The Arab Community of Safad 1840 - 1918: A Critical Period
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Safad, a historic regional capital of the Galilee in interior Palestine and at the margins of the central Ottoman government, experienced a significant new chapter in its history in the mid-1800s. Recovering slowly from the earthquake of 1837, the town was dramatically changed by the enactment of the Tanzimat reforms carried out by the Ottoman state, including the 1858 Land Law and the 1864 Law of the Provinces.

This essay surveys Safad's demographic structure and social composition from 1840 to 1918, during this critical period. It also discusses the town's leading 'ayan (notable) families, the sources of their power, their occupations, and the nature of their relations with the authorities. The creation of a new municipality, an administrative council, a civil court, and various offices and chambers appears to have resulted in significant social restructuring.

A note about references - it is not easy to study the Arab community in Safad1 during the given period because of the absence of two main resources: the registries of the probate courts (sijill al mahakem al shar'iyyah) and the municipal archives. The registries of the probate courts have been a major source of information for the study of social history of cities like Jerusalem, Jaffa, Nablus, and Haifa. I tried to compensate for the absence of vital references by tapping into sources that are normally not used in writing the town's history, such as the salnames (annual administrative reports) of the provinces of Syria and Beirut, which include detailed descriptions of the regional and urban administrations. Much valuable information can also be drawn from the Beirut newspapers and periodicals of the given period as well as from the accounts of European travellers and from the juristic documents that are in the possession of some Safad families.

Safad at the End of the Ottoman Period

From the beginning of the Ottoman conquest in 1516 until 1660, Safad was the center of the district (sanjaq) and was attached to the Province of Damascus. When the Province of Sidon was established, Safad was separated from Damascus and put under the Wali of this new province.2 Over time, the status of Safad was diminished from that of a district center to a sub-district center (qada), belonging to the Acre district.

The decline of the administrative status of Safad was not accidental. It was the inevitable result of the strengthening of Acre's position, especially after the administration of Sheikh Dahir al-Umar (1730-1775).3 Acre's growth was enhanced during the rule of Governor General Ahmed Pasha al-Jazzar (1776-1804) and his successors, Suleyman Pasha and Abdallah Pasha, who turned Acre into a political and administrative center of the province. As a result, Acre became the hub of the area's economic activities, while Safad remained an unpretentious sub-district center. Safad also suffered from severe natural disasters at this time and remained underdeveloped up to the years of the Tanzimat reforms. These reforms brought demographic and economic changes, which led to a slow but steady revitalization.4

Among the important changes that occurred in the late Tanzimat years was the proclamation of the law of the Provinces, the Vilayets Law, in 1864. This law led to an administrative reorganization of the provinces and their districts and the duties of the governors. As a consequence, the Province of Sidon was completely integrated into the Province of Damascus,5 thereafter known as the Province of Syria. Thus, Safad and its sub-district became part of the new Province.

In 1871, the sub-district included, along with the town of Safad, two nahiyas (hamlet), the nahiya of Jira and the nahiya of Jabal.6 The first consisted of the villages near and around Safad, and the second included the villages near and around the Jarmak (Meron) mountain.

In December 1887, the Sublime Porte (the Sultanate) decided to separate the five districts of Latakia, Tripoli, Beirut, Acre, and Nablus from the Province of Syria and to create the Province of Beirut. When the decision was implemented in 1888, it turned the district of Acre, which included the subdistrict of Safad, Tiberias, Nazareth, Acre, and Haifa, into a section of the Province of Beirut. That structure existed until the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.7

The Law of Provinces created a centralized orderly and stable administrative structure, which contributed to the growth of the district and sub-district towns. In the case of Safad, this contribution was considerable since the economic and the demographic growth associated with stability and centralization reinforced the status and the influence of Safad in the Upper Galilee. The Law was applied in Safad without delay by the authorities, and four governmental bodies were created.

The first body was the Qaimmaqamia, the highest administrative body in the subdistrict. It was headed by the Qaimmaqam, who was appointed by the Acre district governor after confirmation by the Wali. The Qaimmaqam was subordinate to the Wali.

