Politics and Conflict

The geographical location of Umm Qais on a natural border (confluence of Yarmouk and Jordan river valleys) has put the site on the front line of politics and conflict for millennia. 

After the World War of 1914 - 1918 and the collapse of the Ottoman empire, the western powers of France and the British Empire sought to divide up the former Ottoman occupied areas without regard to those living there. Umm Qais was the location where many leaders from Bilad al-sham  (the wider Arab territories) met to discuss these issues signing a treaty with the British representative in Trans-Jordan in 1920 a document that played a significant part in the formation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. 

The site's proximity to the Palaestine & Israel and the Golan heights put it again on the front line of the Arab-Israeli conflicts of the 20th Century. These conflicts also influenced local politics and the forced relocation of the community from the traditional village by the central Jordanian Government.

Most of the residents recall long nights when they were pushed undergroun to the caves when the Israeili’s ground forces bombed the villages houses during the guirella war. Talib Al-Rousan recalls, with pride, evenings and nights, when army personels’ walk in the night using the hilly and complex topography of the area to open pathways through the enemy’s lines. In most cases these trigger immedieate response with heavy bombings of the area. The heavy bombing was Israeli response to frequent penetrative operations of the Jordanian ground units through the village, using its proximity to the Tebrias Lake and Palestine/Jordan border region. 

Interview with Talib al-Rousan: 1920 Treaty and foundation of Jordan

Interview with Talib al-Rousan: Arab-Israeli conflict, local politics and relocation.