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City of Christian Love

The History and Importance of Nazareth

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Raouf Abujaber

City of Christian Love provides a detailed history of Nazareth from the dawn of the Christian Era until today with special focus on the religious communities found in this sacred city, including both the periods of tension and the periods of profound interreligious partnership and solidarity.

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Chapter Five: A Century of Palestinian Pride: The Principality of Dhaher Al-Omar, A.D. 1675–1775

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Chapter Five

A Century of Palestinian Pride

The Principality of Dhaher Al-Omar, A.D. 1675–1775

The reports we have about conditions in Galilee and other parts of Bilad Al-Sham, at the middle of the seventeenth century, leave much to be desired. Lack of stability and security forced peasants to neglect farming, and the Bedouin incursions brought more instability to an already chaotic situation. To add to these calamities, the countryside in some years suffered from drought causing shortage of water, and waves of locusts.

Drought could have been the cause of a migration involving the arrival of a clan of Bedouins whose chief was named Zaidan. He, with around fifty men of his people and their families and livestock, made a mass migration from their abode around Taif in the Hedjaz and came to stay in Tabaria, where they seemed to enjoy being near the lake. They settled down and seem to have prospered in the new surroundings. Zaidan was accompanied by his two brothers, Salih and Talha, and his son Omar, and the clan started to grow in number and influence.

Before the end of the seventeenth century, Omar become chief of the clan after his father’s death, and his son Dhaher was born. As a young ← 45 | 46 → man, Dhaher was out hunting in the countryside when he heard the screaming of a woman who was asking for help after being molested by a rapist....

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