The Qaimmaqam handled administrative and financial affairs and was entrusted with internal matters. He was expected to execute the governmental decrees conveyed from the district and to collect the levies imposed by the government and transmit them to the district coordinator in Acre.8 He was also the head of the Administrative Council of the sub-district and of the Department of Education, and he was responsible for security. The police force of the sub-district was under his control and was used in compliance with the orders issued by the district governor. 9

The second body was the Administrative Council of the sub-district. This council comprised seven to nine members. Three of them were elected and the rest were entitled to membership by their ex-office, such as the deputy (na'ib), the mufti, the chief treasurer, the principal clerk, and the spiritual leaders of the non-Muslims.

To be elected to the council, one had to be a subject of the Ottoman state, aged 30 or more, and pay taxes of at least 150 quirsh a year, indicating that members were all well-to-do.10The council supervised a series of administrative and civil matters, such as controlling revenue and expenditures; managing state property; assessing levies; and supervising public health, government tenders, prices of agricultural products, and land registration.11

The third body was the Municipal Council. The question of establishing municipalities was dealt with in the Law of Vilayets and its amendment in 1871. It was then decided to set up a municipality in every town that functioned as a centre in a province, district, or sub-district. Seven years later, in 1878, the first Municipal Council was founded in Safad.12

In those days, the Municipal Council included a mayor, his assistant, and six members who came from the ulema, the merchants and property owners. The duties of the municipality included controlling the building trade, development, water, town cleanliness, markets, and prices. Expenses were covered by the state and from levies paid by the population for the various services.13

The fourth body established in the town was a first-instance civil court. It functioned in addition to the shari'a courts. This court judged penal and administrative civil cases. Personal matters were brought to the shari'a courts. Communal matters were also submitted to the spiritual leadership of the given community. 14

In addition to the four bodies listed above, an office of education was created and led by town notables.

The Demographic Structure

 In general the Arab population outnumbered the other communities; it constituted between 55% and 60% of the total population of Safad and increased during the second half of the19th century. With the outbreak of the World War I and in the four years that followed, there was a significant decrease in the Jewish population. As a result the percentage of Arab citizens increased considerably. This increase continued during the years of the British Mandate.

A report issued by a delegation of the Protestant College of Malta in 1849 reveals that the entire population of Safad at that time reached 5,000. Of this total, 1,500 to 2,000 were Jews, 60 were Christians, and all the rest were Muslims.15 Nathan Shur notes that, in the years 1850-1855 the population of Safad reached 7,000, of whom 2,500 to 3,000 were Jews. Ben-Arieh affirms that the population was 6,000 in the 1840s and 1850s and that the majority were Arab, but he gives no breakdown.16

In 1871 [1288 H.], the Ottomans carried out a survey of all parts of the Province of Syria. The results of this survey indicated that the overall number of households (khanes) in Safad was 2,595, with the following distribution: 1,395 Muslim; 1,197 Jewish; and three Christian households.17 Scholars differ in their estimates of the number of persons per khane, but most agree that the most acceptable number is five.18 Therefore, by multiplying the number of khanes by five, the population would be 12,975, divided as follows: 6,975 Muslims (53.76%); 5,985 Jews (46.13%); and 15 Christians (0.11%).

Relying upon the salname of 1296 H. (1879), Alexander Sch?lch reported that the population of Safad at that time reached 15,008, of whom 8,000 were Muslims and 7,008 non-Muslims.19In 1914, the number of residents in Safad was estimated by Shmuel Avitzur at 14,000: 6,000-7,000 Jews and 7,000 Arabs.20Muhammad Tamimi and Muhammad Behjet issued a general report about the Province of Beirut in 1915 that indicated the total Safad population to be 12,755 persons: 7,077 Muslims and 422 Christians (most of them Catholics). Thus, Muslim and Christian Arabs numbered 7,499 and the Jews 5,256.21In 1918, 2,688 Jewish residents lived in Safad; citizens of the countries that were at war with the Ottoman Empire had left by then. Others had left the town because of illness, poverty, and starvation.22From that time on, Arabs formed an unequivocal majority in Safad.

The Muslim Community

The largest community in Safad, Muslims lived in three neighbourhoods. The first was haret al-Akrad, located in the eastern part and mostly a working-class district inhabited by hired laborers. The second, haret al-Sawawin, was in the centre of the town, near the Citadel, and was inhabited mostly by upper class and merchant families. The third, haret al-Wata, in the western part of the town and close to the Jewish neighbourhood, housed shopkeepers and small traders.

