June 27, 2022

The Foreign Residents in the TRNC (TFR)

30 minutes with the Secretary

Interview with the Saade family from Israel

By Ralph Kratzer

A few weeks ago the TFR association welcomed the youngest-ever new member in its ranks, Bsma (speak: Besma, means: smile) from Israel. She is mid 20′s and thus reduces the statistical average age of our club greatly!

But that should not be the issue. I learned from Bsma some things about her family, but did not want to miss the opportunity to hear the stories behind.

So I was invited last week to visit the family in their new home in Kyrenia.

The roots of the Saade family lie in Palestine. More specifically, in Umelfahem (Arabic: Umm al-Fahm) near Nazareth. The Saade’s, who, like many Palestinians, never left their homeland, were thus declared citizens of Israel after the year 1948.


Samar, the older sister of Bsma, told me that the City of Umelfahem in Israel still continues to be one of many purely Arab places with predominantly Arabic language in all major public institutions. The children there learn both languages, Arabic and Hebrew. For me personally, this was a new aspect, I had never heard of it before.

In 2006 the family decided to visit friends in Cyprus and came for a holiday to our island. After a stay in the southern part they came on a visit to Northern Cyprus as well and the mother Omima fell straight in love with Kyrenia.

The holiday was followed by the decision to plan a longer stay in Northern Cyprus for a period of one year. But in the end the Saade’s liked the island so much that they  wanted to live here permanently.


Father Saeed, a trading and marketing professional, shuttles between Israel, where he pursues his business in the dairy products sector, and Northern Cyprus, the new home of his family. A son lives and works in Israel, but Bsma’s other siblings (the family counts a total of 9 heads) are all living in Kyrenia.

Mother Omima writes books and poems. The novel “City of Utopia” and the collection of poetry “The Mystery of Eastern Bermuda”, in which she describes her love for Northern Cyprus, are unfortunately only available in the Arabic language and have been published in Israel.

Bsma Family
Samar – Omima – Bsma
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