Ramallah (Arabic: رام الله Rāmallāh) is a
Palestinian city in the central
West Bank located 10 km (6 miles)
Jerusalem at an average elevation of 880 meters
(2,890 ft) above sea level, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently
serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian
National Authority (PNA).
Ramallah was historically an Arab Christian
town. Today Muslims form the majority of the population of nearly
27,092 in 2007, with Christians making up a significant minority.
2.1 Ottoman era
2.2 British Mandate
2.3 Jordanian era
2.4 Israeli era
2.4.1 First Intifada
Palestinian Authority rule
2.5.2 Second Intifada
2.5.3 Economic rehabilitation
3 Geography and climate
7 Religious institutions
8.2 Palestinian costume
8.3 Twin towns—sister cities
9 Notable residents
10 See also
13 External links
"Ramallah" is composed of "Ram", meaning height and "Allah", the
Arabic word for God.
Ancient rock-cut tombs have been found near Ramallah. Potsherds
from the Crusader/Ayyubid and early Ottoman period have also been
Ramallah has been identified with the Crusader place called
Ramalie. Remains of a building with an arched doorway from the
Crusader era, called al-Burj, have been identified, but the
original use of the building is undetermined.
Ramallah was incorporated into the
Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of
Palestine. In 1596 it was listed in the tax registers as being in the
nahiya of Quds of the Liwa of Quds. It had a population of 71
Christian households and 9
Muslim households. It paid taxes on wheat,
barley, olives, vines or fruit trees, and goats or beehives.
Ramallah was founded in the mid-1500s by the Haddadins (also:
Haddadeen), a clan of brothers descended from Ghassanid Christians.
The Haddadins (ancestors of the present-day Jadallah family, among
others), and their leader Rashid El-Haddadin, arrived from east of the
Jordan River from the areas of Karak and Shoubak. The Haddadin
migration is attributed to fighting and unrest among clans in that
Rashid and his brothers were blacksmiths. The Haddadin name comes from
the old (Aramaicܚܕܕ or ܚܕܐܕ ) word Haddad, which translates to
Haddadin was attracted to the mountainous site of
Ramallah because it
was similar to the other mountainous areas he came from. In addition,
the heavily forested area could supply him with plenty of fuel for his
In 1838 American biblical scholar Edward Robinson visited the area,
noting that the inhabitants were
Christian "of the Greek rite". There
were 200 taxable men, which gives an estimated total population of
800–900 people. The village "belonged" to the Haram al-Sharif,
Jerusalem, to which it paid an annual tax of 350 Mids of grain.
In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine
Christian village, of well-built stone houses, standing on a
high ridge, with a view on the west extending to the sea. It stands
amongst gardens and olive-yards, and has three springs to the south
and one on the west; on the north there are three more, within a mile
from the village. On the east there is a well. There are rock-cut
tombs to the north-east with well-cut entrances, but completely
blocked with rubbish. In the village is a Greek church, and on the
east a Latin convent and a Protestant schoolhouse, all modern
buildings. The village lands are Wakuf, or ecclesiastical property,
belonging to the Haram of Jerusalem. About a quarter of the
inhabitants are Roman Catholics, the rest Orthodox Greeks.
In the 21st century, a large community of people with direct descent
from the Haddadins who founded
Ramallah live in the United States. The
town is now predominately Muslim, but still contains a Christian
minority. The change in demographics is due mostly to new migration of
Muslims to the area, and emigration of Christians from the area.
