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Hanneh-1952- Forjon -1957

Pontifical benediction of Pope Pius XII, to Said and Hanneh, on the occasion of their wedding, (Madaba 16-2-1053).Vatican on 30-3-1953.

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Hanneh-Lewis-Hanna-Said-1957 Ghor al-Safy (Farm of the Kildani family).

Ghor al-Safy, where is the Kildani family farm

Ghor al-Safy as seen in the map of Madaba . Ghor al-Safy is the ancient Balak or Zo'ar (spelled also as Zoar, Zagora, Soara, Segor & Zoara) in Genesis 14:2 &19:18-26.

"18And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords. 19Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape thereis it not a little one?and my life will be saved!" 21He said to him, "Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there." Therefore the name of the city was called(R) Zoar.[a]  23The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24Then(S) the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26But Lots wife, behind him, looked back, and she became(T) a pillar of salt." Genesis 19: 18-26)


Balak also Segor, now Zoara - (Ghor al-Safy)

The symbol of this site is a medium-sized town with two red-roofed churches.

Bala (Gen 14:2) 'which is Segor [Zo'ar]', today called Zoara, the only one of the five cities of the land of Sodoma which was saved by Lot's prayers. It is on the shore of the Dead Sea and a garrison of Roman soldiers is posted there, but it is also inhabited by its own citizens, and in its vicinity the balsam and the palm-tree grow, a token of its ancient fertility. No one should be troubled by the fact that the same city is called both Segor and Zoara, for it is the same word, meaning 'small' or 'minor', but Segor is the Hebrew name, and Zoara the Syriac. (Eusebius, Onomasticon 42:1-5; Jerome 43:9-16)

Zogora in the Book of Jeremiah (Jer 48:34), a city of Moab: today it is called Zoara or Segor, one of the five cities of Sodoma. (Eusebius, Onomasticon 94,1-2; Jerome 95:1-2)

Soora (Gen 19:30-38), a city in the vicinity of Sodoma, which is called also Segor and Zoara, of which we spoke above. (Eusebius, Onomasticon 150:19-20; Jerome 151:18-19)

Zoar (Google Earth Community)

zo'-ar (tso`ar; the Septuagint usually Segor, Zogora): The name of the city to which Lot escaped from Sodom (Ge 19:20-23,30), previously mentioned in Ge 13:10; 14:2,8, where its former name is said to have been Bela. In 19:22, its name is said to have been given because of its littleness, which also seems to have accounted for its being spared. The location of Zoar has much to do with that of the cities of the Plain or Valley of Siddim, with which it is always connected. In De 34:3, Moses is said to have viewed "the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, unto Zoar," while in Isa 15:5 and Jer 48:4 (where the Septuagint reads unto "Zoar," instead of "her little ones") it is said to be a city of Moab. The traditional location of the place is at the south end of the Dead Sea. Josephus says (BJ, IV, viii, 4) that the Dead Sea extended "as far as Zoar of Arabia," while in Ant, I, xi, 4, he states that the place was still called Zoar. Eusebius (Onomasticon, 261) locates the Dead Sea between Jericho and Zoar, and speaks of the remnants of the ancient fertility as still visible. Ptolemy (v. 17,5) regards it as belonging to Arabia Petrea. The Arabian geographers mention it under the name Zughar, Sughar, situated 1 degrees South of Jericho, in a hot and unhealthful valley at the end of the Dead Sea, and speak of it as an important station on the trade route between Akkabah and Jericho. The Crusaders mention "Segor" as situated in the midst of palm trees. The place has not been definitely identified by modern explorers, but from Ge 19:19-30 we infer that it was in the plain and not in the mountain. If we fix upon the south end of the Dead Sea as the Vale of Siddim, a very natural place for Zoar and one which agrees with all the traditions would be at the base of the mountains of Moab, East of Wady Ghurundel, where there is still a well-watered oasis several miles long and 2 or 3 wide, which is probably but a remnant of a fertile plain once extending out over a considerable portion of the shallow south end of the Dead Sea when, as shown elsewhere (see DEAD SEA), the water level was considerably lower than now.
Robinson would locate it on the northeast corner of el-Lisan on the borders of the river Kerak, but this was done entirely on theoretical grounds which would be met as well in the place just indicated, and which is generally fixed upon by the writers who regard the Vale of Siddim as at the south end of the Dead Sea. Conder, who vigorously maintains that the Vale of Siddim is at the north end of the Dead Sea, looks favorably upon theory of W.H. Birch that the place is represented by the present Tell Shaghur, a white rocky mound at the foot of the Moab Mountains, a mile East of Beth-haram (Tell er-Rameh), 7 miles Northeast of the mouth of the Jordan, a locality remarkable for its stone monuments and well-supplied springs, but he acknowledges that the name is more like the Christian Segor than the original Zoar.

