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Musa Sanad and the Artas Folklore Center:Timeline 1972-2005
submitted by Artas Folklore Center

Artas Folklore Center Timeline

•Embarrassed by his discovery that a foreign woman visiting the village knew more about it and his own family than he did himself, Artas Folklore Center founder Musa Sanad devotes the rest of his life to the collection, preservation and promotion of the heritage of his village.

• Artas Folklore Center becomes the first heritage center in the Bethlehem area licensed by the Palestinian Authority

• The Artas Folklore Troupe is formed
• Restoration of old buildings, Artas Spring, the Cemetery and Bab el Deir
• Participation in Dal’una Festival at Bethlehem University
• First Annual Lettuce Festival in Artas Valley

• Draining of first of Solomon’s Pools and hosting an International Festival there; over 30,000 people attended the festival, 15,000 in the first night alone.

• Hilma Granqvist, Finnish anthropologist who studied the life and customs of Artas in the early 20th century, is remembered in a conference held from September 3-7 1997 at Talitha Kumi School Beit Jala: “In the Footsteps of Hilma Granqvist,’’ in which Sharif Kanaana’s paper: “Granqvist, Folklore and National Identity” is read.
• The government of Holland through the Ministry of Tourism renovates the building housing the museum.
•1998 Prince Waleed Bin Tallal funds the equipping of the Artas Folklore Center.

• In partnership with the Arab Educational Institute, and thanks to funding by Friedric Nueman,the Artas Folklore Center designs and implements a unique set of nature and heritage itineraries in the southern West Bank for Palestinian high school students.
• The French create a terraced garden near Solomon’s Pools
• The French cities of Romans, Grenoble, Vienne, Gières, St. Priest, Eybens and Dunkerque bring a group of youth volunteers and engineers to renovate an old house in Artas and create a permanent exhibition space in it. This project was finished in 2000. Some of these cities then hosted young people from Artas who had also helped with the renovation.
• The Belgian Government through UNDP funds the rehabilitation of the hiking trail in a joint initiative of the Artas Folklore Center and Artas Village Council
• The Belgian Governmnt through UNDP unds a sewer system in the village in a joint initiative between the Artas Folklore Center and the Artas Village Council.

• Artas included in Bethlehem 2000 Activities
• Finnish Institute in the Middle East initiates pilot project for assisted rural community development
• Canada Fund funds emergency renovation of the Artas Folklore Center
• Events of 2000 interrupt work of Artas Folklore Center

• Artas Folklore Center founder and director Musa Sanad passes away in January. It is feared that the center will die with him.

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