abwein's current inhabitants belong to the Suhweil and Mazahim families. According to the 'Abwein Municipal Council, the town's inhabitants are descendants of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari tribe.

References

Abwein Wikipedia


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