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Looking for translation – “Wagüi”

Contributed by Mateo  Garcia Wagüi Bandak  on 13.07.2018:

Hello I’m looking for the proper translation of our last name, which was translated to “Wagüi”. Our family spreads across central america specifically Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa RIca & El Salvador. My family is also tied into Bandak & Abu-Rdene. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Katrina Kattan Sabbagh

Contributed by Gazy Kattan on 27.08.2017:

Hello, I am looking for relatives of my grandmother Katrina Kattan Sabbagh, daughter of Habib Zayed Kattan, possibly from Beit Jallah. Will appreciate any comments. Thanks. Gazy Kattan rgkattan@gmail.com

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Hanna Kattan Masri

Contributed by Gazy Kattan on 27.08.2017:

Hello, I am looking for relatives of my grandfather Hanna Kattan Masri, son of Ibrahim Kattan, possibly from Beit Jallah. Will appreciate any comments. Thanks. Gazy Kattan rgkattan@gmail.com

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Hanna Kattan Sabbagh

Contributed by Gazy Kattan on 27.08.2017:

Hello, I am looking for relatives of my grandfather Hanna Kattan Sabbagh, son of Ibrahim Kattan, possibly from Beit Jallah. Will appreciate any comments. Thanks. Gazy Kattan rgkattan@gmail.com

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Looking for Giacoman family members in Palestine

Contributed by Ricardo Giacoman on 29.06.2017:

My name is Ricardo Giacoman and I’m looking for family members in Palestine. Can somebody help me find them. Thank you

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salomon5@aol.com

Contributed by Oscar Salomon on 10.10.2016:

Hi my name is Felipe Salomon Vital from Honduras looking for relatives in Palestine

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If you have roots in Bethlehem or know someone from Bethlehem, this might interest you :

Contributed by Alex Kattan on 13.09.2015:

