Customs & Remedies

The Semiology of the Palestinian Face

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 27.10.2011:

The Dichotomy of Private versus Public Space

By Dr. Ali Qleibo

TWIP

September 2011

Each culture is an empire of verbal and nonverbal signs that structure subjective individual consciousness. According to anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell, nonverbal communication, paralanguage, constitutes almost seventy percent of human interaction. Whereas verbal communication may b(...)

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Aida Kattan (1): The taboun

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala.

The taboun is the Palestinian oven.

How to warm or lighten up the taboun for preparing the bread?

The taboun, which is outside the house, is made from mud. Inside are small stones, called radif. The oven is made round from inside. You close the taboun from above like a pan. You have to close it with a cover. Then you put on top of (...)

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Aida Kattan (2): The Palestinian Mukhtar

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala.

In the past the whole hara used to have a mukhtar [head of a neighborhood or village]. The mukhtar did everything what was necessary for the administration, as when there was a khotbeh, or a marriage, or when somebody died. When there was a quarrel about the land, people went to the mukhtar, and also when there were papers which had to be stampe(...)

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Aida Kattan (3): the Palestinian wedding in the Bethlehem area

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala

I want to speak about the customs and traditions here in this region when somebody gets engaged or married, especially among Christians.

Tulbeh [asking the hand] and its preparation

It is not possible that the young man just goes to the bride or her parents for asking her hand. It is necessary that first the ladies of the man’s fami(...)

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Aida Kattan (4): Henna brought on the bride

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala

Before the henna was put on the bride, the bride and the groom and their family and friends went to the hammaam, the Turkish bath.

I remember the hammaam Sitt [lady] Miriam in Jerusalem. It is long ago that the hammaam Sitt Miriam existed. Now it does not exist anymore. The men, alone, and the women, alone, came every day. On Saturday, the(...)

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Aida Kattan (5): Nuzha, the summer picnic

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is teacher from Beit Jala.

Fifty, sixty years ago, inhabitants of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, and also from Jerusalem, came over and visited the countryside here for a long picnic. Then the majority of the townspeople went out. Everybody in Beit Jala went for instance to the Maghrour [the countryside west of Beit Jala] or Sharafeh [further in the direction of Jeru(...)

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Aida Kattan (6) Traditions from the home courtyard

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala.

IN THE COURTYARD

Let me tell you about life in the courtyard of the Palestinian house as it still was when I was young, during the 1950s and 60s.

When the women finished their work inside the house - the cooking, the preparation for the lunch and the wash - they came and sat together in the courtyard in front of the house. When the(...)

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Shepherds, Grazing Fields, and Recreational Games

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 30.05.2008:

Palestinian Traditional Sports

By Dr. Ali Qleibo

“Most games took place in the late afternoon, the heat of the day would have abated and the western breeze would have begun to blow.” I listened as Abu Ali Hantash, in his convalescence bed in his home in Dura, recalled his childhood recreational sports. Though barely two days had passed since he had undergone gall bladder surgery(...)

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Nablus’ olive oil soap: a Palestinian tradition lives on

Contributed by Mona Wafa on 17.03.2008:

Its formula is strikingly simple - a combination of virgin olive oil, water, and a basic sodium compound - but the history of the olive soap industry in the West Bank city of Nablus has been a complex one of development in the face of constant adversity, ranging from natural disasters to an ongoing military occupation.

The small, white, nearly-scentless blocks, still made today using a(...)

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Palestinian Wedding

Contributed by Mona Wafa on 16.03.2008:

This embroidered piece is titled The 'Palestinian Wedding' which was purchased while we were visiting Ramallah. The picture depicts a typical Palestinian country wedding with its rituals, the dabkeh folk dance, the bride on a horse, and the traditional "mansaf dish". Individual sections of the picture were enlarged and are shown below. [[picture:"wedding1.jpg" ID:4479]]

The first sce(...)

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