Ramallites in the Diaspora

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Ramallites in the Diaspora

The first person to emigrate from Ramallah was Ibrahim Al-Hasasnah, together with his son Khalil, in 1660-1700. The reasons for him leaving Ramallah are unknown, yet we know that his descendants exceed the number of 400 people.

In 1882, when the Friends (Quakers) constructed their first building in Ramallah, they brought builders and craftsmen from Bethlehem to work with the workers from Ramallah. The people from Bethlehem talk much about a distant country called America, and they took pride in the success of their fellow townspeople there and in how they sent money to their families. So Youssef Odeh Al-Debbiny from Ramallah became enthusiastic and left for America in 1895. Then after 1903, the scope of immigration increased since most of those who had journeyed to the United States were able to make a lot of money, returned to Ramallah, and built houses and started ventures. After Al-Nakba in 1948, immigration increased due to political, security, and economic reasons.

Now there are 30,000 people who are descended from Ramallah in America, and they are based in several cities and states: California (San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Rosa, and Los Angeles); Jacksonville, Florida; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Washington D.C., Lexington, Kentucky; Greensboro, North Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; Cleveland, Ohio; Buffalo and Hempstead, New York; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

To visit the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine website