Bayt Jala

Aida Kattan (2): The Palestinian Mukhtar

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala.

In the past the whole hara used to have a mukhtar [head of a neighborhood or village]. The mukhtar did everything what was necessary for the administration, as when there was a khotbeh, or a marriage, or when somebody died. When there was a quarrel about the land, people went to the mukhtar, and also when there were papers which had to be stampe(...)

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Aida Kattan (3): the Palestinian wedding in the Bethlehem area

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala

I want to speak about the customs and traditions here in this region when somebody gets engaged or married, especially among Christians.

Tulbeh [asking the hand] and its preparation

It is not possible that the young man just goes to the bride or her parents for asking her hand. It is necessary that first the ladies of the man’s fami(...)

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Aida Kattan (4): Henna brought on the bride

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala

Before the henna was put on the bride, the bride and the groom and their family and friends went to the hammaam, the Turkish bath.

I remember the hammaam Sitt [lady] Miriam in Jerusalem. It is long ago that the hammaam Sitt Miriam existed. Now it does not exist anymore. The men, alone, and the women, alone, came every day. On Saturday, the(...)

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Aida Kattan (5): Nuzha, the summer picnic

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is teacher from Beit Jala.

Fifty, sixty years ago, inhabitants of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, and also from Jerusalem, came over and visited the countryside here for a long picnic. Then the majority of the townspeople went out. Everybody in Beit Jala went for instance to the Maghrour [the countryside west of Beit Jala] or Sharafeh [further in the direction of Jeru(...)

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Aida Kattan (6) Traditions from the home courtyard

Contributed by Spirit Of Sumud Tourism Program on 28.08.2009:

Aida Kattan is a teacher from Beit Jala.

IN THE COURTYARD

Let me tell you about life in the courtyard of the Palestinian house as it still was when I was young, during the 1950s and 60s.

When the women finished their work inside the house - the cooking, the preparation for the lunch and the wash - they came and sat together in the courtyard in front of the house. When the(...)

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