It seems that in the fifteenth century AD, two Italian brothers from the region of Monteforte in
, and while on pilgrimage to Italy , decided to reside in the then-small town. Their aim was to learn the Arabic language and work as translators to the Italian pilgrims (possibly the only pilgrims to the Holy Land at the time) who used to come and visit the birth and place of crucifixion an burial of Jesus (the Church of nativity in Bethlehem and the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.) Bethlehem
And so the two brothers achieved their purpose and became residents of
working as translators as they had once wished. Bethlehem
In the beginning, the Bethlehemites used to address these two foreign strangers (probably because their names were too difficult to pronounce at the time) with their craft or trade, the translators: al tarajmeh.
During their stay in the town, it was inevitable that the two tarajmeh would come in contact with the locals of Bethlehem, and so each one apparently wooed and married a talhamiyeh, from which they must have had some children… and these children must have also been the sons of tarajmeh, hence tarajmeh themselves.
And so the stories goes that these two brothers lived happily (but not ever after) with their wives and children under one same roof in some part of the old town of
Some years later, the two tarajmeh brothers had a row and decided that they should live separately. And so they built a second upper floor to the one-floor house they used to reside in. Each of the brothers then moved into each of the floors having a upper and a lower turjmani.
The children of the two brothers then got married and bore more tarajmehwho bore even more of the same.
For generations, the offspring belonged and had loyalty either to the upper or to the lower family. With time, the Tarajmeh became obviously split into the upper and the lower hara (neighborhood). And so, each of these two neighborhoods had their own families.
Families of the Tarajmeh Clan
Following are the families of the tarajmeh clan in
(as provided by the Latin Parish of Bethlehem), some of which have totally disappeared from the city: Bethlehem
Abu Al Arraj, Abu Fheileh, Abu Jaber, Abu Khalil, Batarseh, Comandari, Dabdoub, Daoud, D'ek, Fleifel, Jabriyeh, Jad'on, Karmi, Mansour-Abu Khalil, Mikel, Mikel-Madalena, Mikel-Tawil, Mubarak, Rock, Sabat, Sara, Sem'an, Suwadi, Tabash, Talamas, Taroud, and Zmeiri