Stories & Sayings

What is Folklore Anyway?

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 12.04.2012:

[[picture:"." ID:440]]

What is Folklore anyway? No two people have the exact same answer. The one of the many definitions that seems to apply the best to Artas reads:

"Folk arts are traditional cultural expressions through which a group maintains and passes on its shared way of life. They express a group’s sense of beauty, identity and values. Folk arts are usually learned infor(...)

View Contribution

Stories on the Wall in Bethlehem

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 08.11.2011:

The following stories will be writ large on the Wall at Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. The stories will appear on large stickers (1/2 meter).

1. Tank at the house

During the days of incursions into Bethlehem in 2002, an Israeli tank was stationed on Hindaza hill in front of our house. All of a sudden, while I was preparing breakfast, the tank started shooting in all directions. I s(...)

View Contribution

Where Commemoration Meets Celebration

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 07.10.2011:

By Mazin Qumsiyeh


October 2011

On 15 May this year, a teenager climbed the abandoned house of the original Al-Walaja Village and raised a Palestinian flag as Israeli jeeps arrived. Ahmad had a big smile on his face as those gathered clapped their hands and sang a national song. We were young and old, male and female, Christians, Muslims, and even some Jews. We had cr(...)

View Contribution

Gypsies in Jerusalem: language

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 01.12.2009:

From the new Domari website

While related to both Punjabi of India and Romany of the Easter European Gypsies, Domari is the language unique to Middle Eastern Gypsies. It is highly influenced by Arabic, and exists in many different dialects throughout the Middle East. In Jerusalem only a few hundred speakers remain, mostly o(...)

View Contribution

Bethlehem Folklore and the Virgin Mary

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.09.2009:

The following is mainly collected by dr Issa Massou, and available on the website of Dr Adnan Musallem of Bethlehem University, at

Basins of Peas

To the north of Bethlehem, on the way from Jerusalem to Bethlehem at a distance of one kilometre from the town, there are some fields known as the "Basins of Peas." The tale attached to this site is very famous(...)

View Contribution

Jabra Ibrahim Jabra: memories of Christmas

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 25.08.2009:

The Shoes

Adapted from: Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, The First Well, A Bethlehem Boyhood, The University of Arkansas Press 55-60.

During Christmas we received presents at the Monastery. Father Domaggi told us how happy he was with our presence at the monastery and our regular attendance at church. Father Odeh told us that Jesus was exactly like us. He was poor, and he was destitute. Wh(...)

View Contribution

Coffee stories

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 30.05.2009:

The name coffee is derived from the Arabic Kahweh, pronounced Kahveh by the Turks. It originally meant wine or other intoxicating liquors.

The origin of coffee-drinking is connected with various legends.

One runs like this:

Coffee in the night

Fleeing from persecution, towards the end of the third century, a party of monks from Egypt found refuge in the Ethiopian h(...)

View Contribution

King Suleiman, the snake and the mole.

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 28.05.2009:

King Suleiman went to visit Syria, for a change of air. The mole heard that Suleiman was in Syria. She came to lay a complaint: Why, oh ruler, have I no eyes like other creatures?” Suleiman replied, saying: “This is not the place of judgement – the judgement seat is in Jerusalem the noble city; there is my throne.”

Afterwards the snake also learnt that the famous ruler was in Syria. Sh(...)

View Contribution

Francesco, the gambler

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 27.05.2009:

During the time of our Lord Jesus, there was among the soldiers of Herod the Great an Italian named Francesco, a brave young man. Children liked to be with him. He had just one vice: he was an addicted gambler. Not only he gambled himself, but he had a special delight in persuading others to follow his example. He would lie in wait to catch youth on their way to school or work, and seduce th(...)

View Contribution
 1 2 3 4 5 6