Back to overview

Selected Achievements, Events and Activities of the Artas Folklore Center since 2005

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 03.04.2012:


Artas Folklore Center founder and director Musa Sanad passes away in January, increasing the difficulties of the center.

Artas Folklore Center elects Fadi Sanad, Musa’s son, the most knowledgeable person in the village of the previous work of the Center, as Chairman of the Board.

Leyla Zuaiter begins serving as an informal advisor to the Artas Folklore Center.

The Artas Folklore Center reviews the projects done by Musa Sanad and sest its goals for the future.

The Center concentrates on the re-introduction of its work to new generations of Palestinian and donor institutions, as well as visitors.

Lettuce Festival sponsored by Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation.

Artas Folklore Center assists Finnish Film Team Coolvision in documentary for a series on Finnish explorers to be aired in January 2007.

The Artas Folklore Center Troupe participates in the Mediterra Festival in Crete with funding from the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation.

The Artas Folklore Center Troupe offers training in the Summer School of Communication of the Arab Educational Institute – Open Windows, Bethlehem

Articles on Artas in This Week in Palestine and Paltournews. (See “Articles on Artas ”


Lettuce Festival is held in partnership with the Palestine Wildlife Society and funded by the British Consulate in Jerusalem

A number of local tourism and educational organizations offer excursions to Artas.

Artas Folklore Center becomes a partner of, participating in two conferences related to it.

Proposals are developed to develop the work of the center.

The Artas Women’s Group places itself under the umbrella of the Artas Folklore Center.

The Artas Women’s Group receives funding from Joozoor to set up a kitchen serving 1000 hot meals a day to school children as well as to guests.

The Artas Folklore Center forms an advisory board. including respected figures from various fields and institutions. In alphabetical order, the advisory committee includes (2006):

Carol Dabdoub, Director Public Relations, Bethlehem University

Emad Atrash, Director Palestine Wildlife Society

Fuad Giacaman, Director, Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Bethlehem

Hoda Imam, Center for Jerusalem Studies

Julia Dabdoub, President Bethlehem Arab Women’s Union

Khouloud Daibes, Director Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation

Leyla Zuaiter, Unaffiliated

Sherif Kanaana, Director, Inash el Usra Studies Center

Toine Van Teefelen, Development Director, Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Bethlehem

Yusef Daher, Executive Director, Arab Hotel Association

In addition, the Center has been fortunate in the addition of Hamed Qawasmeh, who currently works as a UNV Specialist at OCHA as Projects Coordinator, a position he held under the late Musa Sanad.

Articles mentioning Artas in This Week in Palestine, Paltournews,; good coverage of Artas Lettuce Festival in local media.

(See Snapshot of the Artas Folklore Center 2006 for more information and photos of some of these events:


Despite a continued lack of income to cover running costs, great strides were made in the work of the Artas Folklore Center in 2007 in all areas.


Increase and diversification of activities with women including:

Heritage club for girls

Two women’s day celebrations, one with Jerusalem Expat Women’s Group and Cambden-Abu Dis Friendship Society, and the other with the Village Council

Exchanges with Arab Educational Institute’s Women’s Group

Increase in recreational activities for Artas families and children

Boomchuka Circus performance attended by 600 Artas children and their families, through Camden Abu Dis Friendship Society

Organization of Trip to Jericho for Artas Families, in cooperation with the Jericho

Five month course for youth ages 14-16 with Ru’ya—

Other :Inauguration of Il Iliyeh Website Café thanks to donation of a computer lab from the European Union Office for Technical Assistance / West Bank and Gaza Strip


Increase in demands for, and assistance provided to researchers, photographers and filmmakers, including:

French photographer Myrtille, whose photos of Artas women were later among those in an exhibition of Palestinian women held at the French Cultural Center;

Canadian Filmaker Angela O’Hara following in the footsteps of Celia Rothenberg, visits Artas to make a documentary on the jinn, for which Artas is famous;hosting of three French Political Science Students from Paris belonging to Adala, with the cooperation of the Association d’Echanges Culturels Hebron-France;

assistance to student from Bethlehem’s Tourism program in research on tourist sites in Artas;assistance Instructor from Bir Zeit University in dissertation entitled, “Artas, between Past and Present”


Increased demand for Artas Folklore Center and its Folklore Troupe to enliven festive or national occasions such as graduations, heritage days;participation in event in Al Feneek Hotel, Dehaisheh;graduation party of Ferdaus Secondary School for Girls;participation in heritage exhibition (embroidery, homemade goods, in Al Quds Open University, Beit Sahour; participation of

Artas Folklore Troupe, (Ihya al Turath) in Opening Ceremony in Murad Park; performance of Artas Folklore Troupe, at Graduation Party of Salesian School, Bethlehem;Participation in Palestine Heritage Day, Bethlehem Peace Center;

Artas Folklore Center’s Ahya al Turath Troupe wins second prize in Bethlehem Debka Competition.


Increased number of funders and funding parties for the Artas Lettuce Festival and a dramatic increase in quality and variety of festival offerings. 6000 Palestinians from all over Palestine as well as various groups of foreigners attended the Thirteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival; increased coverage including foreign media


Palestine Tourism Development Conference at the Paradise Hotel in Bethlehem

Participation in Workshop on Eco-Tourism, Hotel Management Institute, Bethlehem University Artas Village selected as model Palestinian village by Friends of the Earth Conference/Middle East in which Artas Folklore Center gave a presentation

Participation in Conference on Exchanging Information and Education


French, Finns and Dutch, UNESCO among others.

(For more information and photos of these events see “2007 Snapshot of the Artas Folklore Center.”


Having made intensive and sustained

efforts for over three years, The

Artas Folklore Center, focuses

primarily on the Annual Lettuce

Festival, while continuing to

respond to requests from students,

researchers,and organizations for

information, guidance or conference

and seminar attendance. Its

folklore troupe continues to be in

great demand.


Falestin Naili an Artas Expert residing in France accepts the invitation of the Artas Folklore Center to become its Virtual Scholar in Residence. Falestin’s expertise will be invaluable as we try select from and adapt the huge body of work on Artas for Tourism Projects based on Community Development.

A couple of pages are devoted to

Artas in Visit Palestine, by the

team at, one

of the first websites on

Palestinian tourism with visual and

narrative appeal.

was a partner in the Twelfth Annual

Artas Lettuce Festival in 2006.(See

Books)(See Read about Artas>GuideBooks)

Stephan Szepezi devotes a chapter

to Artas in a beautiful book called

Walking Palstine. (See Read about Artas>GuideBooks)

The huge popularity of the Artas Folklore Troupe at the Medit-Terra Festival, their responses to the questionnaire and other aspects of their work are mentioned in a 2011 book entitled Contested Mediterranean Spaces: Ethnographic Essays in Honour of Charles Tilly

By Maria Kousis, Tom Selwyn, David Clark. (See Folklore>Artas Folklore Troupe)

There are no comments. Add one!