Ramallah grew dramatically throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as
an agricultural village; thus, attracting more (predominantly
Christian) inhabitants from all around the region. In 1700, Yacoub
Elias was the first
Ramallah native to be ordained by the Eastern
Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, the
that prevailed in the Holy Land at the time. In the early 19th
century, the first Greek Melkite Jerusalemite Orthodox Christian
church was built. Later in the 1850s, "The Church of Transfiguration",
was built to replace it; it is the sole
Orthodox Church in Ramallah
today. During that same decade, the Latin (Roman Catholic) Church
established its presence in Ramallah, constituting the second largest
Christian denomination in the city. The Roman Catholic Church
established the St. Joseph's Girls' School run by
St. Joseph sisters,
as well as the co-educational Al-Ahliyyah College high school runs by
Rosary sisters. With the influx of
Christian refugees and
internal migration, new mosques and churches were built.[citation
In the 19th century, the
Religious Society of Friends
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
established a presence in
Ramallah and built the
Schools, one for girls and later a boys' school, to alleviate the
dearth of education for women and girls. Eli and Sybil Jones opened
"The Girls Training Home of Ramallah" in 1869. A medical clinic was
established in 1883, with Dr. George Hassenauer serving as the first
doctor in Ramallah. In 1889, the girls academy became the Friends
Girls School (FGS). As the FGS was also a boarding school, it
attracted a number of girls from surrounding communities, including
Jerusalem, Lydda, Jaffa, and Beirut. The Friends Boys School (FBS) was
founded in 1901 and opened in 1918. The
Quakers opened a Friends
Meeting House for worship in the city center in 1910. According to
the school's official website, most high school students choose to
take the International Baccalaureate exams (IBE) instead of the
traditional "Tawjihi" university exams.
The activity of foreign churches in Palestine in the late 19th century
increased awareness of prosperity in the West. In
Bethlehem, a few miles south, local residents began to seek economic
opportunity overseas. In 1901, merchants from
Ramallah emigrated to
United States and established import-export businesses, selling
handmade rugs and other exotic wares across the Atlantic. Increased
trade dramatically improved living standards for Ramallah's
inhabitants. American cars, mechanized farming equipment, radios, and
later televisions became attainable luxuries for upper-class families.
As residents of
Jaffa and Lydda moved to Ramallah, the balance of
Muslims and Christians began to change.
Ramallah was declared a modern city in 1908. It had an elected
municipality as well as partnership projects with the adjacent town of
al-Bireh. The Friends Boys School became a temporary hospital during
World War I.
Christian cemetery in Ramallah.
British Army occupied
Ramallah in December 1917 during the war
years. Following the First World War, it was designated as a mandate
territory and under British rule until 1948. The economy improved in
the 1920s, and the landed aristocracy and merchants of the Palestinian
upper class built stately multi-storied villas, many of which still
Jerusalem Electric Company brought electricity to
Ramallah in 1936, and most homes were wired shortly thereafter. The
same year the British inaugurated the "Palestine Broadcasting Service"
in Ramallah. The
British Broadcasting Corporation
British Broadcasting Corporation trained the local
staff to deliver daily broadcasts in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. The
station was later renamed "Kol Yerushalayim" (The Voice of
During the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine,
Ramallah was a center
of activities against the British. Nancy Parker McDowell 
describes vividly how the British attacked
Ramallah using the Air
Force. Many residents were killed and wounded. The wounded had to be
Jerusalem since no significant medical facilities
existed in Ramallah.
Residential neighborhood in Ramallah.
Following the creation of the State of
Israel and the ensuing war,
Jordan seized the part of Palestine they named the West Bank. This
included Ramallah. The
West Bank was relatively peaceful during the
years of Jordanian rule between 1948 and 1967, with its residents
enjoying freedom of movement between the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon,
Jordan annexed the West Bank, applying its national law to
the conquered territory. However, many Palestinians were jailed for
being members of "illegal political parties", which included the
Palestine Communist Party
Palestine Communist Party and other socialist and pro-independence
groups. By 1953, Ramallah's population had doubled, but the economy
and infrastructure could not accommodate the influx of poor villagers.
Ramallah began to emigrate, primarily to the United States.
By 1956, about one fourth of Ramallah's 6,000 natives had left, with
Arabs from the surrounding towns and villages (particularly Hebron)
buying the homes and land the émigrés left behind.