EXPORTING THE HOLY LAND: ARTISANS AND MERCHANT MIGRANTS IN OTTOMAN-ERA BETHLEHEM.Jacob Norris is Lecturer in Middle Eastern History at the University of Sussex in the U.K.AbstractThis article explores an aspect of Arab migration in the nineteenth century that isoften retold in popular memory but rarely discussed in academic work: that of Bethlehem merchants and the “Holy Land” wares they sold. Beginning roughly in the1850s, these travelling salesmen established trading connections in all corners of theglobe, constituting one of the earliest manifestations of the wider movement of Arabic-speaking people away from the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To properly contextualize the emergence and significance of thismerchant activity, the article firstly offers an account of how Bethlehem came to bethe manufacturing center of a global industry in religious souvenirs. It then turns tothe nineteenth-century merchants themselves, exploring their multi-directionaltrajectories in the nineteenth century. Through these twin dynamics of productionand circulation, the article questions some of the commonly held assumptions aboutthe nature of the nineteenth-century “Arab diaspora” or mahjar.The first to enter North America, in search of trade,were the traders of Bethlehem; they carried their wooden, pearl-embellished handcrafts to thePhiladelphia exhibition of 1876. They returned totheir country with an abundance of wealth, and prompted others to follow in their footsteps. Their migratory influence reached North Lebanon and spread throughout Syria. As with many diasporic groups, the origins of the Arab mahjar are typically associated in popular memory with the activities of pioneering merchants. Asseen in the above quotation, one of the most common versions of this story emphasizes the travelling salesmen who peddled “Holy Land” souvenirs andtrinkets produced in Bethlehem. While these early traders are widely revered. in popular memory, their migratory routes and the production of their wareshave been afforded little attention in academic literature which tends to view them as romanticized inventions of diasporic culture, irrelevant to the bigger“ push and pull factors” of Arab migration out of the Ottoman Empire. As a result, an uneasy lacuna exists between the “popular” and the “professional”when it comes to describing and remembering the early phases of migration away from bilād al-shām in the nineteenth century.This article offers a tentative step towards bridging that divide through adescription of the most influential town in the production and circulation of Holy Land goods: Bethlehem. Due to a unique combination of factors, by themid nineteenth century Bethlehem had become the manufacturing center of a global trade in Christian (and later also Muslim) objects of religiousdevotion. By the end of the century this had allowed merchants from the town to branch out all over the world, many of them enjoying considerable commercial success. It is no exaggeration to claim that when the sources speak of “pioneering Syrian salesmen” trading in crosses, rosaries and other such items, it is more than likely they are referring to Bethlehem-made wares,and quite possibly to the Bethlehemites who sold them.The article does not attempt a smooth integration of Bethlehem’s merchant community into the wider history of Arab migration to the Americas. Rather it seeks to demonstrate that the production and marketing of religious crafts in the town is a story worth telling in its own right. The literature that down plays the significance of the trade in Holy Land products to the wider movements of Syrians across the Atlantic may well be correct to do so. More systemic economic, political and social factors surely played the lead role in that process. In contrast, the value of studying Bethlehem’s merchant classes lies not only in bringing to life a rich local history, but also because it challenges some of the established wisdom on the nature of the mahjar itself. In particular, the migratory paths of Bethlehemites help to de-center our view of Arab migration in the nineteenth century, pushing it away from a purely American-focused perspective towards a much wider range of locales. By the 1880s, shops and wholesalers run by the town’s merchants can be found in the business directories of cities as diverse as Manila, Kiev, Port-au-Prince and Singapore. In order to describe the conditions that gave rise to these alternative trajectories of Arab migration, this article is divided into two sections. The first of these describes the longer process by which Bethlehem emerged as a center of production for the Holy Land souvenirs that were later marketed around the world in the nineteenth century. An important factor in this process was the Franciscan presence that had been established in the town since the early days of the Order’s conception in the thirteenth century. For this reason the first section begins with an examination of the close interaction that occurred between Bethlehem and Catholic Europe, especially from the sixteenth century onwards. Equally important, however, was Bethlehem’s more immediate geographical locale – the predominantly Muslim Eastern Mediterranean with its longstanding routes of trade ,pilgrimage and artistic design. It is only through a discussion of these multi-faceted influences that we can properly understand the global migrations of the nineteenth century – migrations which are described in more detail in the second section of the article through two particular case studies: the Philippines and Ukraine. It is hoped this longer and more varied view of production and circulation in Bethlehem can provide a counter-balance to the American-focused studies of Arab migration. At the same time it also challenges the well-worn historical narrative that views “modernity” in the Eastern Mediterranean as a uniquely nineteenth-century phenomenon, resulting from increased western, and specifically Protestant, interest in the region. In contrast, the story of Bethlehem’s emergence onto the global stageis a more fluid and long-running affair that owes remarkably little to Protestant influence. Indeed it is fluidity that best characterizes Bethlehem’s history more generally, and it is argued here that the town should be viewed less as a “place of origin” for the migrants of the nineteenth century than a“staging post” where people, goods and ideas have congregated over time,later to move on to new destinationsBETHLEHEM AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE SOUVENIR INDUSTRY Perhaps more than any other town or city in the Eastern Mediterranean, the modern history of Bethlehem is deeply entwined with that of European Catholicism. In recent years a body of historiography has begun to emerge that examines the heightened interaction between the Roman Catholic Church and the Arabic-speaking Christians of the Levant from around the mid-seventeenth century onwards, particularly in Aleppo and Mount Lebanon. But while these areas witnessed a Jesuit-led attempt to gain influence over local Uniate churches (especially Maronite and Greek Catholicor “Melkite”), it was only in Bethlehem that a significant proportion of the town’s population directly adhered to the Roman Catholic faith. Most of the available sources indicate the majority of Bethlehem was Roman Catholic (or lātīn in local terms) from the late seventeenth century onwards. This is certainly the picture presented by the Franciscan friars who provided regular updates to the Vatican’s missionary headquarters, the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, on conversions and parish numbers. While the Franciscans may have been prone to exaggerating their achievements when corresponding with their masters in Rome, other sources seem to corroborate their claims. Particularly useful are the locally recorded parish records of the Bethlehem Catholic Church that has registered every known birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage and death among the Catholic community since 1619. These records give a much more detailed picture of the Catholic population in Bethlehem, documenting a notable expansion in the late seventeenth century that is generally in line with the Franciscan reports sent to Rome. One source that contradicts this picture is the 1691Ottoman poll tax register of non-Muslim communities in Palestine, discussed in the work of historian Oded Peri. Interestingly the register records every adult Christian male in Bethlehem as being of “rūm ” (Greek Orthodox) denomination. But in the face of a reliable body of contradictory evidence it must be assumed either that the respondents to the Ottoman survey were afraid to declare they had switched to Roman Catholicism (perhaps linking Ottoman authority with potential Greek Orthodox reprisals), or that Ottoman officials made crass assumptions of denomination when compiling their records. Equally likely is that local residents perceived their denomination in a relatively fluid manner in this period, shifting their identity according to perceived self-interest. Whatever the reasons for the absence of “Latins” from the Ottoman survey, it seems safe to summarize that the Franciscans enjoyed far more success in tiny Bethlehem (population probably never exceeding 4,000 before 1900) than in any other town in the region: throughout the years 1692-1909 they recorded a higher indigenous Roman Catholic population there than anywhere else in the entire Custodiadi Terra Santa which included all of geographical Syria, Egypt and Cyprus. The reasons for the Franciscans’ particular success in Bethlehem are too manifold to explore in detail here. Suffice to say the town’s pre-existing majority Christian population (mostly Greek Orthodox), its proximity to the Custodia’s headquarters in Jerusalem and its well-established status as a pilgrim station, all provided fertile ground for Catholic missionary activity. Whatever the causes, the relative freedom afforded to the Franciscans in Bethlehem meant they were able to leave an indelible mark on the town’s character that would later help facilitate the migration of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Spatially, the Catholic population appears initially to have been centred in ḥārat al-tarājmeh, one of seven districts in the town now considered the “historic quarters” of Bethlehem. As an interlinked group of families (or ḥamūla), the tarājmeh trace their origins to Italian, French,Spanish and Portuguese immigrants to the town. It is believed that merchants and pilgrims from southwestern Europe settled in Bethlehem in various stages from the Crusades up until the sixteenth century. Over time these families are held to have assumed the role of guides and interpreters for European pilgrims and were thus named the tarājmeh (interpreters or translators). By the end of the eighteenth century, however, it is clear that growing numbers of families from the other quarters were adopting the Roman Catholic rites. In addition, the tarājmeh families themselves were increasingly moving out of their historic quarter, all of which produced a demographic map of Bethlehem in which lātīn could be found in all areas of the town. Education appears to have played a crucial role in this diffusion of the Catholic population across the town. But unlike the Protestant-centric accounts which emphasize the nineteenth century as a period of profound rupture and modernization , the activities of the Franciscans in Bethlehem points to a longer-running story of continuity and gradual change. Established some time in the early sixteenth century, the Franciscans’ Terra Sancta College was a much earlier example by which Arab Christians, and later Muslims too, acquired the tools for more intensive forms of contact with European trade and culture. A key skill obtained by the boys who graduated from Terra Sancta, and later the girls from the Saint Joseph school,was language, especially Italian. As early as 1598, a Dutch pilgrim, Johannes van Cootwijk, remarked that, although most of Bethlehem’s inhabitants still observed the Greek Orthodox rites, “all of them are skilled in the Italian language” [ omnes tamen italicam callent linguam]. This was, explained van Cootwijk, thanks to the work of the Terra Sancta College that “teaches them the language by heart so they may serve the Franciscan elders and work as interpreters for foreigners from the West”. Van Cootwijk appears to have spent the majority of his time in the Franciscan convent and the tarājmeh quarter and thus formed a distorted view of the number of Bethlehemites who could speak Italian. Neverthelessthe available sources indicate a sizeable number of Bethlehem’s population could speak the lingua franca of Catholic Europe by the early seventeenth century and therefore interact more intimately with the rising numbers of pilgrims visiting the town. Indeed the growing volume of visitors toBethlehem cannot be separated from the locals’ increasing ability to communicate with European travellers. While van Cootwijk’s assertion that all Bethlehemites spoke the language must be inaccurate, there is good evidence to show the growing influence of the Terra Sancta College. Records of enrolment in the school begin in 1692 showing that some 50 boys studied there in that year – no small number given that the total number of lātīn in the town was 385 and that the town’s entire population cannot have exceeded 1,000. Comparative figures from 1699 also show that more pupils were enrolled in the Bethlehem school than in any other Terra Santa school,including Damascus Aleppo , Cairo and Jerusalem . Numbers in the Bethlehem school continued to grow steadily over the following two centuries to the point where more than 300 boys were enrolledin 1898. The links between Franciscan education and the ability of Bethlehem merchants to market their products abroad can be glimpsed as early as the seventeenth century. Contained in the Propaganda Fide archives are letters written by Bethlehemites in 1690 requesting permission for “fundraising trips” to Rome. These requests appear to have been frustrated by the Franciscan leadership in Jerusalem, but it is indicative that they chose to target Italy and that they wrote their letters in an imperfect yet accomplished Italian. Equally important is the nature of their intended business. Although the letters do not directly address the issue, they do mention earlier, failed attempts to leave Palestine in which relatives carried with them “crowns from the Holy Land and crosses that those in Bethlehem are accustomed to making [croci che questi di Bethlemme sogliono lavorare ]”. This points the way forward to the later migrations of the nineteenth century: already in the1690s Bethlehem merchants were trading in locally produced religious devotional objects and had identified their potential value in foreign markets.Tracing the emergence of this craft industry, the Franciscans again appear to have played a key role. This is most evident in the models of Holy Land shrines in Palestine the Franciscans commissioned from local artisans, beginning in the late sixteenth century. As Michele Piccirillo has documented, the production of these models was given major impetus by the work of Bernardino Amico who served the Custodia di Terra Santa between1593 and 1597 and produced the first scale drawings of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. We will probably never know the identities of the Bethlehem artisans who worked on Amico’s models, but their labors produced some of the most exquisite works of art to emerge from the Eastern Mediterranean in the early modern period.Today examples of these models, crafted from olive wood with mother-of-pearl inlay, can be found in museums and stately homes all over Europe, from the Palazzo Pitti to the British Museum. Underneath these works of fine art were the thousands of smaller devotional objects which constituted the staple sales of the Bethlehem industry – crucifixes, rosaries, reliquaries, crowns, candlesticks and many others. Like the models, they were mostly carved from locally harvested olive wood and inlaid with stones or mother-of-pearl. Sources suggest that by the mid seventeenth century the Franciscans were operating a sizeable export business out of Bethlehem, sending the wares to Jerusalem from where they were shipped via Acre to some of the major ports of Catholic Europe, and particularly Venice. Precise figures of the sales and shipping routes are hard to come by today, but travellers’ accounts give occasional glimpses of the scale of the enterprise. Among the earliest to mention the export trade is Michel Nau, a French Jesuit missionary stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 1660s and 70s. After stating that every member of the fifty or so Roman Catholic families in Bethlehem spoke Italian and served the pilgrims as interpreters and guides, Nau went on to state: “Their profession,like that of the other Christians, as well as the Muslims, is that of making rosaries [ faire de Chappelets] which are blessed in the holy sites and sent toEurope [ qu’on benit sur les saints Lieux qu’on envoye en Europe]”. A little under a century later Fredriech Hasselquist, a student of Linnaeus at Uppsalain Sweden, confirmed the continued expansion of the trade in a description of his journey around the region, published in 1769: “The procurator [the financial officer of the Franciscan convent in Bethlehem] informed me that 15,000 piasters-worth [of religious souvenirs] were held in the Jerusalem convent which seemed almost unbelievable. They are sent to all the Catholic countries of Europe [on en envoie dans tous les pays catholiques del’Europe] but above all to Spain and Portugal”. Figure 1: Bethlehem-made rosary, olive wood and mother-of-pearl. Thought to be from18th century. George Michel al-A‘ma collection. At times production appears to have outstripped demand in the industry as an increasing number of men (and later women too) took up the profession. Most notoriously in 1771, one of the Bethlehem artisans presented himself at the Convent of St Saviour (the Franciscan headquarters in Jerusalem) demanding payment for an array of handicrafts he had brought with him. According to Giovanni Mariti, an Italian writer who spent time with the Franciscans in Bethlehem, the friars informed the man they were unable to purchase his wares, as the storehouse was already full of unsold goods. In response the man is said to have thrown his own son into a cistern where he drowned, and then blamed the incident on the friars. In the resulting legal case, the “Pasha of Damascus” (presumably the Ottoman governor or wāli of the Damascus Eyalet which included Jerusalem and Bethlehem) ordered the Franciscans to pay “3,000 zecchini” (Venetian gold coins), although the fee was later returned to the Custodia by the Ottoman authorities after the decision was overturned. Whoever was to blame for this tragic incident, the crisis of supply and demand appears to have been a temporary setback for the industry, most likely caused by a relatively brief dip in pilgrim numbers to Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the early 1770s. Indeed Mariti himself emphasized the continuing importance of the souvenir industry to Bethlehem’s economy after visiting the town in 1776:In the town of Bethlehem no other trade is known than that of making wooden crowns and crosses, ornamented with mother of pearl…From such work they take a great part of their subsistence,and this is the only branch of commerce that supports that town.The European merchants of Acre are the ones who purchase the majority of those works that are packed into boxes and transported to Venice [riposti in casse vengono spediti a Venezia] from where they are sent to Germany. The reason for Mariti’s emphasis on Germany as the final destination for much of this merchandise remains unclear, but the basic features of the industry are in no doubt. All the available sources describe Bethlehem as the manufacturing center of an expanding trade in religious souvenirs, carved mainly from olive wood but increasingly adorned with mother-of-pearl sourced mostly from the Red Sea.The skills and access to markets gained through interaction with the Franciscan community is an important aspect of Bethlehem’s history, but it only provides part of the explanation for the shift towards global patterns of migration in the nineteenth century. As a town under Islamic rule for the majority of the past millennium and a half, Bethlehem has been indelibly shaped by Muslim art, trade and political governance. From an artisanal perspective, the town’s status as a center of production far predates the sixteenth-century church models, as testified by an elaborate Quranic manuscript recently sold at Christie’s, London, signed by the scribe Mir Hajjibn Sheikh ‘Ali al-Husayn al-Iraqi, and dated 1401 CE “in the town of BaytLahm”. The existence of such fine Mamluk-era Islamic artwork from Bethlehem helps explains why the Franciscans commissioned their church models in Bethlehem, drawing upon a pre-existing concentration of skilled craftsmen. More specifically, the Franciscans did not introduce the art of mother-of-pearl inlay and carving to Bethlehem; rather it was an evolving and well-rooted local practice, as witnessed in the interior mosaics of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock (691 CE), or the Byzantine and Crusader-era mother-of-pearl mosaics in Bethlehem’s Nativity Church. This sense of interconnectedness with the wider Muslim world was notonly external: a substantial Muslim minority has been present in Bethlehem for many centuries, forming another factor in the development of the trade in religious wares. From around the sixteenth century onwards the town’s Muslim residents were concentrated in the so-called ḥārat al-fawāgreh – today one of the seven historic quarters, named after the nearby village of Faghur whose inhabitants settled in Bethlehem at various stages during the Ottoman period. The Shari‘a Court records in Jerusalem and the Waqf Archives in Bethlehem give insights into the integral role played by the fawāgreh in the town’s development. Until the mid nineteenth century, two of the fawāgreh families, the Shakhur and the Showkeh, were routinely appointed by the Ottoman district governor as the town sheikhs (shuyūkh), acting as mediators between the imperial state and the local population on issues such as tax collection, military service and land sales. By the end of the nineteenth century these families were prominent among those whom igrated to the Americas, many of them selling the same Holy Land devotional objects as their Christian compatriots. As well as this locally based Muslim community, an array of non-European travellers’ accounts provide viewpoints onto the diversity of Bethlehem society and the influences that impacted upon its souvenir industry. Some of the great Muslim geographers and travel writers such as Ibn Battuta and Evliya Çelebi included the town in their itineraries and made brief mention of its characteristics. Other travellers like the Sufi scholar andmufti of Damascus, ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi (1641-1731), provided more detailed descriptions which give us a distinctly Muslim interpretation of Bethlehem’s religious significance at that time. Al-Nabulusi described the Nativity Church as the “site of the palm and the manger”, in reference to the Quranic description of Mary giving birth under a palm tree, and related his awe upon visiting the birth place of “the impeccable profit” [al-nabi al-ma‘ṣūm]. He also wrote a poem about the town’s mystical tranquility and the way in which the Franciscan monks sent him into rapture with their singing and playing of the urghūl (a local wind instrument) – a sound he compared to the song of blackbirds and nightingales. This emphasis on Bethlehem’s spirituality is a reflection of the particular significance as cribed to Jesus and his birth in Bethlehem by Sufism and is confirmed by the visit of another Syrian Sufi, Mustafa al-Bakri al-Siddiqi, who travelled all over theregion in the mid eighteenth century. In his account, al-Siddiqi gave a rare description of a mosque in Bethlehem that far predates the only current mosque in the old city (built 1860) and hints at a much longer tradition of Muslim worship in the town that runs back to the original Muslim conquest of 637 CE under Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab. He also claimed that “one half of the town’s inhabitants are Muslims and the other half are Christian,and one of their customs is to produce rosaries from olive wood [masābiḥ maṣnūa min khashab al-zeī t ūn] and shape it into different forms and sellt hem to visitors”. While al-Siddiqi’s estimates of the size of the Muslim population seem to be exaggerated, such descriptions nonetheless give asense of the town’s religious diversity as well as an alternative perspective on the souvenir industry.More generally, the interest these writers showed in Bethlehem hints at the multifarious nature of pilgrimage to the town, rather than the often-assumed unidirectional flow of western visitors. The annual Hajj caravans that made their way southwards from Damascus towards Mecca passed a short distance east of the Dead Sea, prompting many of the pilgrims,merchants, and artisans to make stops in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, or simply to perform a shorter pilgrimage (ziyāra) to Jerusalem itself. On a smaller but perhaps not less significant scale, an annual Christian pilgrimage also made its way southwards to Jerusalem via Damascus, typically setting off in Aleppo and stopping at various monasteries and holy sites along the way such as Ma‘lula, Saidnaya and Mar Saba. Scholars such as Oded Peri and Bernard Heyberger have highlighted the ways in which these pilgrimage routes created intimate bonds of commerce and culture between the northern and southern portions of Ottoman Syria, and Bethlehem’s artisanal production must also be viewed in this light. Through his analysis of the Ottoman r egulation of the Christian pilgrimage, Peri has provided valuable data on thepilgrims themselves, demonstrating that, at least in the sixteenth andseventeenth centuries, so-called “Eastern” Christians made up the majority of the pilgrimage traffic to Jerusalem and, by extension, Bethlehem. Heyberger sheds light on some of the cultural and religious aspects of the Jerusalem pilgrimage, including the various shrines visited and rituals performed by the pilgrims upon their arrival. Among the most interesting is the practice by which both Christian and Muslim women visited the site in Bethlehem known as maghārat al-ḥal ī b (the Milk Grotto) – still a feature of pilgrimage to Bethlehem today. It was here that a drop of Mary’s milk is said to have turned the cave walls white when she and Joseph stopped to nurse the infant Jesus when fleeing Bethlehem. Female pilgrims, Christian and Muslim,would thus consume the chalky white stone of the grotto walls (mixed with food or water) in the hope of improving their fertility. The shared sense of Christian-Muslim significance was later reflected in the nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century artwork produced in Bethlehem, which was sometimes tailored to Muslim sensibilities through the inclusion of Islamic inscriptions. By the early twentieth century this had diversified further to include large-scale, mother-of-pearl replica models of nearby Muslim shrines such as Rachel’s Tomb (just outside Bethlehem), the Dome of the Rock (Jerusalem) and the Mosque of Abraham (Hebron). FROM PRODUCTION TO CIRCULATION – MIGRATION IN THE 19 TH AND EARLY 20 TH CENTURIES The ritual of pilgrimage is just one of a multitude of ways in which Bethlehem has long been connected to circuits of migration and trade that incorporated large portions of western Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and southern Europe. By the end of the nineteenth century this process had become so accelerated that Bethlehemites themselves had usurped the Franciscans as the principal exporters of their handicrafts, establishing new trading posts all over the world. A key factor inthis process is the gradual emergence and expansion of a merchant middleclass in Bethlehem. As the souvenir industry expanded in the late eighteenth century, some of the senior figures in the various Bethlehem clans began toestablish makeshift stalls (and later their own shops), rather than hawking onthe street to pilgrims or selling direct to the Franciscans. Vital to their successwas the increasing use of mother-of-pearl in the wares they sold. Taken fromthe lining of certain types of oyster shells, this iridescent material becameincreasingly fashionable in both European and Asian tastes in the nineteenthcentury , a fact not lost on the artisans of Bethlehem who were able to import increasing quantities of the shells. By the middle of the century new workshops were appearing all over the town, representing another shift in the industry: previously the work had largely been carried out in the home and passed down from father to son. Now as many as 50 workers (increasingly including women) might be recruited to the bigger workshops where they were trained specifically in the painstaking techniques of mother-of-pearlcarving. In the nineteenth century, detailed information on the local population becomes more readily available through surviving memoirs, as well as the Catholic parish records that provide valuable biographical notes on all of the town’s Roman Catholic families from around 1700 onwards. In addition to these written sources, some of the families who set up workshops in the nineteenth century are still operating today or at least were doing so within living memory. At times these sources overlap, as in the case of Jadallah Sammur who left behind memoirs of his life and whose grandson George is still resident in the town today and has published a book on the town’shistory. Born in 1857, Jadallah learned the art of mother-of-pearl from the Franciscans who at that time still taught local boys basic craft work in their monastery compound. Typical of his generation, Jadallah initially used totake his products to Manger Square, lay down some cloth and sell to passersby. Through increased sales to the Franciscans, however, he managed to raise enough money to open his own workshop some time in the 1880s which, at its peak, employed around 40 workers. An important figure in this process was the Italian (but non-Franciscan)priest Antonio Belloni who established an orphanage in Bethlehem in 1864 with an adjoining technical school that trained the orphans in mother-of-pearl and olive wood carving. Over time Belloni, known locally as“Abulyatama” (Father of the Orphans), bought increasing quantities of handicrafts from local producers which he in turn sold to various Europeanoutlets to raise money for the upkeep and expansion of his orphanage. By 1891 Belloni had incorporated his institution into the Salesian Society – anItalian Catholic group founded in the 1840s to care for disadvantagedchildren which was taking an increasing interest in the EasternMediterranean at that time. This allowed Belloni to further increase hispurchases from local artisans as well as construct a gleaming new churchwhose spire still dominates the skyline of Bethlehem’s old city today. The existing records of the Salesians give a rare glimpse into the way the town’s handicrafts were marketed and sold abroad. In the society’s newsletters fromthe late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, numerous entriesdocument the gifting of religious items to dignitaries and benefactors as ameans of encouraging further assistance. There are also more specificbulletins addressed to institutions with which Belloni had establishedconnections for selling the Bethlehem products. One of these was the RomanCatholic cathedral in Tournai, Belgium, to whom he sent “objets de piété etde fantaisie fabriqués à Bethléem’. This included ‘toutes sortes de chapelets[all kinds of rosaries]” and “crucifix en nacre pour oratoire [mother-of-pearlcrucifixes for use in prayers]”, and they were sold at a certain “dépôt de ces objets chez M. Decallonne-Liagre” in Tournai’s Grand Place. Among the few remaining mother-of-pearl artists in Bethlehem today, Belloni continues to be revered as a patron of their profession who encouraged merchants to begin marketing their own products abroad. George Sammur, for example,attributes his grandfather’s step up from Manger Square hawker to work shop owner in the 1880s to the sales contacts he established through Belloni. While the likes of Jadallah Sammur achieved moderate success in this period, the aristocrats of mother-of-pearl production in Bethlehem were the Mikel and Zoughbi families. According to local historians, Butrus Mikel (b.1748) was the very first Bethlehemite to establish a fixed shop selling mother-of-pearl in 1818 in a building belonging to the Armenian monastery near Manger Square. As part of the Tarajmeh clan, the Mikel family traces its roots back to Venetians who came to the town at the beginning of the seventeenth century. While this type of family memory preferences European connections over other types of ancestry, the Mikel family has certainly profited from its connections with Catholic Europe, selling their wares to various outlets over the decades and still operating a shop today on Milk Grotto street, run by Butrus’ great great grandson, Luis. The Zoughbis, meanwhile, reached the pinnacle of mother-of-pearl artistry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The founder of the family business was Bishara Zoughbi (1863-1934) who established a workshop, also on Milk Grotto Street, in the 1880s and quickly gained a reputation as one of the town’s most skilled mother-of-pearl craftsmen. He was later joined by his brother Yousef (1878-1964) and together they achieved dizzying success,expanding their repertoire to produce enormous, richly detailed replica models of churches as well as Muslim monuments such as Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, carved entirely from mother-of-pearl. The workshop was later maintained and expanded by Bishara’s son Gregory who,like his father and uncle, sold his pieces to religious and political dignitaries all over the world including the Shah of Iran, the Vatican, the Sheikh of Kuwait, the Jordanian royal family and the second Turkish president,Mustafa İsmet İnönü. The remarkable success of these artists is testament to a much wider mother-of-pearl industry that was thriving by the end of the nineteenth century, providing employment for hundreds, if not thousands, of workers. It was against this backdrop that some men in the town,particularly among the lātīn families,began to specialize exclusively in marketing the products, gradually forming a distinct class of merchants whose reach had become truly global by the beginning of the twentieth century.The small fortunes amassed by a number of families in this period is reflected in the ostentatious, pink-stone mansions that sprang up around the town from the 1890s onwards, embodied most dramatically by the Jacir palace,built to house the merchant (and later town mayor) Suleiman Jacir in 1910, and today home of the Intercontinental Hotel.These mansions are also testament to Bethlehem’s other great source of male employment, stone cutting, which is frequently alluded to in both secondary literature and primary sources. But it was the merchants of mother-of-pearl who appear to have constituted the town’s first discernible group of trading migrants, beginning around the 1850s and reaching the peak of their success between 1880 and 1930, after which time the Great Depression sent many of their enterprises into decline and even bankruptcy.Family names such as Mansour, Handal, Dabdoub, Hazboun, Jacir and Kattan are still today associated with the accumulation of unprecedented wealth in this period through the sale of Bethlehem-produced mother-of-pearl ornaments and later branching out into a bewildering array of import-export businesses. The full extent of their global journeys is too wide to coverin detail here; rather individual examples of families settling in thePhilippines and Ukraine will be used to illustrate the broader patterns of migration.Most commonly in the early stages of Bethlehem migration, young malemembers of merchant families established new shops or trading centers inlocations deemed to be both lucrative markets for their religious wares andpotential sources of goods to bring back to the Bethlehem area. As the parish records testify, these early stages of migration were largely circular and transitory. Bethlehem remained “base camp” as they mostly married, had children and died in the town, at least up until World War I when economic hardship appears to have pushed many families to emigrate on a morepermanent basis.In popular memory the initial breakthroughs for Bethlehem’s merchants commonly came in the form of international exhibitions, particularly those in the United States. First among them is held to be the 1853 Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York, attended by the brothers Jiries andIbrahim Handal who are today celebrated as the first Bethlehemites to sell mother-of-pearl abroad. From this point, the subsequent world’s fairs in Philadelphia (1876), Chicago (1893) and St Louis (1904) are said to have provided a springboard for establishing sales outlets all over the world and particularly in the Americas. While there is documentary evidence showing that at least some of these fairs were attended by Bethlehem mother-of-pearl merchants , their influence should not be overstated. The Ottoman exhibits at these shows were above all a staged performance designed for an American public eager to consume images of an ‘exotic Orient’. As such Sarah Gualtieriis most likely correct in her assessment that their impact on AmericanOrientalism was greater than their influence on patterns of Syrian migration. Indeed the mother-of-pearl merchants should not be viewed asthe early pioneers of a uniform pattern of Arab migration to the Americas; rather they were an early subsection of migration within a wider trend that ismore complex and multi-centered than has previously been documented.Without doubt the international exhibitions were useful for the early Bethlehem merchants, but it is equally instructive to note that, in the sameperiod, many of the same names are found in immigration records in farmore diverse locations. The two brothers, Gubra’il and Mikha’il Dabdoub,for example, are well remembered in Bethlehem today for their success at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 at which they were awarded a medal for the quality of the mother-of-pearl products they exhibited. But their names also appear on several occasions in steamship passenger lists and immigration records for the Philippines and Singapore. Gubra’il first appears in this context in October 1881 when he was granted access by the Spanish authorities to re-enter Manila (from Singapore) and continue his business activities. These activities, the report states, consist of a shop in the Binondo district of Manila that sold “efectos de su pais” (goods from his country). Several family members joined Gubra’il in both Manila and Singapore later in the 1880s, including his brothers Mikha’il and Hanna (listed in the Manila archives as Miguel and Juan), and his nephew Jiries (Jorge). The Dabdoubs became one of the most successful merchant families of their time, as can be gleaned from a number of new residences they built around Bethlehem, the most impressive of which is situated a short distance south from the Jacir Palace along Hebron Road. Built in 1923, the palatial house is today used by the Bethlehem Bible College, but it still bears the initials GJD (Gubra’il Josef Dabdoub) on the elaborate wrought iron gates – a testament to more prosperous times for Bethlehem’s merchant community. In the Philippines the Dabdoubs were among the first in a wave of migration that saw at least a dozen Bethlehem families establishing businesses all over the archipelago and particularly in the northeastern reaches of Luzon Island. The available evidence points to their presence there being linked to the mother-of-pearl trade and in particular the need to establish new sources of raw materials. Those who still work in the tradetoday in Bethlehem describe an important shift in the industry when new types of oyster shells from the south Pacific began to be imported toBethlehem. The thick, whitish coating of these shells, belonging to the pinctada maxima species, allowed a more detailed and elaborate form of relief carving. While this acted as a major spur for the expansion of the Bethlehem industry from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, the increased cost of importing the raw material (from the Pacific rather than the Red Sea)appears to have sparked a search to cut out the middlemen and buy direct from the source.Once these early inroads into the Philippines markets were made a host of other Bethlehem families followed the Dabdoubs to the archipelago. Many of them enjoyed considerable success in a range of import-export businesses.At least fourteen Bethlehem family names can be identified in the Manila archives, many of them sending numerous siblings, cousins and other male relatives to the Philippines during the early stages. The story of one of these families, the Salems, demonstrates the extent to which this particular migratory route had become a more permanent destination for Bethlehemites by the 1920s. After Elias Salem had first established a trading base in the Philippines in the late nineteenth century, several of his children chose to settle there in the 1910s, raising families in Manila as well as the more southerly towns of Tacloban and Dumaguete. Interviews with the descendants of these children reveal a much more locally rooted upbringing,rather than the transitory experiences of earlier generations. Samir Salem, for example, today recalls how his father Elias (born in Manila, 1925) was raisedby a Philippine maid and consequently spoke Tagalog as a first language. HisArabic, by contrast, was far from perfect as he would frequently confuse pronouns and was unable to read or write in the language. Elias is also remembered as an aficionado of the then-popular Philippine sport of cockfighting, something his mother (of the older, Bethlehem-born generation) tried to forbid him from attending – apparently with little effect, as testified by the painting of a cockfighting scene still hanging in the Bethlehem family home today. Sustaining this longer-term presence in the Philippines for the Salem family was a series of successful business ventures. As with the Bethlehem migrants more generally, the early focus on trading in Holy Land souvenirs quickly diversified to include new lines of import-export. Manila business directories list a number of Salem family enterprises operating in the 1920s and 30s, dealing mostly in cloth and jewelry. The success enjoyed by Bethlehemites in the Philippines has, however, largely been forgotten in Bethlehem today where migration is almost exclusively associated with Central and South America. This is in part due to the Philippine community’s sudden departure following the Japanese invasion of the islands in 1941, an event which caused the departure of virtually the entire Bethlehem population overnight, often in dramatic circumstances. The children of Elias Salem, for example, describe how he and his family were forced to jump from a third-floor apartment set on fire by the advancing Japanese forces in Manila. But the existence of a thriving and relatively settled Bethlehem diaspora in the Philippines before 1941 should alert our attention to the multi-centered nature of the mahjar in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, before it became more focused on the Americas.The implications of these earlier migrations to the south Pacific stretch beyond the confines of Bethlehem’s own history. Listed alongside the Bethlehem names in the Manila archives is a larger number of ‘Syrian’ family names, especially from the Mount Lebanon region, as has been documented by William Clarence-Smith. This is confirmed in the family histories of Lebanese communities in Australia, some of whom trace their presence therethrough traders in the late nineteenth century who passed through thePhilippines selling Holy Land souvenirs. One such example is the Malouf family whose presence in Australia is held to date back to Frank MosesMalouf. Frank is said to have left his hometown of Zahlé in the 1880s,travelling first to the Philippines where he “moved from island to islandmaking reasonable money in the sale of rosary beads and other religiousarticles”, before later following the Australian gold rush to Queensland. It is probable that the goods peddled by the likes of Frank Malouf were produced in Bethlehem given that the mid and late nineteenth century was also a time of considerable migration within the Syrian provinces of the Ottoman Empire. This is certainly the case with another Australian-Lebanese family,the Nashbis from Bsharri, whose origins are traced to Massoud al-Nashbi,said to have arrived in Australia in 1880 where he was “very successful in selling souvenirs he obtained from the Holy Land and for which the Australians paid large sums of money”. It is also likely that Lebanese and Syrian traders were able to purchase and sell the Bethlehem-produced wares once they arrived in the Philippines. For example, one Bethlehem family that ran several shops in Manila, the Abu Hamamehs, are frequently listed in the Philippine immigration records as ‘guarantors’ ( fiadores) for arriving Syrian migrants. One of the Abu Hamameh shops was named “El Belen” (Bethlehem) and it is likely that as fiadores they provided credit to some of the new immigrants in the form of Holy Land souvenirs to sell. The connections between the Bethlehem traders in the Philippines and Australia may well run deeper. One of the major sources for the pinctadamaxima shells were the pearling towns in northern Queensland, especially Thursday Island, an area where both Bethlehemite and Lebanese families are known to have traded in the early twentieth century, and some of the Syrians arriving in the Philippines in the 1890s were listed as resident in Australia. Looking beyond the pacific sphere, however, it is clear that the search for new sources of oyster shells does not provide a comprehensive explanation of themigration routes of Bethlehem’s merchants. They were equally wellestablished by the 1890s in cities such as Kiev, Paris and Port-au-Princewhere the trade in oyster shells was most likely not a factor. A less precise butperhaps more nuanced explanation of the destinations they chose is that they simply followed their business noses. A remarkable adaptability and acumenfor business is displayed by the Bethlehem merchants in this period as they probed new markets and took advantage of any available openings. Many of them seem to have begun by tapping into the old Franciscan trading routesand later using these as a basis for expansions into unchartered domains.Alongside the need for mother-of-pearl sources, this can help explain theearly prevalence of Catholic strongholds in their list of trading countries –France, Italy, the Philippines, Haiti – thus echoing the earlier attempts of merchants to reach Rome in the 1690s .At the same time Bethlehem traders were constantly alert to new possibilities, as demonstrated by the rapid rise of the Kattan family in the Russian Empire. This particular enterprise was started by Elias Kattan who issaid to have opened a small shop in Bethlehem in the 1870s, dealing mainly in mother-of-pearl souvenirs. Family history relates that in 1879 Eliastravelled to Istanbul where he met a Russian businessman who encouragedhim to sell his wares in Kiev. After investigating the matter further, Elias commissioned a series of mother-of-pearl and olive wood souvenirs that would appeal specifically to Russian markets through the use of Orthodox motifs and the mimicry of Russian traditions of icon painting. Thus, in a classic display of Bethlehemite versatility, the Roman Catholic Elias Kattan was able to establish the first known Arab souvenir shop in Orthodox Kiev in1880. For the location of his shop he chose to apply the Bethlehem recipe for success to Kiev, opening his business on one of the streets that leads up to the Pechersk Lavra, or “Cave Monastery” – one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the Russian Empire. In the early years of the shop’s existence Elias followed the typical pattern by leaving his wife and family in Bethlehem, returning once or twice a year to collect more merchandise and attend important events, including the birth of his children, all of whom were born in Bethlehem. His eldest son Yaqub (born 1885) displayed a keen interest in the Kiev business and spent increasingly long periods of time there as a teenager. After marrying Farida Kattan (of the same extended family) in1900, Yaqub moved permanently to Kiev and by 1914 had taken over management of the business after Elias decided to live out his retirement in Bethlehem.In keeping with a wider shift in the migratory patterns of Bethlehem merchants, Yaqub settled more permanently in Kiev in the 1910s, as reflectedby the birth of three of his four children there. He also followed the trend by which the initial focus on selling Holy Land souvenirs was greatly expandedinto a global import-export business, with a particular specialization inglasses lenses and fabrics purchased from a wide range of countries,including France, Poland, Lithuania and Greece. Another lucrative line of business was opened up around 1914-15 when Yaqub secured a series of contracts to supply Orthodox churches all over the Ukraine region with incense he began importing from Alsagoff and Company, the well-known Hadhrami Arab trading dynasty in Yemen and Singapore. This further underlines the need to draw connections between the various spheres of Bethlehem migration in order to better understand the reasons for its success: the first Bethlehemites to arrive in the Philippines came via Singapore and it is not unlikely that they helped establish trading links with the Alsagoff firms that were later utilised by the Kattans in Kiev. Numerous similar examples of the Kattans tapping into a ‘worldwide web’ of Bethlehem traders can be found in the family’s private archive, such as a series of transactions in 1917 in which rosary beads were purchased from a fellow Bethlehemite in Bulgaria, Jadallah Maria. As this last example suggests, the original trade in religious souvenirs continued to be a staple of the Kattan family business in Kiev. A company catalogue, printed in Russian in 1914, underlines the extent to which this trade had diversified beyond the purely Bethlehem-produced wares.Introduced as ‘a wholesale price-list of goods from Jerusalem and Mount Athos’, the first five pages alone are dedicated to a bewildering variety of rosaries (chetki), made not only from mother-of-pearl but also coconut, bone and different types of wood, and available in a range of colours that bore little resemblance to the typical Bethlehem styles. The most expensive of these were ‘black, finely chiselled and smooth’, and described as sotennyia (‘worth ahundred [roubles]’). Without doubt, then, the Kattans were enormously successful in Kiev between the years 1880 and 1919, after which time they fled the city in fear of the confiscation of their assets at the hands of the Bolsheviks. They also paved the way for a handful of other Bethlehem families to settle in the city such as the Sa’ades who have been documented in Kathy Kenny’s account of her grandmother’s life which includes details of her childhood in Kiev. Here a new kind of integration has occurred by the 1910s: Bethlehemite children growing up speaking Russian as their first language, with family photographs documenting their adoption of local styles of dress and mannerisms. The flight of these communities from the city during the years 1917-1920 and subsequent loss of large sums of money (particularly in the case of Yaqub Kattan) is suggestive of the merchants’ reliance on certain political conditions in order to flourish, foreshadowing in some ways the exit of Bethlehemites from Manila in 1941. CONCLUSION: BETHLEHEM AS “STAGING POST” The Kattans were one of dozens, if not hundreds, of merchant families from Bethlehem who embarked on global journeys in the nineteenth century in an attempt to find new markets for the religious crafts produced in the town. The complex ways in which these journeys intersected with each other and built upon pre-existing networks of trade deserve more detailed scholarly attention. This article has highlighted some of the general features of thosemigrations and the social context within Bethlehem that enabled them. Withits strong connections to the Franciscan community, as well as the commerceand culture of the predominantly Muslim Ottoman Empire, this context reminds us that not all change in the nineteenth-century Eastern Mediterranean was the product of very recent encounters with western“modernity”. In the case of Bethlehem, the local inhabitants had long been taking advantage of the town’s access to all manner of influences. If the region’s heightened incorporation into the world economy in the nineteenth century allowed Bethlehem’s merchants to begin travelling abroad, they could only do so because of an impressive range of skills they had been acquiring since at least the early sixteenth century. As well as complicating historical explanations of modernization in the Eastern Mediterranean, Bethlehem’s history also allows new perspectives on the nature of the mahjar itself . The claim that the large array of Syrian communities across the Americas owe their origins to the peddling of Bethlehem-made Holy Land products is both implausible and difficult to verify. Instead, the Bethlehem merchants should be seen as one small element of Syrian migration in the nineteenth century. The real significance of migrants from Bethlehem lies in their ability to decenter our view of thismigration. They remind us that the early stages of these movements of peoplewere truly global in dimension and characterized as much by circular routesof travel as by one-way tickets across the Atlantic. Nor should this analysis beconfined to Arabs. The term “Syrian” can be sufficiently inclusive to allow discussion of Jewish, Armenian and Kurdish merchant migrants within the same historical framework, as testified by the appearance of Syrian Jews in the Philippines immigration records at the same time as the early Bethlehemites. All of this amounts to a view of production and circulation that defies an easy demarcation between “West and East” or “homeland and diaspora”. An example of this is the way family histories in Bethlehem today are connected to the seven historic quarters (ḥārāt ) of the old city, each inhabited by a group of families or “clan” (ḥamūla, pluralḥamā’il ). This allows the longer-established families to claim the status of “original Bethlehemite” in the face of new waves of migration to the town in the twentieth century. At the same time, however, each of the seven ḥamā’il trace their family lineages through adecidedly foreign blend of influences. These range from the fifteenth-century Italian and Portuguese forefathers of the aforementioned tarājmeh clan, to ḥamūlat al-najjreh and ḥamūlat al-faraḥiyyeh who claim their ancestry via the Ghassanid tribes which began to migrate from southern Arabia to Greater Syria in the third century CE and were among the earliest Arabic speaking groups to adopt Christianity. The fawāgreh clan, meanwhile, is a Muslim group of families originating from the nearby village of Faghur, as already mentioned. Within this one clan alone, a range of stories are told regarding the origins of its various families. One of the most commonly heldbeliefs is that a number of the families are descended from Kurdish tribes settled in the area by Salah al-Din following his conquest of Jerusalem in1187. In this way historical events such as the Crusades, so often considered to be a polarizing force between “West” and “East”, take on a highly integrative function in Bethlehem’s history. Research conducted by Bethlehem’s vibrant community of local historians has produced a view of the Crusades in which an eclectic mix of “outsiders” – Latins, Armenians,Kurds and Shia Muslims – intermingled with Bethlehem’s population. Soldiers, clergymen, merchants and noblemen are all held to have married women from Bethlehem in this period, producing “hybrid offspring”, ( hujanā ) who spoke Arabic as a first language and called themselves talḥamī (Bethlehemite). The connecting thread that runs through this mélange of influences andorigins is migration. Since its very earliest days Bethlehem has been shapedby migration from all over western Asia and Europe. In this light, the town’sstatus as a “place of origin” for the migrants of the nineteenth century beginsto appear inadequate. As an alternative, the notion of “staging post” seemsmore appropriate: a place where travellers stop for rest and gather new supplies. Throughout its history Bethlehem has proved highly open tooutsiders, absorbing their cultural and linguistic traits, and equipping themwith skills that later allowed them to move on to other locales. The fawāgreh are a good example of this: as they gradually relocated to Bethlehem, they used their former village, Faghur, as grazing ground for their livestock while adopting a more “urbanized” lifestyle in Bethlehem. As the sources remindus, these Muslims too began to work as artisans in the olive wood andmother-of-pearl workshops from at least as early as the mid-seventeenthcentury, and many fawāgrehfamilies were among the nineteenth-century émigrés to the Americas. By the 1920s Bethlehem’s status as “staging post” in circular routes of migration was beginning to wane as the new British colonial state imposedmuch stricter immigration and nationality laws, while the Great Depressiontook its toll on global commerce. This in turn heralded a new era in which the town’s residents would find themselves increasingly restricted in their movements as the twentieth century wore on, culminating in today’s“cantonization” of the West Bank under Israeli occupation. The more fluidsense of space that persisted in the Ottoman period stands in stark contrast tothis: an era in which Bethlehem’s identity was constantly being refashionedby new waves of migration, both outward and inward. Successivegovernments in Istanbul attempted to restrict emigration in the nineteenthcentury, but the fundamentally multi-ethnic nature of an empire spanningthree continents made this inherently difficult. Within this wider context, aunique set of socio-economic conditions in Bethlehem produced one of theearliest migrant groups from nineteenth-century bilād al-shām: not necessarily the pioneers of a Syrian-American diaspora, but certainly an indication of the eclectic nature of the mahjar in that period. NOTES I would like to express my thanks to Jack Kattan, George Michel al-A’ma, Kathy Kenny, William Clarence-Smith and Anne Monsour for their kind help with various aspects of this article. George Hanna Malouf, Maloof: the Ghassani Legacy (Dallas: Malouf Publications International, 1992)

