‘Ayn ‘Arik (Arabic: عين عريك‎)

A Palestinian town in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate, located 5.6 kilometers west of Ramallah in the northern West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the town had a population of 1,567 inhabitants consisting of Muslim and Christian in 2007.

Also Called: `Ain `Arik,`Ayn `Arik,`Ein `Arik,ʿyn ʿryk, ‘Ain ‘Arīk, ‘Ayn ‘Arīk, ‘Ein ‘Arīk

History Southwest of the village is Khirbet al-Hafi, where Byzantine pottery has been found, together with glass fragments and ancient agricultural terraces. In 1596 ‘Ain ‘Arik appeared in the Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Quds of the Liwa of Quds. It had a total population of 24 households, 14 Muslim and 10 Christian. The villagers paid taxes on wheat, barley, olive trees, vineyards and fruit trees, goats and beehives. In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund‘s Survey of Western Palestine described Ain’ Arik as “A small stone hamlet in a deep valley with a Greek church, the inhabitants being Greek Christians. There is a good spring to the west with a small stream. The place is surrounded with olives, and there are lemons and other trees round the water in a thick grove. “In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, ‘Ain ‘Arik had a population of 200 Christians and 165 Muslims, while at the time of the 1931 census, ‘Ein ‘Arik had a population of 220 Christians and 274 Muslims living in a total of 117 houses.In 1945 the population of ‘Ein ‘Arik was 610, all Arabs, while the total land area was 5,934 dunams, according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 2,203 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 1,168 for cereals, while 32 dunams were classified as built-up areas. Present there are two churches located in the village, one Orthodox Christian and the other one is Roman Catholic Couvent Saint-Etienn. One mosque is located in the center of the village and has the tallest minaret in all of Palestine. Two-thirds of its inhabitants are Palestinian Muslims, and the remaining one-third are Palestinian Christians.

The village council which consists of mostly Muslims is chaired by a Christian. Both Christians and Muslims have been living together since early on harmoniously by respecting each other’s religion. ‘Ayn ‘Arik is known for the natural springs that run through the village and pour into the valley. Both springs, up until the year 2000, were used for drinking and cooking. The village has a large lush valley filled with fruit trees. In 1948 when Palestinians were exiled from their villages some refugees from different villages settled in Ein ‘Arik due to the accessibility of clean water. ‘Ayn ‘Arik has a public swimming pool, which is open from May to September. There are several restaurants in Ein ‘Arik that serve traditional Arabic cuisine, but the most popular of the restaurants is the Falaha, which is very well known throughout the West-Bank area.

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