Six-Day War in 1967,
Ramallah from Jordan,
imposing a military closure and conducting a census a few weeks later.
Every person registered in the census was given an Israeli identity
card which allowed the bearer to continue to reside there. Those who
were abroad during the census lost their residency rights. For
residents of Ramallah, the situation had now been reversed. For the
first time in 19 years, residents could freely visit
Israel and the
Gaza Strip and engage in commerce there.
Unlike the Jordanians,
Israel did not offer citizenship to the
Ramallah residents were issued permits to work in Israel,
but did not gain the rights associated with Israeli citizenship. The
city remained under Israeli military rule for more than four decades.
The Israeli Civil Administration (CA), established in 1981, was in
charge of civilian and day-to-day services such as issuing permission
to travel, build, export or import, and host relatives from
abroad. The CA reprinted Jordanian textbooks for distribution in
schools but did not update them. The CA was in charge of tax
collection and land expropriation, which sometimes included Israeli
theft of olive groves that Arab villagers had tended for
According to the Israeli Human Rights activists, the development of
Jewish settlements in the
Ramallah area, such as
Beit El and Psagot,
prevented the expansion of the city and cut it off from the
surrounding Arab villages. As resistance increased, Ramallah
residents who were members of the Palestine Liberation Organization
were jailed or deported to neighboring countries. In December
1987, the popular uprising known as the Intifada erupted.
Ramallah residents were among the early joiners of the First Intifada.
The Intifada Unified Leadership, an umbrella organization of various
Palestinian factions, distributed weekly bulletins on the streets of
Ramallah with a schedule of the daily protests, strikes and action
against Israeli patrols in the city. At the demonstrations, tires were
burned in the street, and the crowds threw stones and Molotov
cocktails. The IDF responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Schools
Ramallah were forcibly shut down, and opened gradually for a few
hours a day. The Israelis conducted house arrests,
imposing curfews that restricted travel and exports in what
Palestinians regarded as collective punishment. In response to the
closure of schools, residents organized home schooling sessions to
help students make up missed material; this became one of the few
symbols of civil disobedience. The Intifada leadership organized
"tree plantings" and resorted to the tactics used in pre-1948
Palestine, such as ordering general strikes in which no commercial
businesses were allowed to open and no cars were allowed on the
In 1991, the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid International Peace
Conference included many notables from Ramallah. As the Intifada wound
down and the peace process moved forward, normal life in Ramallah
resumed. On September 13, 1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
and Palestinian Leader
Yasser Arafat shook hands at a meeting at the
White House. Schoolchildren in
Ramallah handed out olive branches to
Israeli soldiers patrolling the streets. In December 1995, in keeping
with the Oslo Accords, the Israeli army abandoned the
withdrew to the city outskirts. The newly established Palestinian
Authority assumed civilian and security responsibility for the city,
which was designated "Area A" under the accords.
Palestinian Authority rule
The years between 1993 and 2000 (known locally as the "Oslo Years")
brought relative prosperity to Ramallah. Many expatriates returned to
establish businesses there, and the atmosphere was one of optimism. In
2000, unemployment began to rise and the economy of Ramallah
Israel Defense Forces remained in control of the
territories and its government did not restore the freedom of movement
Ramallah residents prior to the first Intifada. Travel to
Jerusalem required special permits. The number and size of Israeli
Ramallah increased dramatically. A network of
bypass roads for use of Israeli citizens only was built around
Israel confiscated land for settlements.
Many official documents previously handled by the Israeli Civil
Administration were now handled by the
Palestinian Authority but still
required Israeli approval. A Palestinian passport issued to Ramallah
residents was not valid unless the serial number was registered with
the Israeli authorities, who controlled border crossings. The
failure of the Camp David summit in July 2000 led to the outbreak of
Second Intifada (al-Aqsa Intifada) in September 2000.
Ramallah residents demonstrated daily against the Israeli army,
with marches to the Israeli checkpoints at the outskirts of the city.
