Deir Ammar is a town with almost 3.000 people, located 17 km northwest of Ramallah.
The town has antique origins, but in the last decades a new urban area grew up, whereas the old one was abandoned, and only recently is going to be restored.
It lays on hills overhanging Wadi Natuf, with its luxuriant vegetation fed by its many springs.
THE OLD TOWN
The old town of Deir Ammar was built on a hill where the old houses surround a small tomb of the Ottoman-era, known as the shrine of Sheikh Tameh, who has a special story and is famous to the people of the village, which they teach from generation to generation. People visit this shrine and its tree every year and light candles at his grave. Sheikh Tameh supposedly delivered taboun bread from the village to his master, who was in Makkah in one night, and when his master told the people of the village after returning from Makkah how he ate the bread delivered to him by Sheikh Tameh, the sheikh died at that moment, and people thought that he was a holy man of God. So they built a shire on his grave.
The old village offers an interesting discovery of the ancient houses, now almost in ruins, where the lower rooms were reserved for animals, while the family lived and slept in the rooms above.
SHRINE OF PROPHET GAITH
From the village, two paths lead to a hill (550m), adjacent to Deir Ammar downtown, with the shrine of the prophet Gaith on top, which was recently restored by Rozana.
The site dates back to the Roman period. A number of natural caves, cisterns and some remains of carved stone burial sites from the Byzantine period. The building of the shrine is traceable to the early Ottoman period, as well as a rectangular building (8x17 m) and a column-base, that was presumed to be a military camp.
The walk to the hill is worth because opens gradually a view on all the valley of Wadi Natuf and its springs.
NATURAL PLACES: WADI AL-ZARKA AND WADI NATUF
One of the most interesting attractions in Deir Ammar is the path of springs and wells, most of them dating back to the Roman period and encompassing the town on the bottom of a valley known as Wadi Natuf and its springs.
The importance of the valley is that archaeologists discovered stone age tools and domesticated dogs in one of the caves near the village of Shuqba.
The trail can cross the abandoned village of Nabi Ayoub, where you can find the ruins of a Byzantine church, and the natural spring at Ein Ayoub.
Take the time, during the walk, to have a tea with Ramadan Abu Kamesh, a farmer who cultivates fields of green pumpkins and olives. A talk with him will clarify most of the situation of the rural villages in Palestine, especially the issues regarding the relations with the settlements which surround the area of Deir Ammar.
AL-ASIRA (PRISONER) SHRINE AND TREE
The shrine and tree of al-Asira is located near Deir Ammar. According to legend, a woman fell in love with a man from that area and her family decided to lock her up until she died. Afterwards, a dense tree grew around the place, and it is said that whoever breaks a branch from that tree will be cursed. The legend also says that the trunks of the tree were upright, but they were sad for the prisoner and therefore fell down on the ground and stayed there in pain bleeding gum drops as if they were tears over the prisoner.