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Shefar'am (Israel)

Iriyat Shefar'am, Baladiyat Shfa Omar

Last modified: 2008-07-19 by dov gutterman
Keywords: shefar'am | iriyat shefar'am | shfa omar | baladiyat shfa omar | druze | text: hebrew (blue) | text: arabic (blue) | text: english (blue) |
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[Municipality of Shfar'am (Israel)]
image by Dov Gutterman | 2:3
Emblem adopted 19th May 1966

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Shefar'am, according to one explanation, derives its name from Shofar HaAm, meaning 'Shofar of the People'. Its Arab name is Shfa Omar or Omar's Health, afterthe Muslim general Omar Bin-Elias. It is situated on the road from the Qrayot to Nazareth (road 79), 8 km from the seashore. Est. 1910, pop: 30,000 made up of Druzes, Christians and Muslims.
In my visit of 17 September 2001, I spotted a flag on the city hall, white with a blue emblem and inscriptions in three languages.
Dov Gutterman, 22 September 2001

Since the Hellenic era, it was the site of the Jewish town Shefar'am (name from the word Shefer (Beauty, comfort). At the 2nd century it was main Jewish center (after Usha and before Bet-She'arim). It seems that it was populated with Jews until the 9th or the 10th century.
The Crusaders built there a fort named La-Safran. Since the beginning of the Ottoman era there was a Jewish community in Shefar'am (last Jew left in 1920). In the mid 18th century it was fortified by the ruler of the Galilee, Daher Al-Omar who renamed it to Shfa-Omar (Omar Health). In 1910 it was granted with a status of a city by the Ottoman regime. In the city you can find the preserved fort of Daher Al-Omar on the ruins of the Crusaders' fort which is also the municipal emblem.
Pop: 31,000 (57% Moslems, 28% Christians and 15% Druze).
Source: <>.
Dov Gutterman, 8 May 2005