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The Virgin Mary and the plowmen

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

When the Virgin Mary, peace be on her, was on the flight to Egypt with the son in her arms, she passed by some plowmen making furrows in their field. She said to them: "Though today you are only sowing, before the sun rises tomorrow morning, your field will be ready to harvest. But remember, if anyone comes this way and asks about me, say, "She was here just as we were getting ready to plant (...)

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The Meaning of Bread in Palestine

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

It is usage in Palestine to serve bread with almost every dish. The women used to make it in the oven which they shared with others in the neighbourhood or village, the tabun. Most of the wheat came on a camel's back from Beersheba, 90 kilometer away from Bethlehem, to the town's Saturday market. People used to buy a supply enough for one year. They kept it in stores next to their houses to p(...)

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Home-Made Snacks in Palestine

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Turmus: Soak dried grains for twelve hours, boil until ripe, change water daily for three days till the turmus is not anymore bitter, serve with salt.

Full: Soak corn for twelve hours, boil till ripe, take off water and serve the full hot or cold with salt.

Balila: Soak chickpeas for twelve hours, boil until ripe, take off water and serve hot or cold with salt.

Bushar: He(...)

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The Olive Tree

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

When the Prophet Mohammed died all trees mourned and cast their leaves. Then came one and said to the olive tree: "Oh Olive Tree, the Prophet is dead and all trees mourn -- Why don't you mourn?" The Olive Tree replied: "Break my wood and see the grief in my heart. So he broke the branch from the tree and saw the grief in her heart. Her grief was in her soul and therefore not seen by man. That(...)

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Song from Artas

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

"I love pears and I eat pears

And the girls of Artas are sweet, my Mother

I love pomegranates and I eat pomegranates

And the girls of Silwan are sweet, my Mother."

From: “Sahteen: Discover the Palestinian Culture by Eating”, published by the Freres School, Bethlehem, part of the Culture and Palestine series issued by the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Bet(...)

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The Old Man and the Fig Tree

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

One day, Caliph Harun went out riding. In the fields he saw a very old fellah planting a fig tree. Surprised to see a man who was planting a tree for fruit from which he could hardly hope to eat, he approached the man. "Inshalla," the old man said, "if I might not taste the fruit of this tree, my sons might do, just as I have eaten the fruit of the trees planted by my father." The Caliph aske(...)

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Herbs of Palestine

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Shomar (fennel). This plant grows wild and is gathered for salads and used for medicinal purposes.

Miryamia (mint). When Mary fled from King Herod to Egypt with her child Jesus, she sat down under the shade of a scrub. She took a sprig and wiped with the leaves the sweat from her face. Finding refreshment she said to the plant: "Be thou blessed forever." Since that day the plant is cal(...)

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Olive Tree – poem from Beit Jala

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Nice and generous you are

Giving us wood, oil, and olives

Your oil's color is golden

Your taste is wonderful

It makes us healthy

and gives us a long life

I enjoy the taste of olives

The sliced green and salted black

We are happy to eat you

There is nothing more delicious

Be sure to plant the trees

It is a great loss<(...)

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Palestinian Food Preparation: Past and Present

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

PALESTINIAN FOOD PREPARATION: PAST AND PRESENT

Palestine's history is scarred by wars, occupation and suffering. Throughout the ages the people faced a difficult and often poverty-stricken life. Most lived simply. Villagers prepared their meals with home-grown products. The goats and sheep they tended helped them to make butter, yoghurt and white cheese. Rice and corn were part of the (...)

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Fruits of Palestine

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

FRUITS OF PALESTINE

Cultural meanings

1. THE BLESSED TREE

Olive is the major crop in Palestine, covering about 25% of the gross agricultural income. The olive cultivation, picking, pressing and marketing involves more than 100.000 people and is an important economic base in the West Bank.

The Palestinian farmers feel very close to their land. The olive tree, which (...)

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