" The Rise Of The Sun "
Beit Ummar (Arabic: بيت اُمّر) is an Arab town located eleven kilometers northwest of Hebron in the Hebron Governorate According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2007, the town had a population of 13,348 inhabitants. Over 4,800 residents of the town are under the age of 18. Since the Second Intifada, unemployment ranges between 60 to 80 percent due mostly to the inability of residents to work in Israel and a depression in the Palestinian economy. A part of the city straddles Road 60 and due to this, several propositions of house demolition have occurred.
Beit Ummar is mostly agricultural and is noted for its many grape vines. This has a major aspect on their culinary tradition of stuffed grape leaves known as waraq al-'inib and a grape syrup called dibs. Beit Ummar also has cherry, plum, apple and olive orchards.
History Beit Ummar is believed to be the site of Biblical village of Maarath According to some traditions, the town was named after the Islamic Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab because he supposedly frequented the town. Many of the town's predominantly Muslim residents are descendants of Arab Christian families and the old city contains Christian ruins.
The French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in 1863, and found it to have about 450 inhabitants. In 1883 the Palestine Exploration Fund'sSurvey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Beit Ummar as a "small but conspicuous village standing on the watershed, and visible from some distance on the north. An ancient road passes through it. Half a mile north-east is a good spring, ' Ain Kufin. The mosque has a small tower to it. The surrounding neigh bourhood is covered with brushwood."
In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Bait Ummar had a population of 829, all Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census to 1,135, still entirely Muslim, in 217 inhabited houses. In 1945 the population of Beit Ummar was 80 Jews and 1,600 Arabs, who owned 30,129 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey. 2,912 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 12,879 for cereals, while 55 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
Tomb of Nabi Matta. The main mosque in Beit Ummar houses the tomb of Nabi Matta. Matta meaningMatthew or Amittai, father of Jonah. Mujir ad-Din writes that Matta was "a holy man from the people of the house of the prophecy." Nearby Halhul houses the tomb of Jonah with the inscription reading "Yunus ibn Matta" or "Jonah son of Amittai", confirming that Matta is indeed the Arabic name for Amittai and the Beit Ummar tomb is dedicated to Amittai.