About one hundred people participated in Zochrot's tour of the destroyed village of al-Sumayriyya on Saturday, 25.4.2009. Rushdiyya al Yusuf, Abu Jamil and Abu Umar, refugees from the village, told us about life there prior to the nakba, and about the expulsion. They lived there along with some 880 other residents until Israel was established. On 14 May, 1948, the Israelis demolished Alsumeriyya. Since then it's been almost completely empty, like hundreds of other villages, but its refugees aren't allowed to return. The offices of the Matte Asher regional council stand on the ruins of one of the village houses.
Hava Keller was a member of the settlement group that established Kibbutz Sa'ar, and saw al- Sumayriyya's empty houses after it had been captured. She participated in the tour, telling us that "I naively believed that the refugees would soon return to their homes." One day, when she returned from her work in Regba, a moshav, she saw that all the village's buildings, other than the mosque, had been demolished. "After that day, I wanted nothing more to do with Zionism," she said. "I understood that Israel has no intention of living in peace with the Palestinians, but intends to expel them from the country." We erected signs noting the location of the village, the mosque, the cemetery and the road leading to Beirut, and distributed a booklet prepared especially for the tour.