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Stories from Palestine

Listen to lively stories and inspiring interviews about the history and cultural heritage of Palestine and the ongoing Palestinian struggle for justice and equality. Every Monday a new episode. Subscribe to the mailing list for a weekly update so you never miss an episode. All social media links (facebook, instagram and youtube) and to subscribe to the mail chimp are in one place, easy, on the website www.storiesfrompalestine.info The music for this podcast was made by Zaid Hilal, Palestinian musician, you can find him on Soundcloud, Spotify, Facebook and Instagram.

Tracks

Civil Society for Dignity in Palestine part 3 : Media training for Palestinian youth
This is the third and last part of a trilogy that I made for Pax Palestine Podcast about the 'Civil Society for Dignity' project, a project by MEND, PCR, PCPD and PAX for Peace, supported by the European Union. This project aims to bridge the gap between the Palestinian civil society and the local governments.In this last episode Anwaar, who works for MEND and is the media and outreach coordinator for this project and journalist Hayat Hamdan tell us more about an important part of the Civil Society for Dignity project: the media training. This training helps young Palestinians to brainstorm about and to vocalize what they would like to change in their societies and it teaches them the skills and tools to create media content that can be used to communicate their wishes for change. This is an important skill that can be used in civil society participation on the political level. Partners in this joined project are:MEND stands for Middle East Non Violence and Democracy. MEND promotes active nonviolence and encourages alternatives to violence among youth and adults throughout Palestine. MEND employs innovative methods, especially with the media, and is widely respected for working with authenticity, professionalism and courage.PCR is the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between people.  PCR works to bridge the gap between Palestinians and peoples from all around the world, informing the public about the reality in Palestine, and empowering the community through nonviolent direct action. PCPD is the Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy. They were established to promote a just peace based on the Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988 and relevant United Nations Resolutions towards a two state solution, in which democracy and social justice are guaranteed. PAX for Peace is based in the Netherlands and works together with committed citizens and partners to protect civilians against acts of war, to end armed violence, and to build a just peace.  In Palestine PAX supports local partners in building resilient communities, promoting human security and equality in the political, cultural and social domain, and in fighting the injustices resulting from the protracted occupation.  If you want to know more about the work of Pax for Peace you can visit their website https://paxforpeace.nlMEND: https://www.mend-online.org/PCR: https://www.pcr.ps PCPD: https://pcpd.ps
32:03 9/18/23
Civil Society for Dignity in Palestine part 2 : Palestinian civil society involvement
This is the second part of a trilogy I made for Pax Palestine Podcast about the 'Civil Society for Dignity' project, a project by MEND, PCR, PCPD and PAX for Peace, supported by the European Union. This project aims to bridge the gap between the Palestinian civil society and the local governments.In this episode you will learn more about the project 'Civil Society for Dignity' itself. Muna Rishmawi, the project manager, talks about the aims of the project, the cooperation between the different organizations that are involved and how the project is being implemented. One of the young female participants, Aseel, tells us about her personal experiences and what her participation meant to her personal development. We conclude with Yara, who carried out a research and shares her findings with us. Partners in this joined project are:MEND stands for Middle East Non Violence and Democracy. MEND promotes active nonviolence and encourages alternatives to violence among youth and adults throughout Palestine. MEND employs innovative methods, especially with the media, and is widely respected for working with authenticity, professionalism and courage.PCR is the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between people.  PCR works to bridge the gap between Palestinians and peoples from all around the world, informing the public about the reality in Palestine, and empowering the community through nonviolent direct action. PCPD is the Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy. They were established to promote a just peace based on the Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988 and relevant United Nations Resolutions towards a two state solution, in which democracy and social justice are guaranteed. PAX for Peace is based in the Netherlands and works together with committed citizens and partners to protect civilians against acts of war, to end armed violence, and to build a just peace.  In Palestine PAX supports local partners in building resilient communities, promoting human security and equality in the political, cultural and social domain, and in fighting the injustices resulting from the protracted occupation.  If you want to know more about the work of Pax for Peace you can visit their website https://paxforpeace.nlMEND: https://www.mend-online.org/PCR: https://www.pcr.ps PCPD: https://pcpd.ps
36:32 9/18/23
Civil Society for Dignity in Palestine part 1 : introduction to Palestinian civil society
