Jubatha al-Khashab is a locality in Quneitra province on the border with the occupied Syrian Golan. Until the summer of 2018, the locality was controlled by rebel factions. It has since returned to Syrian government control.
To learn more about the current situation in Jubatha al-Khashab, I interviewed the head of the municipal council of Jubatha al-Khashab, which also covers the villages of Ufaniya and Taranja.
This interview was conducted on 24 June 2019. For a prior interview with the municipal council of the nearby locality of Khan Arnabeh (which remained under government control), see here.
Q: Can you tell me a little about Jubatha al-Khashab generally? The number of inhabitants currently, the biggest families in it, etc.
A: The locality of Jubatha al-Khashab or as they call it the locality of the heroic martyr Ahmad Maraywad. The locality of Jubatha al-Khashab is distinguished by a wonderful touristic climate and captivating scenes of nature. A number of villages are affiliated with the locality among them the village of Taranja, Ain al-Bayda, Ufaniya, Tajammu' Mazari' al-Amal, Tajammu' Tel Sahi and Al Khidra. The number of inhabitants according to the civil register reaches 18500. The inhabitants of Jubatha al-Khashab: 13500. Those present within the area of our work: 5000.
Life has gradually begun to return after the reconciliations. Most of the inhabitants of the locality of Jubatha have been living in Damascus since 1967, after the June war. The area of the locality of Jubatha al-Khashab is 40 km squared. There is a network of local, agricultural and touristic roads in it of around 60 km. There is also a natural forest in it of around 110 hectares: among the most beautiful forests of Syria.
The locality of Jubatha was established by decree on 9 February 1951 CE.
The locality is renowned for culivation of cherries, berries and olives, and it is renowned for rearing of livestock.
The most important families of the locality: Maraywad (and it is the biggest of the families), Bakr, al-Alan, Ghanem, Dawoud, al-Samiyah, Hijazi, Kiwan, Nsar, Hazimah, Taymah, Jouriyeh, Hajer, al-Hariri, Sharaihi, Kaboul, Zaytoun, Ghadir, Rahal, Yusuf.
Q: What are the greatest accomplishments of the municipal council of Jubatha al-Khashab since the time of the reconciliation?
A: Before the reconciliations there were in the locality of Jubatha al-Khashab 7 schools and a kindergarten: a scientific and humanities thanawiya and a girl's thanawiya. Five primary and secondary schools. And a kindergarten. Within the sector of work of the council: 11 schools: 7 in Jubatha, 2 in Taranja, 1 in Ayn al-Bayda, 1 in Ufaniya. Currently after the reconciliation 6 of the schools were opened and renovated with urgency as here were on the school seats around 900 male and female students. An exam centre for the preparatory qualification for this year was opened for around 150 students.
The electricity network has been delivered at a proportion of 85%, by the help of the municipal council and the local community: the electricity runs for 24 hours a day. All the wells were activated and put into service 15 days after the reconciliation and it was a record. The electricity network was completely destroyed: an extension of 30 km of cables was made.
There is a telephone exchange that has been prepared but it needs equipment.
There is a fire fighter unit that needs to be prepared and this is a matter of necessity. There is an electricity centre that needs to be prepared. There is a clinic in operation, as well as a guidance unit and a fellahin association.
The level of cleaning is very good: around 100 tonnes of garbage are removed each month.
The rate of education in the locality of Jubatha al-Khashab is very high: there are academics in Damascus University.
Q: What are the greatest challenges that the locality is facing regarding services at the moment?
A: The obstacles are a deficiency in human staffing and vehicles. Lighting is zero as a result of the destruction that occurred. I have tried to light a part of the middle. Without exaggeration, the municipal council tracks everything big and small even outside the field of its work. I repeat the obstacles are the deficiency of vehicles and human staffing, and the rest of the services come within the capabilities of the province from paving and maintaining streets and lighting and sewage. We need great capabilities: there is much destruction on the roads network. I hope to focus on the schools, as the families do not want to return because of the schools as they are not completely made suitable.
The head of the municipal council of Jubatha al-Khashab tracks daily the affairs of the locality through going to the foundation of electricity, water, phone, provision etc. He also tracks every small thing to elevate the field of his work and serve his people and locality. I am not vouching for myself but this has been my daily work for 8 months and by the grace of God I have been able to deliver all the services and the locality of Jubatha al-Khashab is the biggest village in Quneitra province in inhabitants and land. All the officials of the province have not fallen short and at the head of them the governor and this is a trust. He tracks my work daily.
And finally I say all thanks to Mr. Hamza Suleiman a member of the branch leadership of the Ba'ath Party.