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:


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:


Cultural meanings


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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RIWAQ – Center for Architectural Conservation

Contributed by Site Administraion 1 on 18.07.2005:

RIWAQ is a Palestinian organization that is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of historical, cultural, or significant architectural sites in Palestine. Many of Palestine's architectural treasures are in a crumbling state of decay and ruin, primarily due to destruction caused by the fighting and warring within the country, uncertainties in how to properly care for and conserve the (...)

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