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Seeking original surname of Khader family in Bethlehem

Contributed by Jaime Cader on 20.12.2014:

My name is Jaime Cader and I live in California. My surname is comes from the name/surname Khader. However this is not the real surname of the family as many Middle Easterners took on other surnames in the Americas. I believe that it is possible that the original surname for this family from Bethlehem was Al Shamali (it could also be written as Asshimali). I am in touch with several Cader family members in El Salvador and elsewhere, most of them are actually descendants of this Palestinian family. I have been told that one way to get information is to check family trees from Bethlehem. One Khader was married to someone from the Atanas family and an Antonio Khader was married to a Graciela Zablah (I believe that I have her first name right). I have two photographs of Antonio Khader and Graciela Zablah. I also have the original passport of Katrina Khader who as I recall was married to an Atanas. The Khader family has an interesting story as they first immigrated to Barcelona, Spain first before they immigrated to El Salvador in the early 1900s. In Spain they obtained their Spanish citizenship and one Khader there married a Spanish-born Palestinian (whose origins were in Bethlehem) who was the daughter of the Turkish representative in Spain whose last name was Dawid (I believe that surname is pronounced Daweed). I am thinking that at least someone will have a Khader family member in their family tree. I do not believe that there are any Khaders left in Bethlehem, however they were related to a Freij family as my grandfather’s mother was Maryam Freij and I also have a photograph of her.

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Cultural Entrepreneurship program (English)

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 01.10.2013:

AnnouncementEducational Program Cultural Entrepreneurship Arab Educational Institute, BethlehemArab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows), a Palestinian NGO in Bethlehem and member of Pax Christi, plans to start In January 2014 a 1-year educational program in Cultural Entrepreneurship (CE). This three-semester program will recruit Palestinians in the southern part of the West Bank who wish to set up an economically sustainable, small-scale cultural business or project.The educational program will involve:Learning about  Cultural tourism and the hospitality industry.  The cultural assets of Palestine, both old and new.  Developing a niche in the cultural industry which fits the students’ potential and meets market needs. The education will build on the talents, interests and stories of trainees, and the resources of the cultural environment.Fostering skills in  Product, service and event development.  Small business management and making a business plan.  Communications, including the effective use of (social) media for marketing purposes.The graduates of the training will be encouraged to use the home or neighborhood as a base to offering unique products/services in various fields of cultural tourism. The trainees will be also encouraged to form local and international partnerships that promote visibility, marketing and networking.If you are interested, please contact the Arab Educational Institute, 02=2744030, info@aeicenter.orgCenter fpr Cultural Entrepreneurship Arab Educational Institute Bethlehemwww.cepp.ps

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Cultural Entrepreneurship Educational Programme

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 01.10.2013:

اعلانالبرنامج التعليمي الريادة الثقافية المؤسسة التعليمية العربية – بيت لحمالمؤسسة التعليمية العربية – نوافذ مفتوحة منظمة فلسطينية غير حكومية مقرها بيت لحم وهي عضو في منظمة جمعية حركة السلام الدولية – باكس كريستي الدولية وتخطط للبدء في كانون الثاني 2014 برنامج تعليمي لمدة عام واحد في الريادة الثقافية (CE). وسيضم هذا البرنامج المكون من ثلاثة فصول دراسية عددا من الفلسطينين القاطنين جنوب الضفة الغربية الذين يرغبون في تأسيس أعمال أو مشروعات ثقافية على نطاق محدود وتتميز باستدامتها اقتصاديا.البرنامج التعليمي: يشتمل البرنامج التعليمي على: التعلم عن:• السياحة الثقافية وصناعة الضيافة • الاصول الثقافية في فلسطين القديمة منها والحديثة • تطوير بيئة ملائمة في الصناعة الثقافية تتناسب مع امكانيات الطلاب وتلبي احتياجات السوق. وسيعتمد التعليم على مواهب واهتمامات وقصص المتدربين وموارد البيئة الثقافية.تنمية المهارات في:• المنتجات والخدمات وتطوير الأحداث • ادارة الاعمال الصغيرة ووضع خطة عمل • الاتصالات بما في ذلك الاستخدام الفعال للاعلام (الاجتماعي)لأغراض التسويق.يتم تشجيع خريجي التدريب على استخدام المنزل أو الحي كقاعدة لتقدجيم منتجات/خدمات فريدة من نوعها في مختلف مجالات السياحة الثقافية كما سيتم تشجيع المتدربين على تشكيل شراكات محلية ودولية التي من شأنها تعزيز الرؤية والتسويق والتواصل.للمزيد من الاستفسار يرجى الاتصال مع المؤسسة التعليمية العربية على هاتف رقم 022744030 أو البريد الالكتروني info@aeicenter.orgمركز الريادة الثقافية المؤسةة التعليمية العربية بيت لحم www.cepp.psThis document has been produced with the financial assistance of the Anna Lindh Foundation. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of AEI-Open Windows and can be under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Anna Lindh Foundation.

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Nineteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival Coming Soon!

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 21.03.2013:

Details will be available atVisitor Information Center – Bethlehemvicbethlehem@gmail.comhttp://www.facebook.com/VICbethlehem AboutManger Square, Bethlehem Office Hours: Tuesday – Saturday / 8 am – 4 pm +972 (0) 2 275 42 35or (in Arabic) from Fadi Sanad 059 967 9492 fadi.sanad@gmail.com

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Salem Kattan family

Contributed by Vivian Kattan on 29.10.2012:

Hi, I am looking for the Salem Kattan family from Palestine. I am Zacarias Salem daughter and I will like to have information about my father’s brothers. My name is Julieta Salem Kattan and I live in Honduras

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Hi Everyone I am a military historian and I am trying to find the family of a soldier who served in the Trans Jordan Frontier Force in the 1940s. His name was Awad S Diab and he was an Infantry solder. in 1955 his address is given as Ainabus, Nablus in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This village now lies in the Palestinian State. Hope someone can help.Eddie

Contributed by Eddie Parks on 23.10.2012:

Hi Everyone I am a military historian and I am trying to find the family of a soldier who served in the Trans Jordan Frontier Force in the 1940s. His name was Awad S Diab and he was an Infantry solder. in 1955 his address is given as Ainabus, Nablus in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This village now lies in the Palestinian State. Hope someone can help.Eddie

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Hi im looking for my Younes family from Bethlehem?

Contributed by Alejandra Estela on 19.09.2012:

Contact me at padgettga@hotmail.com

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Hi im looking for my family Zablah from Bethlehem

Contributed by Alejandra Estela on 19.09.2012:

Please contact me at padgettga@hotmail.com

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Cost of Living in Gaza

Contributed by Stephanie Black on 03.07.2012:

Hello, I want to assist a friends family in Gaza. Can any one tell me how much it costs the average family to live in Gaza. I also have some money extra. Does anyone know of a good organisation in Gaza to donate to.

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Tarajmeh hamula

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 02.07.2012:

Salamat, In your web you repeat the usual error of saying that the Tarajmeh hamuleh of Bethlehem is from Italian or other Frankish people origins. This is a gross mistake. The Tarajmeh hamuleh is originally from the Galilee area. Their ancestors were warriors in the Venetian army, but not ethnic Venetians–hence there is no ethnic connection between Europeans and the Tarajmeh at all. Before the crusaders’ time, the ancestors of the Tarajmeh were warriors in the Ghassanid army, and before the Ghassanid epoch they were Hellenized Canaanites, and before that full-fledged Canaanites, and before that they descend from the pre-Canaanite tribes settled in the Sinai around 20,000 yrs ago who around 15,000 yrs ago mutated into a Levantine branch. Indeed, genetically we belong to the Haplogroup E-M123* which is present in Palestine and the rest of the Levant (“Bilad esh Sham”) since at least 15,000 yrs!!! Thus, the Tarajmeh are the descendents of the original inhabitants of Canaan and have never left their land, and not strangers from Europe. Kindly rectify your records reg the origin of the Tarajmeh clan of Bethlehem. Best Regards, Anton mansour Abu khalil el Tarajmeh

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Aw-Waad

Contributed by Bernadette Fincke on 26.06.2012:

I am writing to try to track any relatives of Said Aw-Waad. He immigrated to Cuba from Haifa in 1923 with his wife and 4 children. Any information would be appreciated.

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photos of Beisan

Contributed by Gabrielle O'Connor on 03.06.2012:

Does anyone have any old photos of Beisan? (Beit Shean) I particularly want a photo of the “governor’s palace”. My grandfather was the governor – or whatever the Palestinian equivalent was at the time – in the early 1900s. His name was Neguib Madi. I was there in 1989 on a bus tour and asked the guide to ask the bus driver to slow down or even stop for a minute or two so I could find the house but not only did they not stop, but sped up going through the town. Very briefly I glimpsed a building which may have been the one, a stone building (no roof left) pockmarked with bullet holes, but at the gate there was a white escutcheon plate edged in navy, with, I think, a crown on it, which looked very much like an official sign. Can anyone help? Thanks in anticipation.

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The Artas Folklore Center Announces the Eighteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival Sunday, April 22

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 08.04.2012:

Announcement of the Eighteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival (below image) [[picture:”.” ID:435]] Photo copyright by James Prinias 2006The Artas Folklore Center is pleased to announce that the Eighteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival will take place on Sunday, April 22, 2012 From 9:30 To 4. This year, for the first time in Palestine, a “Moving Festival.” In this one-day Festival Hike along the Artas Folklore Trail from Solomon’s Pools to Artas, hikers will encounter folklore, hospitality, and agricultural traditions en route. An optional home-cooked meal is available for 50 NIS by reservation only. The festival is open to organizations who have been invited to bring a group. For individuals who have their heart set on coming, we will post a list of organizations who will take members of the general public soon. The festival is funded by the Consulate General Of France in Jerusalem and is under the sponsorship of the Governor Of Bethlehem, Abdel Fattah Hama’el. It is offered in cooperation with the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Masar Ibrahim El Khalil, Palestine Wildlife Society, Phoenix and Stefan Szepesi, with special thanks to Solomon’s Pools Resort And Convention Center. For help in finding a group, to bring a group yourself, or other queries contact Fadi Sanad: fadi.sanad@gmail.com MOBILE: 0599679492 (ARABIC) Leyla Zuaiter: lzuaiter@bezeqint.net PHONE AND FAX (02)-673 4307; 050 250 9514TEST YOUR ARTAS I.Q. WITH THE ARTAS CHALLENGE QUIZ See what you can find on the Artas Folklore Center Subsite. From the navigation pane at left, select “Our Partners” and then “Artas Folklore Center.”

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Artas in Walking Palestine by Stefan Szepezi

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 05.04.2012:

The Artas Folklore Center is proud to announce that a chapter has been devoted to Artas in the recent publication of WALKING PALESTINE, 25 JOURNEYS INTO THE WEST BANK BY STEFAN SZEPEZI. This remarkable work is bound to increase interest in hiking in Palestine; it has an appealing layout, lovely photographs, lots of maps and lively, thought-provoking text that goes well beneath the surface, deep into Palestinian natural and cultural heritage. By dispelling the prevalent stereotypes of the West Bank, providing a historical, political and cultural orientation and context for the hikes, and addressing the practical needs and concerns of the travelers, it is sure to attract new hiking devotees. For more information, visit the visually stunning partner website, www.walkingpalestine.org. and discover – or rediscover – the delights of the Palestinian countryside.

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l am looking for family (Ali or Salie Ali)

Contributed by MELISSA ALLY (ALI) on 02.04.2012:

My grandfather, Hassen Salie Ali would have immigrated to the USA sometime in the 1920’s. I know that he had a twin brother, Hussain Salie Ali, but I don’t know if Hussain immigrated as well. He owned a women’s clothing shop in Chicago, Illinois, USA in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, but I know that he first settled in East Chicago, Indiana, USA. I am hoping to find information about my grandfather, as he passed away when my father was very young, too young to ask questions.

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Artas lettuce festival 2012

Contributed by Rosanna Maryam Sirignano on 27.03.2012:

Does anyone know the program of the Artas lettuce festival 2012? thank you

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Who is in Charge?

Contributed by Gamal Mustafa on 01.03.2012:

I have sent e-mails to admin, james and toine and they all bounce. Is there any email that still working?Thanks.

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Palestinians Names and Surnames

Contributed by Gamal Mustafa on 27.02.2012:

When (what year) did Palestinians started using fixed surnames and why? Was it before Ottomans, during Ottonmans, British or post British?As I undertand, Arabs did not use fixed surnames. Arabs with a common given name were often distinguished by a patronym, meaning that a father’s name was used in addition to a given name. For example, Mustafa the son of Ibrahim was called Mustafa Ibrahim or Mustafa ibn [son of] Ibrahim. If this was not enough to distinctly identify a person, a nickname was used. Such nicknames described a person in some way, such as a physical characteristic, occupation, or place of origin. An Arab named Mustafa ibn Ibrahim might also be called Ibrahim the copper merchant or Ibrahim red-beard. These nicknames were not permanent or inherited. They changed from one generation to the next. Fixed surnames often developed from these patronyms and nicknames.

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Contributed by Alice Salerno on 31.01.2012:

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Sumud Bazaar Bethlehem december 2011

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 03.12.2011:

Under the patronage of Dr. Victor Batarseh The Mayor of BethlehemThe Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem in cooperation with Bethlehem Peace Center and Mawwal Radio are honored to invite you for the opening of the Bethlehem SUMUD BAZAAR In the Christmas seasonThe opening program on 11 December 2011, 17:00-19:00:• Launching of three books in the Culture and Palestine series:o “If you did not destroy my home…” Palestinians respond to Israeli occupation. Interviews and observations by Greg Wilkinson. West Bank 2010. o Only in heaven are there no checkpoints: The retold diary of Yara, a child from Bethlehem o Sumud: Soul of the Palestinian People, Reflections and Experiences. Toine van Teeffelen in cooperation with Victoria Biggs and the Sumud Story House in Bethlehem• Christmas Carols by AEI’s Bethlehem Sumud Choir and folklore shows performed by the Artas Dabkeh Troupe.• Sale of Christmas ornaments, sweets, food, olive wood products, embroidery, books, posters, postcards, and more. The Sumud Bazaar can also be visited from 12 to 17 December 2011, daily 9:00-12:00 and 15:00-20:00.

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Sponsor a Wall poster in Bethlehem

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 05.11.2011:

Sumud Story HouseThe Arab Educational Institute/Sumud Story House in Bethlehem would like to ask you to sponsor a Wall poster with a human story made by a Palestinian woman. Let us not forget that the so-much-talked-about Palestinian state is about humans!THE IDEAThe idea runs as follows: the Sumud Story House will design large posters (2 by 1 meter) which will be attached to the Wall near the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem. Each poster will display a brief but powerful English story-from-life, printed in large font, of a Palestinian woman in which she talks about the problems she experiences among other things as a result of the Wall, but also about her sumud or resilience. You are invited to sponsor such a poster by the amount of 100 Euro, including the costs of design, printing and fixing. The posters, each with another story, will be put next to each other on the Wall and will together form a gradually expanding “Wall Museum.” The donors’ names will be mentioned on each of the posters. Visitors of Bethlehem will be invited to visit the museum. A website will give an overview of the old and recent posters.Would you like to join this initiative or to know more, please contact Toine van Teeffelen of AEI in Bethlehem, tvant@p-ol.com with a cc to aei@p-ol.com, mentioning “Wall poster.”Arab Educational Institute, www.aeicenter.org, Bethlehem, 02-2744030.

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Z. Hamed from Jerusalem came to Chicago, IL 1950’s

Contributed by Cynthia Baker on 12.10.2011:

I am searching for my father who owned a neighborhood bar at 63rd street on Chicago’s southside. I was born in 1959. Anyone knowing of him or a relative, or how to obtain this information, please contact me. I don’t know anything of my Palestinian heritage and would like to know.

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Contributed by خالد  شطاره on 27.09.2011:

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Contributed by خالد  شطاره on 27.09.2011:

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Where can I buy a book of Palestinian cross stitch patterns

Contributed by Camilla Lupton on 10.09.2011:

I have researched on the internet and would love to find Al Tatreez al Filisteeni, Ghurzat al Fallahi al Taqleedia by Tanir Nasir, as it seems to have patterns and the some history behind them as well. I am looking in particular to make a Palestinian cross stitch wall hanging. Where would I be able to buy this book, or can anyone recommend another good one? Thanks!

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my name is nadim moge. I was born in Bethlehem and presently live in the UK. I would love to hear from any friends/relations.

Contributed by Nadim Moge on 09.08.2011:

my name is Nadim Moge. I was born in Bethlehem and went to the Freres College. I presently live in the UK and would love to hear from any friends/relations if they wish to contact me. I will be starting a family page soon.

