Community Histories


Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 28.01.2007:

Aramaic was the prevalent language in Palestine during the time of Jesus Christ's birth. Before the Roman time the country was subjected to numerous invasions which led to a mixture of languages.

During the Roman rule, there were at least four languages, Aramaic, Latin, Hebrew and Greek. When the Arabs conquered Palestine during the reign of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, Arabic became the domi(...)

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Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 23.01.2007:

The Bible says that Abraham, the Hebronite purchased land in the city of Hebron from Hittite owners for a sum of 400 silver shekels. Hence the currency was in the form of silver pieces known as shekels. During the Turkish rule the Ottoman.

Lira was in use. It was a golden piece which was inscribed with the words "minted in Constantinople" on one side and the Sultan's signature on the(...)

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Hebron: Heritage of Palestine

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 09.12.2006:

By Fuad Sultan Tamimi

Hebron is one of the most important and oldest cities in Palestine’s history, dating back more than 6,000 years. It is called ‘Al-Khalil’, or ‘Khalil Al-Rahman’, abbreviated from ‘The City of the Friend of God’, the friend of God being the prophet Abraham or, as he is referred to by the Arabs, ‘Abuna Ibrahim Al-Khalil’-‘Our Father Abraham, the Friend’. Thus Hebron(...)

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The Bread Oven (Tabun)

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 09.11.2006:

At one end of the courtyard was the quarter's communal bread oven (tabun). This small conical structure was made from stone rubble, and roofed either by a stone vault or wooden beams. Inside, there was a circular mud case, known as 'the house of bread' (bayt al-'aysh), which was placed over a shallow fuel pit. This case was approximately 70-80 cm in diameter at the base, taperin(...)

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The Courtyard (hosh) in the Palestinian Village Home

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 08.11.2006:

The hosh was a semi-private family compound, and was sometimes defined by a large, arched doorway leading from the alley. The organization of this open space, and the activities which took place there, reveal the significance of the courtyard in the dynamics of Palestinian family life and the management of daily activities.

The courtyard was there women carried out their daily w(...)

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The Façade of the Palestinian Village House

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 08.11.2006:

Most highland village houses were simple square structures built from the limestone rock abundant in the surrounding hills, and often looked like an extension of nature, with wild plants and shrubs sprouting from cracks between the stones or growing freely on the domed roof. In springtime these plants often bloomed in colorful hanging bouquets of bright pinks and yellows, contrasting beautifu(...)

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The Transformations in the Palestinian Village Home

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 07.11.2006:

The visitor to a Palestinian village today is struck by the sharp contrast between old and new. At the centre of the village are clusters blending naturally with the rolling hills surrounding them. Scattered around this old village core are large, individual houses, recently built from smoothly-cut limestone blocks. These modern structures are cluttered by showy multifaceted walls built in a (...)

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The Village

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 07.11.2006:

Most villages in the central highlands of Palestine are located on hilltops or the upper slopes of the hills overlooking the valleys and plains below, and blending naturally into the surrounding rocky landscape. The compact groups of old houses in graying limestone merge harmoniously with the stone terraces (sanasil) of fruit gardens and orchards. Only occasionally does the minaret of (...)

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Friends School, Ramallah

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 23.09.2006:


ElBireh, Friends Boys School - The barefoot stu­dents of a century ago in their bright fezzes and crisp aprons have become a page in history. The basic education of reading, and writing and arith­me­tic has been replaced by advanced courses that have prepared students for Tawjihi, GCE, SAT and now IB. Segregated education is now a memory. Where on(...)

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Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 09.09.2006:

Aboud is a scenic Palestinian village some 17 kilometres northwest of Ramallah.

With a population of 2,500 people, Aboud is often described by travellers as a small hamlet. Local lore has it that Jesus himself was one of those who travelled through the village in ancient times.

The oldest and most famous of Aboud's four churches is the fifth century Byzantine Church of St. Barb(...)

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