Over time, the marches were replaced by sporadic use of live
ammunition against Israeli soldiers; and various attacks targeting
Jewish settlers, particularly on the Israeli-only bypass roads. Army
checkpoints were established to restrict movement in and out of
On October 12, 2000, two Israeli army reservists, Vadim Norzhich and
Yosef Avrahami were lynched in Ramallah. They had taken a wrong turn,
and were set upon by a mob, enraged in particular by the Muhammad
al-Durrah incident in Gaza. A frenzied crowd killed the two IDF
reservists, mutilated their bodies, and dragged them through the
streets. Later that afternoon, the Israeli army carried out an air
strike on Ramallah, demolishing the police station.
succeeded in capturing and prosecuting some of those involved in the
deaths of the reservists.
Ramallah and its immediate region, now known as Area A, came
under collaborative or joint Israeli-
Palestinian Authority (PA)
administration in September 1995, with civil administration vested
fully in the PA, occasionally there have been breaches in security
matters (beginning with 2002 in an IDF operation codenamed Operation
Defensive Shield), and more recently in March 2017 while attempting to
arrest a suspected terrorist, which saw Israeli military intervention
in Ramallah. In 2002, the army imposed curfews, electricity
cuts, school closures and disruptions of commercial life. Many
Ramallah institutions, including government ministries, were
vandalized, and equipment was destroyed or stolen. The IDF took
Ramallah television stations, and social and economic
conditions deteriorated. Many expatriates left, as did many other
Palestinians who complained that the living conditions had become
intolerable. Construction of the Israeli
West Bank barrier
has added to Ramallah's isolation.
West Bank barrier near Ramallah
Tomb of Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat established his
West Bank headquarters, the Mukataa, in
Ramallah. Although considered an interim solution,
Ramallah became the
de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority, now officially known as
the State of Palestine. It hosts almost all governmental headquarters.
In December 2001, Arafat held meetings at the Mukataa, but lived with
his wife and daughter in Gaza City. After suicide bombings in Haifa,
Arafat was confined to the
Ramallah compound. In 2002, the compound
was partly demolished by the Israeli Defense Forces and Arafat's
building was cut off from the rest of the compound.
Mukataa in 2013.
On November 11, 2004 Arafat died at the Percy training hospital of the
Armies near Paris. He was buried in the courtyard of the
November 12, 2004. The site still serves as the
of the Palestinian Authority, as well the official
West Bank office of
Mahmoud Abbas. Throughout 2005, while the Disengagement Plan was
underway, some US government officials suggested to the Palestinian
leadership to move the provisional capital back to Gaza, where it had
been when the Palestinian Aurhority was first established in 1994.
President Abbas, however, refrained from doing so, arguing that at
this point, it was important to keep the administrative center in the
West Bank in order to remind the international community that the West
Bank was still awaiting territorial solution.
In December 2005, local elections were held in
Ramallah in which
candidates from three different factions competed for the 15-seat
municipal council for a four-year term. The council elected Janet
Mikhail as mayor, the first woman to hold the post.
Munir Hamdan, a member of
Fatah and a
Ramallah businessman, discussed
the concentration of government offices with a journalist. He said,
"The president and prime minister have their offices here. So do
the parliament and all the government ministries", representing a
"collusion" between the
Palestinian Authority and
Israel to turn
Ramallah into the political as well as the financial capital of the
Palestinians. He is particularly worried by the construction of a
large new governmental complex by the PA. Hatem Abdel Kader, a
Fatah legislator and former Minister for Jerusalem
Affairs, complained that "If they are building a new government
compound here, that means they have no plans to be based in
Jerusalem... Unfortunately, the Palestinian government of Salam Fayyad
Jerusalem in favor of Ramallah."
Many foreign nations have located their diplomatic missions to the
Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, including, as of 2010[update],
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Korea, South Africa, Norway, Sri Lanka,
Switzerland, China, Poland, Portugal, The Netherlands, Russia, Jordan,
Brazil, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, India, Japan, the Czech
Republic, Canada and Mexico.
