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Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Ramallah History

All citations are from the following:

Shaeheen, Azeez. Ramallah: Its History and Its Genealogies. Birzeit, Israeli Occupied West Bank of Jordan: Birzeit, 1982.

Shaheen, Naseeb. A Pictorial History of Ramallah. Beirut: Arab Institute for Research and Publishing, 1992.

Excerpts from the historical note written by Mr. Adnan El Haddadeen which is on file in Ramallah's City Hall, dated August 8, 1953 (16).

"When the Mareb Dam in Yemen, which may have been built as early as the 7th century B.C., collapsed in the 5th century A.D., the Yemenite city of Najaran was the capital of all Christian Arabs. The collapse of the dam caused many of the Christian Arabs to migrate. The majority of their descendants later founded the Ghassanite kingdom, and made the city of Basra Aski Sham in Syria their capital. Some of them, however, including the ancestors of the Hadadeen, settled near the strong spring in Edreh, twenty miles west of Ma'an. They built a church there in A. D. 536, the ruins of which were discovered in 1937( Azeez Shaheen 16).

"The Hadadeen, who originated among the Christian Arabs of Yemen, were among the Arabs who moved north and settled in the land called El Shorat, around the spring of Edreh (Azeez Shaheen 16).

" . . . the Haddadeen later moved from Edreh to Shoubek and El Karak ( Azeez Shaheen 16)."

"Ramallah's ancestor was Rashed Haddad. He and his brothers lived in the vicinity of Karak and Shoudbek, east of the Jordan River, surrounded by the powerful Arab tribe headed by Emir Ibn Kaysoom. By chance, Ibn Kaysoom was the guest of Sabra Haddad, Rashed's brother when news came that a baby girl was born to Sabra. Emir Ibn Kaysoom requested the girl as a wife for his son, ins spite of the religious differences of the two tribes. So as not to offend his guest, Sabra politely answered, 'She is at your disposal, O Emir.' But Sabra did not consider this to be a formal request since Muslims and Christians did not intermarry (Naseeb Shaheen 11).

A feud broke out between the two tribes because Ibn Kaysoom requested that Sabra give his daughter as a wife. Ibn Kaysoom killed two of Sabra's sons and threatened to take the girl by force and kill the entire family (11).

Sabra set a wedding date and said that he'd give up his daughter to Ibn Kaysoom's son. However, at the wedding feast Sabra and his men killed the male guests and the son of Ibn Kaysoom. Then he and his brothers, including Rashed, went aross the Dead Sea to Palestine (Naseeb Shaheen 11). They founded the village of Ramallah in the middle of the sixteenth century."

According to the Turkish Census "Population of Ramallah in the Sixteenth Century"

There were four Muslim families in Ramallah from 1538-39 and no Christian families.

There were six Muslim families from 1553-54 and no Christian families.

There were sixty-three Christian families plus eight bachelors in 1562-63.
There were ten Muslim families.

There were seventy-one Christian families in 1596-97.
There were nine Muslim families. (Naseeb Shaheen 12).

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