Click here to read about Khalid ibn al-Walid

The al-Khalidis are a Jerusalem family that traditionally traces its ancestry to the great early Muslim conqueror Khalid ibn al-Walid (d. 642 AD). It is documented that there was a family called Khalidi in Jerusalem in the 11th century AD. The best attested family lineage however dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries AD when a Dayri/Khalidi trio of father and two sons became grand judges of the Mamluk Empire. From this trio descended a long line of judges, scholars, Muftis and notables in an unbroken chain that constituted what the French call a noblesse de robe. The family was loyal to the Ottoman regime and when the 19th century brought about an Arab Nahda or Awakening two Khalidis in particular were prominent intellectual figures and statesmen in that Nahda: Yusuf Dia Pasha (d. 1906) and Ruhi Bey (d.1913), while their cousin, Nazif Bey (d.1916), an engineer, was chief engineer of the Hijaz railway: another modern trio.

The essay headed “A Family’s History” is an abridgement of a longer history written by Professor Walid Khalidi. The abridgement is the work of Tarif Khalidi, Shaykh  Zayid Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies Emeritus, at the American University of Beirut. It traces the family’s story only until the beginning of the 20th century. You can read “A Family’s History” here