About Sabastiya

Sabastiya is a small Palestinian town set in a fertile valley where figs, olives, almonds, grapes and other fruits and vegetables are grown. It is a fascinating town with a long and rich history and where, to this day, ancient columns built in Roman times still stand. It has a population of a little over 3,000 people, all living under the weight of military occupation.

Sabastiya’s History

Roman ruins at Sabastiya


Because of its long history, Sabastiya boasts a number of important archaeological monuments.
Even today, you can see the ruins of ancient Sabastiya on a hill overlooking the present village and feel the power of six successive cultures dating back 10,000 years: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.
According to religious tradition, the head of John the Baptist was found in Sabastiya.
Once a popular tourist attraction, the area is being economically strangled as travel becomes increasingly difficult. Some of its land has been stolen by the neighbouring illegal Israeli settlement of Shaveh Shomron.

Sabastiya today

The girls secondary school

Sabastiya is a fascinating town with a population of a little over 4,000, mainly of a Muslim majority with a small Christian presence.
Sabastiya relies on Nablus for many of its services and employment. The people of Sabastiya go to Nablus for hospital treatment and to study at university, but Israeli military check points have made travelling difficult.
Living under military occupation makes life hard and challenging. And yet, there is a great spirit – education is seen as very important and there are many community initiatives.  Sabastiya has a mosaic centre teaching children the art and producing crafts for sale
There are 2 boy’s schools, 2 girl’s schools, one kinder garden and youth groups including scouts.
Many olive groves surround Sabastiya and are used to produce fair trade olive oil. The women make olive oil soap and also jam from the many fruit trees growing there.Recently a wonderful guest-house was established to welcome travellers.

Sabastiya wants to reach out to the world. We want to reach out to Sabastiya

Where is Sabastiya?

Sabastiya is located on a hill in the Nablus Governorate of the West Bank, eight miles northwest of the city of Nablus.


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The transliteration of Sabastiya

Sabastiya is often also transliterated as Sabastia, Sebastiya, Sebastia or other similar variations. HAFSA feels “Sabastiya” best represents the pronunciation of the town’s name and also chose that spelling to better distinguish it from other similar names.