In November 2011, king
Abdullah II of Jordan
Abdullah II of Jordan visited
Ramallah for the
first time since 2000.
Geography and climate
This area enjoys a
Mediterranean climate of a dry summer and mild,
rainy winter with occasional snowfall. The recorded average of
Ramallah's rainfall is about 615 mm (24 in) and minimum
rainfall is 307 mm (12 in) and maximum rainfall is
1,591 mm (63 in).
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification places
Ramallah in the Csa
category. Climates of this class generally occur on the western sides
of continents between the latitudes of 30° and 45°. These climates
are in the polar front region in winter, and thus have moderate
temperatures and changeable, rainy weather. Summers are hot and dry,
due to the domination of the subtropical high pressure systems, except
in the immediate coastal areas, where summers are milder due to the
nearby presence of cold ocean currents that may bring fog but prevent
A View from Ramallah.
View of the Hills surrounding Ramallah.
Map of Mediterranean with the Köppen Climate Classifications: Csa
& Csb are noted in Yellow.
Ramallah has been described as the seat of power of the Palestinian
Authority and serves as the headquarters for most international NGOs
and embassies. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid flowing into the
city have boosted Ramallah's economy greatly since the end of the
Ramallah construction boom is one of the most obvious signs of
West Bank economic growth, estimated at an annual rate of 8 percent.
This has been attributed to relative stability and Western donor
support to the Palestinian Authority. Ramallah's buoyant economy
continues to draw Palestinians from other
West Bank towns where jobs
are fewer. The built-up area has grown fivefold since 2002.
Ramallah had become the leading center of economic and
political activity in the territories under the control of the
Palestinian Authority. During a building boom in the early years
of the 21st century, apartment buildings and "five-star" hotels were
erected, particularly in the
Al-Masyoun neighborhood. In 2010,
"more than one hundred" Palestinian businesses were reported to have
Ramallah from East Jerusalem, because "Here they pay less
taxes and have more customers." One local boasted to a journalist
Ramallah is becoming the de facto capital of Palestine."
This boast was seconded by
The New York Times
The New York Times which, in 2010, called
Ramallah the "de facto capital of the West Bank. According to Sani
Meo, the publisher of This Week in Palestine, "Capital or no capital,
Ramallah has done well and Palestine is proud of its
achievements." Some Palestinians allege that Ramallah's prosperity
is part of an Israeli "conspiracy" to make
Ramallah the capital of a
Palestinian state, instead of Jerusalem.
ASAL technologies, an information technology company in Ramallah, has
120 employees and is looking forward to "exponential growth".
Mövenpick Hotel Ramallah.
Dunia trade center under construction, June 2010
Bank of Palestine's head office in Ramallah
Main street in Ramallah
1922 census of Palestine
1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate
Ramallah had a population of 3,104; 2,972 Christians, 125
Muslims, and 10 Jews.
This had increased at the time of the 1931 census to 4,286, with 3,766
Christians, 519 Muslims and 1 Jew, in a total of 1014 houses.
In Sami Hadawi's 1945 survey, the population stood at 5,080, with
Christians forming the majority of the population. However, the
demographic makeup of the town changed drastically between 1948 and
1967, when considerable emigration of Christians took place. Slightly
more than half of the city's 12,134 inhabitants were
1967, the other half Muslim.
Ramallah's population drastically decreased in the late 20th century
from 24,722 inhabitants in 1987 to 17,851 in 1997. In the Palestinian
Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) census in 1997, Palestinian
refugees accounted for 60.3% of the population, which was 17,851.
There were 8,622 males and 9,229 females. People younger than 20 years
of age made up 45.9% of the population, while those aged between 20
and 64 were 45.4%, and residents aged over 64 constituted 4.7%.
Only in 2005 did the population reach more than 24,000. In a PCBS
projection in 2006,
Ramallah had a population of 25,467
inhabitants. In the 2007 PCBS census, there were 27,460 people
living in the city. Sources vary about the current Christian
population in the city, ranging around 25%.
