Economic and Social life in Nablus Mashareeq district (1214 – 1336 AH / 1799 – 1918 AD)

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Amin Mas'oud Abu Baker/suprvisor
Dr, Ebrahem Rabayi'ah/external examiner
Dr. Adnan Melhem/internal examiner
Dr. Amin Mas'oud Abu Baker/suprvisor
Ghassan Mohammad Abdel-Haleem Dwaikat
The term " Al-Mashareeq " , " Eastern " in English refers to the people or geographical area in Nablus District . It lies at the far south-east part of Nablus District , and was named after its location as it lies to the east of Nablus-Jerusalem main road . It's western borders form part of Palestine's middle mountains . While its eastern borders overlook " Al-Aghwar " ; Palestine's eastern low lands . Thus it is affected by two different types of climate where rainwater , collected in special wells , as well as springs formed the people's main source of water . The population of Al-Mashareeq were classified into three main categories ; main villages , new ones and destroyed but inhabited , or used to be , villages . During the study period , although the region had three administrative diversifications : Feudalism , Egyptian Reign , and Transition period and Central Reign , its subordination remained to Nablus District . The region was mainly administered by two main families . These are : Aal , means family , " Al-'Edaily " and " Al-Hajj Mohammad " . Some light changes took place during the Egyptian Reign when Ibraheem As-Saleh was appointed as successor to Nasser Al-Mansour . And this led afterwards to a new administrative kind of rule called " Al-Makhtara "; Mayoralty in English. Even the security responsibility was entrusted to the police officers , mayors in villages had played a crucial role in security keeping through what is called Tribal Judiciary . Land property varied a lot and had many forms : " Teemarat " ; assigning an area or a village to police officers instead of a salary , " Za'amat - the same as Teemarat , but larger areas " , " Sbaheya – an area or land assigned to soldiers and Knights who serve the state " , and Farming . There were also private land property . fiscal property , public property endowment property and mosques . Al-Mashareeq people mainly grew olive trees and that was accompanied with some simple industries such as taking out oil and olive wastes . For that , there was an olive mill in almost every village . They also grew grains , vegetables and some fruits as well . They raised some working animals and other livestock which give useful products . In terms of industry , the people had practiced crafts and simple industries such as : cheese making , carpentry , butchery and straw mats making . But sometimes they did trade and as a result , some measurements and weights . These include : " As-Saa' ; 3.245 kg " , " Ar-Ratel ; 3 kg " , " Al-Qintar ; 300 kg " , " At-Tabbeh ; 9.953 kg " , " Al-Fardeh ; 1.755 kg " , " Al-Hakoura ; 500-1000 sq m " , " foot ", " metre " and "carat " . The used to pay some taxes , among these " Al-Meery ; a public land tax " , " The Tenth ; a tax equals a tenth of the crop " and " Al-Weirko ; a private property tax " . Talking about money , the people used Ottoman currencies such as " Al-Majeedi " , " Al-Qirsh " , "Al-Lira " and " Al-Barah " . They also used foreign ones especially French and English although their usage was associated with some problems ; their value differences and their various types . These types are : (1) " Saagh " ; a coin made of only one pure metal . (2) " Sherk " ; a coin made of more than one metal . Each village consisted of many quarters and each one is inhabited with one ore or more families who had kinship . These villages were administratively surrendered to local people such as Mustafa Al-'Edaily and his son Omar in the villages of Beita and Usareen , Aal Hamzeh in Aqraba , Naser Al-Mansour and Ibraheem Khadher As-Saleh in Jalloud quarter and finally Ahmad Al-Jaber in Beit Foureek . Concerning marriage customs and traditions , some strange ones had prevailed . For example , underage girls used to be married orally between parents . The girl's dower during the study period was 2518.5 Qirsh divided into two parts . The first one paid on advance – given to the father – and the other to be paid later . Divorce took place due to different reasons : lack of residence , marrying another woman , disease and spouse problems . In many cases the wife acquit her husband from all her rights in return for divorce . From time to time , some quarrels happened between people . These are locally called " Tousheh " . In Tousheh , people used whatever they had in hands such as stones and " Qalousheh " scythe in English . In murder cases where the murderer is known , execution is the only punishment for the killer . While in cases of manslaughter or when the killer is anonymous , blood money or reconciliation is the solution . In terms of family size , each family consisted of an average of six members . They all live in a small house containing simple furniture not exceeding a bed for every member . Education was so limited and unacceptable if compared to mosque education which is called " Katateeb " . In its best , education didn't exceed learning and writing . Talking about health , most people refused to deal with medicine in its early beginnings . Instead , they used folk medicine mainly based on herbs to cure diseases and pains . But sometimes , they cured them by using folk beliefs medicine wholly based on beliefs although they are often contradictory to religion .
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