The Rafeedie/Rafidi Family Newsletter
Volume I, Number 1

The Rafeedie/Rafidi Family Newsletter is a quarterly publication designed to disseminate generally important information about our family members' lives and happenings. It is currently under the auspices of its editor, Nancy Tentzeras.

We ask and encourage that everyone please submit articles for publication on a regular basis. Please submit all articles for publication to Nancy Tentzeras.

By Nancy Ann Rafeedie Tentzeras
Welcome ALL to the FIRST EDITION of the FAMILY NEWSLETTER! We hope that you are all enjoying the web site and are having a lot of fun in cyberland and learning a lot about the family you may not have already known and are keeping in touch with everyone.
The Newsletter is the place to share with everyone a brief history of Our Family, Family members' lives and in order to preserve our history for our future generations. As well it is a place to share any upcoming events or happenings.
Many of us may sit and wonder who are we?, where did we originate from? and how and when did many of us migrate to the United States? We will take this opportunity to briefly discuss where the Rafeedie Family originated from and a history of our ancestors.
The Rafeedie Family dates all the way back to the mid 1700's coming from the town named Rafidia, which is in the northern part of Palestine near Naplas. The story goes that there were three brothers who apparently were feuding and had gotten into trouble and fled the town of Rafidia to seek protection. They had traveled to Ramallah, a Christian town, to seek the protection however Ramallah could not protect them. The brothers traveled a little further to the town of El Bireh, a Moslem town, who took the brothers in. The brothers were taken care of and sheltered. Two brothers had settled in El Bireh and one continued on to Egypt. The brothers started new lives for themselves in El Bireh. They were employed in the textile industry, where they were sewing and weaving traditional men's outer dress jackets, " the Abayeh". They then traded " the Abayehs" in order to purchase property. They were very skilled and hard workers in all that they did. As a ritual, every Sunday they traveled across town to Ramallah to attend church in the only Orthodox Church in Ramallah. They continued to buy property where at one time they were paying more property taxes than anyone for the small family they were in El Bireh. As well, some family members were in the transportation industry in where they provided carriage taxi service from Jerusalem to Naplas. They also maintained the stables that stored the horses. As time went on, many family members moved into the milling business.
It wasn't until the turn of this century that anyone had migrated to the United States. The first to settle here was Khalil Rafeedie in around 1906-1907, who was a teacher at the well-known Friends School in Ramallah. He was later followed by his wife who was also a teacher at the Friends School. They got married in the United States and has lived here ever since. The next to follow was Ishaq Rafeedie. It wasn't until after World War II that many other family members came to the United States to settle. To this date our family spreads throughout all of the United States as well as around the world.


View from the South
By Helen Block Rafeedie

On August 2nd, 1998 I was lucky enough to be a part of a family celebration, or should I say the celebration of a family. The 7th annual Rafeedie/Rafidi family picnic was held at Nottaway Park in Vienna, Virginia. I attended as a member of the Naheel and Basem Rafeedie family delegation from New Orleans, Louisiana. It was great to put faces with the names I had heard so often and also to meet so many family members for the first time. I'd like to think that lasting friendships were formed. It was neat to see how much alike the individual families are. One thing is evident; it doesn't matter how you spell your last name, this family could feed the multitudes! Since eating is just about what I do best in life it was greatly appreciated. It would be impossible to sum up in a few sentences all of the cherished memories I've acquired just by spending a few hours with family! I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who participated in making this reunion such a happy occasion. Loads of love, Helen



Eugene Gamble III was born on July 20th, 1998 to Eugene and Judy Rafeedie Gamble of Falls Church, VA. May God grant him and his parents many, many years of health, happiness and prosperity! Mabrook!


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