 This is the first part of a trilogy that I made for Pax Palestine Podcast about the 'Civil Society for Dignity' project, a project by MEND, PCR, PCPD and PAX for Peace, supported by the European Union. This project aims to bridge the gap between the Palestinian civil society and the local governments.In this first episode you will learn more about the political reality for Palestinians under military rule and the civil society landscape of Palestine, in an interview with George Rishmawi, Director of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement of people.Partners in this joined project are:MEND stands for Middle East Non Violence and Democracy. MEND promotes active nonviolence and encourages alternatives to violence among youth and adults throughout Palestine. MEND employs innovative methods, especially with the media, and is widely respected for working with authenticity, professionalism and courage.PCR is the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between people.  PCR works to bridge the gap between Palestinians and peoples from all around the world, informing the public about the reality in Palestine, and empowering the community through nonviolent direct action. PCPD is the Palestinian Center for Peace and Democracy. They were established to promote a just peace based on the Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 1988 and relevant United Nations Resolutions towards a two state solution, in which democracy and social justice are guaranteed. PAX for Peace is based in the Netherlands and works together with committed citizens and partners to protect civilians against acts of war, to end armed violence, and to build a just peace.  In Palestine PAX supports local partners in building resilient communities, promoting human security and equality in the political, cultural and social domain, and in fighting the injustices resulting from the protracted occupation.  If you want to know more about the work of Pax for Peace you can visit their website https://paxforpeace.nlMEND: https://www.mend-online.org/PCR: https://www.pcr.ps PCPD: https://pcpd.ps
35:30 9/18/23
A visit to Bisan / Beit Shean
Beit Shean or Beisan as it is called by Palestinians because before 1948 it was called Beisan and it had a population of 6000 people, is mainly known for the excavation of the ancient city and it is sometimes compared to Pompeii that was preserved so well because of the volcanic eruption, in this case the remains of Roman and Byzantine Beit Shean were preserved after a major earthquake. The ruins remained undisturbed and are now part of an archaeological park. The history of Beit Shean goes back to the Canaanite period, about 4000 years ago!It became an important Egyptian administrative center and it is mentioned in the Bible. It grew into a really big Roman city with a lot of typical Roman features and it was the capital of the Decapolis. It flourished in Byzantine time. But then it was hit very hard by the major earthquake of 749 and since then the ruins have been left untouched. Today it is a national park that requires an entrance fee. It is located on the north side of the modern city of Beit Shean, it is South of the Lake of Galilee and it is east (north east) of Jenin. Connect to Stories from Palestine on social media, find out more about trips to Palestine, sign up for the e-mail list and support the podcast, all through this one link:https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
31:42 6/26/23
The Armenian Museum of Jerusalem
In a previous episode with Apo Sahagian,  we talked about the Armenian community in Jerusalem. This episode is a deeper dive into the history of the Armenians and their presence in the holy land in general and in Jerusalem in particular.The newly renovated Edward and Helen Mardigian Armenian Museum of Jerusalem offers a wealth of stories about the Armenians of Jerusalem.A key attraction is the sixth century mosaic floor that was found in the Musrara neighborhood while a Palestinian family was putting the pillar of a house in 1894. The mosaic had been part of an ancient Armenian convent, Saint Polyeuctus, one of the 72 Armenian convents that the holy land used to have. The Armenian inscription on the mosaic says: in memory and salvation of all Armenian martyrs whose names only God knows.The museum is divided into two floors, the ground floor tells the history of the Armenians from the first century BC to present day. The second floor tells the history of the Armenian genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century.The building in which the museum is housed, sheltered hundreds of children who became orphans due to the genocide. You can find the museum on Facebook: Helen and Edward Mardigian Armenian Museum of JerusalemPhone: 00 972 2 6328807E-mail: mamjerusalem@gmail.comOpening hours: from 9.00 til 16.00Closed on Sundays and MondaysAddress: Armenian Patriarchate Road, across the Armenian parking lot
54:42 6/7/23
A visit to Akka / Akko / Acre
The Palestinians call it Akka, in English they say Acre, which goes back to how the Crusaders called the city, today we hear people referring to it as Akko and the root letters AK go back to the Egyptian execration texts in hieroglyphic script that mention AK already in the 19th century BC. Today we can talk about three parts of Akka: the old city inside the Ottoman walls on a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea, the ancient city that dates back to early and middle bronze age on the Tel east of the old city and modern Akko that has developed in the last decades and now incorporates the ancient Tel, known in Arabic as Tel el Fukhar. When you visit Akka today, you will mainly see the remains of the Crusader period and the Ottoman period. The biggest tourist attractions are: the Crusader Knights' halls, the Crusader tunnel, the old city with its 'khans', the Al Jazzar mosque, the sea port with its fish restaurants, the suq and the Ottoman city walls. In this episode you can learn more about the ancient history of Akko. If you want to connect on social media, subscribe for the newsletter, learn more about the ten days travel program or make a donation to the podcast, use this linktree:https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
41:53 5/11/23
A visit to Asqalan