In the aftermath of the 1936–39 Arab revolt, the
Foundation was established and registered as a tax exempt organization
in New York in 1944. It bought large pieces of land in the
south-eastern fringes of the city dedicated for the future hospital.
In 1963 a hospital was opened. The present
Hospital and the Palestine Medical Centered are located on the land
purchased by the Foundation. In January 1987 the first open-heart
surgery was performed at the Hospital under the direction of Dr.
Shehadeh (Shawki) Harb, a Palestinian surgeon trained in the United
Jamal Abdel Nasser Mosque
Jamal Abdel Nasser Mosque is one of the city's largest. The
Orthodox Church of Ramallah, an Orthodox
Christian convent, Melkite
Evangelical Lutheran Church, Arab Episcopal
Ramallah Local Church (EvangelicalBorn Again) and
Baptist Church all operate schools in the city. A large
new church has been built on top of one of the highest hills of
Ramallah, belonging to the
Coptic Orthodox Church. A small group of
Jehovah Witnesses are present in the area as well and others.
During the annual "Saturday of Light" religious festival (which occurs
on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday to commemorate
the light that tradition holds shone from the tomb of Jesus), the
scouts hold a parade through the city streets to receive the flame
from Jerusalem. (The flame is ignited in Jerusalem's Church of the
Holy Sepulchre and is passed on through candles and lanterns to
regional churches.) A variety of mosques and churches of different
denominations dot the landscape.
A Coptic church in Ramallah.
An entrance to a
Christian church in Ramallah.
Muslim mosque in Ramallah.
Ramallah is generally considered the most affluent and cultural, as
well as the most liberal, of all Palestinian cities, and is
home to a number of popular Palestinian activists, poets, artists, and
musicians. It boasts a lively nightlife, with many restaurants
including the Stars and Bucks Cafe, a branch of the
Tche Tche Cafe and
Orjuwan Lounge, described in 2010 as two among the "dozens of
fancy restaurants, bars and discotheques that have cropped up in
Ramallah in the last three years".
One hallmark of
Ramallah is Rukab's Ice Cream, which is based on the
resin of chewing gum and thus has a distinctive taste. Another is the
Ramallah Group, a boy- and girl-scout club that also holds a
number of traditional dance (Dabka) performances and is also home to
men's and women's basketball teams that compete regionally.
International music and dance troupes occasionally make a stop in
Ramallah, and the renowned Argentinian-Israeli pianist Daniel
Barenboim performs there often. The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center,
founded in 1996, is a popular venue for such events. The Al-Kasaba
Theatre is a venue for plays and movies. In 2004, the state-of-the art
Ramallah Cultural Palace opened in the city. The only cultural center
of its kind in the Palestinian-governed areas, it houses a 736-seat
auditorium, as well as conference rooms, exhibit halls, and
movie-screening rooms. It was a joint venture of the Palestinian
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the
Ramallah hosted its first annual
international film festival in 2004.
Kebab stand in Ramallah.
Lion sculptures in Ramallah's central square.
Ramallah, like most Palestinian areas, has a rich folklore of song and
dance. Songs accompanied people in every occasion whether it was the
harvest season, roofing a house, traveling, coming back from travel,
engagement, wedding, or even death. Most of the songs were sung by the
women with the exception of Zaffeh and Mal'ab which are sung by the
men at wedding celebrations. Palestinian educator Bahia Khalil's book
Ramallah Folklore Songs and Traditions" documents to a great extent
this oral tradition inherited from one generation to another. The
second edition of the book was published in 2002 by the American
Federation of Ramallah, Palestine, an organization for
Palestinian-Americans from the
Ramallah region living in the United
Foreign travelers to Palestine in late 19th and early 20th centuries
often commented on the rich variety of costumes among the Palestinian
people, and particularly among the fellaheen or village women. Until
the 1940s, a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and
the town or area they were from could be deciphered by most
Palestinian women by the type of cloth, colors, cut, and embroidery
motifs, or lack thereof, used for the robe-like dress or "thoub" in
Main article: Palestinian costumes
Though experts in the field trace the origins of Palestinian costumes
to ancient times, there are no surviving clothing artifacts from this
early period against which the modern items might be definitively
compared. Influences from the various empires to have ruled Palestine,
such as Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Byzantine empire, and Ayyubids,
among others, have been documented by scholars largely based on the
depictions in art and descriptions in literature of costumes produced
during these times.