The Ottomans promoted Safad as an Islamic Sunni centre that was to counterbalance the religious minorities in the town and the region, especially the Shia' to the north. It appears that the settling in the vicinity of the town of Algerian exiles at the end of the 1860s and of Circassian exiles in 1878 was not accidental. According to one interpretation, this was done to reinforce the Islamic character of the region and strengthen the Muslim community in the town.23

The Algerians emigrated from their country after the suppression of the revolt led by Emir Abd al-Qader; Abd al-Qader finally came to live in Damascus in 1855. In the footsteps of the Emir followed thousands of refugees. Some of them were settled in the Safad region, where they founded five villages: Marus, Deishum, and Ammukah in eastern Upper Galilee and Huseiynia and Tulil in the Hula Valley. Some sources assume that a great number of the Safad Muslims were of Algerian origin.24No accurate information on the number of residents of Algerian origin is available, however, because the surveyors at that time did not consider them a separate group. It is only known with certainty that two Safad families were of Algerian origin: the Arabi and the Delasi families. These families constituted a very small percentage of the total population.

Masterman, who lived in Safad in 1893 and was a doctor in the town's Missionary Hospital, reported that the Muslims of Safad originated in Damascus, although some of them came from Transjordan and some were from surrounding villages.25He does not mention any percentages. It is assumed that many inhabitants of Safad originated in the remote past from Damascus. When the Sultan Dahir Baybars conquered Safad from the Crusaders six centuries earlier in July 1266, he brought with him inhabitants from Damascus and settled them in Safad.26

At that time the residents of Safad spoke Arabic with a Damascene accent and had cultural and social ties with Damascus. Safad youth usually went to Damascus for higher education, including religious studies.27

The Muslims of Safad were described as being conservative and powerful.28Masterman characterized them as vigorous: "They are an active and hardy race. They dress well and they move about more than people from the region of southern Palestine.”29In an earlier report, Edward Robinson gave a similar description. He wrote that they lived in stone houses, which looked more solid than those of the Jewish Quarter. The people Robinson met seemed to him to be more active and courageous than those from the South.30

At that time the Muslims of Safad usually led a quiet and peaceful life, even in 1860, when residents of the Lebanese mountains were experiencing disturbances. However, an atmosphere of fear within the Jewish and Christian communities was reported in 1860. The Jews of Safad had to turn for protection to the youth leader, shaykh al-shabab. The Chief Rabbi of the town organized a banquet for forty Muslim youths, in order to win their protection.31The Muslim residents of Safad showed solidarity with Ahmed Urabi, the leader of the uprising in Egypt in 1882. The Austrian consular agent, Miklasiewicz, described the attitude of the Muslims of Safad as one of hostility toward the British and the French, "while on the other hand, they are even idolizing the name of Urabi Pasha and writing various triumphal poems in his praise."32

Safad was always at the centre of economic life of those living in the eastern Upper Galilee, the Hula Valley, the Golan, and South Lebanon. The inhabitants of the villages in this region were connected with Safad commercially and administratively. They came to the town to buy and sell, especially to the weekly market that took place every Friday. There they bought what they needed, such as tools, utensils, clothing, footwear, and textiles, and they sold their agricultural products including fruit, vegetables, cereals, dairy products, and wool from their flocks.

According to the data of the salname of 1288

H. [1871], Safad had 227 shops, 15 mills, 14 bakeries, and 4 oil factories.33The large number of mills and oil factories indicates the types of services that Safad rendered to their neighbours.

In addition to the local commerce, Safad's merchants engaged in regional commerce that consisted mostly of the sale of cereals. The cereals were carried from Safad to Acre and from there to Europe. The Arab merchants in Safad acted as middlemen and intermediaries between the peasants and the traders in Acre. They bought the agricultural products from the villages of the district and sold them in Acre. Eielbaum described this: "Almost all the gentiles from Safad and its surroundings come every day to Acre. One brings wheat for sale, and the other brings some sort of pulse, and still another brings fruit…since this is the capital of the Galilee."34More evidence of the lively traffic between Safad and Acre is given by Yehiel Pines, who visited the Galilee in 1885. He noted that part of the produce was destined for export.35

In addition to its ties with Acre, Safad had commercial ties with Tyre and its region. Caravans of camels carried goods from Safad to Tyre.36

Masterman, who lived in Safad and acted for the British Mission toward the end of the Ottoman period, asserted that most of the trade in Safad had been in the hands of the Jews, but in the course of later years it was transferred to the Muslims, especially commerce with the Arab fellaheen or villagers. He explained that the Muslims gave more credit to the fellaheen and could receive help from the authorities for the repayment of their debts.37From Masterman's account, one can infer that the importance of the Muslim merchants increased in the second half of the 19th century. This occurred simultaneously with

Safad's Old City in recent times. Source: Palestine Remembered.

the strengthening of the merchants' social status, as a result of the Tanzimat.

