Bayyārat Shannīr: The Development of a Residential Complex in Lydda’s Agricultural Hinterland
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Bayyārat Shannīr: The Development of a Residential Complex in Lydda’s Agricultural Hinterland


Bayyārat Shannīr is one of Lydda’s most recognizable neighborhoods in the eyes of the general public. However, its rich social and architectural history has yet to receive sufficient scholarly attention. In this article, the second of our series about the Bayyāra s (orchard\well houses) in Lydda (Sasson 2019a), we seek to enrich the recent academic work about the modern history of Lydda by presenting a local micro-historical case study. Our sources include relevant academic publications in Arabic, Hebrew and English, diverse archival sources, a field survey of the site and oral testimonies gathered from the elderly residents of Lydda. In our discussion, we trace the history of land uses around Bayyārat Shannīr on the western margin of Lydda’s Late Ottoman plantation ( krum ) belt. Next, we trace its establishment by Ahmad Shannīr, an orange grove owner from Jaffa, to the beginning of the British Mandate. As an agricultural estate, Bayyārat Shannīr exemplifies the expansion of the city of Lydda beyond its historical core. Subsequently, we point to the combination of circumstances in which the orchard became a haven for internally-displaced Arab people from the Abu Kishk Tribe, originally from the Yarkon River (Nahr al-‘Auja) basin, and from south of Israel\Palestine. Finally, the article addresses the interplay between the physical arrangement of the neighborhood and the enduring social constructs of kinship, patronage and protection in the shadow of socio-economic and political upheavals throughout the twentieth century

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