How was Ramallah settled?
Ramallah was founded as a result of a dispute over a girl; that was around the year 1550. Mr. Kaddoura’s, History of Ramallah, published in New York in 1954, relates the story as follows:
A small Christian tribe called Haddadin was living in the vicinity of Karak, in southern Jordan. One day, Sheikh Ibn Qaysum, the head of a large Islamic tribe in the area, was paying a visit to Rashed Haddadin, the head of the Christian tribe. Someone came to the madafeh, where both men and their followers were having coffee, and told Rashed that his wife had given birth to a baby girl. Ibn Qaysum took the opportunity to ask for her hand for his son. Rashed agreed. Twelve years later, when Ibn Qaysum came to remind Rashed of his promise, Rashed replied: “But we are Christians and your son is a Muslim.” Ibn Qaysum flew into a rage and warned Rashed to honour the deepest of Arab traditions: fulfil his promise. Or else …
Rashed asked him for some time to prepare the bride, but instead, he decided to flee, with the help of Tamash Taweel, a member of a smaller Muslim tribe in Karak. They fled with their families, crossed the Dead Sea near the shallow part called “Makhadet Allisam” and planted scythes, spears, and swords after they crossed.
The next morning, Ibn Qaysum learned what happened and followed in their footsteps, but it was too late.
Rashed’s five sons – Sabra, Ibrahim, Jiryes, Shkeir, and Hassan – settled in Ramallah. The eldest son, Sabra, gave birth to five other sons: Yousef, Awwad, Issa, Khalid, and Azeez. The land was divided evenly among all, and they started working in agriculture.
A census taken in 1562, during the Turkish reign over Palestine (1517-1917), showed that the inhabitants of Ramallah consisted of 63 Christian families, 8 Christian single men, and 8 Muslim families. The aim of the census was to collect taxes.