Zarifeh: feminine of Zarif which means elegant, lovely, charming in Arabic.


The pronunciation changes from region to region.

In Egypt and Palestine it is pronounced Zarifa
While in Lebanon and Syria it is pronounced Zarifé

The spelling also changes ranging from

Zariffa/Zarifah in Egypt and Palestine
Zarifé/Zarifeh in Lebanon
Sarife in Argentina
Zarifi in Greece


in 1725, Zarifah Tarazi, of Gaza was married to a trader in copper and brass who came from Al Qamishly, Anatolia, a province of the Ottoman Empire.

He was not very fluent in Arabic, so he could have been Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian.

People do not remember his family name, he was called Daoud An-Nahhas (for his trade) or Daoud Al-Atrash (as he was hard of hearing). He was very well off and Zarifah bore him three sons : Is-Haq, Mikhail and Nicolas. Daoud died shortly after the birth of his third son.

Zarifah stayed alone and took over her husband's trade with the help of her sons.

People came to say we are going to " dar Zarifah " , here are "awlad Zarifah": etc. Hence the origin of the name.

Nicolas died young in Gaza. Mikhail traveled back to Al Qamishly to live with his uncles and kept the name Zarifeh.

We believe the Zarifeh of Lebanon are descendants of Mikhaïl. All of them, wether living in Lebanon or elsewhere, claim their origin is from Deir El Kamar.


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