The Sabat family belongs to the third largest clan of Bethlehem called Tarajmeh. Some two centuries ago and up to recently, the Tarajmeh lived in one part of the old city of Bethlehem in a quarter or neighborhood (hara) called “harat al-tarajmeh”: the Tarajmeh quarter or neighborhood.
That same neighborhood used to be inhabited by many families from the same clan in what may be called a hosh. All these small hwash constituted what was called harat al tarajmeh or the Tarajmeh neighborhood.
Origin of the Tarajmeh:
Little debate goes around what is believed to be the origin of the Tarajmeh clan. There seems to be some consensus among the Tarajmeh on the following story,
It seems that in the fifteenth century AD, two Italian brothers from the region of Monteforte in Italy, and while on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, 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.)
And so the two brothers achieved their purpose and became residents of Bethlehem working as translators as they had once wished.
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.
Families of the Tarajmeh Clan
Following are the families of the tarajmeh clan in Bethlehem (as provided by the Latin Parish of Bethlehem), some of which have totally disappeared from the city:
Comandari,D'ek, Fleifel,Jad'on, Karmi, Mansour, Mikel, Mikel-Madalena, Mikel-Tawil, Mubarak, Rock, Sabat, Sara, Sem'an, Suwadi, Tabash, Talamas.
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