Stories & Sayings

The Peasant’s Year

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 19.03.2006:

Do all English children know why in summer the days are long and the nights short, whereas in winter the days are short and the nights long? This is the story that mothers in Artas tell to their little ones in explanation. "One day our Prophet Mohammed, God's Peace upon him, passed by and saw the ploughmen ploughing. He said to them "Peace be to you." Only the oxen replied. The Prophet said: (...)

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The son and the father

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 17.03.2006:

A man had a son, and the son had a lot of friends. One day the father asked the boy, "Dear boy, I see you very often going in and out with your friends." The boy answered: "These are my friends, even brothers; they support me when I need them." The father replied: "I think that you should try them out in order to be sure that they support you in hard times. You have to do what I tell you to d(...)

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Sugar story (Juha, the famous Arab comical hero)

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Juha, a famous Arab rascal, is known for his wisdom but also his practical jokes. The neighbours did not like his outrageous behaviour, and seduced him to join a journey to a lonely area at the sea shore. There they threatened to drown him if he did not swear a solemn oath to stop his naughty behaviour and to eat "salt" with them. But because he already had an agreement with the Jinn (spirits(...)

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The Hungry Bedouin

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Once a fellah and a Bedouin met together. Good food was spread for them at a low table. The Bedouin asked: "What do you bring for the bride, oh fellah?" The fellah said: "We bring all the clothes that are needed, the bridal dress, the black head veil, the red woolen belt, the velvet jacket with golden thread work, the silver bracelets and the silver chin chain, and European shoes." While the (...)

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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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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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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 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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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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