This version of events is reinforced by Michael Asaf, who quoted a report in the newspaper Hamelitz:

The Arab merchants are growing more and more… Their trade is developing out of the ruin of the Jewish commerce. Among them, rich persons are found… The principal abundance comes from the environment and flows into their hands. All the negotiations with the fellahs, the purchase of the crops, the items needed for food and clothing -they all are in the hands of Arab merchants. Formerly, this trading was made by Jewish merchants, but with the cultural development of the Arab residents in the town, the Arab merchants began to push the Jewish traders away and overtook the trading business. The Jews did not oppose this; they withdrew from the negotiations with the gentiles. However, the Arab merchants started to compete also in the market of the Jewish commerce. They did not buy at fixed interest but by cash payment, their needs were less and they were satisfied with small benefits, and Jews began to leap at Arab merchandise.38

Avitzur asserted that after the start of the 1900s there was no increase in the number of Jews in Safad; the number of births and of immigrants did not compensate for that of deaths and emigration, especially for young people.39This affected the economic capacity of the community unfavourably.

Tamimi and Behjet noted that most of the Muslims and the Christians were capable merchants. They believed that the inhabitants of Safad had a marked inclination to accumulate wealth and that between twenty and thirty merchants had 2,000 to 3,000 liras to their names, while all of them also owned property of similar value. According to these authors, the merchants succeeded in increasing their wealth and influence by securing appointments to leadership functions or using their influence to avoid paying taxes.40

In 1897, the Ottomans founded a branch of the Agricultural Bank in Safad; their purpose was to support further economic development. This bank offered the peasants loans and financial assistance to improve their agricultural capacity. All the members of the Board were Arabs from Safad. The most influential of them were Husayn Abd al-Rahim Efendi, Hajj Ahmed al-Asadi, Abd al Latif, El-Hajj Said, and As'ad Khoury. 41Another step evidencing the consolidation of the merchants was the founding in 1900 of a Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. At its head were Abd al-Latif Efendi, Hajj Said, and his companions, who were among the most well-known merchants of the town.42

During the period of the reforms, the status of the Muslim merchants in Safad rose. Their wealth increased, and their business relations were strengthened. It also happened that some of the notable families took advantage of the new legal system (and especially of the 1858 Land Law) and invested a share of their capital in large tracts of land, a step that contributed even more to the consolidation of the position of the Arab families in Safad.

The Muslim Notable Families

The topic of the elites and the 'ayan families has been researched by Albert Hourani, Moshe Ma'oz, Ruth Roded, and Philip Khoury. 43A review of their work shows that there is no unanimity as to the definition and exact significance of the term "notables." In general, this term includes the urban oligarchy of influential and prestigious families, including the families of ulema, ashraf, landlords, and rich merchants. It was not by mere chance that the 'ayan attained this status; they first attained prestige and influence within their local communities. Then they were chosen by the authorities as intermediaries with their communities, thereby enhancing their influence. They served their own interests while they also served the interests of the government.44

Hourani posits that the class of the 'ayan emerged from three groups with different bases of power and social backgrounds. The first of these was the group of ulema, who in addition to their religious duties frequently undertook business affairs. They were also concerned with political matters and functioned as spokesmen and intermediaries between the public and the authorities. Furthermore, they often managed the waqfs, thereby reinforcing their economic status.

The second group was that of the secular 'ayan, which included all kinds of emirs whose status derived mainly from their military functions as commanders of the local forces. In fact, the descendants of local sipahi (feudal military families) families continued to hold agricultural land and to enjoy a high social status.

The third group developed from the local army corps and the Janissaries who had settled down in the towns where they served and had with time become part of the town 'ayan. 45

A study of the history of the Safad families and the constitution of its administrative system indicates that in Ottoman Safad there were only two groups of traditional notable families: the ulema, which included the Nahawi, Qadi, Mufti, and Naqib families, and the landlords, which included the Qaddura, Soubeh, and Murad families.

