Culture

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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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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