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Hi, I researching my family tree and I am having trouble finding anything on the jiaraysie line. My grandmother was Pauline Jiaraysie, and I believe she had 3 sisters and a brother called Elias. Her parents were Nora Marie and Ayub Jiaraysie. They came from Haifa, Palestine and my grandmother my grandfather Harold Mendes in St Josephs Catholic Church Haifa. If anyone can help me or provide any information regarding the Jiaraysies I would be very grateful.Thanks Faye

Contributed by Faye Mendes on 17.06.2011:

Hi, I researching my family tree and I am having trouble finding anything on the jiaraysie line. My grandmother was Pauline Jiaraysie, and I believe she had 3 sisters and a brother called Elias. Her parents were Nora Marie and Ayub Jiaraysie. They came from Haifa, Palestine and my grandmother my grandfather Harold Mendes in St Josephs Catholic Church Haifa. If anyone can help me or provide any information regarding the Jiaraysies I would be very grateful.Thanks Faye

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Al-Ghandur Family

Contributed by Paolo Mancuso on 03.06.2011:

I am a scholar in Arab history and I am looking for info about the Muhammad Mustafa al-Ghandur and his Family. I only know that he was probably from Acre and in this town founded two newspapers in 1937. Any info and/or tips to get info about him is welcome. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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song made using James Prineas’ photos

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 23.05.2011:

Iranian-born singer Azam Ali presents a video of her beautiful song “Faith” using photos of James Prineas’ photo exhibit “Spirit of Sumud”:

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Abdel Aziz Sheikh Ahmad

Contributed by Arsyad Mokhtar on 09.05.2011:

Salaam I’m Arsyad from Malaysia. I’m looking for the son or his descendant of my late grandpa,Abd Aziz bin Sheikh Ahmad. My grandpa, Sheik Ahmad was originally from Padang Indonesia, went to Palestine circa 1940’s and being a Qadhi there, then get married with a daughter of a rich man. Here the link about my grandpa and his photo in his younger day. I hope I’ll get response for this. http://syeikhahmad.blogspot.com/or; http://www.facebook.com/pages/SHEIKH-AHMAD-BIN-SHEIKH-IBRAHIM-SHEIKH-AHMAD-JELEBU-/117042655005923

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AEI’s Summer School of Communication and Sumud Festival 2011

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 21.04.2011:

SUMMER SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION 2011: The Living Stones SpeakAEI-Open Windows, BethlehemSummaryObjective and target groups AEI’s summer school “The Living Stones Speak” encourages 70 Palestinian youth across different age groups (6-25 years) and 30 women – Moslems and Christians – in the Bethlehem area to learn about their culture through journeys, stories, popular arts and media.Venue AEI-Open Windows Youth House near the Church of Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestinian Occupied Territories.Duration and period 20 days in the period June 20 – July 15, 2011. The kids program (6-12 years) will run from 20 June to July 5, and the older youth and women’s program from July 1 to July 15.Applicant The Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows) is a community organization operative in the Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah regions of the West Bank. It is affiliated to the peace movement Pax Christi International. For further information, see www.aeicenter.org.BackgroundThe summer school of communication aims to encourage Palestinian youth and women to actively learn about the narratives of their environment and inter-religious culture.Palestinian tradition has a rich cultural identity: the oral traditions, the religious culture, the folklore stories and proverbs, the traditional songs, the ways how the material culture of Palestine (the stones) as well as the lives of the people (sometimes called “the living stones”) speak. Many of these sources have an inter-religious, Moslem-Christian nature.The participants will be asked to explore and trace back the “storylines” and “song lines” within their own homes, cultures and environments, to search for the memories and histories of the families and places which they know best but which they are challenged to look at as if for the first time. The participating youth and women will be asked to look for the stories behind the precious human and physical stones of Palestine.The Moslem and Christian religious culture will be especially considered as it has had a formative influence on the Bethlehem area. Since many years AEI’s Living in the Holy Land project: Respecting Differences pays attention to the religious culture of Palestine as it appears in the daily life of Moslems and Christians.We will take the participants on discovery journeys in the Bethlehem area to meet both Christians and Moslems and uncover the stories of the land, homes and houses –including places recently made desolate by the Separation Wall. These activities will show the stories of the inner strength and dignity of people who speak through their lives of sumud or steadfastness. We will visit and portray people who stay in touch with their inner voice and vocation and can therefore be a source of inpiration for young people looking for their own sources of motivation and identity.The summer school will thus encourage Palestinian women, youth and educators to look for inspirational stories within their own culture and environment. This will done so by an active learning approach in which the participants on the one hand search for the stories in their home and environment, and on the other hand develop and communicate them using traditional and modern artistic expressions.Aim and objectivesAs its central aim, the summer school will enhance the motivation and skills of Palestinian youth and women to learn about the stories of their cultural identity including the Moslem-Christian living together characteristic for the Palestinian community.With this aim in mind, the school has the following concrete objectives: Strengthening the knowledge and pride of Palestinians about their own cultural identity and home, and about the diversity of and interaction between cultural and religious identities in the Holy Land. Developing knowledge and skills among young Palestinians to communicate the Palestinian identity to others. Raising awareness about new attractive methods of learning in the community. Strengthening Moslem-Christian living together in Palestine.Participants– 70 Palestinian youth of different age ranges: 6-12, 12-17, 18-25 – 30 Palestinian womenThe participants are Moslems and Christians from the larger Bethlehem area.ActivitiesTotal number of activity hours: 150 hours.1. Walks and visits (for all) in Bethlehem and countryside (30 hours) Walk-and-film/photography  Walk-and-talk2. Workshops (about 120 hours)Except for some staff and local teachers, the workshops will be given by local and international volunteers with a background in various kinds of communication and arts. Local (Arabic speaking) facilitators-translators will support the trainers with any help needed. The workshops will have an informal character: they are not courses but are intended to create spheres of activity with a good deal of fun and improvisation. The summer school is a break from the formal educational programs offered in institutional education during the academic year. Choir singing (10 hours), for some 20 women and children. Focus on collecting (inter-)religious songs of the Palestinian land. In cooperation with a cultural organization (Musicians without Borders or the Edward Said Conservatory of Music). Songs will be prepared for a future Christmas CD from Bethlehem, reflecting the religious heritage of the area.  Handicrafts for children – Angela Blackwell, a British volunteer school teacher, helps AEI staff and volunteers in an ongoing ten-day program for the kids groups (6-12 years). Creative writing on Palestine (in English) (10 hours). Doing interviews with Palestinians who have a rich and inspirational life history, writing a brief story or blog. Communicating the inter-religious heritage of Palestine (10 hours) Trainer: Fuad Giacaman, director of AEI, with AEI volunteer Giulia Sola. Walks along local places holy to Islam and Christianity, discussing how to show the Palestinian religious culture to visitors and tourists. • Conversation in the English language (25 hours). Charles Fritz and Jo Prosko, two reverends from the US with additional skills in giving English to foreigners, will give English conversation courses using examples from the Palestinian context. Palestinian youth will be encouraged to talk about their cutural identity in English. This course will be given also in the weeks after the summer school. Video making on the Bethlehem environment by Eva, a Dutch volunteer, and Fady Abu Akleh, AEI’s media staff. Participation by 2 groups of 6 youth, each 5 hours. Learning basic video skills: how to make a script board, do interviewing, using the camera. Presentation skills and the making of a powerpoint by Anouk, a Dutch volunteer. For 8 older youth and women, 5 hours. Aim is to foster confidence in telling one’s life story in but also to learn practical skills such as how to start a presentation, and to take into account what is interesting to listeners. Anthropology: The culture game, by Anouk and Giulia Sola. Two 2-hour workshops for 6-10 older youth and women. By playing a culture game, participants will feel how it is to plunge into another culture. As a result, the participants will be better able to think about their own culture, reflect and communicate. They will also learn how culture influences one’s worldview. Social theatre, two 8-hour workshops by Anouk is for 5-10 older youth. Social theatre is theatre that learns you to deal with conflicts. The play is about a conflict situation in Palestine. When the situation is really difficult, the public is invited to change it even though it cannot change the oppressor. A group of older youth will be trained in social theatre skills. The youth will learn how to communicate in conflicts. Although it is not easy to change a situation, the workshop will teach how to be stronger together with more people: a practical exercise in non-violent resistance. Dabkeh (Palestinian dance) (15 hours), exploring the rhythms of the land, with the Artas Heritage Center.Schedule Workshops for the women’s group in the morning.  Walks in the morning.  Workshops for the youth and children in the afternoon.Conclusion summer school: Sumud Festival “Hear the Stones Singing”The products, performances and skills developed during the summer school will be shown at AEI’s third Sumud Festival on July 15. This festival is a one day event in which performances and workshops will be held next to the Wall at Rachel’s Tomb in northern Bethlehem. The Wall has a deeply negative impact on the human rights situation in Palestine. In Bethlehem, hundreds of Palestinians live in a degrading and desolate environment near the Bethlehem-Jerusalem terminal and the Wall surrounding Rachel’s Tomb. Showing the Palestinian cultural identity is a sign of hope in such an environment.Titled “Hear the stones singing,” the festival will present a variety of community songs and stories, and will support the sumud or steadfastness of the citizens in those areas. It will help to encourage interest in Arts among Palestinian youth and women. Local artists and arts trainers are invited to contribute to the Festival.

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Cancellation of Second Day of Artas Lettuce Festival

Contributed by Leyla Zuaiter on 14.04.2011:

The scheduled performances for the second day of the Artas Lettuce Festival, Friday, April 15 have been cancelled. The Spring Hike and Meal continues as scheduled. The Artas Folklore Center apologizes for any inconvenience caused by unforseen circumstances.

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Program and Directions to Artas Included BelowSeventeenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival ‏2011‏‏ Under the Sponsorship of the Prime Minister, Doctor Salam Fayad Program of Performances, Spring Hike and Directions to Artas FollowThursday April 14 and Friday April 15, 2011 TWO DAYS OF FOLKLORE, FOOD AND FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Debkeh Performances and Competitions, Palestinian Fashion Show, Palestinian Wedding, Music and Song, Drama and Humor, Crafts, Food, Visits to the Folklore Museum and Convent of the Hortus Conclusus, Spring Hike in the Artas Valley and Lots of Lettuce Opening Ceremony: Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 10:30 in the Artas Valley Your Presence Provides Moral and Material Support to the Palestinian Farmer!____________SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL 2011 PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES FIRST DAY MORNING OFFICIAL OPENING APRIL 14, 2011Time Piece Participants 10:30 Assembly at Festival Site 11:00 Festival Opening 11:05 Palestinian National Anthem11:07 Moment of Silence for the Fallen 11:09 Traditional Artas Greeting Artas Villagers 11: 16 A Word from the Village Council 11:22 Debkeh Ahya Al Turath Troupe 11:30 A Word from the Governor 11:36 Poetry Aman Allah Ayesh 11:46 A Word from the Ministry of Agriculture 11:52 Group Singing Arab Educational Institute 12:05 A Word from the Ministry of Culture 12:11 Debkeh Beit Ummar Troupe 12:19 A Word from Artas Folklore Center 12:25 Folksongs Abd Abu Rayan 12:35 Debkeh Hussan Troupe 12:44 Palestinian Fashion Show Al Awdeh Girls High School 12:54 Distribution of Lettuce 1:00 Opening of Exhibits and Farmer’s Markets SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL 2011 PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES FIRST DAY THURSDAY APRIL 14, 2011 AFTERNOONTime Piece Participants 04:00 Evening Performances Begin 04:00 Debkeh Kazar Troupe 04:20 Play Al Awdeh Girls High School 04:40 Debkeh Surif Troupe 05:00 Folksongs Abd Abu Rayan 05:20 Debkeh Artas Troupe 05:30 Play Al Ain Theater 05:40 Debkeh Khader Troupe 06:00 Open Stage 06:30 End of the First Day’s Activities Distribution of Certificates of AppreciationFor more information and photos about Artas and previous festivals see www.palestine-family.net-Our Partners-Artas Folklore CenterOr call Leyla at 0522292782 or 6734307  SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL*PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES SECOND DAY FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011 Activity Site Time Type of ActivitySolomon’s Pools, Artas 8:00 Assembly at Solomon’s Pools for Spring Hike 8:30 First Part of Tourist Trail ”Artas Springا 9:30 Opening of Exhibits and Farmer’s Market 10:00 Recreational Activities for ChildrenArtas 11:00 Rest Stop, Lunch for Participants on HikeArtas Valley 12:00 Continuation of Spring Hike to Herodiom for those who wish.1:00 Palestinian Wedding 1:30 Folk Singing 2:00 Debkeh Competition Artas Stage 3:00 Performancee 3:30 Comedic Sketch 3:30 Approximately Bus or Taxi to return Hikers to Bethlehem or Artas 4:00 Drama* 4:30 Poetry 4:45 Continuation of Debkeh Competition 6:00 End of the Activities of the Second DayHiker’s Schedule in ItalicsSEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL 2011 FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011 SPRING HIKE ARTAS TO HERODIUM 8-3:30Experience Artas’s unique ecosystem and traces of its past from prehistory to the present, see its hidden links to Jerusalem and Herodium, enjoy its living folklore , meet its friendly people and learn about famous foreign visitors and residents, enjoy the breathtaking view of the convent across the valley, and eat its famous lettuce. Learn why Artas is the most documented village in Palestine!Meeting Point: Solomon’s Pools 8:00 We set out at 8:30 for Artas passing en route the Murad Fortress, Solomon’s Pools, Saleh Spring, Pine Forests, Prehistoric Cave, Attan Spring, Um Ayub, Etam, Khirbet Aytam, Deir el Banat, the “Wall”, Wadi Abu Umeira. In Artas we seen the Hortus Conclusus Convent, the Artas Spring, the “Sitt” Louisa Baldensperger House and more. There will be an opportunity to visit Craft Stalls,Farmer’s Markets and the Artas Folklore Museum before we continue our hike through Wadi Khreitoun, the Ta’amreh Arabs and Herodium. The entrance fee to Herodium is not included in the price. Buses or taxis will take hikers back to Bethlehem or Artas. Sites and Schedule are subject to modification.. Spring Hike: Regular Price 50 NIS Students: 30 NIS Discount for Groups Optional Palestinian Meal (Musakken): 50 NIS must be ordered in advance. Call Leyla for more information and to order your meal by Wednesday, April 13, 2011One of the first cultural centers to be licensed by the Palestinian Authority, the Artas Folklore Center, famous for its Annual Lettuce Festival, is at the forefront of innovative projects to preserve the living legacy of one of the oldest, most beautiful and most documented villages in Palestine located at a crossroads of civilizations and ecosystems. Through its research center, tourism and recreation programs and community outreach programs, it strives to document, preserve and promote the rich natural and cultural heritage of the beautiful village of Artas and pass it on to new generations of local and foreign visitors.

Contributed by Leyla Zuaiter on 09.04.2011:

Program and Directions to Artas Included BelowSeventeenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival ‏2011‏‏ Under the Sponsorship of the Prime Minister, Doctor Salam Fayad Program of Performances, Spring Hike and Directions to Artas FollowThursday April 14 and Friday April 15, 2011 TWO DAYS OF FOLKLORE, FOOD AND FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Debkeh Performances and Competitions, Palestinian Fashion Show, Palestinian Wedding, Music and Song, Drama and Humor, Crafts, Food, Visits to the Folklore Museum and Convent of the Hortus Conclusus, Spring Hike in the Artas Valley and Lots of Lettuce Opening Ceremony: Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 10:30 in the Artas Valley Your Presence Provides Moral and Material Support to the Palestinian Farmer!____________SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL 2011 PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES FIRST DAY MORNING OFFICIAL OPENING APRIL 14, 2011Time Piece Participants 10:30 Assembly at Festival Site 11:00 Festival Opening 11:05 Palestinian National Anthem11:07 Moment of Silence for the Fallen 11:09 Traditional Artas Greeting Artas Villagers 11: 16 A Word from the Village Council 11:22 Debkeh Ahya Al Turath Troupe 11:30 A Word from the Governor 11:36 Poetry Aman Allah Ayesh 11:46 A Word from the Ministry of Agriculture 11:52 Group Singing Arab Educational Institute 12:05 A Word from the Ministry of Culture 12:11 Debkeh Beit Ummar Troupe 12:19 A Word from Artas Folklore Center 12:25 Folksongs Abd Abu Rayan 12:35 Debkeh Hussan Troupe 12:44 Palestinian Fashion Show Al Awdeh Girls High School 12:54 Distribution of Lettuce 1:00 Opening of Exhibits and Farmer’s Markets SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL 2011 PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES FIRST DAY THURSDAY APRIL 14, 2011 AFTERNOONTime Piece Participants 04:00 Evening Performances Begin 04:00 Debkeh Kazar Troupe 04:20 Play Al Awdeh Girls High School 04:40 Debkeh Surif Troupe 05:00 Folksongs Abd Abu Rayan 05:20 Debkeh Artas Troupe 05:30 Play Al Ain Theater 05:40 Debkeh Khader Troupe 06:00 Open Stage 06:30 End of the First Day’s Activities Distribution of Certificates of AppreciationFor more information and photos about Artas and previous festivals see www.wordpress-230236-736489.cloudwaysapps.com-Our Partners-Artas Folklore CenterOr call Leyla at 0522292782 or 6734307  SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL*PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES SECOND DAY FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011 Activity Site Time Type of ActivitySolomon’s Pools, Artas 8:00 Assembly at Solomon’s Pools for Spring Hike 8:30 First Part of Tourist Trail ”Artas Springا 9:30 Opening of Exhibits and Farmer’s Market 10:00 Recreational Activities for ChildrenArtas 11:00 Rest Stop, Lunch for Participants on HikeArtas Valley 12:00 Continuation of Spring Hike to Herodiom for those who wish.1:00 Palestinian Wedding 1:30 Folk Singing 2:00 Debkeh Competition Artas Stage 3:00 Performancee 3:30 Comedic Sketch 3:30 Approximately Bus or Taxi to return Hikers to Bethlehem or Artas 4:00 Drama* 4:30 Poetry 4:45 Continuation of Debkeh Competition 6:00 End of the Activities of the Second DayHiker’s Schedule in ItalicsSEVENTEENTH ANNUAL ARTAS LETTUCE FESTIVAL 2011 FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011 SPRING HIKE ARTAS TO HERODIUM 8-3:30Experience Artas’s unique ecosystem and traces of its past from prehistory to the present, see its hidden links to Jerusalem and Herodium, enjoy its living folklore , meet its friendly people and learn about famous foreign visitors and residents, enjoy the breathtaking view of the convent across the valley, and eat its famous lettuce. Learn why Artas is the most documented village in Palestine!Meeting Point: Solomon’s Pools 8:00 We set out at 8:30 for Artas passing en route the Murad Fortress, Solomon’s Pools, Saleh Spring, Pine Forests, Prehistoric Cave, Attan Spring, Um Ayub, Etam, Khirbet Aytam, Deir el Banat, the “Wall”, Wadi Abu Umeira. In Artas we seen the Hortus Conclusus Convent, the Artas Spring, the “Sitt” Louisa Baldensperger House and more. There will be an opportunity to visit Craft Stalls,Farmer’s Markets and the Artas Folklore Museum before we continue our hike through Wadi Khreitoun, the Ta’amreh Arabs and Herodium. The entrance fee to Herodium is not included in the price. Buses or taxis will take hikers back to Bethlehem or Artas. Sites and Schedule are subject to modification.. Spring Hike: Regular Price 50 NIS Students: 30 NIS Discount for Groups Optional Palestinian Meal (Musakken): 50 NIS must be ordered in advance. Call Leyla for more information and to order your meal by Wednesday, April 13, 2011One of the first cultural centers to be licensed by the Palestinian Authority, the Artas Folklore Center, famous for its Annual Lettuce Festival, is at the forefront of innovative projects to preserve the living legacy of one of the oldest, most beautiful and most documented villages in Palestine located at a crossroads of civilizations and ecosystems. Through its research center, tourism and recreation programs and community outreach programs, it strives to document, preserve and promote the rich natural and cultural heritage of the beautiful village of Artas and pass it on to new generations of local and foreign visitors.

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.saleh jared

Contributed by Elaine Crompton on 03.04.2011:

my husbands saleh jared and his fathers name fathi jared. Fathi left nazereth in 1948 and settled in naher el barad camp in lebanon. I am trying to find if the are any family members still in palestine

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………….

Contributed by mo abushanab on 15.03.2011:

……………

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Trying to contact Jumana Sharabi

Contributed by Sallie Murphy on 20.02.2011:

Her Palestinian family was living in Amman in the 1970s. She is the neice of Hisham Sharabi. We were friends when she attended the American College in Paris in 1976. I’d appreciate any news of her. Sallie Murphy

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Need Help to find Family

Contributed by Jorge  Miguel Bigit   ( Bakhit ) on 09.10.2010:

I need help understanding the origin of my name, my name is Jorge Bigit born in El Salvador, my grandparents came from Palestine to Central America and South America that was in 1910 they arrived in El Salvador. My grandfather’s name was Salvador Bigit Giacoman and my grandmother was Helen Selman Manzur. From what I know they were from Bethlehem and the parents of my grandfather, Jerie Bakhit Saleh, died 15th of July 1956 and Jamileh Elias el-Alam, born in 1889, Died in 1953. do not know if anyone knows if there are still family. In 1987 I visited my aunt in Bethlehem and is no longer returned to have none of it his name is Graciela Manzur Selman, but I thank you for some information on the family Bakhit and if they are related or are of the same family, as in El Salvador’s name is Bigit and the Family in Chile is Bijit. Thanks for your support or help to find out about my roots.Best regards,Jorge bigit

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Waleed K Dice

Contributed by Carol Lawton on 06.09.2010:

Hello, I am trying to find the correct Palistinian spelling for this name-He is a lovely man with alzheimers that I have met and am trying to help him, but I have no idea of the correct spelling for his name-he doesn’t remember-says he was born in Palestine late 1920 early 1930’s-fathers name is Khalil-he now lives in United States any help is appreciated-thankyou!!

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Children theatre work in Surif village

Contributed by Sae Imamura on 26.07.2010:

Hello, my name is Sae Imamura in HIroshima, Japan. I once visited Surif village 2 years ago and saw children’s play. I want to know they continue that work or not. If they do, I would like to visit them again, and make some colaboration for present their works to the world, especially Hiroshima. I appreciate any small information about it.

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Story about returning to your village on Nakba day

Contributed by Hannah Musleh on 25.05.2010:

I am a Palestinian playwright, researching a new play.I read somewhere that the inhabitants of some villages are allowed back to their village on Nakba day. While there the oldest living community member stands and recites the story of what happened to the village, then the youngest member is asked to stand up and repeat the story – does anyone have experience of this? I’d love to hear your storyHannah

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Abu Toubeh

Contributed by Ahmad Abu Toubeh on 16.05.2010:

My name is Ahmad Muhammad Mustafa Mubarak Abu Toubeh. was born in Irbid -Jordan I would like to chat with anybody holding this family name;Abu Toubeh Abu Toubeh family from “Beisan” I need a help from those are born in beisan and had agood history about the families whom the lived in (old men الختيارية)chat with me at(amubarakm3@yahoo.com)

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“Sumud and the Wall” conference

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 28.04.2010:

