PLace

Sirin

Place
Sirin — سِيرِين
District
Galilee
Average Elevation
200 m
Subdistrict
Baysan
Distance from Baysan
17 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 810
1931 630
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 16589 477 11379 28445
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable 1209 6 10873 12088
Built-up 113 18 131
1322 6 10891 12219 (43%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Cereal 14854 471 488 15813
Plantation and Irrigable 413 413
15267 471 488 16226 (57%)
Number of Houses (1931)
161

The village stood on flat terrain that sloped slightly southwestward. The village site was bounded on the northwest by Wadi al-Ruduh and on the southeast by Wadi al-Bayadir. A secondary road linked it to a highway leading to Samakh, to the north, and Baysan, to the south; other secondary roads and narrow paths connected it to neighboring villages. The Crusaders called it Losserin. In 1596, Sirin was a village in the nahiya of Jinin (liwa' of Lajjun), with a population of twenty-two. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat and barley, as well as on other types of produce, such as goats and beehives. The British traveler Buckingham, who toured the area in the early nineteenth century, described it as a village of about thirty to forty houses with half a dozen Bedouins' tents close to it.

In the late nineteenth century, Sirin was surrounded by hedges of prickly pear; its 100 residents cultivated 35 faddans (1 faddan = 100-250 dunums; see Glossary).  The houses were originally built at the intersection of the roads linking it to other villages, but as the village expanded its newer houses stretched out in a northwest-southeast direction. Of the 810 people who inhabited the village in 1945, 190 were Christians and 620 were Muslims. Sirin had one elementary school, which was for boys. Agriculture was the mainstay of the village economy, the chief crops being grain and olives. In 1944/45 a total of 14,854 dunums was allocated to cereals; 413 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, 109 dunums of which were planted with olive trees. A Greek inscription was found in the house of Zayd al-Shihada. Other remains from the Byzantine period include a mosaic pavement and a vaulted spring with the fragment of a cornice.

Units of the Golani Brigade occupied the village on 12 May 1948, probably as a result of the conquest of Baysan that same day. Sirin, together with 'Ulam, Hadatha, and Ma'dhar, were seized in the same offensive. The History of the Haganah states that 'their inhabitants fled in fear of the Jews. And Jewish lower Galilee [sic] became empty of Arabs...' Israeli historian Benny Morris gives a somewhat different and less plausible version of the depopulation of these villages. He writes that the inhabitants of all four villages were ordered to leave the previous month, on 6 April, by the Arab Higher Committee (AHC). This was probably done, he claims, because the AHC feared that the villages would 'throw in their lot with the Yishuv.'

There are no Israeli settlements on village land.

The cemetery and one house (which serves as a storage room for straw) are all that remain of Sirin. Stone rubble surrounded by clusters of cactuses can be seen on the site. The site itself is used as a stockyard for cattle. The spring in the middle of the site is covered with a stone structure. Some of the land around the village is planted in cotton.