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The Thirteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival April 12-15, 2007

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 30.03.2012:

The Artas Valley became a giant salad bowl during the four-day Thirteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival which took place April 12-15, 2007. To the lettuce in the hothouses were added peppery poetry, a zest of zajjel and a lot more than a dash of debka, and, yes some salt in the wounds alluded to in the dramatic performances. To help digest their meal, the guests sauntered around the exhibits, hiked or even planted trees. To begin your explorations of the Festival start at “The Thirteenth Annual Artas Lettuce Festival in a Lettuce Leaf” There you will find links to the program, festival guide, photo essay, media coverage and more. There’s lots more to come, so check back soon!

See General Program, Map and Directions below image here. [[picture:”proof 70x100small.jpg” ID:2755]]

See Below for activities, general program, exhibits, map, directions and transportation, partners and funders.Check back for detailed program.

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*


Date Place Time Activity

Thursday, April 12

1:30 Artas Valley Opening Speeches Folklore and Drama Performances

3:30-6 Opening of exhibits, food and craft stalls; picking fresh lettuce

Friday, April 13

9:00 Solomon Pool Hiking from the Pools to Artas with optional traditional lunch (Hike and Lunch by reservation)

9:30 Artas Village and Valley: Exhibits open in village;beginning of Drawing Competition

10:00-3:00 Children’s activities.

3:00-6 Folklore. Drama, zaggel and zagel;

rababa in goat-haired tent.

Saturday, April 14

Solomon’s Pools

9:00 Hiking from the Pools to Artas with optional traditional lunch (Hike and Lunch by reservation)

9:30 Artas Valley Opening the Local Market and the exhibitions

3:00-6:00 Folklore and Drama Performances; Judging of

Traditional Drawing Competition

Sunday, April 15

6:30-5 Artas Valley-Herodium Hike with Lunch and Folklore Early Bird Hike for experienced Hikers with Shat-ha; Lunch and Folklore in Artas. To reserve your place or for more information, contact Shat-ha: Samia Botmeh (, 0599944837) or Saleh Jawad (saleh_jawad@yahoo,com, 059 9272768)

Detailed provisional program available on request.

Exhibits include:

A Journey through the Life and Works of Hanna Abdullah Giacaman

Photos of Amulets from Artas and Bethlehem from the Tawfiq Canaan Collection

Textiles and Photos from the Uzbeq Community

The Photos of Hilma Granqvist

The Spirit of Sumud

The Rose Garden of Mevlana

Working Today for Conservation Tomorrow—Promoting Ecotourism in Artas

Partners and Participants

Ashtar Theater, Ramallah

Al Ain Theater, Artas Folklore Center, Artas/Al Khader

Center for Jerusalem Studies/ Al Quds University

AEI-Open Windows Drama Troupe, Bethlehem

Arab Educational Institute, Bethlehem

Amjad Folklore Troupe, Markaz Khaima, Dehaisheh Refugee Camp

Al Ghurba Folklore Troupe, Beit Jibrin Cultural Center, Beit Jibrin (‘Azza) Refugee Camp, Bethlehem

Birzeit Ethnographic Museum

Hanna Giacaman Memorial Foundation,

Hussan Center for Popular Arts Folklore Troupe, Hussan

Inash il Usra, El Birah

Jafra Folklore Troupe, Artas Folklore Center

Kazar Folklore Troupe, Beit Sahour

Markaz Al Eyoun Folklore Troupe, Doha

Musa Hafez, Zajjel, Jenin

Palestine Exploration Fund

Palestine Wildlife Society, Beit Sahour

Shaher Taqtaqa Folklore Troupe, Beit Fajjar

Shat-ha Hiking Group, Ramallah

Sunshine Breast Cancer Survivor’s Group, Patients Friends Society, Jerusalem

Uzbeq Cultural Center, Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem

Turkish Cultural Center, Jerusalem

How to Get There and Where to Stay

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How to get to Artas

By Car:

Cross the Bethlehem checkpoint past the two “no-entry signs.” Don’t worry.

Everyone does it. Passing Arij, on the right, continue to the end of the road (

Nativity Road ). On your right, you will see Maha Saca’s Palestine Heritage

Center . Turn Right and immediately left onto Hebron Road . Now go straight all

the way until you reach a free-standing arch on your right to Al Khader Village;

on your way, you will pass the Intercontinental Hotel on your right, the

Bethlehem / Beit Jala Intersection, and Dehaiseh Refugee Camp on your left. It

should take five to ten minutes from the checkpoint. There is no sign mentioning

Artas. Immediately after El Khader Arch, turn left. You will enter a lightly

wooded area. On your left is Murad’s Fortress and the new Solomon’s Pools

Complex. On you right are the now-drained Solomon’s Pools. Continue until you

reach the fork in the road. Keep to the right on the lower road and follow it until the sharp turn to the right. Take this road all the way down to the valley.

You will pass the Convent of the Enclosed Garden on your left, the Artas Spring

on your left. The Artas Folklore Center/Women’s Center is a bit further on your

left up the first set of stairs across from the Mosque. The traditional Artas

house/museum is up the second set of stairs a bit further on.

Other transportation:

Service Taxi

You can take a service taxi from the checkpoint to the “Cinema” Taxi stand

(across from Shepherd’s Hotel up the road to the left of the Beit Jala/Bethlehem

Intersection (Bab ezqaq) for two shekels per person and from there another

service to Artas for another two shekels per person.

Private Taxi

By taxi: A private taxi from the checkpoint to Artas should cost 20 NIS

A private taxi from the checkpoint to the “Cinema” service Taxi

stand should cost 10 NIS

Stay one or more nights in Bethlehem and increase your enjoyment!

The Bethlehem hotels of the Arab Hotel Association are offering special deals to those attending the festival. For details, consult the hotel of your choice.

For alternative accommodations, contact Elias Ghareeb of Holy Land Trust on 059674991, or

The Center for Jerusalem Studies/Al Quds University is arranging transport from Jerusalem and a full day at the festival on Saturday, April 14. For information and details, contact the Center for Jerusalem Studies


The Festival is made possible by the generous support of

The Ministry of Culture

And (in alphabetical order)

The Arab Hotel Association (AHA)

Hamed Qawasmeh

The Commercial Press

The French Consulate, (CCF)

The Jerusalem District Electricity

Company (JDECO)

The Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)

The Hanna Giacaman Memorial Foundation

“Your Travel Guide to Palestine”

Your attendance will help us in our work of preserving Palestinian patrimony to

share with future generations of Palestinian and foreign visitors.

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