“Sumud and the Wall” conference 30 April- 1 May, 2010Venue: Bethlehem University, Furno Hall, BethlehemThe conference is organized by Oxford Brookes University (UK), Paris-Est University (France) and the Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows, Bethlehem), in cooperation with Al-Quds Open University, Bethlehem University (Department of Humanities) and Utrecht University (Center for Conflict Studies) as academic partners. The Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows) is locally responsible for coordination.There will be simultaneous English-Arabic and Arabic-English translation.Registration at the Furno Hall. No fees, except costs for lunch. Please communicate in advance whether a lunch should be reserved.PROGRAMFriday 30 April8:30 – 9:00 Registration9:00 – 12:30 Morning program 9:00 – 9:10 Welcome: Br Peter Bray, Vice-Chancellor of Bethlehem University9:10 – 9:30 Film: Hanna Musleh Walling In Walling Out: A Bethlehem Story: Documentary | Palestine/USA | 2005.9:30 – 9:50 Brigitte Piquard (Oxford Brookes University, UK, Université Paris-Est, France), Sumud and the Wall: Introduction to the conference.Session 1: The Wall, Space and Violence 9:50 – 10:30 Chair: Toine van Teeffelen Harriet Malinowitz (Long Island University, US), Zionism and Propaganda in the Age of Unreason: The Massive Walls of Public Opinion.  Jane Toby (State University of New York, New Paltz, US) Communicating Across Walls: Extending the Concepts of “Sumud” and the “Wall.”11:00 – 12:30 Chair: Irna van der Molen Toine van Teeffelen (AEI-Open Windows, Bethlehem), Sumud vs the Wall.  Yara Sharif (University of Westminster), In Search for Spaces of Possibility: Re-reading the Palestinian Spatio-Political Map. By Skype conference.  Discussion with all speakers session 1.12:00 – 14:30 Prayer break / Lunch at Bethlehem University. 14:30 – 18:00 Afternoon program Session 2: Life near the Wall 14:30 – 15:50 Chair: Imad Hodali Saida Affouneh (Al Quds Open University), Salam says ‘The Wall is a Snake’: Impact of the Wall on Palestinian Children’s Education.  Imad A. Ishtayyeh and Hosni Awad (Al Quds Open University), The Influence of the Wall on the Structure of Social Relations in the Palestinian Family. In Arabic.  Discussion with speakers.15:50 – 16:20 Coffee/Tea breakContinuation session 2 16:20 – 18:00 Chair: Imad Hodali Claudia Devaux (Holy Land Institute, San Francisco, US), Reaching Customers beyond the Wall: A Case Study of the Praxis.  Inge Tiemann, Lucia Russo, Andrea Merli, Elise Aghazarian, Rachel’s Tomb: An Alien in her Hometown? Perceptions from the Other Side of the Wall.  Discussion with speakers.18:00 – 18:30 Transport to Rachel’s Tomb area in Bethlehem18:45 – 20:30 Cultural event near the Wall at Rachel’s Tomb Testimonies of women living near the Wall  Two brief animated films about children/youth and the Wall developed by Camera Etc. and AEI: Warde and Hduud (2008): 30 minutes.  Snacks ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬Saturday May 19:00 – 12:30 Morning program 9:00 – 9:10 Opening and reflection May 1, Workers’ Day Session 3: Activism and Sumud practices 9:10 – 10:30 Chair: Walid Mustafa Ratib Abu Rahmeh (Al Quds Open University), The Experience of Bil’in in Popular and Peaceful Resistance against the Wall and the Settlements. In Arabic.  Mazin Qumsiyeh (Bethlehem University), Popular Resistance: Past Successes and Future Prospects.  Bill Thomson (University of St Andrews, Scotland), Effective Non-Violent Action: The Wall and Beyond.  Rami Isaac (Breda University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands), Moving From Pilgrimage to ‘Dark’ Tourism: Reinventing Palestine.10:30 – 11:00 Coffee/tea breakContinuation session 3 Chair: Walid Mustafa 11:00 – 11:40  Discussion with speakers session 3.Session 4: Towards Wall Studies Chair: Brigitte Piquard 11:40 – 12:30  Adnan Ayash (Al Quds Open University), The Segregation Wall in the West Bank: Social Reflections on the Future of the Palestinian People. In Arabic.  Anwar M. Akash (Al Quds Open University, Gaza Educational Region) and Asmaa M. Obaid (Al Aqsa University – Gaza), Spatial Monitoring of the Israeli Apartheid Wall: Design and Implantation of an Interactive Web-GIS based on KML Database Technology.12:30 – 14:00 Lunch at Bethlehem University 14:00 – 18:00 Afternoon program Continuation session 4: Towards Wall Studies Chair: Mark Swenarton 14:00 – 15:30  Laura McAtackney (Global Irish Institute, UCD), Peace Maintenance and Political Messages: The Significance of Walls during the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.  Irna van der Molen (Utrecht University, Center for Conflict Studies), Reflections about Wall Studies and Conflict Resolution Studies  Discussion with all speakers of this session.15:30 – 16:00 Coffee/Tea BreakContinuation session 4: Towards Wall Studies Chair: Mark Swenarton 16:00 – 18:00  Parallel workshops on the future of Wall Studies.  Launching Wall studies: Round Table with Mark Swenarton (Oxford Brookes University, Head of Department of Architecture), chair, and including reporters from the groups as well as the representatives of the academic conference committee.  Discussion.  Conclusion by Mark Swenarton.Please stay informed about any possible changes, to be communicated at the beginning of the conference.For more information: Toine van Teeffelen 02-2776573, 0522-789156 (mob) tvant@p-ol.com info@aeicenter.org

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UNRWaat60 Marwan Abado Fundraising concerts

Contributed by Fritz Froehlich on 26.04.2010:

The Artist ,Refugee and Austro-Palestinian Marwan Abado – donates 5 concerts the United Nations Agency that cares on behalf of the International community for Palestine Refugees since 8th of December 1949 when it received its mandate by the UN General Assembly.Marwan Abado & Band on a Fundraising Tour for UNRWA at 60 “Palestine Remains My Melody”16.05 Amman – Hussein Culture Centre under the patronage of H.E The President of the Senate Mr. Taher Elmasry, 8:00 pm18.05 Damascus -Opera-House under the patronage of H.E First Lady Mrs. Asma Alassad, 8:00 pm19.05 Aleppo- Moudiriat Althakafa, 9:00 pm21.05 Saida- Rafiq Hariri High School under the patronage of H.E. Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri, 8,30 pm22.05 Beirut- UNESCO Palace under the patronage of H.E. Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri, 8,30 pmMay 1950 – 60 Years ago the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees – UNRWA started its operations in the Middle East.www.unrwa.org

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I want to volunteer in Palestine but dont know where to start

Contributed by Erik Burneyko on 14.04.2010:

I am a teacher living in New Jersey and I would love to volunteer in Palestine, participate in demonstrations, etc. I do not know where to start. I would like to have a family host me or stay at a hostel. Please, any info is appreciated. thanks!

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abedrabbos’ from AlJeeb

Contributed by Namah Hasan on 11.03.2010:

Seeking to find where the Original abedrabbo Clan came from??? Or the Abu Ehmud Clan.

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Want to Marry Palestinian Female

Contributed by Khurram Rasheed on 10.03.2010:

Can anyone guide me how can I marry a Palestinian female. I am muslim living in Sharjah.

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How to get Palestinian Citizenship if I am of palestinian descent

Contributed by Juan Giacoman on 10.03.2010:

I would like to know how to get palestinian citizenship. I was born in Mexico, my great great grandfather from my paternal side came from Bethlehem about a 100 years ago. Is it possible for me to get the citizenship and how?

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I would like to find the Giacoman Family in Bethlehem

Contributed by Juan Giacoman on 10.03.2010:

I was born in Torreon,Mexico.I am from palestinian descent, my great great grandfather arrived here in Mexico about a 100 years ago.I’m really interested in finding out more about my family back in Bethlehem

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قداس وجناز عن ارواح ضحايا الزلزال

Contributed by Nasif Masad on 06.03.2010:

جميع افراد الجالية الفلسطينية بخير الرجاء تخصيص الاحد القادم لاقامة قداس وجناز عن ارواح ضحايا الزلزال المدمر الذي اودى بحياة ٧٩٨ من شعب تشيلي الصديق

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I want to Marry Palestinian female

Contributed by Khurram Rasheed on 02.03.2010:

I am a muslim living and working in Sharjah-UAE. I want to marry a Palestinian female who is ready to move to Sharjah. My email is khurramrasheed@hotmail.com

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Palestinians From Acre / Akka

Contributed by Mahmoud Elewa on 28.02.2010:

Hello i would like to meet Palestinians who are from Akka or have Ancestral Origins in Acre.

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Looking for member of the Machi or Mahchi in Palestine?

Contributed by Iván Parra Machi on 04.02.2010:

Mi Mothers parent came in the early XX century from Jerulam Palestine to nortern Mèxico, their last name is Machi or Mahchi, they maintaint contact with their relatives until the late seventees when my Mother Grandfather dies. My mother granpa name was Ibrahim Machi , he has seven brothers one named Layla stayed in Jerusalem, other brother was living in Amman, and the rest named Chatarine and Basile came to the US.My family practices maronite catholicism and want to contatc with other family members.

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Family History Book of the Hirezis on Amazon.com

Contributed by Miranda Hirezi on 31.01.2010:

Dear Palestine Family NetI thank you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring me to write the family history book of the Hirezis [Jabra Hirezi and Margaret Diek and their children]. I wrote the book as a present to all my family members, young and old, but now, it is available on Amazon.com for sale to those who want to learn more about the Hirezis. This was written as a thank you message to our wonderful parents. The book can be found on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=miranda+conyers

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TELL

Contributed by Sahar Artell on 22.01.2010:

hello i am new to this site, i am searching for family members in TELL, name of ARTELL, AL-TEL or TELLAWI. the main branch of the family left many yaers ago for the Magrib, later San Denis France and U.K does anyone have any information please?

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Hasrawi – The village in Palestine this family came from?

Contributed by Amira Hasrawi on 07.01.2010:

Can anyone tell me which village in Palestine the Hasrawi family lived? I am wanting to locate the specific place they came from and have not had any luck finding this on my own. I would appreciate any help provided to me. Thank you.

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English Teacher

Contributed by Bruce Burgess on 04.01.2010:

I’ve just retired from teaching English as a Foreign language and have some time to spare. All my life I have supported the Palestinian cause and would now like to offer my services (for free, of course) to any Palestinian citizen who wants to learn English. Since I’m in the UK at the moment, it would have to be over the net. Any interest?

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taboun oven

Contributed by George Trapp on 01.01.2010:

I want to know how to build a taboun oven. I have googled it but the entries only show ovens in use,what to cook on them etc. I want to know how to build one from scratch. How can one add fuel? Do I need a chimney?

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The Dabdoubs in the world

Contributed by Juan Dabdoub on 21.12.2009:

I will like to find where the Dabdoubs are in any part of the world

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Sumud and the Wall conference in Bethlehem

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 11.12.2009:

SUMUD AND THE WALL Academic conference in Bethlehem, 30 April – May 1, 2010This is an invitation to participate in the academic conference “Sumud and the Wall” in Bethlehem/Palestine, April 30-May 1, 2010.The conference is academically supported by Bethlehem University (Department of Humanities), Al-Quds Open University, Oxford Brookes University (UK, Department of Architecture), Universite de Paris XII (France, Val de Marne, LARGOTEC), and Pavia University (Italy, Department of Political and Social Studies).The Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem (AEI-Open Windows) is local conference organizer.Abstracts of conference papers (not more than 300 words) are welcome before February 15, 2010, at aei@p-ol.com.For more information: Dr Toine van Teeffelen, AEI development director, tvant@p-ol.com.BackgroundWall-building in Palestine is the ultimate reality of fragmentation, the shrinking of space and the expropriation of land. The many Palestinians living close to the Wall and other imposed structures are continuously at risk losing a sense of community and place. Access to their lands and properties, traveling possibilities, community networks and services, as well as their memories and meaning-making practices, are cut off by a prison-like and dehumanizing environment.What meanings are attached to Palestinian places directly affected by the Wall, checkpoint systems and settlements? How can citizens develop strategies that challenge this reality of “bare life” (Agamben), “spatiocide” (Hanafi) or “encystation” (Bowman) typical of those zones?What can people do in such circumstances? Sumud is the Arabic word for “steadfastness” or “resilience.” It refers to a fundamental Palestinian trait: to keep a deep connection with the land, community and people, and to maintain long-term patience and belief in a system change towards justice and peace.While tested to the core, how can Palestinian citizens bring out their sumud and voice? How can they develop and apply long-term strategies that effectively challenge the Wall and related structures?For the sake of peace-building and the protection of human rights in Palestine it is essential to understand and investigate the realities on the ground, including the consequences of the building of the Wall. The academic conference Sumud and the Wall will bring together local and international scholars and practitioners working in a diversity of fields including politics, architecture, peace/conflict studies, anthropology, psychology and mental health, tourism, media studies, Arts, theology and philosophy. It will also propose the establishment of a new academic field -“Wall Studies” – around those lines.Bethlehem as conference siteAs a city, symbol of peace, presently constricted by Walls, Bethlehem has been chosen as a suitable conference site.The conference will consist of keynote speeches, plenary sessions and workshops at a conference location in downtown Bethlehem. Besides academic sessions there will be lively presentations of artistic and cultural practices at the Wall. Some sessions of the conference will take place directly near the Wall.Audiences will include local and international scholars, civil society representatives, and representatives of NGOs, activists, and journalists.Specific themes of the conferenceThe conference will be organized around 4 lines.1. The Wall, space and violence In order to investigate the diversity of options for challenging the Wall it is necessary to understand the various forms of violence it involves. • Space and structural violence: How do we understand the structural forms of violence brought by the Wall and the system of closure and restriction? Does this understanding point to possible non-violent strategies to challenge the Wall? Are they “cracks” in the Wall? • The Wall and symbolic violence: What are the implications of certain linguistic terms and discourses referring to the Wall, such as the dichotomy between “civilization” and “wilderness” implied by some official Israeli discourses, or the use of terms which mitigate the violence of the Wall? How does the wall threaten the cultural and symbolic systems and Palestinian traditions? • Spectacular violence: How does the visual communication of the Wall show or hide its violence (as experienced by visitors, or in photos, videos, cartoons and other media).2. Life near the Wall Any effective advocacy vis-à-vis the Wall will relate to the life of the Palestinian citizens living near the Wall in its material, social-psychological and symbolic-communicative dimensions. • What are the deep sources of sumud/resilience for families and communities living near the Wall or other imposed structures of occupation? • Do these families and communities live in what is sometimes called a survival mode, or are they able to support or take initiatives for challenging the Wall? What is the relation between survival and non-violent resistance? • How do families and communities still give social and cultural meaning to lost and desolate places taken away from community life? • How can these citizens effectively communicate the life they are living (diaries, interviews, audio-visual media)? What key words, metaphors and discourses are used to communicate their life and experience?3. Activism and sumud practices New initiatives show that sumud can be expressed in community activities which defy the Wall, checkpoints and settlements but also redefine and in some cases even reconstitute the built environment. Examples are Wall graffiti and murals, new architectural constructions, non-violent actions near the Wall or settlements, children or family events, installation arts, film projections on the Wall, the organization of markets and festivals adjacent to the Wall or checkpoints, the development of prayer or meditation places, and alternative tourist itineraries. • Sustained activism to prevent the building of the Wall: Reflections on long-term non-violent methods and strategies against the Wall, such as in Bil’in and Nilin. How do we assess effectiveness? How do we support those practices as empowering strategies? • New practices on/at the Wall: Experiences and reflections on graffiti murals, film screening on the Wall, drama, architectural initiatives, hip hop events, classical concerts, religious-meditative celebrations near the Wall (or, alternatively, at military watchtowers and checkpoints). • International advocacy and the Wall: Reflections on campaigns based on the 2005 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. Integrating international and local-Palestinian campaigns. • Wall tours and tourism: What is the role of internationals, including pilgrims, visiting the Wall, staying at families living there, participating in tourist events, doing volunteering work? Can and should the Wall become a tourist attraction without minimizing its negative impacts? Can the Wall become a national emblem of the resilience of the Palestinians?4. Towards wall studies The conference is scheduled to launch a new academic field – Wall studies, to be built on an integrated and comprehensive understanding of the impact of the Wall and the possibilities of challenging it.• Practical conceptualization. How to develop concepts to be used by practitioners? How to translate research into empowering strategies? What is the relevance of newly introduced legal concepts like “spatiocide” and “urbicide”? • Creative conceptualization. How to link research on the wall and design projects and artistic initiatives? What is the specific role of mobile arts? • Developing cooperation What are meaningful areas of interdisciplinary cooperation and action research? Comparisons with other Walls across history and contexts.OrganizationA preparatory academic committee includes Palestinian and international academics from AEI-Open Windows, Al-Quds Open University, Bethlehem University, Paris XII and Oxford Brookes University.Partners includeBethlehem University (Department of Humanities) Al-Quds Open University Oxford Brookes University (UK, Department of Architecture), Universite de Paris XII (France, Val de Marne, LARGOTEC), Pavia University (Italy, Department of Political and Social Studies).Local organizational responsibility and liaison towards Palestinian civil society: Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows, Bethlehem, member of Pax Christi International).For more informationDr Toine van Teeffelen Development director AEI-Open Windows tvant@p-ol.com +972-2-2776573 +972-522-789156

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This message has no content

Contributed by Carlos Alberto Garcia-Agreda Dabdoub on 04.12.2009:

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The Latin Ecclesiastical Court , Jerusalem

Contributed by Fuad Salem on 15.10.2009:

Problems with the The Latin Ecclesiastical Court , JerusalemMost Bethlehemites live outside Bethlehem.South America, Central America, USA, Europe , Australia etc etc.Many left years ago, and have property in Bethlehem and other parts of Palestine.It seems that the The Latin Ecclesiastical Court , Jerusalem is making it easy for these Bethlehemites to lose their property.The Latin Ecclesiastical Court , Jerusalem, is allowing a two week advertisement, placed in any local newspaper, as a vehicle for those living abroad, to lose their property to unscrupulous manipulators.If the rightful owners do not come forward in this two week time frame, The Latin Ecclesiastical Court , Jerusalem starts a process where the ownership of the property is transfered to these unscrupulous manipulators.The The Latin Ecclesiastical Court , Jerusalem shows no due diligence, or any type of research to give away property to these unscrupulous manipulators.Many Bethlehemites living outside Bethlehem have already lost their property, and they do not even know it.Does the Latin Ecclesiastical Court think Bethlehemites living abroad read these local papers ?Or even read Arabic.This gross negligence of dute by the The Latin Ecclesiastical Court , has to be stopped. And property returned to the rightful owners.I am looking for input from those that are aware of this problem.Something should be done to stop this craziness.

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help

Contributed by Omar Aljabareen on 24.09.2009:

im Asmar 28 from palestine, i am new in London, as student. I would like to meet new people specially palestinians or any student like me here in London. let me know by sending me a text 07742894322 or a message to ojabareen@yahoo.com thank you sooo much and salamat for all.

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help

Contributed by Omar Aljabareen on 24.09.2009:

im omar aljabareen from palestine, i am new here in London. I really need help sooo much, please if anyone can help me please let me know by sending me a text 07742894322 or to ojabareen@yahoo.com thank you sooo much and salamat for all

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BANNURAH —Toma Bannurah

Contributed by F. Labra on 16.09.2009:

I’m trying to collect information my (Jacobo Bannurah) greatgrandfather’s brother was Toma Bannurah wrote a book (1982)with genealogies in of Bethlehem, it is used often as a reference in other books, I can’t read Arabic, I need to get those pedigree charts, and also add the women because it only has the males. I am sure some one has collected these for reference. To add to this I live in Utah , were the biggest collectign of genealogy records is found, they have the book , but i can’t read it…… i would appreciate any help …thanks !

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Facusse (Faccuseh, Fakkooseh etc) Im trying to find more relatives…

Contributed by Laila Facusse on 26.08.2009:

All we know is that my great great grandfather came from bethlehem, his name was Elias Facusse, my great grandfather was Teodoro Facusse Sduby who immigrated to Mexico, Matamoros Coahuila, my grandfathers name was Salomon Facusse and we are trying to make a family tree…we have no further information, if you have any information please post. Thank you

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Family Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem -1930’s?

Contributed by Kathy Kenny on 07.07.2009:

I am writing a screenplay about my Bethlehem-born grandmother’s life. Can anyone tell me how an Greek Orthodox middle-class family might have celebrated Christmas in the early 1930’s? Religious observances, gift-giving, family get-togethers? Amyone have any special memories that could be part of my story?

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UNRWAat60 Marcel Khalife Concert for Peace and Humanity ,30th June,Vienna-Launching a Scholarship Endowment

Contributed by Fritz Froehlich on 23.06.2009:

UNRWA regrettably turns 60 – while commemorating we acknowledge that there were achievements as nearly 4 Million Palestine Refugees went to our schools since 1950. In cooperation with the Society for Austro Arab Relations ,Municipality of Vienna and the Partnership of the OPEC Fund for International Development – Marcel Khalife will perform with his full ensemble a concert for Peace and Humanity at the Vienna City Hall on 30th of June at 20:00 Its a fundraiser as we also use it to launch a large scholarship endowment for Palestinian Talents. LBC will be arranging for a live broadcast to the Arab World and also broadcast it on LBC Europe,LBC USA and LBC Australia. If you are interested pleased contact : Fritz Edlinger Generalsekretär/Secretary General Gesellschaft für Österreichisch-Arabische Beziehungen/Society for Austro-Arab Relations A-1150 Wien, Anschuetzgasse 1 Tel.: +43 1 5267810, Fax: +43 1 5267795 Internet: http://www.saar.at e-mail: f.edlinger@saar.atFurther Information : www.unrwa.org www.marcel-in-vienna.com

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Contributed by mo abushanab on 07.06.2009:

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Bethlehemites in Kiev, early 1900’s

Contributed by Kathy Kenny on 20.05.2009:

Seeking information on the lives of Bethlehemites in Kiev (former Russian Empire, now Ukraine) in the years before WWI for a story/screenplay on the life of my grandmother, Katrina Saade. My great grandparents, Abdullah and Miriam Saade, fled around 1913, leaving behind their business, home and possesions. But I am unsure about what circumstances might have caused their abrupt departure. If you have family stories or historical information, please contact me at kathkenn@aol.com.

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Program Sumud Festival Bethlehem, 30/4 – 1/5

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 28.04.2009:

SUMUD FESTIVAL NEAR THE WALL AT RACHEL’S TOMB, BETHLEHEM30 April – 1 May 2009The Sumud Festival is a cultural initiative in the heart of Bethlehem in an area severely affected by the Apartheid / Separation Wall. The festival will show the sumud or steadfastness of the Palestinian people not to succumb to the pressures of closure, checkpoints, settlement building, Wall and occupation. It will celebrate Palestine’s spirit of freedom and peaceful resistance.Thursday 30 April18:30 Opening by Dr Victor Batarseh, mayor of Bethlehem 19:00 Concert under the military watchtower, with • Belgian singer Evi de Jean accompanied by Jerusalem pianist Noubar Vosgueritchian • Handing out awards to winners of a school student contest about inter-religious living together, as a form of sumud, by Abdallah Shakarneh, head of Ministry of Education-Bethlehem • the West East Best Project, a cooperation between Dutch, Iranian and Palestinian musicians featuring clarinet player Kymia Kermani and violinist Morad Khoury 20:00 A large human KEY, symbol of freedom and the opening of gates, formed by Palestinians and visitors carrying candles • Peace prayers and wishes from around the world projected on the Wall • Restaurant owners from the neighborhood sell snacks 21:00 EndFriday May 110:00 Performances for children, near the Sumud Story House: Khaled al-Massou and colleagues of Inad Theater, Beit Jala 12:00 End 18:00 Freedom music from roofs near the Wall around Rachel’s Tomb Performers: Evi de Jean and Jessica Morcos (singing duet), AEI Choir, Scouts Group St Joseph/Terra Sancta School for Girls (drums), Al Rowwad Dabke and Choir (Aida camp), Mohammed Ghanayem (Rapper, Doha), Antoinette Kinesivich (accordeon) and music students, Jessica and Marian Murra (chello, violin), Edward Said Conservatory – Laith Al-Bandak (qanun). Artistic production: Noubar Vosgueritchian (Vision Center for Culture and Arts/ Al Ezaria- Bethany) 19:00 Improvised music party • International prayers and wishes shown on the Wall. • Restaurant owners selling snacks. 20:00 End.Meeting point: The Sumud Story House (02-2746595) along the Hebron Road near Rachel’s Tomb, northern side (on 200 meter walking distance from the foot passenger’s exit of the main Bethlehem terminal/checkpoint, on the left, just before the military watchtower).Organization: Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows), www.aeicenter.org, Tel.: 02-2744030 (Fuad Giacaman) / 02-2777876 (Elias Abu Akleh) / 02-2746595 (Rania Murra)

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Fifteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 23.04.2009:

The Artas Folklore Center Invites you to the Fifteenth Annual Artas Lettuce FestivalFriday, May 1, 2009In the Village of Artas Near BethlehemFUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILYHIKING, DEBKE, DRAMA, FOOD, EXHIBITS, CRAFTS, TOUR OF VILLAGEExperience Artas’s unique ecosystem and traces of its past from prehistory to the present, see its hidden links to Jerusalem and Herodium, enjoy its living folklore , meet its friendly people and learn about famous foreign visitors and residents, and eat its famous lettuce !HIKE: 9:30- Gathering for Hike at Solomon’s Pools (See Map)The Hike begins at 10:00 at Murad’s Fortress, passing by the Solomon’s Pools and the Springs of Artas, Khirbet el Khokh (Etam), the Artas Valley, the Convent of Hortus Conclusus, and the Artas Folklore CenterNote:The Center for Jerusalem Studies is organizing a trip to Artas which will include the Hike For Information and Reservations, contact the Center for Jerusalem Studies: 02-628 7517 or tours@ cjs.alquds.eduPERFORMANCES 2:00 -6 Soler Park-Garden of Convent of Hortus Conclusus: Speeches, Folklore, Drama, Poetry and Hospitality Presentation of Gifts and Distribution of CertificatesEXHIBITS 3:30 Artas Village: Opening of Exhibits, Farmer’s Markets and Visits to Artas Folklore CenterHELP US PRESERVE OUR HERITAGE!One of the first cultural centers to be licensed by the Palestinian Authority, the Artas Folklore Center, famous for its Annual Lettuce Festival, is at the forefront of innovative projects to preserve the living legacy of one of the oldest, most beautiful and most documented villages in Palestine located at a crossroads of civilizations and ecosystems. Through its research center, tourism and recreation programs and community outreach programs, it strives to document, preserve and promote the rich natural and cultural heritage of the beautiful village of Artas and pass it on to new generations of local and foreign visitors.For More Information, contact Nidal Fahmy Ayesh 059 999 25 09 artasfcenter@gmail.com , Read about and view photos of Artas at www.artasfolklorecenter.net and www.wordpress-230236-736489.cloudwaysapps.com . View Video Clip of 2007 Festival on You Tube

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seeking Faraj Wadi

Contributed by Kathy Garman on 21.04.2009:

Attended American Univesity with him Lost contact with him.

