At the entrance of the old town of Nablus and to the west of the city lies the well-known neighborhood of Yasmina, with walls lamenting their luck after the majority of commercial establishments left its narrow streets, moving into larger commercial complexes and high-walled markets, at a time a large number of young people moved out of it, leaving it only for elders.
The neighborhood is named after the big number of jasmine trees there. It occupies the southwestern corner of the town and contains many ancient old houses that were built hundreds of years ago. Among the most beautiful buildings are the palace of Abd al-Hadi, Al-Satoun Mosque, the Green Mosque, with some of its streets roofed and others are not.
Diwan Al-Yasmina turned into a refuge for all families, whether during social occasions, both joyous and sad, or to receive condolences in fallen martyrs, as well as conducting social and cultural activities.
When one walks around the neighborhood, a variety of scenes could be spotted, such as children playing soccer in the narrow streets, due to the lack of playgrounds in the neighborhood. They get less happy whenever a car passes, which prevents them from continuing their play.
At the entrance, a commercial grocery is located, where elderly Abdul Rahman Arafat sits complaining about life in the neighborhood by saying: “I just sit here trying to have something new. Look, there's no movement here. It used to be packed with hundreds in the old days.”
According to Jamal al-Khalili, one of the merchants there, the percentage of his customers dropped to more than 90 percent, forcing him to open a branch in the center of the city.
The Second Intifada
He adds, “Old families used to live in the neighborhood, such as the family of Abdel Hadi, Abu Shalabak and Shukir, most of whom left the neighborhood to new neighborhoods, while their palaces and houses remain, serving as a witness to their presence, especially the palace of Abdul Hadi.”
In one of the corners of the neighborhood the famous Ben Brik for alternative medicine is located, going four centuries back. It contains all products of herbs and seeds, some of which are used to make popular food, and others are used as a popular medicine. The herbs shop has become a haven for tourists and visitors.
The Satoun Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the city of Nablus, in the middle of Al-Yasmina neighborhood. It has painful memories during the Israeli occupation of the city in 1967 and the Israeli offensive on the city in 2002.
The neighborhood played a major role in the Intifada of 1987 and in 2002, where it was subjected to prolonged demolitions of houses, shops and facilities. The entrance to the neighborhood was destroyed by explosives when it was raided during the beginning of the second intifada.