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> Letter from Japan:Aoe TANAMI, researcher, Seikei...
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Letter from Japan:Aoe TANAMI, researcher, Seikei University
submitted by Artas Folklore Center

Aoe Tanami,aka Mouna,visted Artas in February, 2015, staying in the village a couple of days and using her excellent Arabic. She later sent us her impressions.

"When I read about Artas, I imagined it as small and humble village, and I thought it is enough to stay there just a day. But I found it was terrible mistake. I stayed there two days. Had I have more time in Palestine, I stayed Artas longer.
Started from Solomon’s pool which supplied water to Jerusalem during Roman era, I walked with Muhammad who was young villager and kindly guided me. He explained Artas was related with famous Prophet Yousef in Quran (Joseph in Bible) and pointed out how the landscape of Palestine changed by time. Enjoying wild flowers, we reached an old well which seemed so deep and silence reigned around there. I understood that many places were left unknown and untouched long time without investigation because of the harsh political situation.
Mrs. Muna, wife of later Musa Sanad a notable folklorist and founder of Artas Folklore Center and the family of their son Fadi welcomed me and hosted me the night. I met founding members of the Center and learned about their activities. It was obvious that they had many difficulties especially after their loss of Mr. Musa. But I also found that there are many people who has rich knowledge and enthusiasm, trying younger generation succeed to their heritage.
Next day, I visited very beautiful monastery called “The Closed Paradise of Artas” and an old ruined house where a folklorist Ms. Lowisa Baldensperger was living. I imagined how this French woman loved this village so as to decide to live alone here. Not only her of course, this village attract many researchers and travelers including famous Finnish folklorist Hilma Glanqvist.
At last, I want to express my gratitude the people in Artas who kindly hosted me and made me notice the attractiveness of the village. I truly hope to visit there again and I wish they have better environment to continue their local cultural activities.

Aoe TANAMI, researcher, Seikei University, Japan"

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