Joseph’s Village, to translate the Arabic name, is believed to be named after the first century AD Roman-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.
As I entered the driveway of the Shehade family who invited me into their home, Safuan drew my attention to the Israeli flag on the roof. It is there year-round, he said, and not just for Independence Day.
Jewish families were living in this village on and off until around 1840. Today, the majority are Arab Christians, mostly Greek Orthodox, with a handful of Catholic and Anglican families. The rest are Muslims, along with a few Druze families who are the guardians of the tomb of El-Khader, one of the five supreme prophets of the Druze religion.
Israel Today met with four Christians in this village: Greek Catholic priest Father Elias Abed, Greek Orthodox couple Safuan and Maysoon Shehade, and Catholic layman Amir, who serves in the Israeli Air Force and whose real name cannot be used for security reasons.