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going by the surname of SANGARI OR HAJI ALI

Contributed by Amina Zaim on 13.04.2009:

salam everyone my mothers father(grandad) is from palistine. however he moved to Cyprus at the age of 13 and did not really keep in touch with his family back in Palistine, i am now in search of my family who i have not known. all i come to know is my great uncle (moms dads brother) has a daughter named Maha and i think the surname might be Sangari or Haji Ali or both. she is now at the age of 55- 57. im not sure which region of palistine she is from or living. if anyone known any info please help me out. thanks

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This message has no content

Contributed by Emad Abu Taha on 12.04.2009:

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I search for my family

Contributed by Marwa Al Harbi on 27.02.2009:

Hello. I’m 17 years old and live in Europe.I will be 18 at 23/ of April. All my life i thought that I was European but one day i heard when my parents spoke about “palestine and Ramallah and the death of my parents”. Some days later i heard them speak about “adoption”. Iwant to know if someone had a child before and lost her or gave her to someone. I hope someone can help to me find my real family.If someone out there knows someone who has same story just reply to this posting below.I have european name and my friends gave me the Marwa name. Thank you the help.Bye

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Spirit of Sumud – Cultural Tourism in Palestine

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 20.02.2009:

By Raneen Al-ArjaCulture gives a pattern to human activity and creates a unique symbolic structure. Culture is what makes us Palestinian. It shapes and guides our way of life and how we make decisions. It represents our identity, our traditions, and all that makes us unique.Unfortunately, our culture is slowly fading away. The Israeli occupation has robbed us of many of our traditions and cultural riches. The older Palestinian generations pass away or slip into a world of forgetfulness while the younger generations are often enticed into obsession with all things modern. Moreover, we lack documentation of the valuable information that exists about our ancestors, and only a few people are involved in keeping the past alive.For these reasons, and in line with other efforts in the country, the Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows) in Bethlehem has developed a cultural tourism programme that gives Palestinians the possibility to actively share their cultural heritage with visitors. Called Spirit of Sumud, the programme gives centre stage to the Palestinian culture of the land. Sumud, steadfastness or resilience, is about the deep connection that exists between Palestinians in cities, villages, and camps and their land, culture, and identity, and how, despite the terrible situation, Palestinians are determined to stay in Palestine, challenge the odds, foster a sense of hope, and work diligently to build a better future. In this way they will prove to the occupation authorities that despite checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall, and an accumulation of daily life problems, they will not yield.The programme, set to begin in April 2009, will present Palestinian heritage in vivid ways, through traditional dance, storytelling, drama performances, traditional songs, and handicrafts. Such activities strengthen the oral historical and cultural narratives of the Palestinian people, which in turn enrich the written ones. The activities will be incorporated into a tour around cities and villages in the Bethlehem area in order to provide international tourists with in-depth cultural information about the region and enhance their experience of this multi-faith Holy Land.In addition, the Spirit of Sumud programme will also target Palestinian school students of varying ages in order to encourage cultural education and growth in self-understanding and identity. Students will participate in tours and interactive, creative sessions that foster experiential learning, in contrast to the static, rote-learning methods presently in practice in local schools.Members of AEI’s youth and women’s groups participate in various training courses in drama and storytelling, and are given the opportunity to meet with guest lecturers who introduce them to various subjects about Palestine and the importance and value of the land. Women, in particular, will benefit from this programme as it builds on their gifts and skills as the most important bearers and transmitters of heritage stories and customs. The programme aims not only to enrich their knowledge but will also be a modest source of income generation.For more information about the programme, please visit www.spiritofsumud.ps. Raneen Al-Arja is the public relations officer of AEI’s cultural tourism programme. She can be contacted at ralarja@aeicenter.org. This Week in Palestine February 2009

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Spirit of Sumud

Contributed by Raneen Al-Arja on 12.02.2009:

The Arab Educational Institue presents to you a new Cultural Toruism Program in Bethlehem Area. Along with the Tour you will see drama performaces, storytelling, traditional songs, trills and dancing. For more information please log on to: www.spiritofsumud.ps

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Looking for the Familys of ANKI

Contributed by Sherrie George on 11.01.2009:

Any information on the Anki family would be wonderful my email is sherriedgemza@msn.com

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LOOKING FOR FAMILY SUMAR IN BETLEHEM

Contributed by Pablo Maravi Sumar on 07.01.2009:

My grandfather Salem Sumar Jamiz emigrated to South America(Lima – Peru) around 1900.He was born in BethlehemI would like to get in touch with our family or relatives in Palestina.i live and study in the Netherlands. Hope to hear from you soon!

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Help a family

Contributed by Frazer Miles on 04.01.2009:

Hi, I have no connections to your country, but what I see going on is wrong .I have children 9/7/and 18months; if a family would be interested in coming to stay with us for a holiday that would be great. We are not wealthy but we are a loving family. Regards Frazer

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a message prayed for by all palistine

Contributed by Ivan Jackson on 14.12.2008:

I have a message from God for those who would like too hear it, or if you know how too contact those who would like too hear it send me their address, this is no trick of any sort, those who would like may contact me at my email add first, and we may go from there, my email add. is ivanjackson40@gmail.com

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Christmas Carols “special”

Contributed by Richard Soudah on 03.12.2008:

Deborah Fink, a jewish opera singer who wants to help Palestinians organized a concert at the St James Church at Picadilly in London last week where she and a choir sang Christmas carols re-written to tell the story of Bethlehem as it is now. Sample: “Once in royal David’s city Stood a big apartheid wall; People entering and leaving Had to pass a checkpoint hall. Bethlehem was strangulated, And her children segregated”.Deborah Fink, an organizer with Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, one of the two sponsors, said the holiday season provides a once-a-year opportunity to reach out to Christians and to those who celebrate Christmas. See:http://www.cnsnews.com/Public/Content/article.aspx?RsrcID=39427 and thank Deborah Richard Soudah

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Where are the Daueds?

Contributed by Richard Soudah on 03.12.2008:

My mother was born Daued and as a child live in the Ras F’teis street close to the “Rahbat Ilwardieh”. She had some family there and one cousin well-off enough to build what came to be called The David Building, close to the railway station in west Jerusalem. Later this family moved to Bethlehem and live in the D’heisheh street. they ahd a daughter Paula, probably born around 1925. Do you know of any Daueds left ther or anywhere else? Richard Soudah

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need more info on sumaghiyya please!

Contributed by Monyca Currier on 26.11.2008:

Hi to all of you!I am writing a term paper on the differences of cuisine between Gaza and Jordan, using Sumaghiyya (which I learned to make from my MIL, who learned from her MIL)and Mansef (also learned from MIL).Any help or insight or personal stories, recollectios, would be appreciated!Thanks you very much!

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Searching for my father

Contributed by Ramon Handal on 21.10.2008:

I am trying to find my father, Ramon Elias Handal. My mother is Esperanza Turcios from Honduras. They seperated in the early 70’s and I have not seen my father since. Can someone help?

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abularrachs and Sabats in America

Contributed by Pablo Sabat on 26.09.2008:

Hi, I’m trying to establish the family ties between Sabats, Abularrachs, Talamas and Handals in America and then will try to connect them to Bethlehem. Please do get in contact with you. My grandfather (his name was Carlos -or Khalil- Sabat Daburah -or Dawed) came to Peru in the 1920’s and I’m trying to find out where are other relatives in the region.I’ll look forward to your reply. You can write in Spanish if you prefer. My email address is: psabat@hotmail.com All best wishes, Pablo Sabat

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Ghantous in Jaffa

Contributed by Fadi Ghantous on 23.08.2008:

My name is Fadi Joseph Hanna Anton Ghantous. My grandfather “Hanna” used to work @ the Jaffa Port customs during the 1940’s. Im trying to complete our family tree, starting from Hanna and before… Need Help….Thank you

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Looking for my relatives-SHEI B

Contributed by Wedad Al Maloukh on 09.08.2008:

I have embarked on a mission to discover my family tree. My parents divorced when I was around 3, and unfortunatly my father died before I could know him. His name was George Sheib. He moved to the US in 1948. Most of his family, except for two sister moved to the US following him. I have researched everything on the names and have recovered very little, because it seems the name is not strictly Palestinian. Also I was told by one site that the last name, long ago was BADRAN. I know he was born in Jerusalem and from the Greek Orthodox church. Any info or ideas on where to get info please let me know-or you can email me. thanks so muchWedad A.

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To Lorena Talamas

Contributed by John Dieck on 10.07.2008:

Dear Lorena, My grandparents were Antonio Dieck & Margarita Hasbun! Antonio and Emilio Dieck were brothers. We share our common great grandparents, Juan Elias Dieck Talamas & Azize Marcos Sahuri. Send me your email and I can send you some old pictures! Juan Antonio Dieck JDieck@austin.rr.com

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The Bethlehem Association Convention 2008: 31/7-3/8

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 11.06.2008:

Thursday, July 31st through Sunday, August 3rd 2008“RECOVER, REBUILD, RETURN TO OUR ROOTS”Less than 2 months-don’t miss out!! REGISTER NOW!!The CONVENTION registration deadline is approaching and the hotel is filling up, so if you have not already done so, I strongly urge you to register for the convention NOW and make your hotel reservations soon. You can do so at the Bethlehem Association web site:www.bethlehemassociation.orgHotel rooms in California fill up quickly during the summer months. Please make your reservations as soon as possible to ensure availability. You can book online directly with the Hyatt Orange County by calling 714-750-1234 or on this website: http://orangecounty.hyatt.com/groupbooking/alicagbet2008 Additionally, we would like to remind you that those who register before July 7th receive a nice discount on the convention package.We have a great souvenir program booklet this year, which you will receive at registration. As part of our fundraising efforts, we would like to encourage our members and supporters to place an ad in this year’s booklet.We look forward to seeing you in Orange County!If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Joe & Arlette Dibsy at 714-739-2260, Muna Handal-Dayeh at 619-818-1945, or Diana Bandak at 619-254-8464 or email us at: bethconv2008@gmail.comSincerely,Muna Handal-DayehPresidentBethlehem Association

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I now for fact that I have family in Palestine their are Giacoman, if somwan now then can you please contact them or my thanks luis A Giacoman.acayotl@yahoo.com

Contributed by Luis Giacoman on 09.06.2008:

I now for fact that I have family in Palestine their are Giacoman, if somwan now then can you please contact them or my thanks luis A Giacoman.acayotl@yahoo.com

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GIACOMAN

Contributed by Luis Giacoman on 09.06.2008:

Hello I’m luis Giacoman and I’m looking for my brothers in Honduras, they are Jorge, Jesus and Miguel Angel, if sombady knows about them please contack me, also loocking for my cousins, Rosa Blanca and his brother they may bee living in Monterrey Mexico, also Nicolas, Ricardo, Omar Maysen Giacoman in Monterrey Mex

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Want to visit Palestine – Looking for a family to take me in

Contributed by Erik Burneyko on 30.05.2008:

Hi, I don’t know if this is an unusual request but I would love to visit Palestine next summer. I have been reading a lot and viewing a lot about the land and occupation and have been touched and pained by what is happening in the world and how blind people around me can be. I would love to visit and help out in any community activities taking place along with interviewing, taking pictures and just spending time with the people. However, I do not know anyone there and do not know how to even start to plan this trip. Any tips?? Are there any families that take visitors in from abroad?? Please advise, thank you so much.

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How to add my grandfather

Contributed by Amina Abou Radwan on 23.05.2008:

I have sarted the ‘Abou Radwan’ family tree of Jaffa city with my father. Now I need to add my grandfather, so I can add uncles and aunties. Is it possible to do it, or I should delete all 30 entries and restart? Many thanks Amina Abou Radwan – London

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Tell your story

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 02.05.2008:

In less than two weeks time Israel will be celebrating its 6oth anniversary, this day carries an entirely deferent meaning to millions of the Palestinian people around the world, for them it’s 6o years since they’ve had to flee Palestine.60 years ago my grandmother, carrying my mum – a toddler then – on her arm, crossed the river Jordan thinking she’ll be back home in a few weeks. She was never to be allowed back.Now, I’m not someone that likes to live in the past, nor do I expect the clock to wind back 60 years, but I think my grandmother has the right to return, and I think the world owes her at least one day in 60 years to hear her story.So, I’m going to set on a bench in Martin place Sydney and tell her story.I invite every Palestinian around the world to do the same – replicate this campaign in their city, tell your story or your parents’.What can you do to help?a) If you’re Palestinian and would like to replicate this campaign in your city: Visit Boukra website at www.boukra.org to get an idea of how to participate – it’s simple and can be done in time for the 14th of May.b) If you’re not Palestinian but you know someone who is: forward this email to them.c) If you’re not interested in this campaign but would like to get more news from us about future campaigns: register www.boukra.org/join.html.Many thanks,The Boukra Team For more info: boukra@7rooms.com

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FREE PHOTO RETOUCHING, REPAIR and RESTORATION.

Contributed by Fayez (Frank) Nasser on 30.04.2008:

FREE PHOTO RETOUCHING, REPAIR and RESTORATION.If you have old family photos which are faded or were damaged in some way, I can help you restore them to their original condition, and have them also posted on the Palestine-Family.net website.Old photos are delicate. No matter how careful you are, you probably have cherished family photos that are faded, water-damaged, cracked or crinkled. Now through the magic of digital imaging, most photos can be restored to their original condition!All you need to do is contact me through the Palestine-Family.net website.

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Telephone Directory

Contributed by Yalcin Isa on 12.04.2008:

Can anyone tell me if there is a website for a telephone directory of Palestine. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Suphi Ibrahim El-Garapli – Jaffa

Contributed by Yalcin Isa on 11.04.2008:

Looking for relatives or descendants of Suphi Ibrahim El-Garapli who was a barber and lived in Jaffa but then moved to Famagusta, Cyprus in mid to late 1940s. Any help would be great.

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Contributed by Ahmad Abu Toubeh on 11.04.2008:

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Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 09.04.2008:

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The Program of the Fourteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival April 10-13, 2007

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 07.04.2008:

Fourteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival Thursday, April 10-Sunday, April 12, 2008 Artas VillageThe Artas Folklore CenterUnder the Sponsorship of the Palestinian Ministry of CultureIn Partnership with the Arab Educational Institute-Open Window, Bethlehem Peace Center, Judhur, Palestine Wildlife Society, Rowad, SirajExhibit and StallsCrafts: Embroidery, Wood Carving, Plaster, Ceramics, Replicas of Ancient Pottery, Glass, MosaicsFarmer’s Market: Products of the Artas Valley; homemade goods: jam, pickles qubbeh, savory pastries, tabbouleh, and other typical Palestinian food);fresh Taboun and Ishraq Bread made on the site; nutrition projectsPaintings: Exhibit of Paintings from the 2007 Artas Lettuce Festival Paintbrush Competition, by Palestinian artists from various Palestinian towns, villages and camps.Photographs: Artas Villagers, New and Old; Amulets from the Bethlehem; Flora and Fauna of PalestineTourism PublicationsArtas Folklore Center’s Folklore MuseumWith Participation by: Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Artas Folklore Center, Ibda, Judhur, Palestine Wildlife Society, Siraj, Women from various areas of the Bethlehem district, including the villages of Al Khader, Al Ebediyeh, Beit Fajar, ZaataraSpring Hike:There are two hikes, one from Solomon’s Pools to Artas Village, and the other from Solomon’s Pools to Herodium, with a stop in Artas. (Transportation back to Artas by bus.*)Participants will see historic and archeological sites from Ottoman, Mamluke, and Byzantine Periods, the ancient water system, the springs on the land of the village, ecological diversity, and wildlife. Among the sites along the route to Artas are: Murad Fortress, Solomon’s Pools, Saleh Spring, Pine Forests, Prehistoric Cave, Attan Spring, Um Ayub, Etam, Khirbet Aytam, Deir el Banat, the “Wall”, Wadi Abu Umeira, the Hortus Conclusus Convent, the Artas Spring, the “Sitt” Louisa Baldensperger House, Craft Stalls and Farmer’s Markets, Artas Folklore Museum Wadi Khreitoun, Ta’amreh Arabs, Herodium*Fee for bus according to number of participants.PerformancesDebka: Artas Folklore Center’s Ahya al Turath Folklore Troupe, Al Rowad Center, Ibdaa Folklore Troupe, Kazar Folklore Troupe, Surif Folklore Troupe, Ferdous High School for GirlsDramatic Sketch: St George and the Dragon, Arab Educational Institute, Open WindowsChildren’s Entertainment: Rowad CenterPoetry: Artas Poet Amanallah AyeshFolksinging: Artas Folklore Center’s Ahya Al Turath Folklore TroupeSee Schedule of Activities for detailsNote: Center for Jerusalem Studies will be taking guests to the festival on Friday, April 11. For more information and to reserve your place, contact: Center for Jerusalem Studies 02 628 7517;cjs@planet.eduProgram subject to change without notice. For photos of last year’s festival and latest information and map check www.artasfolklorecenter.net. Contact: artasfc@yahoo.com or 02 276 0533

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The Schedule of the Fourteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival April 10-13

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 07.04.2008:

Fourteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival Thursday, April 10-Sunday, April 13, 2008 Artas VillageThe Artas Folklore CenterUnder the Sponsorship of the Palestinian Ministry of CultureIn Partnership with the Arab Educational Institute-Open Window, Bethlehem Peace Center, Judhur, Palestine Wildlife Society, Rowad, SirajProgramFirst Day, Thursday, April 10, 200814:00 Gathering at the Festival Site, Artas 14:30 Opening of the Festival 14:35 Reading from the Quran 14:37 Palestinian National Anthem 14:38 Moment of Silence for Palestinian Dead 14:45 Traditional Artas Greeting by Artas Girls 14:50 Word from the Governor of Bethlehem 14:55 Word from the Ministry of Tourism 15:00 Word from the Artas Folklore Center 15:10 Debka by Ahya el Turath Troupe 15:25 Debka by Markaz Rowad lil Thaqafa wa Tadrib il Masrahi 15:40 Folksongs by Ahya el Turath Troupe 15:40 Dramatic Sketch, St. George and the Dragon by Arab Educational Institute- Open Windows 16:00 Debka by Ibda’ 16:15 Break: Opening of Exhibits and Farmer’s Market 17:00 Debka by Kazar Troupe 17:30 Poetry by Artas Poet Amanallah Ayesh 17:45 Dramatic Sketch by Al Ain Theatre 18:15 Folksinging by Ahya el Turath Troupe 19:00 End of the Activities of the First DaySecond Day, Friday April 11, 20089:00 Gathering at the Solomon’s Pools across from the Fort for the Hike to Artas 9:30 Set off on Hike to Artas 9:30 Opening of Exhibits and Farmer’s Market 13:00 Rest in Village for those who participated in the hike 14:00 Programs for children, Markaz Rowad lil Thaqafa wa Tadrib il Masrahi 16:30 Debka by Surif Folklore Troupe 17:00 Debka by Girls from Ferdous High School, Artas 17:20 Debka by Beit Fajar Folklore Troupe 17:50 Debka by Ahya el Turath Folklore Troupe 18:30 Distribution of Certificates of Appreciation to Festival Participants 19:00 End of Activities of the Second DayThird Day, Saturday April 12, 20089:00 Gathering at the Solomon’s Pools across from the Fort for the Hike to Artas 9:30 Set off on Hike to Artas 10:00 Opening of Exhibits and Farmer’s Market 14:00 Rest in Village for those who participated in the hikeFourth Day, Sunday, April 13, 200800 Gathering at the Solomon’s Pools across from the Fort for the Hike to Herodium :9 9:30 Set off on Hike to Herodium 10:00 Opening of the Exhibits 11:00 Hikers arrive in Village for Break 11:30 Hikers continue to Herodium 16:00 Return to ArtasEnd of Program of Fourteenth Annual Artas Lettuce FestivalNote: Center for Jerusalem Studies will be taking guests to the festival on Friday, April 11. For more information and to reserve your place, contact: Center for Jerusalem Studies 02 628 7517;cjs@planet.eduProgram subject to change without notice. For photos of last year’s festival and latest information and map check www.artasfolklorecenter.net. Contact: artasfc@yahoo.com or 02 276 0053

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Did anyone leave their daughter on the street in early 1987?

Contributed by Magda H. on 23.03.2008:

Hey.My second question is if someone abandoned their baby and left it lying by a street at or outside Zarqa refugee camp in early 1987 wrapped in a blanket? If you know of any such person, let me know!If so, well that baby was me. =)

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General question regarding skin color…

Contributed by Magda H. on 23.03.2008:

Hello! I have a question regarding the skin color of Palestinians… how come some have brown skin and dark hair and others have very fair skin and brown, even blondish hair? Are the origin of those “two groups” distinct, or is it a mere coincidence with no regard to previous location?Thank you for your responses!

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Book mother of pearl craft

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 23.03.2008:

Karen David Daccarett, from the family Daued (Dawid) of Bethlehem, wrote a book in 2005 with Enrique Yidi (also from a Bethlehemite family) and Martha Lizcano (a Colombian friend, Ph.D. in History), with the title El arte palestino de tallar el nácar. The book is aimed at recovering an ancient Holy Land heritage. The text -a de luxe edition, illustrated with 190 pictures, most of them historical ones- narrates the history of the Palestinian art of mother-of-pearl carving since the Crusade time.

