Stories & Sayings

An Advice worth 500 sheep

Contributed by Mona Wafa on 02.04.2008:

It is said that the Sheik of a tribe had only one son, even though he married more than one woman. The boy was pampered as an only son, and his father was not able to teach him the roughness of the Bedouins and their courage. His softness and inability to fight his peers was a disappointment to his father who was trying to prepare him to be his heir as head of the tribe. He married him off, h(...)

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Three Good Men

Contributed by Mona Wafa on 16.03.2008:

Three merchants were going on a trip when night came with heavy rain forcing them to take shelter in a cave where they spent the night. In the morning as they were about to leave they found out that a huge rock had blocked the entrance to the cave making them prisoners without food or water. They were certain of an impending death. However, one of them said: "let each one of us remember a goo(...)

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The epitome of our culture( A cry for unity and love)

Contributed by Olivia Azat on 28.10.2007:

I am a palestinian born in Ramallah in 1953, migrated to the U.S. in 1966. Lived most of my life in the U.S. but I can't seem to get the palestinian heart or culture out of my life. I feel that our culture is the richest and most beautiful culture, I remember our Honor system, where buying a peice of land was done with a handshake, where a man's word was his honor, were people loved and respe(...)

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The White Flag

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 28.01.2007:

One of the old customs still observed is the hoisting of a white banner (or flag) on roof tops on certain occasions.

When peace (sulh) is concluded between two adversaries according to tribal customs, the "jahah", a group of dignitaries who had striven to conclude the peace, will permit the party of aggressors to hoist white banners on their roofs upon the return of the jahah and the c(...)

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Birth

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 28.01.2007:

At the end of the Turkish rule a midwife delivered the baby at home because there were no hospitals. In 1840 the first hospital in Bethlehem, the French Hospital, was built. After that some preferred the birth to be performed in the hospital. The family and relatives anxiously and joyfully await the hour of birth, most often praying to God that the baby is a male.

During the British Ma(...)

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Qais and Yaman

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 28.01.2007:

Few of the younger generation in the Bethlehem District are aware that this District, as well as the other Districts in Palestine, was divided between Qais and Yaman, the two tribes which settled here. It is believed that the tribe of Qais came from Hijaz to the north of the Arabian Peninsula, and that the tribe of Yaman came from Yaman in the south of the Arabian Peninsula.

In the Ara(...)

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Pedlars

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 23.01.2007:

Long familiar to the area is the roaming of pedlars in commercial streets and inhabited areas. For example, there are: cake sellers who cry, "Hot cakes, Oh cakes, cakes and eggs." The cake dough resembles the bread dough. They are made in the form of a circle sprinkled with sesame seeds and are tasty when grilled with thyme and eggs. There are also newsvendors crying, "Falastin" and "Ad-Difa"(...)

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Sayings about the Weather

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 23.01.2007:

The following are current sayings connected with the weather. They contain a clear idea about climatic conditions throughout the year. They also contain pieces of advice for farmers and travelers:

The Months:

1- January: Between the two Kanuns (December and January) do not travel, Oh you miserable man.

2- February: February the Striker, he climbs and strikes, but

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A Tale Of El Khadr

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 06.09.2006:

The feast of Mar Elias (El Khadr) came and the young men stood together making their vows. One said: “I will give a goat,” another “I will give a sheep.” Then Jirjis, the son of a widow, desired to offer something. They had but one cow. “Then, he said, “I will sacrifice a cow,” and he went and killed the cow.

At evening time his mother called to him and said, “where is the cow?”. He s(...)

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Palestinian stories about the preciousness of the small

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 04.09.2006:

There are many sayings and stories in Palestinian folklore that testify to the preciousness of the small. Stories tend to illuminate the difference between the "small," precious gesture and the "big," empty one. The sheikh who gives just one of his old, gray and valuable hairs as credit for a loan is more reliable than the sheikh who gives away his whole beard. Similarly, the old peasant who (...)

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