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Murad Family
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Posted by Bushra Murad on October 3, 2010
We were always curious as to the origins of the Murad family in Safad. They administered approximately 15,000 dunums of land under the Ottoman Empire, between Safad and Tiberias. And they enjoyed good relations with the Ottoman Turks. How did this come to be?

We genetically tested the Y-chromosome of a male member of the Murad family (my brother). The result is: Balkan. Particularly, Albanian. (Haplogroup J2b1)

Sultan Murad I started the "devshirme" system, where Christian boys were abducted from Albanian (and also Bosnian and Serbian) families. They were forced to convert to Islam, and they were conscripted as "janissaries" (in Turkish: yenicheri = "new soldier"). After successful military service they were given money and rewards. Those who became officers were given a "timar" or large tract of land to administer. They would extract the taxes from the land, keep some as income for their families, and the rest would be sent to the Imperial Treasury in Istanbul. The commander of the Janissaries was called the "Agha." (There was an Albanian man named Omar Agha who is the grandfather of a family patriarch Abdo Murad in Safad.)

In the 1300's mamluks from the Steppe of Central Asia and Eastern Europe settled in Safad. (The Kussad / Qussad family is an example of a mamluk family, with origins in Central Asia or E. Europe.) Later, under Ottoman rule, in the 1400's and 1500's, an Albanian janissary retired to Safad and thus began the Murad family.

There were 3 landlord families in Safad: Qaddoura (50,000 dunums), Murad (15,000 dunums) and Subh (5,000 dunums). It would be interesting to see the genetic results of the Qaddoura and Subh families... Albanian as well?

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Posted by Kristin Kalla on November 5, 2017 #158720

My grandmother was Raifa Murad and she died around 1938 due to child birth...she was married to Mohmmad Abdullah Kalla (el Qualla) and their oldest child is my father - Ribhi Mohammad Kalla. He is 89 years old and remembers the battle in Safad as a young man in battle trying to secure the town. We have always known about our Albanian grandmother and her father who was the Imam in the area. She is buried in the old cemetery in Safad. The Kalla family also owned land in Safad and my father has said his mother - Raifa Murad's family - were ethnically Albanian but considered themselves Palestinian.
Posted by mr subh on March 27, 2012 #142769

No not albanian. Palestinian w bass :)
Posted by Jamal Kussad on December 29, 2010 #128334

As a member of the Kussad/Qussad family, I will share that our Y-DNA test revealed that we belong to haplogroup: R1a1a, which is a "Slavic" marker which came from Europe north of the Black Sea. In particular, I also have autosomal chromosome segment matches with individuals in Slovakia and Poland. Our line appears to be descended from a common ancestor that we share with the Levites (Khazar origin) of Ukraine and Poland. The Mongols invaded Central and Eastern Europe in 1241, and many of the inhabitants were either killed or sent to the slave markets in Crimea-Ukraine; from there some were purchased as slaves to be sent to the Middle East. The pre-Ottoman mamluks were among these slaves--some famous ones include: Baybars, Qalawun, Shajarat Ad-Durr, Qutuz, Izzeddine Aybak, etc. My ancestor was a mamluk Qased (courier/messenger) for one of the sultans, and he settled in Safad.