George Frederick Wright

"Our Lady of Ghor al-Safy".

This icon was collected by late Said Kildani in 1968, in the ruined home farm (al-Mrah) in Ghor al-Safy, after the Israeli invasion of Ghor al-Safi in 1968. A date, 15-7-1947, is fixed on the back of the icon with a note in Arabic calling the icon "our Lady of Ghor al-Safi" . On that occasion in 1968 I was with my father when he collected the icon. I am keeping it as a relic of our family faith and a memory of those days.

Ghaleb Almaet, Lewis, Hanna -Ghor al-Safy 2006.

Salem - Hanneh

Lewis - Hanna - Ghor al-Safy 1957


Fr.Ibrahim Dirawi-Fr.Raouf Najjar-Fr.Graig-Fr.Gennaro-Ghor al-Safy1957

(Back of the photo)

Endrea Kildani, Khalil (Bek) Madanat, Said Kildani, (Khawaja) Yacoub Shobaki & guards with their weapons. The photo was taken around 1940 in Ghor al- Safy

Said in Egypt, Cairo 1953

Said in Egypt, Cairo 1953

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Forjon 1955,1951

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1962 Amman

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1959-62-50-55-40-56 Ghor al-Safy

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Said-1980 Madaba

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Said-Mikal-Forjon-1973, Saydnaia, Syria

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Hanneh-Lewis-Hanna-Amal-1956 Karak

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Ramzi-Lewis-George-1966 Madaba

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Said-Mikal-1973 Syria

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Said-George-Mikal-Forjon-Ramzi --------Mikal ---- 1971

Mikal 1973

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Anne 1976 - Mikal 1973

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Zoara -Ghor al-Safy- (From New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia)

A titular see of Palestina Tertia. It is the ancient Bala or Segor, one of the five cities of the Pentapolis (Genesis 14:2, 8), which escaped the thunder and lightning for having sheltered Lot and his family (Genesis 19:22, 30). It is mentioned by Josephus ("Ant. Jud.", XIII, xv, 4; "Bell. Jud.", IV, viii, 4); Ptolemy (V, xvi, 4); and by Eusebius and Saint Jerome in the "Onomasticon". The "Notitiae dignitatum", 72, places at Zoara, as a garrison, the resident equites sagitarii indigenae; Stephen of Byzantium (De urbibus, s.v. Addana) speaks also of its fort, which is mentioned in a recently-discovered Byzantine edit of the fifth century (Revue biblique, 1909, 99). In a Mosaic map of Madaba, of the sixth century, it is represented in the midst of a grove of palm trees under the names of Balac or Segor, now Zoara; near the city is a sanctuary to St. Lot. Hierocles (Syneedemus) and George of Cyprus (Description of the Roman World) both mention it. Some bishops have been ascribed to Zoara; Musonius, at Ephesus (449), and at Chalcedon (451); Isidore in 518; and John in 536 (Le Quien, "Oriens Christ.", III, 737-746). At the end of the fourth century one of its bishops accompanied the western pilgrim, wrongly named Silvia (Geyer, "Itinera hierosolymitana", 54). The pseudo-Antonius in the sixth century describes its monks, and extols its palm trees (op. cit., 166, 181). Owing to its tropical climate and to the waters coming down from the mountains of Moab, Zoara is a flourishing oasis where the balsam, indigo, and date trees bloom luxuriantly. During the French occupation it took the name of Palmer, or of Paumier. William of Tyre (XXII, 30) and Foulcher of Chartres (Hist. Hierosol., V) have left beautiful descriptions of it, as well as the Arabian geographers, who highly praise the sweetness of its dates (Guy Le Strange, "Palestine under the Moslems", 289). It is not known when the city disappeared; it is now very difficult to find any traces of it. Search may be made in the Ghor-es-Safieh at the mouth of Wadi el-Qrahy, the ancient torrent of Zared.

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