|9,993 km2 (3,858 sq mi)
Ramla, also called Ramle (Hebrew: רמלה; Arabic: الرملة) is a mixed city of Arabs and Jews in the Central District of Israel. It is 2 kilometers south of Lod, 16 kilometers southeast from Modi'in Maccabim Re'ut, and 6 kilometers northeast of Rehovot.
It serves as the capital of the Central Distirct of Israel, being located in the southeast of the district. It is the second most Arab populated city in the district, with 15,100 people in 2011, while Lod being first with 19,800 in the same period.
Religion[change | change source]
It is the center of Karaism, a Jewish religious movement based on the Tanakh as the supreme authority in halakha (jewish religious laws). Many Jews from Karachi emigrated in Ramla, thus building their own synagogue called; Magain Shalome Synagogue. The population mainly believes in 2 religions; Judaism and Islam, as Islam existing way before the Judaism had influence, during the Islamic Golden age in the early 8th century.
White Mosque[change | change source]
A main significance of Islam in Ramla is the White Mosque, which was mostly destroyed in 1034 by an earthquake, then being rebuilt eventually in 1047. Thus the first construction, it was constructed again in 1190 by building on the western side of the Mosque. In around 1267–1268, the Mosque was modified by adding a minaret, dome, pulpit, prayer niche and two halls. The minaret was renovated in 1318 after an earthquake. In 1408, the Malmuks ordered restoration works. The last restoration of the Mosque took between 1844–1918, after that most of the Mosque was demolished except for its minaret.
History[change | change source]
Founding[change | change source]
Ramla was founded in around 705 to 715 AD by the Umayyad (modern-day Syria) prince Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, replacing Lydda (Lod), the original provincial capital of the Muslims. He saw the city as an advantage for economics due to it's strategical location, thus being attacked many times by the Muslims, while they only succeeded twice. A few centuries later, in the Fatimid period it served as the capital of Palestine. It's role as a capital was shortly ended after the First Crusade came in 1099. The city got it's name through the word ramil (Arabicː رمل) which means 'sand', from the sandy terrain it was located in.
Abbasids[change | change source]
In 750, the Abbasids conquered many parts of the Middle East, including mainland Israel, thus getting control of the city. They demolished many properties of the Umayyads. They ruled during the golden age of Ramla, when they took control of Jeruslaem as a trade center. The golden age also existed during the previous Umayyad dynasty. However reconquered the city a second time between 905 and 969, which 10 years later in 979 the city was demolished by the Jarrahids, a branch of the ancient Banu Tayy tribe.
Crusades[change | change source]
In 1101, the Crusades took control after the First Ramla War against the Fatimids, making the Muslim population leave. They made Ramla a city of major economic importance and an important station for pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. They identified it with the bibical city of Ramathaim, thus naming it Arimathea. One year later, in 1102, the Second Ramla War occurred and the Fatimids won the war, having much more strength than the Crusades, thus taking control of the city in the same day the battle occurred. Later, in 1105 the Crusades won thus retaking the city. The Malmuk unsuccessful wars led to the War of Yibneh (Modern day Yavne) in 1123, which the Crusades won again.
Modern Era[change | change source]
In 1889, 31 Jewish families migrated to Ramla, thus making them the first Jews in Ramla, which didn't have them until this timeline. When the British Mandate came, they made the Ramle subdistrict (Southeast part in the Central District today), which was located near the Jaffa subdistrict. After the 1948 Palestine War the Ramle subdistrict became part of the Central District which exists to this day.
Before the Arabs were expulsed because of the wars in 1948, Ramla had a major Arab demographic, thus after the explusion the Jews claimed the major demographic. Today, there are around 76% Jews and 24% Arabs in Ramla, being one of the mixed cities in the center and all Israel, which is more common in the Northern District and Galilee which has Arab majority demographics. Examples are Ka'abiyye-Tabbash-Hajajre, Sakhnin and Nazareth.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Official site (in Hebrew)