Photo Gallery \ What Remained of the destroyed\ Qula
The northeastern corner of Qula village.
My story with Qula is long and special. For about a year I have been passing just beside it once every week on my way back from Ramallah to the Galilee through Wadi 3arah. And every time I postpone my visit to Qula to the week after, either because I am tired after a long work day, or because someone or something is waiting for me in my home village…
The traces of a house in Qula.
Last Thursday (13/1/2005) I truly felt bad while passing beside Qula with my exhaustion forcing me to continue on my way home. I felt I was unfairly neglecting and abandoning her…
A piece of the roof of a house whose stones were stolen.
Suddenly I said to myself: “Imagine that Qula, with all its splendor and anguish, is a girl who has fallen in love with you and has been waiting for you for a whole year. And she spends the whole week thrusting for meeting you. And when Thursday comes, she prepares herself and sits on top of the hill waiting. And when she sees your car approaching, her heart jumps with joy. And when you pass beside her, she flushes with shyness and love. And when you get close to the junction leading up to her, her heart almost stops….”
“… Imagine what would she feel when she sees you passing through the junction without taking right to drive up to her?!” And in a wink of the eye, the car was turning right so sharply that it almost flipped. I drove the unpaved road up to Qula… The weather was beautiful, and I had plenty of coffee, and Qula was waiting for me, so I spent 3 hours with her, and visited every single fig tree and cactus and stone… and together we watched the glamorous sunrset when the sun went down to swim in the sea of Jaffa. Then I returned home in the darkness, and Qula went back to sleep in the homeland’s wound.
When two falling masses meet each other in this way, the collapse itself becomes a force that keeps them standing…
Qula lies about 5 km (aerial line) inside the Green Line, almost halfway between Ramallah to the east and Jaffa in the west, at a distance of about 15 km northeast of Al-Lidd and Ramla (where Tel-Aviv Airport is now). The closest inhabited Palestinian community to Qula is Rantis, a village on top of the mountains in the West Bank.
The ruins of Qula Mosque.
Right before the fall of Qula towards the end of 1948, the village had a population of 1172. In 1998 the number of refugees from Qula amounted to nearly 7200. I don't know where Qula people live now, and I kindly ask those who know to send me information.
The southwestern part of the Crusader castle in Qula.
The village lies on top of a hill at a height of about 120 m over sea level. This hill comprises the meeting point between the mountain range of Rantis and Ramallah (on the West Bank) with the coastal plane around Jaffa, Al-Lidd and Ramla.
The eastern wall of the Crusader castle in Qula.
Qulla fell in the hands of the Jewish troops on 10/7/1948 after days of constant bombardment, and in 16/7/1948 the Arab Legion (Jordanian army) and some fighters from the village pushed the Jewish troops out and regained the village. But two days later the Jewish troops reoccupied the village.
What remained of the elementary school in Qula.
On December 13, 1948 the Israeli army demolished the village completely and leveled it with the ground. During the few years that followed, Qula was emptied of its stone blocks which were taken to be used for building houses for the new comers in the neighboring settlement of Rosh ha3ayen (Ras Al-3ein).
One of the many wells spread all over Qula.
Qula has the honor of being the birthplace of Martyr Hasan Salameh (Abu 3ali), one of the most outstanding leaders of the Palestinian struggle between the years 1936 and 1948. He was the high commander of the forces defending al-Lidd and Ramla cities in 1948. Abu 3ali was shot and killed during the battle of Ras al-3ein on May 31, 1948.
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