Toward the end of the Ottoman era, as a result of the social changes brought about by the Tanzimat, a new group emerged: civil officials, administrators, and businessmen. Within this group were the families Hajj Said, Asadi, Hijazi, Besht, Khouri, and Sabbagh.

The Ulema Families

The Ottomans cultivated Safad as the Sunni Islamic centre in Upper Galilee. They gave support to Muslim families and ulema in the town and the region (for example, the Asadi family), even in the early times of the Ottoman rule.46Over time, several well-known ulema families gained prominence, turning Safad into the principal religious centre between Nablus in the south and Damascus in the north. The ulema families were in control of the three most important religious functions: the ifta' (religious interpretations), the niyaba (judgeships), and the niqaba (representing the interests of the local urban aristocracy, or ashraf). They also managed the property and the lands of the Waqf.

The Landlord Families

In 1858, a new law was promulgated, the Law of the Lands (Arazi Kanunnamesi). Among other things, this law allowed the purchase and registration of state lands by private owners who would commit themselves to pay the required taxes. This law raised the value of the land, and many well-to-do people saw therein a profitable investment and a means to preserve and even to strengthen their social status.


In this article, I have reviewed the administrative, demographic, economic, and social changes experienced by the Arab community of Safad during the period of the Tanzimat. The article also shows that even in a far away and interior town like Safad, the reforms were applied expediently, contributing to the consolidation of the administrative system and, at the same time, to the centralization of power. The creation of a municipality, an administrative council, a civil court, and various offices and chambers resulted in significant social changes.

The integration of notable families into the new administrative system led to the strengthening of their social status. Moreover, they had the opportunity to further consolidate their wealth; by exploiting the Land Law, they purchased or obtained wide tracts of land that had become available in the new system and enjoyed the fruit of the reforms.

Mustafa Abbasi lectures in the history departments at Tel-Hai College, and at the Jordan Valley College. He has a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern History from Haifa University. His book on the social history of Safad, from which this essay is taken, will be published in 2003 by the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut.


1 It is acknowledged that the differentiation made here between “Arab” and “non-Arab” is problematic, as the Jews of Safad at that time were also Arabic-speaking.

2 Amnon Cohen, Palestine in the 18th Century, Jerusalem, 1973, p. 120.

3 Ibid. p. 130.

4 The Encyclopaedia of Islam N.E., Vol. VIII (Leiden, Brill 1995), s.v. "Safad."

5 Rhode Harold, The Administration and Population of the Saneak of Safed in the 16th Century, Columbia University Press, New York, 1979, pp. 16-24; Abd-Alkarim Rafek, al-Arab wal Uthmaniyun 1516-1916, 1987, Acre, p. 95.

6 Salname wilayet Suriyya, 1288 H. [1871], pp. 247-49.

7 Butrus Abu-Manneh, "The Establishment and Dismantling of the Province of Syria, 1865-1888." In John P. Spagnolo, ed., Problems of the Modern Middle East in Historical Perspective, 1992, pp. 7-26; Abd Al-Aziz Awad, al-Idara al-Uthmaniyya fi Wilayet Suriyya 1864-1914, Cairo, 1969, pp. 70-72.

8 Nofal, al-Dustur, Vol. 1, Beirut, 1301 H., p. 389.

9 Ibid., Awad, al-Idara al-Uthmaniyya, p. 98.

10 Nofal, pp. 392-93; Awad, pp. 104-5.

11 Nofal, p. 415; Awad, p. 104; H. Inalcik, "The Application of the Tanzimat and its Social Effects," in

H. Inalcik, ed., The Ottoman Empire Conquest Organization and Economy, vol. VI, London, p. 7; Moshe Ma'oz, Ottoman Reform in Syria and Palestine 1840-1861, Oxford, 1968, pp. 93-95.

12Salname Wilayet Suriyya, 1295 H. [1878], p. 96.

13Nofal, pp. 418-419; Awad, pp. 109-10; Salname Wilayet Beirut, 1311-1312 H. [1893-1894], p. 184.

14Salname Wilayet Beirut, 1311-1312 H. [1893-1894],

p. 183; Nofal, p. 390.

15Journal of a Deputation sent to the East by the Committee of the Malta Protestant College in 1849, 2 Vols., London, 1854, Part II, p. 455.

16Nathan Shur, Toldot Sfat (in Hebrew) (Am oved 1983), p. 205.; Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, "The Population of the Large Towns in Palestine during the Eighty years of the Ninth Century according to Western Sources," in M. Ma'oz, ed., Studies on Palestine during the Ottoman Period, Jerusalem, 1975, p. 67.

