Tuesday, April 6, 2010

History of Battir

History of Battir
On New Year’s Eve, most of us make up a list of resolutions and goals for the coming year. It gives us purpose, hope, and an idea of what we might accomplish. Most of us wish for success and happiness. Palestinians wish for happiness, especially the happiness that comes from peace. Palestinians residing in Palestine or outside, all wish that one day they will be able to live or return to a peaceful country of their ancestors and origin. A place where occupation is no longer a lingering threat of death, chaos, fear, and vulnerability.
It all started in the early November 2, 1917.Which you all know is called Balfour’s day. The Balfour Declaration was issued in the form of a letter from the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Rothschild.
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy which has been submitted to and approved by the Cabinet: His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
In my research, I read Battir was in the Britain Mandate, the “Nakba”. The Nakba takes place in the 1948 war, where hundreds of entire villages had not only been deserted, but demolished and population was expelled. These Palestinians homes now are highways, by pass roads, public parks. It can only be described as a vanishing Palestinian scenery.

“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?"
“Eve Merriam”

All my life I lived between houses. I’m city guy so I don’t take well to country living. It is rather an opportunity for all of us, who do not live in Battir or the occupied land in the West Bank, to try to grasp how Palestinian society lives their daily lives. It is a must for us to experience moments this district went through. As human beings we are responsible for what occurs around us. The distinguishing characteristic of human beings is that they alone never cease asking "why”. Human beings are impossible to satisfy, seek the meaning of things, and then strive to live accordingly.

Like Battir's 1,200 citizens; they were unsafe and lacking self-confidence. One attack after another till they totaled forty eight massacres, Battir lived in horror. Battir was under massive attacks. The civilians’ only choice was to take their belongings and move east. The west road was taken by the Israeli soldiers. After Battir’s departure, most people lived in the open, under trees. In my urban walk I realized what experiences I've had on foot, and never realized how many treasures were contained within the village. After this walk it was my belief that I knew just about every bit of history that Battir had to offer. I even wrote down the names of most areas, like Battir’s Roman Arch, Ain Jame' Area, Al-Baten, Al-Juroun and the Tower of Khirbeh. I asked a gentleman in Battir what kind of rocks you used to build your homes and towers he answered “The Heritage of the Sea”; before he answered I called it a Shelter in a Rock.

Through more research I had heard and read about Battir; the village of Battir is located west of Bethlehem. It existed in the early century and also in the time of the Jordanian empire. Battir is also located southwest of Jerusalem. Battir once had a train station which leads from Jerusalem to Cairo. The lands of Battir are good for cultivation; almost a half a league around. Battir also has a wide history, after 1967 war Battir was under the Israeli control. In 1995, Palestinian Interim Agreement also known as Oslo 11, the agreement of the future agreed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, and witnessed by US president Bill Clinton. After signing this agreement Battir was administered by the Palestinian Authority, and now Battir is in the Armistice lines (green line). These lines were established to separate Israel from other countries, and these lines also were established between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
I have walked through the streets of Battir, and as I have mentioned earlier it’s a town with a history if suffrage. It was seen death and war, but now it’s a quiet rural town waiting for the day freedom is declared on Palestine. It’s a beautiful city that’s filled with history. Every street has its own tale to tell, and people in Battir were more than happy to tell.


  1. I liked that. It is so beautiful, but analyze and clarify more to show ur reader what u want. Be the leader of ur readers, and Take them to the destination that u like.

  2. it's awesome really its so nice one keep on this way man u re great , i i liked thats when u said "I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?"

  3. Thanx for the comments I'll study what you guys wrote.