Umm al-Zaytun

Umm al-Zaytun
Umm ez-Zeitoun
Umm al-Zaytun

Location in Syria

Coordinates: 32°54′21″N 36°36′20″E / 32.90583°N 36.60556°E / 32.90583; 36.60556Coordinates: 32°54′21″N 36°36′20″E / 32.90583°N 36.60556°E / 32.90583; 36.60556
Country  Syria
Governorate Suwayda
District Shahba
Subdistrict Shahba
Population (2004)[1]
  Total 1,913
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Umm al-Zaytun (also spelled Umm ez-Zeitoun) is a village in the al-Suwayda Governorate in southwestern Syria. It is situated along the southeastern edge of the Lejah lava plateau, northwest of the city of al-Suwayda. Umm al-Zaytun had a population of 1,913 in the 2004 census.[1] Its inhabitants are Druze.


Umm al-Zaytun had been abandoned sometime in the middle Ottoman era, but was settled by Druze prior to 1810. It was one of the earliest Druze settlements in the Lejah plateau.[2] The village was controlled by the Bani Amer clan.[3] In 1839, Ibrahim Pasha, the Egyptian governor of Syria, sent a conscription expedition of 100 cavalry to subdue the Druze of Hauran. The latter engaged and destroyed Ibrahim Pasha's troops at Umm al-Zaytun.[4] The Egyptian army withdrew from Syria in 1841 and Ottoman rule was restored. Umm al-Zaytun joined the Hauran Druze Rebellion of 1910 was subdued by Ottoman troops commanded by Badr Khan Bey.[5]


Roman Empire-era structures are located in Umm al-Zaytun.[6] In particular are the ruins of a religious building with a large stone facade and a room with niches suited for statues.[6] The inscription found at the building date to 282 CE and mention and describe the building as a "sacred kalybe".[6] This type of building is relatively unique in Syria, being found only in Umm al-Zaytun and nearby Shaqqa and Hayyat.[6]


  1. 1 2 General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Al-Suwayda Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. Firro 1992, p. 175.
  3. Firro 1992, p. 183.
  4. Socin, Albert (1876). Palestine and Syria: Handbook for Travellers. Karl Baedeker. p. 420.
  5. Murphy, C. C. R. (1921). Soldiers of the Prophet. John Hogg. p. 18.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Butcher, Kevin (2003). Roman Syria and the Near East. Getty Publications. p. 361.


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