Fiq ( ar|فيق) was a Syria
in the Golan Heights
that administratively belonged to Al Quneitra Governorate
It sat at an altitude of and had a population of 2,800 in 1967. It was the administrative center of the Fiq District
of Al Quneitra. In and after the Six-Day War
in June 1967, it was evacuated. The Israeli settlement
of Kibbutz Afik
was built close by.
Fiq was an ancient town, covering about 100 dunam
s on an artificial mound. Many inscriptions in Latin and Greek have been found.
Early Muslim period
Fiq was located on one of the few routes connecting the Galilee
and the Golan Heights, all part of the very important network of roads between Egypt
and Syria. The lower part of the road followed the "Ascent of Fiq" (Arabic: 'Aqabat Fiq).
[Sharon 2004, p]
/ref> Once it reached the plateau, the road passed through different villages, the branch going through Fiq leading eastwards to the Hauran region rather than northeastwards to Damascus.
[ An inscription found near Fiq dating to 692 credits the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik () and his uncle Yahya ibn al-Hakam for leveling the "''aqaba''" (presumably Aqabat Fiq) for the inauguration of a new road connecting the Umayyad capital Damascus with Jerusalem.] [Sharon 2004, pp]
/ref> It is the oldest known Arabic inscription acknowledging the building of a road during the Islamic period.
The Ayyubids built a caravanserai at Aqabat Fiq in the early 13th century called Khan al-'Aqabah, whose ruins are still visible.
[ Around 1225, during Ayyubid rule, the Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi noted that the convent of Dayr Fiq was much venerated by Christians, and still frequented by travellers.
In 1596 Fiq appeared in the Ottoman tax registers as part of the ''nahiya'' of Jawlan Garbi in the Qada of Hauran. It had an entirely Muslim population consisting of 16 households and 9 bachelors. Taxes were paid on wheat, barley, summer crops, olive trees, goats and/or beehives.
In 1806, the German explorer Seetzen found that Fiq had 100 houses made of basalt, four of them were inhabited by Christians and the rest by Muslims. In 1875, the French explorer Victor Guérin found that Fiq was divided into four quarters, each administered by its own sheik. Most of the homes contained remnants of ancient buildings. The village had abundant of fresh water. When Gottlieb Schumacher surveyed the area in the 1880s, he described Fiq as a large village with about 400 people. It had around 160 "tolerably" well-built stone houses, but only 90 of those were inhabited.
At the time of its depopulation in 1967, the city had a population of approximately 2,800.
Archaeology and possible mention in the Bible
The name Aphek refers to one or several locations mentioned by the Hebrew Bible as the scenes of a number of battles between the Israelites and the Arameans. Most famously, a town near which one or more rulers of Damascus named Ben-hadad, were defeated by the Israelites and in which the Damascene king and his surviving soldiers found a safe place of retreat (; ).
Since the turn of the 20th century the predominant opinion is that the location of all these battles is one and the same, and that the town lay east of the Jordan. Initially it was thought that the name is preserved in the now depopulated village of Fiq near Kibbutz Afik, three miles east of the Sea of Galilee, where an ancient mound, Tell Soreg, had been identified. Excavations by Moshe Kochavi and Pirhiya Beck in 1987-88 have indeed discovered a fortified 9th- and 8th-century BCE settlement, probably Aramean, but Kochavi considered it to be too small to serve the role ascribed to Aphek in the Bible. The site most favoured now by the archaeologists is Tel 'En Gev/Khirbet el-'Asheq, a mound located within Kibbutz Ein Gev.
Syrian actor Hatem Ali was born in Fiq in 1962.Funeral of late director Hatem Ali escorted to his final resting place in Damascus
''Syrian Arab News Agency''
* (pp. 240–241)
Category:Former populated places on the Golan Heights
Category:Towns in Quneitra Governorate