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relatives

Contributed by Gabrielle O'Connor on 25.02.2008:

I want to find any relatives of my mother who was born in Jerusalem in 1898, Her father was Neguib Madi (or Mahdi or Ma’di) and her mother was Sabina Meena. I don’t know their parents’ name. Her father was governor of Galilee, stationed in Beisan (Beth Shean or (Beit Shan) and they lived also in Nazareth. She married (1st marriage) in about 1920, Bill Bedser, who was a British soldier after after the War. she came to Australia in about 1923. She was an only child but her mother adopted a boy in about 1910 but I don’t know his name. She had cousins in Nazareth and the name Kiyat or Kyatt is one of the cousins’ name. (Surname, I think) Hope someone can fill me in a little bit about her history or any relations in Palestine as I know very little about it as I was just not interested enough to ask her questions when I was young. And then, of course, it was too late.

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Farewell Patricia

Contributed by Feride Buch on 24.02.2008:

Today Saturday February 23rd 2008 my cousin Patricia Facuse Veliz has passed away in Santiago Chile, she was only 48 years old when cancer took her away from us, she leaves behind an 8 years old daughter, Grabriela, her husband Cesar and her mother and sibilings, May your soul rest in peace Patty, we love you and you will always be alive, as long as we remember you.

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Thank You

Contributed by Feride Buch on 22.02.2008:

I am very greatful for the work you have done in this web site, it has given me tools to explore and express my heritage of which I know so little, My greatparents left Bethlehem around 1920, they both died with hope of some day returning to their homeland, my father died 3 years ago, not able to fulfill that same dream, which now I carry with great hope that some day I will bring my children to a completly free Palestine, for all of those who left and never when back. Please, contact me if you have any information about my family.

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The Recipes Section

Contributed by S. Suleiman on 06.02.2008:

The recipes section has grown to the point where it is becoming difficult to browse for particular dishes. Would it be possible to develop a system for browsing for ‘entrees’ or ‘deserts’ for example?

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Symphony Arabica

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 05.02.2008:

This spring there will be a large music project with concerts in Holland, Amman, Ramallah and possibly other locations. But the music for the concerts is not yet finished! We are looking for people to contribute to the concert in several ways:singing contestThere is a song but it is not finished. We invite you to finish it with your own words and melody. You can sing in Arabic, English or Dutch Record it with a mobile phone or MP3 player.Send your contribution to info@arabica.nuThe lyrics are about the difference between normal life and the life in your imagination. What is more real?This is the text you should use as a start:When I look around me, I see… (short line) … (short line) … … (longer line)When I close my eyes, I see… … (short line) … (short line) … … (longer line)Go to the website www.arabica.nu to listen to the beginning of the song you should finish in Arabic, English and DutchThe winners will be invited to perform on the concert. The best contributions will become part of the composition. make a short poemThe composer will create a song with lyrics you can make. The form is very simple: 2 times 4 lines; long, short, short, long. The text is about the difference between normal life and the life in your imagination. What is more real?This is the text you should use as a start:When I look around me, I see… (short line) … (short line) … … (longer line)When I close my eyes, I see… … (short line) … (short line) … … (longer line)upload photoThere is a famous poem by Machmoud Derwish, describing the beauties of Palestine.We ask you to upload a picture of something beautiful about Palestine with a short description, so we can extend this poem as a part of the symphony.This is the original poem:“On This Earth”We have on this earth what makes life worth living: April’s hesitation, the aroma of bread at dawn, a woman’s point of view about men, the works of Aeschylus, the beginning of love, grass on a stone, mothers living on a flute’s sigh and the invaders’ fear of memories.We have on this earth what makes life worth living: the final days of September, a woman keeping her apricots ripe after forty, the hour of sunlight in prison, a cloud reflecting a swarm of creatures, the peoples’ applause for those who face death with a smile, a tyrant’s fear of songs.We have on this earth what makes life worth living: on this earth, the Lady of Earth, mother of all beginnings and ends. She was called Palestine. Her name later became Palestine. My Lady, because you are my Lady, I deserve life.(Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché) Sound in Arabic: http://albsayed.org/?p=231Send your picture and description to: picture@arabica.nuinspire the composerWhat is the most inspiring existing (“classic”) or new song and poem about Palestine? Upload an MP3 to the website Send us a poem: info@arabica.nu The winning song and poem will become part of the concerts.VERSION FEBRUARY 5, 2008

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Fouad Musleh – Beit Sahour

Contributed by Bev Farm on 04.12.2007:

I am helping this person construct his family tree and would appreciate any information regarding them. He came to the US in 1954.

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This message has no content

Contributed by Ariel Barrera Haddad on 24.10.2007:

Untitled message

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Jerusalem in exile

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 18.10.2007:

(an email we received about a highly interesting project close to the idea of PFN)The project is searching for the mental image of Jerusalem that exists in the minds of the Palestinian people in the Diaspora. The Diaspora seems to include now the Palestinians in Palestine. This mental image will be later transformed into a photographic image.“Jerusalem needs visual liberation. This can only be achieved if a new dimension is added to the photographs. This dimension exists in us?deep in the imagination. Reaching that dimension requires a deep look, a journey into the minds of many people; where they will all unite to ‘rebuild’ and ‘reconstruct’ Jerusalem.”Mental images are usually private experiences, and you do not need to be from Jerusalem to have one. Because Palestinians have extreme restrictions to enter the occupied city; the image of Jerusalem becomes stronger in their brains and imagination.It is interesting to see how a Palestinian boy or girl from Brazil, for example, who has never seen Jerusalem acquires that mental image. It is possible his/her image is developed through Media, books or through narratives from parents or grand parents. This is an indication that no presence can annul the memories of Jerusalem, by changing facts on the ground or by forcing different narratives. It is not the stones that make the city alive – it is the people who do.Hence, we encourage Palestinians from all over the world to visit the web site www.jerusalem-in-exile.net (the web site exists in five languages); go through it (it takes few minutes), do check the Map www.jerusalem-in-exile.net/World/world.htm where you can see and read different participations. Check which countries are not lit and if you are now living in these countries, send us your mental image. WE WILL LIGHT THAT COUNTRY. If the country is lit, please feel also free to send your mental image. It will be great to add it to the ones that we already have. It is not simply about lighting the whole world, but also about each and every one of you.Many people have asked how they can help o promote the project? • Do send this email to your contact list with a private note to encourage participations. • We have found out that Facebook, Multiply and other similar programs are great for sharing the ideas of the project. Make full use of them. • Palestinian web site and Blogs are great for spreading the message. ________________________________________We look forward to receiving your participations.jerusalem in exile Www.jerusalem-in-exile.net To subscribe and unsubscribe to this mailing list please visit the link below. http://lists.jerusalem-in-exile.net/mailman/listinfo/jerusalem-in-exile

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Jalil Family

Contributed by Jose Jalil on 13.10.2007:

Can any one help with my family. My grandfather was born in Beit Jala around 1902, his name was Gabriel (Jabra) Mussa Jalil Kafati. Do you know anyliving relatives. We are also related to the Abumuhour family/ We are from Honduras

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THE SECOND RIWAQ BIENNALE – in Palestine, 2007 – 2008

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 03.10.2007:

Participants Achim Borchardt-Hume • Akram Zaatari • Alaa Al Habashi • Albert Heta • Alessandro Aresu • Alessandro Petti • Alexander Melissinos • Ali Kays • Ana Bezic • Aneta Szylak • Anjalika Sagar • Anna Kafetsi • Anne Maier • Ayreen Anastas • Carol Michael • Casper Hall • Charles Asprey • Charles Esche • Chiara De Cesari • Christiane Nasser • Christine Tohme • Daniele Pini • Dean Sully • Diana Stevenson • Douglas Gordon • Edward Platt • Emily Jacir • Erden Kosova • Erinc Seyman • Eva Birkenstock • Francesca Recchia • Farhat Yousef • Fida Tuma • George Abungu • Giovanni Fontana • Glenn Bowman • Hala Elkoussy • Immanuel Grosser • Inass Yassin • Jack Persekian • Jagath Weerasinghe • Jamal Badran • Jamal Rasem Badran • Jean-Luc Moulène • Jenny Hall • Johanna Mytkowska • Jonathon Watkins • Jose Davila • Joseph Grima • Joshua Mack • Juan Manuel Cid • Karel Ankerman • Kelly O’Reilly • Khaldun Bshara • Khaled Hourani • Khaled Qawasmeh • Khalil Rabah • Kholoud Deibs • Kodow Eshun • Lamia Joreige • Lida Abdul • Lieven De Cauter • Lina Saneh • Lorenzo Romito • Lynn Meskell • Maher Abi Samra • Mahita El Bacha Ureita • Mauricio Guillen • Mohammed Soueid • Nadia Habash • Nat Muller • Nazmi Jubeh • Nina Montmann • Ola Badran • Olaf Nicolai • Omar Yousef • On Kawara • Paolo Ceccarelli • Paul Domela • Philipp Misselwitz • Philip Stein • Rasem Badran • Ray Bondin • Reem Fadda • Reema Hammami • Rene Gabri • Rima Kaddissi • Roy Samaha • Sabah Naim • Sacha Craddok • Salvatore Porcaro • Salwa Mikdadi • Samar Martha • Sameh Abboushi • Samira Badran • Sandi Hilal • Sanja Ivekovic • Sarah Baddington • Saskia Sassen • Shady Elnoshokaty • Shadi Ghadban • Shadia Touqan • Simon Wacsmuth • Solmaz Shahbazi • Stefano Boeri • Suad Amiry • Suha Ozkan • Sultan Barakat • Superflex • Susan Hefuna • Ute Lehrer • Vincenzo Castella • Wael Noureddine • Wael Shawky • William Wells • Yazid Anani.to set in motion Biennales are often arenas for monumental spectacles – big canvases, flashy sculptures, frenetic installations. With over 60 biennales and triennales taking place globally, it can sometimes seem that the world has become one vast art market as cities around the world compete to stage ever more elaborate exhibits to lure the international art world. But as the locations become more varied, it can also seem as though the artwork and curatorial approaches increasingly represent the homogenisation of art – a flattening of cultural diversity under the dictatorship of the international art market.It is not easy to stand out in this increasingly crowded calendar; and the conditions of cultural production under occupation make it hard to justify taking an extravagant curatorial approach to the Second Riwaq Biennale, which will be held in various venues throughout Palestine from October 21-24, 2007. As a result, Riwaq has taken the decision to offer visitors a quieter register through which to view the contemporary cultural landscape of Palestine.In a radical shake-up of the biennale concept, the Riwaq Biennale will not consist of any large-scale, central exhibitions. Instead, it will offer a series of curated conversations and interactions between Palestinian and international artists, architects, Planners, conservationists, curators, and theorists. Through this deliberate omission, the Riwaq curatorial team aims to provide an alternative vision to challenge the perceptions and expectations of what a biennale can be.Stemming from Riwaq’s central aim of protecting and promoting cultural heritage in Palestine, this version of a biennale will be centred on a three-day symposium at Birzeit University on October 22-24. Developed in partnership with staff and students at Birzeit University as well as with the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation, the UNDP, Ferrara University, Stanford University, and UNESCO, the symposium aims to create contacts and networking opportunities between Palestinian and international artists, leading to a series of related workshops, exhibitions, projects, and gatherings to be organised throughout Palestine during 2007 and 2008.This will be preceded by the Second Riwaq Biennale Gatherings – a series of visits to various cities and villages in order to observe Riwaq’s work as well as other significant cultural initiatives. Curated by Charles Esche and organised in partnership with the International Academy of Art, these gatherings will also offer ways to implement future projects and move forward into a sustained two-year biennale – one which doesn’t just happen every two years but takes two years to evolve, with a two-year exploration period for artists and theorists to develop their ideas for the Third Riwaq Biennale in 2009.To show how such collaborations might work, Ikon, in collaboration with ArtSchool Palestine, will present On Kawara’s Pure Consciousness, at Dar Al-Kalima College, Bethlehem. In this ongoing series that consists of seven “date paintings,” the work will be installed in kindergartens, as part of the furniture of classrooms for young children, located on walls that are often filled with teaching aids, especially for elementary spelling, numbers, and drawings. Simply coexisting with the pupils and teachers, the work will be virtually inaccessible to anyone else.The title refers to the directness with which children of kindergarten age apprehend the vast range of new phenomena that they encounter. The novelty of experience means that their consciousness is not skewed by too many memories of similar experience or habituation. The possibility of this state being retrievable in later life is suggested by On Kawara not only in the uncompromising here-and-now of each painting but also in his repetitious practice. Like a mantra, it encourages concentration on a simple act toward a oneness with the world.By focusing on the here and now – the process rather than end product – the Riwaq Biennale questions the role of art and artist in relation to their communities and to the wider international artistic community. By taking a more thoughtful approach to biennale culture, Riwaq has created an opportunity not only to investigate the trappings of our visual and cultural codes but also to look at ways to reconnect isolated and walled Palestine to the international art world.The participants’ journeys to and through Palestinian territory become an important part of the overall concept, confronting visitors with the issues of social and territorial fragmentation caused by successive Israeli occupations, including the restrictions placed on movement, travel, and international networking within the occupied territories. By making the idea of the journey central to the Riwaq Biennale, we hope to offer visitors an alternative set of co-ordinates with which to plot their journeys through the globalised art world.Khalil Rabah Director, Riwaq BiennaleSource: This Week in Palestine October 2007

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Hey Ladies, Do you want to see the largest Palestinian TABOULEH dish in the world, as listed in the Guiness Book of World Records?All you have to do is enter “Tabouleh” or “Guiness” in the [Search] rectangle in the “Home” page (top right corner under languages).You may also want to try using this powerful “Search” engine to find names, places, recipes, and everything else in the website.Try it – you’ll love it.

Contributed by Fayez (Frank) Nasser on 18.09.2007:

Hey Ladies, Do you want to see the largest Palestinian TABOULEH dish in the world, as listed in the Guiness Book of World Records?All you have to do is enter “Tabouleh” or “Guiness” in the [Search] rectangle in the “Home” page (top right corner under languages).You may also want to try using this powerful “Search” engine to find names, places, recipes, and everything else in the website.Try it – you’ll love it.

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In the Menu on the left, click on “Photography – local”,then click on “Signs & Statues”.A suggested flyer for distribution at all gatherings to make people aware of the fabulous website www.palestine-family.net(Please disregard the Copyright note)

Contributed by Fayez (Frank) Nasser on 07.09.2007:

In the Menu on the left, click on “Photography – local”,then click on “Signs & Statues”.A suggested flyer for distribution at all gatherings to make people aware of the fabulous website www.wordpress-230236-736489.cloudwaysapps.com(Please disregard the Copyright note)

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FREE Photo Digitizing Service to Bethlehemites in Canada and the USA

Contributed by Fayez (Frank) Nasser on 03.09.2007:

People whose origin is from Bethlehem, Beit-Jala and Beit-Sahour, presently living in Canada and the United States, may benefit from a free service to digitize, enhance, restore, and post their old photographs on the Palestine-family.net website, may contact me by telephone or email for details.Fayez (Frank) Nasser in Toronto: Phone (416) 291-4766 Home, Phone (416) 299-5301 Business, email: fnasser@microlites.com email: franknasser@rogers.com

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The Second Riwaq Biennale in Palestine

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 30.08.2007:

There are currently more than 60 biennale and triennale around the world. These days it seems that everyone wants to hold a biennale, and cities around the world are competing to host a series of ever more elaborate exhibitions designed to lure the international art world. But as the locations become more varied, it sometimes seems as though the product and curatorial approaches increasingly represent the homogenisation of events – a flattening of cultural diversity crushed under the dictatorship of the international art market.It is not easy to stand out in an increasingly crowded calendar; the conditions of creative production under occupation make it even harder to provide participants with a mental map of Palestine’s contemporary cultural landscape. As a result, Riwaq has taken the decision to offer the public an alternative set of co-ordinates with which to plot a different journey – exploration in the context of a globalised world.In a radical shake up of the biennale concept, the Second Riwaq Biennale will not have a central exhibition but will consist instead of a series of curated conversations and actions in an unprecedented assembly of local and internationally renowned architects, artists, conservationists, planners, curators and theorists. This decision to omit a showcase exhibition offers a startling strategy to challenge our perceptions and expectations of what a biennale can be. Through this absence, the Second Riwaq Biennale locates itself within a space that questions the basis of knowledge formation and representation in the context of colonisation.By taking a more thoughtful approach to biennale culture, the Second Riwaq Biennale creates an opportunity to investigate the trappings of our visual, spatial and cultural codes as well as to look at ways of reconnecting isolated and walled Palestine with the international world. The participants’ journeys to Palestine become an important part of the overall concept of the biennale, confronting visitors with the issues of social and territorial fragmentation caused by successive Israeli occupations, including the restrictions placed on movement, travel, and international networking within the occupied territories.By focusing on process rather than end product, the Second Riwaq Biennale questions the role of culture and its practitioners in relation to their community and to the wider international artistic community. In this way it aims to create contacts and networking opportunities between Palestinian and international creative forces, leading to a series of related workshops, gatherings, projects, exhibitions, and a symposium that will be organised throughout Palestine in 2007 and 2008. Developed out of the reflexive dimension of inhabiting a situation rather than analysing it and commenting on it, this process will set in motion new culturally appropriate works that create platforms for future cultural engagements.The Second Riwaq Biennale in Palestine is organised by Riwaq-Palestine in partnership with Birzeit University-Palestine, UNESCO-Ramallah Office, and ArtSchool Palestine-London. The Biennale officially opens on October 21, 2007, in Ramallah.Khalil Rabah, Director, Riwaq BiennaleSource: This Week in Palestine September 2007

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Embroidery products

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 29.08.2007:

Friday August 31, 11:00 – 16:00 in Barbur Selling of embroidery products of women’s cooperatives from Azariye and South Hebron Hills Bags, purses, cushions and more… Dear friends, This September will host a plenty of festivities and occasions for celebration in both Palestine and Israel. A new school year is at the threshold, with more and more families struggling to meet their children’s basic needs: school uniforms, bags, books, stationery, meals and much more. It has never been more certain that in most Palestinian homes there will be more! suffering than joy, especially for women, having to run households on no income, nevertheless providing for their families’ needs. From behind the Wall, amidst crippling inflation accompanied by food, education, work and health insecurity, two groups of unprivileged Palestinian women, from Azariye and Tuwane, each a sole breadwinner for her family, join forces and outreach to you with wishes for a truly peaceful and prosperous year for all the peoples in the region, a year of acceptance, love and friendship. By utilizing the one way of expression we master, we created various pieces of embroidery to display for sale at Barbur on Friday August 31, only two days before schools start. We hope to get a vital income, so much needed for our families’ essential needs in the coming months. So, come to and support us striving to keep our right to dignified life and achieve a better status within the family and the society through leaning on our own cultural heritage, efforts, artistic skills and hard work resulting in pieces of incredible sophistication, beauty, and passion. Women of Azariye and Tuwane. DAY: Friday, August 31, 2007 at 11 a.m. PLACE: Barbur Gallery, Shirizli 6 Str., Nachlaot, Jerusalem For more information: 054-7232866 ==============================

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Something to think about !

Contributed by Fayez (Frank) Nasser on 17.08.2007:

If people like yourself with a computer and an email address, would send to all their contacts in their address book, advising them to log on “www.wordpress-230236-736489.cloudwaysapps.com”, they will be pleasantly surprised to find a wealth of information about their families, relatives, friends, acquaintances, ancestors, history, culture, photographs and many more interesting topics. And they will thank you for bringing this amazing website to their attention. So, tell your parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces and everyone you know of www.wordpress-230236-736489.cloudwaysapps.com and don’t forget to encourage them to contribute whatever they may have.

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Looking for brothers and sisters

Contributed by Salah Balboul on 14.08.2007:

Hello friends,I live in the US and have been looking for my brothers and sisters. I think they live in Al-Khader. The last name is either BALBOUL or ABU-RASS.Brother names:Adnan Yosef Hudah Suaad NaimahThanks for all your help,Salah Balboul

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Looking for Class mates

Contributed by Bashir (Raad ) Abou-Sakher on 10.05.2007:

Hi ; My name is Bashir ( Raad ) Abou-Zayed,I am a graduate from Al Umma Collage in Daheayt al Bareed Jeruslem .. in the year 1965 , I am looking for my class mates … or any studentfrom Al Umma Collage … Please if any one know any information about what I am looking for , please send E-Mail to me …at base59@yahoo.com Thanks Bashir ( Raad )

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Easter

Contributed by Alex Kattan on 08.04.2007:

The English and German names, “Easter” and “Ostern,” are not etymologically derived from Pesach and according to the 8th century Christian monk and historian Bede are instead related to ancient name for the Anglo Saxon goddess, Eostre, who was celebrated during Eosturmonath, equivalent to April/Aprilis Bede wrote in Latin: ” Eosturmonath, qui nunc paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a dea illorum quae Eostre vocabatur et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit.” Translated: “Eosturmonath, which is now interpreted as the paschal month, was formerly named after the goddess Eostre, and has given its name to the festival.” In most Slavic languages, the name for Easter either means Great Day or Great Night. For example Wielkanoc and Velikonoce mean Great Night or Great Nights in Polish and Czech, respectively. Великден (Vělikděn’) and Вялікдзень (Vjalikdzěn’) mean ‘The Great Day’ in Ukrainian and Bulgarian respectively. In Western Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25 inclusive. The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions. In Eastern Christianity, Easter falls between April 4 and May 8 between 1900 and 1970 based on the Gregorian date. Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars (which follow the motion of the sun and the seasons). Instead, they are based on a lunar calendar similar — but not identical — to the Hebrew Calendar. The precise date of Easter has often been a matter for contention. At the First Council of Nicaea in 325 it was decided that Easter would be celebrated on the same Sunday throughout the Church, but it is probable that no method was specified by the Council. (No contemporary account of the Council’s decisions has survived.) Instead, the matter seems to have been referred to the church of Alexandria, which city had the best reputation for scholarship at the time. The practice of those following Alexandria was to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the earliest fourteenth day of a lunar month that occurred on or after March 21. While since the Middle Ages this practice has sometimes been more succinctly phrased as Easter is observed on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox, this does not reflect the actual ecclesiastical rules precisely. The reason for this is that the full moon involved (called the Paschal full moon) is not an astronomical full moon, but an ecclesiastical moon. Determined from tables, it coincides more or less with the astronomical full moon. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after March 21 (the day of the ecclesiastical vernal equinox). This particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon). The Church of Rome used its own methods to determine Easter until the 6th century, when it may have adopted the Alexandrian method as converted into the Julian calendar by Dionysius Exiguus (certain proof of this does not exist until the ninth century). Most churches in the British Isles used a late third century Roman method to determine Easter until they adopted the Alexandrian method at the Synod of Whitby in 664. Churches in western continental Europe used a late Roman method until the late 8th century during the reign of Charlemagne, when they finally adopted the Alexandrian method. Since western churches now use the Gregorian calendar to calculate the date and Eastern Orthodox churches use the original Julian calendar, their dates are not usually aligned in the present day. In the United Kingdom, the Easter Act of 1928 set out legislation to allow the date of Easter to be fixed as the first Sunday after the second Saturday in April. However, the legislation was never implemented. At a summit in Aleppo, Syria, in 1997, the World Council of Churches proposed a reform in the calculation of Easter which would have replaced an equation-based method of calculating Easter with direct astronomical observation; this would have side-stepped the calendar issue and eliminated the difference in date between the Eastern and Western churches. The reform was proposed for implementation starting in 2001, but it was not ultimately adopted by any member body. Further information: Reform of the date of Easter A few clergymen of various denominations have advanced the notion of disregarding the moon altogether in determining the date of Easter; proposals include always observing the feast on the second Sunday in April, or always having seven Sundays between the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, producing the same result except that in leap years Easter could fall on April 7 These suggestions have yet to attract significant support, and their adoption in the future is considered unlikely. Western Christianity In Western Christianity, Easter marks the end of the forty days of Lent, a period of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter which begins on Ash Wednesday. The week before Easter is very special in the Christian tradition: the Sunday before is Palm Sunday, and the last three days before Easter are Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (sometimes referred to as Silent Saturday). Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are sometimes referred to as the Easter Triduum (Latin for “Three Days”). In some countries, Easter lasts two days, with the second called “Easter Monday.” The week beginning with Easter Sunday is called Easter Week or the Octave of Easter, and each day is prefaced with “Easter,” e.g. Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, etc. Easter Saturday is therefore the Saturday after Easter Sunday. The day before Easter is properly called Holy Saturday. Many churches start celebrating Easter late in the evening of Holy Saturday at a service called the Easter Vigil. Eastertide, the season of Easter, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts until the day of Pentecost, seven weeks later. Eastern Christianity In Eastern Christianity, preparations begin with Great Lent. Following the fifth Sunday of Great Lent is Palm Week, which ends with Lazarus Saturday. Lazarus Saturday officially brings Great Lent to a close, although the fast continues for the following week. After Lazarus Saturday comes Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and finally Easter itself, or Pascha (Πάσχα), and the fast is broken immediately after the Divine Liturgy. Easter is immediately followed by Bright Week, during which there is no fasting, even on Wednesday and Friday. Nicholas Roerich Russian Pascha The Paschal Service consists of Paschal Matins, Hours, and Liturgy, which traditionally begins at midnight of Pascha morning. Placing the Paschal Divine Liturgy at midnight guarantees that no Divine Liturgy will come earlier in the morning, ensuring its place as the pre-eminent “Feast of Feasts” in the liturgical year.