17Salname Wilayet Suriyya, 1288 H. [1871], p. 247.

18Ben-Arieh, p. 66; Haim Gerber, "The Population of Syria and Palestine in the Nineteenth Century," Asian and African Studies 13, 1979, pp. 58-62; G. Schumacher, "Population of the Liva of Akka," in Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement, London, 1887, p. 188.

19Alexander Sch?lch, Palestine in Transformation 1856-1882. Trans. W. Young and M. Gerrity, Washington, DC., Institute for Palestine Studies, 1993,

p. 33.

20Avitzur Shmuel, "Occlusiat Sfat Bealiyata Vebeyeridata" (in Hebrew), in Sfat Leket Mamarim, Ministry of Education and Culture, 1969, p. 34.

21Muhammad Rafik Tamimi and Muhammad Behjet, Wilayet Beirut al-Kism al-Janubi, 3d ed., Beirut, 1987,

p. 352.

22Hamesrad Hairitz Yisraili Shel Hahistadrut Hatsiyunit, Sferat Yihudi Aritz Yisrail, Vol. B (in Hebrew), Jaffa, 1918, p. 21.

23Sch?lch, p. 156.

24Shur, p. 222; E. W. G Masterman, "Safed," in Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement, London, 1914, p. 170; H. H. Kitchener and Claude Regnier Conder, The Survey of Western Palestine, London, p. 199; John Gibbons, The Road to Nazareth, New York, 1975, pp. 317-18.

25Masterman, p. 170.

26Taha Tarawni, Mamlakat Safad fi ?hd al-mamalik, Beirut, 1981, p. 51.

27Thmarat al-Funun, 1900 /12/3. 1901/6 /3.

28Michael Asaf, Hayahasim Bin Arabim Veyihudim Bearetz Yisrail 1860-1948 (in Hebrew), Culture and Education, 1970, p. 264.

29Masterman, p. 170.

30Robinson Edward, Biblical Researches in Palestine and the Adjacent Region, Vol. 2, Jerusalem, 1970, pp. 420-21.

31Sch?lch, p. 203.

32Ibid, p. 280.

33Salname Wilayet Suriyya 1288 H. [1871], p. 247.

34Menahem Eielbaum, Eretz Ha-Zvi (in Hebrew), Jerusalem, Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, 1981, p. 42.

35Yehiel Micha Pines, "Shiva Shvoot Bagalel" (in Hebrew), in Binyan Ha-Eretz, 1938, p. 32.

36Thmarat al-Funun, 1888/4/3.

37Masterman, p. 173.

38Asaf, p. 160.

39Avitzur, p. 52.

40Tamimi and Behjet, pp. 356-57.

41Salname Wilayet Beirut, 1311-1312 H. [1897-1898],

p. 184.

42Salname Wilayet Beirut, 1318 H. [1900], p. 310.

43A. Hourani, "Ottoman Reform and the Politics of Notables," in W. R. Polk and R. Chambers, eds., Beginning of Modernization in the Middle East, Chicago, 1968, pp. 41-68; M. Ma?z, "The Impact of Modernization on Syrian Politics and Society during the Early Tanzimat Period," in Polk and Chambers, ed., Beginning of Modernization in the Middle East, Chicago, 1968, pp. 333-49; R. Roded, "Social Patterns among the Urban Elite of Syria during the Late Ottoman Period," in D. Kushnir, ed., Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political, Social and Economic Transformation, Jerusalem, 1986, pp. 146-71; Philip Khoury, Urban Notables and Arab Nationalism: The Politics of Damascus 1860-1920, Cambridge, 1983.

44Khoury, pp. 2-3.

45Hourani, pp. 44-49.

46Aharon Layish has examined the settlement politics of the Muslims in the region of the Beit Ha-Kerem Valley, and he stressed that Sultan Selim bestowed the Monastery of Deir al-Bana to the Sûfi Sheikh Muhammad al-Asad. The son and successor of Sheikh Ahmad settled down in Safad and received lands of the Waqf, on the Canaan Mountain. Aharon Layish, "Waqfs and Sûfi Monasteries in the Ottoman Policy of Colonization, Sultan Selim's Waqf of 1516 in Favour of Dayr Al-Asad," in British Society for Oriental and African Studies 50, 1987, pp. 61-89.

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