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Food preparation during the first Intifada

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

The Intifada, the Palestinian uprising which lasted from 1987 up till 1991-2, had a deep impact on Palestinian society. In response to the grave economic and political situation, people were forced to return to old cooking and eating customs. There often was a shortage of electricity. Because of the lack of food during for instance the long curfews, and because many Palestinians decided to boycott Israeli products, people started to cultivate their own vegetables. As in the past, they dried vegetables and fruits for winter storage. At the time Palestinians held wedding ceremonies inside the houses. The meals were kept sober with only rice and chicken, in part because of the difficult economic situation but in part also out of respect for those who had lost relatives and friends.

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, Bethlehem, 1999. To order the book, send a mail to

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