Customs & Remedies

Plant-Lore in Palestinian Superstition

Contributed by Jerusalem Quarterly on 07.01.2008:

Tawfiq Canaan


Jerusalem Quarterly

Summer 2005

Marking the olive harvest of 2005, the Jerusalem Quarterly presents here an excerpt from “Plant-lore in Palestinian Superstition,” published in the Journal of Palestine Studies (1928). The essay is exceptional among Canaan’s works in its emphasis on agricultural lore, rather than the healing and prophylactic pro(...)

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Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 23.06.2007:

In the 16th century the fruits of the black mulberry tree (morus nigra) and its secretions were all used for medicinal purposes: the fruits were used for inflammations and to stop bleeding and the secretions for dental pains. The leaves were used against snakebites. Although mulberry has disappeared from European medical materials, the white variety (morus alba) is still widely used in China (...)

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Tosheh: a Palestinian Villagers’ Quarrel

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 08.01.2007:

By Dr. Sharif Kana’aneh

Tosheh is a spontaneous quarrel that takes place between two families, neighbourhoods or tribes. Individuals take part in the tosheh not due to personal hostility towards the other group, but due to their belonging to their own group.

Although the tosheh does not have any written laws and rules of behaviour, when a certain act is considered by all to be h(...)

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The Palestinian Wedding Practices and Rituals

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 05.01.2007:

By Na’ela Azzam Libbes

Folk weddings, some of which are still practised within our traditional communities, have been inspired by rational and ideological influences that are solidly embedded within Arab social values and mores and conventional beliefs. Weddings are an accumulation of rearing practices and moral ethics among the Arabs, both those living in the East within the confines (...)

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Privacy and Love in Palestinian Villages

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 05.01.2007:

Intimacy and the Other: By Dr. Ali Qleibo

The discourse of silence is constitutive of Palestinian individual identity. Discretion, knowing when to speak and when to observe silence, underlies the conscious awareness of the barriers between the private and the public. Nevertheless, the systemically suppressed discourse exerts a constraining outline on social interaction. In fact, social(...)

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Feast days in Jerusalem as they used to be

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 28.05.2006:

The following are remembrances of Subbi Ghosheh:

One of my friends recently asked me, a tone of blame in his voice, why I had stopped sending cards for various feast days, and why I never seemed to enjoy any of these occasions. I did not deny this, for I have definitely neglected some wonderful traditions since I was forced to leave Jerusalem. I am neither the first nor the last person(...)

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Washing their hair with herbs

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 19.05.2006:

"It is in April that the mysterious Thursday of the Plants (Khamis el-Nabaat) usually falls; it is fourteen days before Good Friday (old style)... In some villages young girls still go out on this Thursday afternoon to the fields and gather sweet smelling herbs and flowers. While cutting the herbs they say, "Crack and scratch; what medicine for the head, O plant?" (Taqsh w natsh shu dawa el r(...)

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Chamomile (Babounej)

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 25.02.2006:

This Week in Palestine

June 2005

The ancient Greeks called this plant the "earth's apple" due to its pungent smell whereas the Anglo-Saxons knew it as "maythen," one of the nine sacred herbs that the god Wooden donated to the world. The two types that are used medicinally – chamaemelum nobile and camomilla recutita – have similar properties and uses. Chamomile’s common name, ma(...)

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