Sursuq Family

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SURSUQ FAMILY

Prominent Lebanese landowning business family.

One of the wealthiest Greek Orthodox families in Beirut, the Sursuqs (also Sursock or Sursok) benefited from the 1858 Ottoman land reform to acquire large tracts of fertile land in northern Palestine. They were also bankers who controlled cotton and grain trade in Acre. The family was associated with controversial land sales to Zionists before and after World War I.

Various family members were active in Beirut politics before World War I, with Albert Sursuq a leading member of the Beirut Reform Society and Michel Sursuq a member of the Ottoman parliament. After the war, the family became a target of anti-Zionist criticism when their land sales to Jews in the Jezreel valley and at Lake Hula displaced hundreds of peasants. The family remained prominent among Beirut's Europeanized elite after World War II. In the 1960s, the family villa was turned into the Nicolas Sursuq Museum.


Bibliography

Abboushi, W. F. The Unmaking of Palestine. Wisbech, U.K.: Middle East and North African Studies Press; Boulder, CO: L. Rienner, 1985.

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