Thursday, October 11, 2007


Detailed map of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, January 2006. Produced by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - public UN source.Ramallah (Arabic: رام الله is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank adjacent to al-Bireh. Its population consists of approximately 23,000 residents. It is located about 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Jerusalem. It is a modern built city and is considered the unofficial capital of the Palestinian Authority.

Early history

Modern Ramallah was founded in the mid 1500s by the Hadadeens, a tribe of brothers who were descended from Yemenite Christian Arabs. The Hadadeens, led by Rashed Haddad, arrived from east of the Jordan River near what is now the Jordanian town of Shobak. Although the reasons for the Hadadeen's migration is attributed to fighting and unrest among tribes in that area, a more common rendition is as follows: Rashed's brother Sabri Haddad was once hosting Emir Ibn Kaysoom, the head of a powerful tribe in the region, when Sabri's wife gave birth to a baby girl. According to tribal customs, the Emir congratulated Sabri and asked for the infant's betrothal to his own young son once they both came of age. Sabri believed the request to be in jest, as Christian-Muslim intermarriage was not customary, and agreed to the request in what he likewise considered a joke. Many years later, the Emir came to the Hadadeens and demanded they fulfill their promise, which they refused to do. Many clashes ensued during the following months, with assassinations occurring on both sides.


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