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Thirteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival April 12-15 2007

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 27.03.2007:

The Artas Folklore Center under the Sponsorship of the Minister of Culture requests the honor of your presence at the Thirteenth Annual Lettuce Festival Thursday, April 12, 2007 through Sunday April 15, 2007-03-17 Open Ceremony Thursday, April 12 at 1:30 in the Artas Valley*Debkeh, Zajel, Poetry, and Drama Performances* Art, Photography, Crafts and Special Exhibits* Nature and Heritage Walks*Children’s Games, Puppet Shows and Stories*Picking Lettuce Fresh from the Field*Fresh and Preserved Produce, Cooked Food, Craft and Book Stalls*Artistic Sketch Competition*For details, see www.artasfolklorecenter.net

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family

Contributed by Jodie Khourshid on 18.02.2007:

Hi there,family means everything to our family. I married into a Palestinian family and have two young boys but want to learn more about where they come from so I can teach them about their heritage. If anyone can suggest books which might help, please do. Our surname is Khourshid and also Ansari from my husbands side. Both are big Palestinian families. Any help would be very much appreciated.

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Unexplained Silence (A Poem By Samah Kalakh)

Contributed by Samah Kalakh on 02.01.2007:

I remember the words you used to say You’ll never leave along the way I thought you were unbreakable You seemed to me, invincible!Tell me why I can’t understand For me, you can’t make a stand Your stillness kills me deep inside And part of me has forever diedWhat’s wrong with you my dear brother? To rescue me, you haven’t bothered! The hurt and pain and so much violence You’re standing still choosing silenceI thought you’d stand up for what’s right But you ran away in the middle of the fight You numbed your soul from this day on You chose the night over the dawnI’m on my on, but I’m still strong I know my road might be long I won’t give up, I won’t give in I know I’m winning in the endSamah Kalakh

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Contributed by Issa Adawi on 24.12.2006:

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Contributed by Issa Adawi on 24.12.2006:

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The Truth- Poem By Samah Kalakh

Contributed by Samah Kalakh on 04.12.2006:

Unbreakable spirits, glorious history Freely breathing liberty Undying visions, everlasting dreams Eternally yearning victoryStanding beneath the sun, framed against the sky With eyes that couldn’t hide The burning passion and the deeper desire For reaching the stars and even higherUnder the olive tree, he sat quietly In the heat of the sun, seeds were sowed by hands Where time has drawn a map of memories Under the olive tree, the safest place to beUnderneath the moonlight, staring silently At dove that hovered peacefully Above the dreams he sowed secretly An age of hope is starting finallyWaiting for the sunrise, watching the twilight Everyday the leafs has grown toward the sun Upon the wings of the dove Tomorrow’s wishes headed for the skyThen one day, the dove was out of sight And wrong took over what was right, A day in May, it had slipped away Last breath of peace, the start of miseryHe yelled out his heart, they looked away He lifted his had in a silent prayer The midnight journey and death on a cross They were forgotten, and he was lostHis olive tree, can’t call his own no more The roof above his dreams, is now a tent An immigrant in his own land He found it hard to understandPlease dad can you answer me Tell me please, will we ever be free? Fairness, right and liberty Is nothing more than a distant memoryImperfect world, no trace of humanity When theft of identity is someone’s reality Homecoming is a dream while justice is on vacation How can we be saved in a heavy-eyed nation?Don’t worry son, soon we’ll be free That’s what is says in scriptures and prophecies How long is soon, please tell me father Unheard cries to a so called brother!Only for God we’re never voiceless To believe in humans is something useless When God is by you, you’re always strong When you wait for God it’s never too longThe summer is gone, so is fall Never-ending faith, still standing tall One year is gone, his dreams on hold For he believed what he was toldSleepless tonight for one more dream No matter how far it may seem Under shining stars and ordinary moonlight The little young boy has learned to writeIt’s been too long, so many years No more can tell hopes from fears Brothers hectic, so busy with nothing Do retardates care what tomorrow brings?Another year, little houses built He couldn’t justify the way he felt No longer in a tent, this will last He’s still yet not over the pastSomehow he’s now the real invader There are no friends, there’s only haters Outside his window, stood a soldier “This is my home, it’s not the border!”His land was real, now it’s a promise spoken In a perfect world promises are never broken The thieves once were given a word The word is a land, what a twisted worldHe made it through, though the confiscations Never defeated by restraint or frustration Faith, Fe, or call it Iman Deep in his heart he knew, only God canThrough the torture and the fear Along the way never shed a tear But that has changed in a moonless night Shadows of a wall appeared to sightSilent tears were never seen What happened to the line they called Green A tear or two are finally free Once again he’s on his kneesHe left his head to finally see He wondered how this could be. The dove he knew was shot to death No more beat and no more breathThe olive tree is dead long ago No more sun for leafs to grow No matter how deep the roots have gone The thirst lingered, but he’s hanging onGod give me truth Please take this off of me

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Seeking documents, photos, or artifacts for Bethlehem Museum

Contributed by Bethlehem Arab Women's Union on 15.10.2006:

The doors of the Arab Women’s Union’s history of the City of Bethlehem, specialized in the history of Bethlehem and its people will soon open its doors. We shall be grateful for any help we may receive for our unique museum. Anybody interested can send us documents photographs, or information concerning Bethlehem up till the 1940. Any cash donation will also be highly appreciated.Contact InformationThe Arab Women’s Union P. 0. Box 19 – Bethlehem Tel. 2742589 – 2742453 – Fax 2766035 Email: bawu8@hotmail.com; info@arabwomenunion.orgSee: http://www.arabwomenunion.org/3.htm for Bank details.

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BBC documentary

Contributed by Arab Educational Institute on 04.10.2006:

The Tea Boy of GazaMahmoud is a 12-year-old boy who supports his family by selling tea in Gaza’s biggest hospital. Tuesday, 3 October, 20062150 BST on BBC TwoHe struggles to make a living on the wards and has to avoid the shoot-outs that occur inside the hospital itself.Filmed before and during the recent Israeli re-occupation of the Gaza Strip, this observational documentary uses Mahmoud’s experiences, as well as remarkable access inside the Hamas prime minister’s office, to show the reality of life under the new Hamas government.Gunmen, policemen and various “security forces” all patrol the hospital seeking to protect their own injured comrades.“I told them many times to leave… they refuse,” says surgeon Dr Jomma Al Saqqa, who believes working among the militants is fraught with risks.Each group uses its muscle to try and get preferential treatment, and the doctors bear the brunt of their threats.Mahmoud’s business is rapidly shrinking.None of the doctors and nurses have been paid since the election of Hamas in January, at which point the international community suspended $1bn (£584m) in aid to the region.The borders of the Gaza Strip have been sealed and trade suspended, meaning food and fuel are becoming scarcer and increasingly expensive.Mahmoud has to pay almost double for his tea leaves, but his profits have been cut in half.“I hate politics,” he says.Producer: Israel Goldvicht Written, filmed and directed by Olly Lambert Executive producer for Raw TV: Dimitri Doganis This World editor: Karen O’Connor Series producer: Louise NormanStory from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/programmes/this_world/5319186.stmPublished: 2006/09/25 13:57:02 GMT© BBC MMVI

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Launch Palestine-Family.net in Bethlehem!

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 28.09.2006:

Saturday October 21, 200615:00 Bethlehem Peace Center; Palestine-Family.net: (PFN) The Collective Memory of a People; festive launch of virtual cultural archive (www.wordpress-230236-736489.cloudwaysapps.com) with digital demonstration; opening of photo exhibition “Spirit of Sumud” by PFN founder James Prineas; Iftar and entertainment by Artas Folklore Troupe. Organization: PFN’s representative in Palestine AEI-Open Windows.Iftar reservations and more information: call 02 2744030; places limited.

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Contributed by James2 Prineas on 16.09.2006:

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Contributed by Palestine Family.net on 16.09.2006:

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Contributed by Palestine Family.net on 16.09.2006:

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Researching bagpipes’ history in Palestine

Contributed by David Watson on 17.05.2006:

HI, I am a documentary film maker and musician, based in New York. I believe there is an interesting story here, with the use of the bagpipes in Palestine.Most probably, a form of bagpipe was first taken to Europe (where it is now so associated with British /Scottish history ) from the Middle East, around the 12th century. ( I think you can guess how and why !) The bagpipe traveled back to the Middle East with the British Army, in a different form, hundreds of years later, and seems to be quite popular in various Middle Eastern countries, including Palestine.I am seeking anybody – anybody ! -who as any information, experience about piping in Palestine.Probably the hardest part for me, is finding just how the instrument took hold, and shifted from being a British Army thing to be a local one. However , any information at all would be great. I undestand it is popular with Scout groups today. If anybody has experience with that, also, I’d love to hear about it.You can e mail me : davidwatson at thing dot net ……or e mail me your phone number and a good time to call.Thank you ! ( I speak English, only. Sorry ! )

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Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 30.03.2006:

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Artas Folklore Center and the Palestine Wildlife Society Invite you to theTwelfth Annual Artas Lettuce FestivalThursday, April 6: 1:30-6- and Friday April 7, 2006 9-6 in the Enclosed Garden, ArtasNature and Heritage Hikes Folklore Shows, Art and Photographic Exhibits, Palestine-Family.Net Demonstrations; Crafts, Books and Food Sales, Guided Visits to the MuseumOpening in the Presence of Salah TaamariFunded by the British Consulate JerusalemProgram:Thursday, April 6: 1:30 Opening Speeches with Oral and Musical folklore interludes in presence of Salah Taamari2:00- 6:00 Exhibits and Stalls Open ; Folklore Shows6-8 Special Dinner and Folklore Show for groups by reservationFriday, April 7, 9-7 Exhibits and Stalls, 10-2 Easy Nature and Heritage Hike from Solomon’s Pools to Artas guided by Emad Atrash, Director Palestine Wildlife Society —bird watching, flora and fauna, archeological and cultural sites (By reservation);2-3 Traditional Palestinian Meal: reservation required;3-6 Folklore Shows Travel from Jerusalem and back provided by Daher Travel in vans or buses by arrangement. (Fee applies) Inquiries and reservations: (Leyla Zuaiter 673 43 07 052 2 292 782)Folkore and Music*PoetryPoetry Reading: Aminallah Ayesh Artas Poet*Folklore Presentations Ataba, Zaghel: JafraArtas Folklore Troupe Dekba: Artas Folklore Troupe* Hussan Folklore Troupe* Khaimeh Folklore Troupe, Dehaisheh *YWCA East Jerusalem Debka Troupe, Music on Traditional Palestinian Instruments :: Artas Folklore Troupe Traditional Turkish singing accompanied by Saz, Mahmut Dogan, Ali Arslan,Turkish Cultural Center Girl’s Percussion Group Dehaisheh Elementary School for Girls Fashion Show of Regional Palestinian Thobs Awda High School for Girls, BethlehemExhibits Historical Photos of Artas by Hilma Granqvist: Palestine Exploration Fund, London Palestine-Family.Net Demonstrations: James Prineas, Australia/Berlin Books on Artas and Palestinian Heritage: Educational Bookshop, Jerusalem: Photos of the Natural and Cultural Heritage of Palestine::Palestine Wildlife Society Paintings by Palestinian Artists: Adnan Zbeideh, Baha Ayesh, Ramzi YazenStalls: Books*Embroidery*Home made snacks and preserved goodsCrafts Demonstrations Olive Wood Yusef Abdel Kareem, Artas *Plaster plaques Nidal Fahmy, ArtasFresh Palestinian Bread Baked on the Spot: Taboun*IshraqjNature and Heritage Hike from Solomon’s Pools to Artas Village led by Emad Atrash of Palestine Wildlife Society and Members of the Artas Folklore Center: Birdwatching; Historical and Archeological Sites, Artas History, Folklore and Traditions And Lots of Lettuce!Funded By The British Consulate of JerusalemWith special thanks to the Alexander Hotel, Bethlehem* Arab Educational Institute, Bethlehem*Arab Hotel Association* Artas Student Union* Artas Village Council* Daher Travel* Falestin Naili, Researcher on Artas, Amman *Open Bethlehem*Palestine Heritage Center* Sisters of the Convent of the Enclosed Garden, Artas* Reem Abdel Hadi This Week in Palestine

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 30.03.2006:

Artas Folklore Center and the Palestine Wildlife Society Invite you to theTwelfth Annual Artas Lettuce FestivalThursday, April 6: 1:30-6- and Friday April 7, 2006 9-6 in the Enclosed Garden, ArtasNature and Heritage Hikes Folklore Shows, Art and Photographic Exhibits, Palestine-Family.Net Demonstrations; Crafts, Books and Food Sales, Guided Visits to the MuseumOpening in the Presence of Salah TaamariFunded by the British Consulate JerusalemProgram:Thursday, April 6: 1:30 Opening Speeches with Oral and Musical folklore interludes in presence of Salah Taamari2:00- 6:00 Exhibits and Stalls Open ; Folklore Shows6-8 Special Dinner and Folklore Show for groups by reservationFriday, April 7, 9-7 Exhibits and Stalls, 10-2 Easy Nature and Heritage Hike from Solomon’s Pools to Artas guided by Emad Atrash, Director Palestine Wildlife Society —bird watching, flora and fauna, archeological and cultural sites (By reservation);2-3 Traditional Palestinian Meal: reservation required;3-6 Folklore Shows Travel from Jerusalem and back provided by Daher Travel in vans or buses by arrangement. (Fee applies) Inquiries and reservations: (Leyla Zuaiter 673 43 07 052 2 292 782)Folkore and Music*PoetryPoetry Reading: Aminallah Ayesh Artas Poet*Folklore Presentations Ataba, Zaghel: JafraArtas Folklore Troupe Dekba: Artas Folklore Troupe* Hussan Folklore Troupe* Khaimeh Folklore Troupe, Dehaisheh *YWCA East Jerusalem Debka Troupe, Music on Traditional Palestinian Instruments :: Artas Folklore Troupe Traditional Turkish singing accompanied by Saz, Mahmut Dogan, Ali Arslan,Turkish Cultural Center Girl’s Percussion Group Dehaisheh Elementary School for Girls Fashion Show of Regional Palestinian Thobs Awda High School for Girls, BethlehemExhibits Historical Photos of Artas by Hilma Granqvist: Palestine Exploration Fund, London Palestine-Family.Net Demonstrations: James Prineas, Australia/Berlin Books on Artas and Palestinian Heritage: Educational Bookshop, Jerusalem: Photos of the Natural and Cultural Heritage of Palestine::Palestine Wildlife Society Paintings by Palestinian Artists: Adnan Zbeideh, Baha Ayesh, Ramzi YazenStalls: Books*Embroidery*Home made snacks and preserved goodsCrafts Demonstrations Olive Wood Yusef Abdel Kareem, Artas *Plaster plaques Nidal Fahmy, ArtasFresh Palestinian Bread Baked on the Spot: Taboun*IshraqjNature and Heritage Hike from Solomon’s Pools to Artas Village led by Emad Atrash of Palestine Wildlife Society and Members of the Artas Folklore Center: Birdwatching; Historical and Archeological Sites, Artas History, Folklore and Traditions And Lots of Lettuce!Funded By The British Consulate of JerusalemWith special thanks to the Alexander Hotel, Bethlehem* Arab Educational Institute, Bethlehem*Arab Hotel Association* Artas Student Union* Artas Village Council* Daher Travel* Falestin Naili, Researcher on Artas, Amman *Open Bethlehem*Palestine Heritage Center* Sisters of the Convent of the Enclosed Garden, Artas* Reem Abdel Hadi This Week in Palestine

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Palestine-Family.net at the Twelfth Artas Annual Lettuce Festival Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7

Contributed by Leyla Zuaiter on 19.03.2006:

What happens when a high-tech family history Internet site meets an ancient Palestinian village at a traditional local festival? Come and see for yourselves. In addition to the usual folklore, hiking, and handicrafts exhibits, the Twelfth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival will include an exhibit about Palestine-family.net and highlight the hope it offers to rural heritage centers and the Palestinian people as a whole. Palestine-family.net founder James Prineas, is coming to Palestine at his personal expense to take part in the the Festival and the Arab Educational-Institute-Open Windows conference “Palestine and Education: Strategies of Empowerment under Extreme Adversity.” To learn more about the promise of Palestine-family net, for developing rural heritage centers, read: http://www.geocities.com/paltours_ezine/artas2.html?1141475967312.But why wait for the festival? You can get a taste of what Artas has to offer right here. Just type “Artas” in the search box above and see what comes up.For more information, contact: Leyla Zuaiter lzuaiter@bezeqint.net; 673 43 07; 052 2 292 782

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PFN at Educational conference in Bethlehem

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 19.03.2006:

PALESTINE FAMILY NET ATCONFERENCE PALESTINE AND EDUCATION 8/9 APRIL 2006 Strategies for Empowerment under Extreme Adversity Organization: AEI-Open Windows, Venue: International Center of Bethlehem Provisional ProgramIntroduction The conference Palestine and Education is prepared by Palestinian university staff, school teachers, and international educators. The conference discusses educational strategies to confront and challenge the major adversities that Palestinian education faces, such as disruption of education, restrictions on the freedom of movement, violence in and outside schools, the impact on education of traumatic experiences, and school drop-outs. The conference will bring out and discuss bottom-up models of best practice that exist – as rays of hope – among school communities in some regions of Palestine. In doing so, the conference will focus on initiatives of teachers, administrators, parents as well as students. International guests will provide a comparative framework. Some special attention will be devoted to educational technologies such as user friendly websites.Sunday 9 April10:30-11:00 Palestine-Family.Net: How a community website can support Palestinian education in the new technological era. Visual presentation by James Prineas (Australia/Germany) and Leyla Zuaiter (Jerusalem)Support The conference is made possible by support from the Dutch organizations Novib and Edukans.AEI-Open Windows, Bethlehem aei@p-ol.com, Tel: 02-2744030, Fax: 02-2777554, www.aeicenter.org

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Jamal family

Contributed by Joop Mutsaers on 08.02.2006:

I am trying to paste together my wife’s family history, to give our children a better understanding of part of their heritage. My wife’s grandmother was Wadia Jamal, born in 1887 in Jeruzalem, and married in 1914 in Egypt to Elias Shehade. Wadia was the daughter of Assaad Jamal (and his wife Helene) who was born and died in Jeruzalem around respectively 1840 and 1920. Assaad had amongst others a son Shibly, of whom I am wondering if that is Shibly or Shibli Jamal who worked in the Palestinian government between 1920 and 1930. Does anybody have any information that can be of help? I also have another question. My mother-in-law attended between 1920 and 1930 (she was then between 4 and 14 years of age)a nursery or children school in Jeruzalem, run by German nuns (some religious order). She always remembered several German words she learned. Does anyone know which school that may have been? I appreciate any information.

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Share your experiences in researching your roots for possible inclusion in planned series of articles

Contributed by Leyla Zuaiter on 06.02.2006:

Are researching your Palestinian ancestors or trying to contact living Palestinian relatives? If so, we would be interested in hearing about your experiences for possible use in a number of planned articles on Palestinian Genealogy. Here is list of questions to get you started. Don’t be limited by them though:Where were you born and raised?Do you speak Arabic?Have you been to Palestine?What did you know about your Palestinian roots before conducting your research?What made you want to know more?How did you go about it?What problems or frustrations did you face?What were your successes and failures?What, in your view, is most needed to help Palestinians researching their roots?Send to Leyla Zuaiter at bethlehemgen@hotmail.comFor previous articles, see www.geocities.com/lzuaiter/lzuaiter.html

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Join our Website Team!

Contributed by Palestine Family.net on 06.02.2006:

The team at Palestine-Family.net are always on the lookout for people to help on a voluntary basis. This is a non-profit project to encourage people of Palestinian descent all over the world to submit document – photos, stories, family trees etc. – from their family collections, so that the rest of the community can view the rich heritage of all Palestinians. If you’d like to help – as collator, writer, photographer or administrator – please contact me by clicking on the underlined Palestine-Family.net (“submitted by”) link above (and registering, if you haven’t already). James Prineas

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