Culture

CAROB (KHARROUB): St John’s bread

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 21.05.2006:

Crowfoot and Baldensperger: "It is curious that this tree [the Kharroub] should have such an ill reputation when it is so useful. It will grow on hillsides and waste places, and produces abundance of pods having a sweet pulp, suitable for cattle food. Children will eat them raw, but they are generally boiled down into a kind of molasses (dibis)."

Hepper: "A curious feature of the carob(...)

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THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE CACTUS

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 21.05.2006:

Crowfoot and Baldensperger: "The Arabic word 'sabr' carries several meanings, among which are 'patience', 'prickly pear,' 'aloe,' and 'myrrh'."

In the national Palestinian tradition 'sabr' carries associations with the word "sumud" (= steadfastness), indicating the patience of Palestinians to stay on their national land and not to give in to any pressure to leave their country.

(...)

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THE FRAGRANCE OF SAGE (MIRIAMIYA)

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 21.05.2006:

Miriamiya: customs and stories

Crowfoot and Baldensperger: "There is an old proverb, said to have come from the Arabs: 'How can a man die who has sage in his garden?'

"But why is the Miriamiya so blessed? This is the story of the Miriamiya. What time our Lady Miriam fled from King Herod into Egypt with Our Lord Jesus and he was yet a little Child, she sat down, weary, under the (...)

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PROSPEROUS THYME (Za’ater)

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 21.05.2006:

Thyme as food

Muhawi and Kanaana: "Thyme is a component of za'ater, which may be considered the Palestinian national dish. The herb, together with other herbs as well as solid ingredients such as roasted wheat and garbanzo beans, is grounded into a fine power. Bread is dipped in olive oil and then into the za'ater, all being accompanied by fresh green vegetables. Although this meal is (...)

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BEAUTIFUL POMEGRANATE

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 20.05.2006:

Pomegranate: traditional uses

Hepper: "Today the juice, known as grenadine, is still a popular cordial in Mediterranean countries."

The Jerusalem Post: "Ripe-red pomegranates refreshed both King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, provided colour for dyeing and inspiration for engravings on priestly ware and stonework."

Pomegranate: Customs and stories

The Palestinian (...)

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THE HOMELY FIG TREE

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 20.05.2006:

Arab Research Institute: "Fig trees originated from the Arabian Peninsula, dispersed first in the Mediterranean region, then to other parts of the world. Figs have been found in Palestine since 2375 B.C."

"Fig trees generally lose their leaves in the late fall and early winter and become domant. They will withstand considerable cold, recovering, or smiling, again during spring."

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THE GRACE OF GRAPES

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 20.05.2006:

The Arab Research Institute: "Grapes are temperate climactic plants characterized by climbing stems and prostrate canes. Tendrils fix the canes to any support, aiding in cane distribution and penetration of sunlight. Grape cultivation in Palestine can be traced back to the earliest recorded history, introduced in North Africa and then in Spain by the Phoenicians."

Grape: folk customs a(...)

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THE OLIVE TREE IN PALESTINE: characteristics and stories

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 19.05.2006:

The Arab Research Institute: "The olive is an attractive evergreen tree with gray-green foliage. It was under cultivation long before the time of earliest recorded history, originating in the eastern Mediterranean area."

The Jerusalem Times, an English Palestinian newspaper in East-Jerusalem, says about the history of olive tree cultivation: "Palestine used to be the Islamic kingdom ri(...)

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The vine, the olive and the fig: a Palestinian proverb

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 19.05.2006:

The vine is delicate and requires care, the olive grows out on the mountains and can protect itself, while the fig tree, which is hardly less important to the fellah than the other two, is homely and is planted near the village. Hence the proverb: "The vine is a town lady, the olive an Arab and the fig a peasant woman."

Source:

Grace Crowfoot and Louise Baldensperger, From Cedar(...)

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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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