Hanan Munayyer, collector and researcher of Palestinian clothing, sees
examples of proto-Palestinian attire in artifacts from the Canaanite
period (1500 BCE) such as Egyptian paintings depicting
A-shaped garments. Munayyer says that from 1200 BC to 1940 AD, all
Palestinian dresses were cut from natural fabrics in a similar A-line
shape with triangular sleeves. This shape is known to
archaeologists as the "Syrian tunic" and appears in artifacts such as
an ivory engraving from Megiddo dating to 1200 BC.
Until the 1940s, traditional
Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's
economic and marital status and her town or district of origin, with
knowledgeable observers discerning this information from the fabric,
colours, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) used in the
Due to the difficulty of travel in the 19th century, villages in
Palestine remained isolated. As a result, clothing and accessories
became a statement of region. In Ramallah, the back panels of dresses
often incorporated a palm tree motif embroidered in cross-stitch.
Ramallah women were famous for their distinctive dress of white linen
fabric embroidered with red silk thread. The headdress or smadeh worn
Ramallah was common throughout northern Palestine: a small roundish
cap, padded and stiffened, with gold and silver coins set in a fringe
with a long veil pinned to the back, sometimes of silk and sometimes
Palestinian family from
Ramallah wearing typical Palestinian Ottoman
Era clothing, c. 1905.
Young woman of
Ramallah wearing dowry headdress, c. 1898–1914
Ramallah woman, c. 1920, Library of Congress
Traditional Women's Dress in Ramallah, c. 1920.
A man from
Ramallah spinning wool. Hand tinted photograph from 1919,
Twin towns—sister cities
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Ramallah is twinned with:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mexico (since 2014)
Norway (since 2004)
United States (since 2011)
Çankaya, Turkey
Mosab Hassan Yousef, former resident
Al-Najah Secondary School
Economy of the Palestinian territories
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ramallah.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ramallah.
Welcome To The City of Ramallah
Survey of Western Palestine, Map 17: IAA, Wikimedia commons
Music and Art from Ramallah
Quaker Meeting in Ramallah
Al Kasaba Theatre
Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre
Ramallah International Film Festival
Ramallah Club of Metro Detroit
Ramallah ancient synagogue
Anne Brunswic's book Welcome to Palestine, English translation
Cities administered by the State of Palestine
Rawabi (under construction)
*From June 2007, the
Gaza Strip has been under de facto Hamas
Capitals of Asia
Dependent territories and states with limited recognition are in
North and Central Asia
West and Southwest Asia
Hong Kong (China)
Pyongyang, North Korea
Seoul, South Korea
Diego Garcia, BIOT (UK)
Kotte, Sri Lanka
New Delhi, India
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Dili, East Timor
Flying Fish Cove,
Christmas Island (Australia)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine †
Kuwait City, Kuwait
North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus*
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Tskhinvali, South Ossetia*
† Disputed. See: Positions on Jerusalem.
Capitals of Arab countries
El Aaiun (proclaimed)
Tifariti (de facto), Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic1
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Ramallah (de facto), Palestine1
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
1 An unrecognised or partially-recognised nation
Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate
Rawabi (under construction)
Bani Zeid al-Sharqiya
Beit Ur al-Fauqa
Beit Ur al-Tahta
Deir Abu Mash'al
Kharbatha Bani Harith
Khirbet Abu Falah
Qarawat Bani Zeid