Dr Mustafa Abbasi

Dr. Mustafa Abbasi: Samakh: The Rise and Fall of Arab Towns on the Shores of the Sea of Galilee


This article deals with the story of the rise and fall of an Arab town on the southern shores of the Sea of Galilee. This town, which was founded by Algerian migrants at the end of the 19th century, quickly became one of the most prosperous towns in the north of the country. Its strategic location at the meeting point where the borders of Palestine, Jordan and Syria intersect, and its proximity to the water sources of Sea of Galilee and two rivers, gave it all the advantages of a transit town with its crossroads and train connections. The number of its inhabitants rose by the scores up to about 4000 towards the end of the Mandate period. The upsurge in growth and expansion of Samakh which continued until the war of 1948 constitutes a testimony for the processes of change and development that our country had enjoyed in those days. At the same time, the bitter end and destruction which that war brought upon the town testifies to the enormous catastrophe suffered by the Arab population in the Galilee during and after the 1948 war.

Contact: mustafa@telhai.ac.il