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The meal during occasions

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Engagements and weddings used to be celebrated at home. The groom's family prepared the meal and the visitors played music and danced on the street. During the Intifada the engagements and weddings were celebrated in a much more sober way to honour those who had died or were imprisoned. Meals were kept simple without music or dancing and the costs were kept low.

Nowadays some people lo(...)

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Zucchinis of Beit Sahour

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

There is no great difference in food preparation between Palestinian villages and towns. However, some villages are known for their specialties. Beit Sahour, for example, a town to the east of Bethlehem, is famous for its zucchinis stuffed with grape leaves in tomato sauce. It is said that the best zuchinis grow on the lands of this town. Most inhabitants of Beit Sahour are Christians. After (...)

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Food preparation during the first Intifada

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

The Intifada, the Palestinian uprising which lasted from 1987 up till 1991-2, had a deep impact on Palestinian society. In response to the grave economic and political situation, people were forced to return to old cooking and eating customs. There often was a shortage of electricity. Because of the lack of food during for instance the long curfews, and because many Palestinians decided to bo(...)

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Fishery and fish recipes in Gaza

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Some 15 years ago Gaza was renowned for its large fish market. There you could find all kinds of fish including sardines, mullets, red bream and horse mack. As there were no long closures people had access to markets in the West Bank and Israel. The recent political changes have played havoc with the fishermen. Nowadays you can hardly speak of a Gaza fishery. The restrictions in using the har(...)

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You Gain When You Give

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

There was a man, who was told by a Bedouin fortune teller: "When you are forty years old, you will die, a serpent will kill you." So when the forty years were nearly passed he thought: "If I make a great feast for rich and poor, perhaps I will stay alive. He gathered people together and made a big feast for them. He slew five sheep and five camels and prepared rice and ground wheat to supply (...)

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Gaza’s specialty: Hot pepper and fish

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

One can hardly speak about a typical Gazan dish: 40% of the population are refugees coming from different villages and towns all over former Palestine. The Gazan kitchen has been shaped by many other kitchens, including the Egyptian kitchen (Gaza was controlled by Egypt between 1948 and 1967). For instance, in Gaza you often find full, a very nutritious kind of beans that is popular in Egypt.(...)

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Palestinian women and food preparation

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

With modern equipments entering the Palestinian kitchen, the preparation of food has become easier and less time consuming. But do women therefore spend less time in the kitchen?

Hanan, from Artas: "On the contrary. In the past the mother had to work in the fields. She fed the cattle and besides she took care of the children. Life has become much more comfortable for the woman. She has(...)

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The Well in Artas

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

The village Artas near Bethlehem is famous for its well. The Prophet Al-Khader or St. George used to drink from the water of this well since it was holy. Nowadays women and children still fill their bottles and jars with fresh water from the well.

The water of the well fulfils various needs. The villagers often face a water shortage, especially during the Summer when there is sometimes(...)

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Al-KHADER

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

The following is a folklore version of a narrative told in the Koran, relayed by Moslems from Al-Khader (the village to the south-west of Bethlehem were Al-Khader, or St George, is said to have been born).

The story is about Musa (or Moses), the Great Lawgiver, who sometimes had difficulties understanding the dealings of the divine Providence, and then asked Allah for advice. Allah sen(...)

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BEDOUIN FOOD

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

To understand Arab and Palestinian food traditions it is important to go back to one of the roots of Arabic culinary culture: Bedouin life. Traditionally, Middle Eastern Bedouin followed a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle. They lived in tents made of camel or goat hair. The Bedouin in the Negev tended sheep and camels which provided them with cheese, butter and yoghurt. The yoghurt was dried(...)

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