Community Histories

Town quarters in Bethlehem: history

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 04.09.2006:

With their gradual expansion in the 17th and 18th century, Palestinian towns such as Bethlehem acquired a characteristic of their own. The new inhabitants were housed in town quarters or "haraat" (singular "hara"). The haraat formed a cluster of houses closely and densely built around a courtyard, with fortress-like small windows providing the extended families with maximum protection in case(...)

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The Israeli Master Plan Jerusalem 2000

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 24.08.2006:

By Amal Nashashibi

“What is happening in Jerusalem goes beyond security needs, and reflects the essence of the original Zionist dream: maximum territory, minimum Arabs.”

Israeli historian Tom Segev

As the Apartheid separation Wall’s slabs were rising around occupied East Jerusalem to hack it from its Palestinian environment in the name of “security,” the Israeli municipal(...)

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The Deterioration of East Jerusalem The final touches of a long process

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 24.08.2006:

By Nazmi Al-Ju’beh

Among the visible results of the Israeli policy after the completion of the Wall and the major settlement activities in East Jerusalem is that Arab Jerusalem will lose all possibilities for development and its residents will not have enough housing. This will lead to impoverishment, a decline in the standard of living, and the confinement of its population in narrow,(...)

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Al-Quds’s (Jerusalem’s) Economic Dimensions

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 24.08.2006:

By Yusef Daher

Al-Quds, East Jerusalem, Arab Palestinian Jerusalem, the future capital of Palestine; all are names for one political, economic and demographic entity that is part of a city, a city itself, and more.

Jerusalem is politically at the centre of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, while at the same time the centre of faith for Jews, Christians and Moslems. In recent his(...)

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Taybeh (West Bank)

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 23.08.2006:

TAYBEH (West Bank)

Taybeh is known as the only completely Christian village in Palestine and Israel, and also for more mundane reasons since its locally made "Taybeh beer," is liked among foreign visitors to Palestine as well as locals. There are 1500 inhabitants of Roman-Catholic, Greek-Orthodox and Greek-Catholic (Melkite) belief, among them three times more women than men due to emi(...)

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‘Azza camp in Bethlehem

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 23.08.2006:

Notes from a diary: July 2001

With my Palestinian family, I am moving to a house opposite ‘Azza camp in Bethlehem. ‘Azza camp stretches from our street towards Paradise hotel. Some 2,000 refugees, or descendents from refugees, live there in cramped conditions in multi-story gray-dark houses built of poor material. Last week I had a chance to visit the camp’s youth club with the help of(...)

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Gaby Baramki: Born in Jerusalem, Palestine

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 22.08.2006:

By Gabi Baramki

I was born in Jerusalem on November 3, 1929. It is not easy to forget my birth date, since the 2nd of November is a sad occasion for the Palestinians when we commemorate annually the Balfour Declaration made by Lord Balfour on that day in 1917, promising the establishment of a ‘national home’ for the Jewish people in Palestine. Apart from the fact the Britain at the tim(...)

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Sari Nusseibeh – Jerusalem: childhood truths

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 22.08.2006:

By Dr. Sari Nusseibeh

Sometimes when I am asked how my family - a Muslim family named after “Nusseibeh,” a female warrior-companion of the Prophet from Medina - ever came to hold the keys to one of Christianity’s holiest sites in Jerusalem, the Holy Sepulchre, I smile indulgently. Then, I begin by saying: “Well, there are a few traditions in the family concerning this, but let me begin(...)

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Jack Persekian – Jerusalem, a zone of contact

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 22.08.2006:

By Jack Persekian

I am always amazed at the proximity and inextricability of lives between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem. The rub off effect is incredible and the acquaintanceship between the two sides would only lead (as common sense prescribes) to mutual understanding and eventually more tolerance. But life has taught us that the world does not necessarily make sense or foll(...)

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Wadi Fukeen

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 16.07.2006:

by Delia Khano

Most of the original place-names in Palestine are from the Aramaic, and the meaning of Wadi Fuqin seems to be 'Valley of Thorns' from the Aramaic word. There is a village of the same name, and the valley runs east-west from it to where the West Bank meets Israel. From early times it has supplied Bethlehem, which is about eight miles away, with her vegetables; and till re(...)

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