Perched 2,500 feet above sea level is the village of Kisra. Located 1.2 miles south of Sumei and 4.3 miles from Tarshiha, Kisra, with its 4,500 Druze inhabitants, has been the administrative seat of the Kisra-Sumei local authority since 1991. The village dates to the age of the propagation of the Druze faith (in the 11th century). Tradition has it as the site of the ancient town of Qisra, one of the Galilean settlements taken by Ramses II in Biblical times. However this opinion is not unopposed; the word Kisra might be the name of an ancient Persian king or derive from the foreign word ‹Castle›. A local elder believes the name originated following Saladin’s victory over the Crusaders, in whose annals the village is mentioned. Crusader relics, including a church burned by the Mamluks in the wake of Baibars’ conquest and desolation of the region in 1266, have been discovered here. Many villagers perished in the conflict, while others fled and settled in other Galilean locations. Historic records trace the origin of the village even further back, dating it to the Canaanite Period; a Canaanite burial ground was indeed unearthed here. The village lies along a historic military and commercial route connecting Acre and Damascus, and its inhabitants long thrived on business done with travelers.
During the British Mandate the village numbered 450 people, many of whom came there from neighboring villages or from as far as Lebanon. However, although Kisra was an important settlement by a great road and had thrived since the beginning of the Druze settlement in the 1700s, its condition deteriorated during the 20th century. Until the 1960s it was virtually unknown in the outside world. With its poor, rocky soil and isolation from the outside world. The village remained out of mind until 1964, when a measles epidemic that killed 12 babies drew the attention of a journalist who visited the village and published his account under the title A Village at the End of the World. Later on Yigal Allon, during his tenure as Minister of Labor and Transportation, went up to the village in the company of an armored division from Beit HaEmek. Astounded at the existence of the secret village he ordered Battalion 300 to lay a road that would connect Kisra with Sumei and Hosen. Later that year the first vehicle drove into the village.
Ever since then it has been thriving. The local authority has put innumerable resources into the development of education, infrastructures, and sports and culture center. Nearly 70% of the inhabitants are religiously observant. Today the various defense forces are the largest employers here, with many villagers also working in various industrial sectors or in the public administration. A handful still make a living out of olive tree cultivation and oil production.