On the Mediterranean coast you can find the ruins of a city that first became a large sized city during the Canaanite period. Of this period the oldest brick wall and arched gate have been excavated and can now be visited. You can even pass through the gate! The National Park in which the ruins of Asqalan can be visited has some very interesting sites: the biggest Roman basilica found in the area,  a Phoenician dog cemetery, an antilia (water wheel) that brought fresh water up from above the salt water table, a large sycamore tree, the remains of a Byzantine church, the remains of city walls from several time periods and of course you can enjoy the nature in the park and the Mediterranean Sea and beach!Asqalan was one of the five Philistine cities that formed the Pentapolis: Gaza, Ashdod, Asqalan, Gath and Ekron. It is mentioned several times in the Bible. To learn more about the history of Asqalan, listen to this episode!Connect to Stories from Palestine on social media! Sign up for the newsletter. And if you want to make a donation to sustain the podcast, you can do so on the Ko-fi platform. All the links you need can be found on this Linktree:https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
37:32 4/13/23
Update on the tour guide course
I have not been able to record new episodes recently because I am so busy with the Israeli tour guide course. Many people have asked me how that is going so I decided to record an episode about my experience in the first four months of this course. In the meantime I got my tour guide license by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and I have taken the first small group into the Church of Nativity as a licensed tour guide. That was an amazing moment, especially because it took me almost 4 years to get that license! And now I am also taking the course in Jerusalem so that I can be a licensed guide in all of the country. It is very interesting, challenging at times, a different narrative and a very diverse group of people. In this episode you can hear more about that!If you want to get access to unique video content that I am taking during the tours then you can become a Ko-fi member and support the podcast and in return you get access to short videos with explanation. Use this link to find the Ko-fi page AND to connect to Stories from Palestine on social media:https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
35:59 3/26/23
Church of the Nativity Bethlehem audio tour
In the previous episode you could learn more about the history of the Church of Nativity, built over the birth cave of Jesus. In this episode I am taking you on a tour inside the Church to explain you some of its most interesting features. You can use this audio guide when you visit the church in Bethlehem but you can also listen to it from the comfort of your home or while you are walking, cleaning or commuting. If you want to visit the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem with a real tour guide then you can reach out to me, I am a licensed tour guide by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism.You can also read the transcript of this podcast on the website:https://storiesfrompalestine.info/2023/03/04/nativity-church-audio-tour/For more information on the podcast and to connect on social media or if you want to do a donation to help me to continue producing new episodes you can use this link tree:https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
35:33 3/4/23
History of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem
The most visited site in Bethlehem is the Church of Nativity on Manger Square. It is the oldest church in the world that is still in use by the local community and that is visited by over two million pilgrims every year. The Church of Nativity is on the UNESCO world heritage list together with the pilgrimage route that passes through today's Star Street. This is the road that Mary and Joseph would have taken to reach Bethlehem where they had to go because of the Roman census organized by Quirinius. When they did not find a place to sleep in a 'kataluma' which is often translated as inn, but in Bethlehem it is interpreted as a guestroom, they were offered to stay in one of the many caves that are so common in the landscape. Most people in the West grow up with the image of Jesus in a wooden manger in a wooden stable. But the Church of Nativity is built over the cave that has a very early tradition of veneration for being the birthplace of Jesus.In this episode we explore the history of the church and the biblical account. In the following episode you can go on an audio tour inside the Church!If you want to read along you can find the full transcript of this episode on the website.Use the linktree to find the website, social media and to make a donation!https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
39:46 2/16/23
Permaculture and eco design in Palestine
Mohamad Saleh grew up as a city boy. He never worked in a garden or grew his own food until he had an opportunity to travel to Turkey to be close to his partner and live for some time in a WWOOF project where he learned all about Permaculture.When he came back to Palestine he decided to start working on bringing the concepts of permaculture closer to the community and he established 'Mostadam'He emphasizes the importance of healing of individuals in general in order to be able to feel more compassion towards each other and towards nature.  He talks about how he is trying to work within the context of the political reality in Palestine as well as the natural environment, in areas with little rainfall and in refugee camps with little soil.If you want to follow Mohamad on Instagram click hereAbout Mohamed 's Wwoof experience:https://wwoofturkey.org/Tips to read:Book: The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuokahttps://www.harvestingrainwater.com/Watch:The Wanted 18 https://m.imdb.com/title/tt3946020/Follow Stories from Palestine podcast on social media, check out the YouTube channel, sign up for the mailinglist and do a very appreciated donation on the Ko-fi platform, all through this one link: https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
54:44 2/1/23
The shaping of the Palestinian identity and the Palestinian national project
In this episode you can hear Bassam, the host of the podcast: "PreOccupation: A not so brief history of Palestine."Bassam emphasizes the importance of telling the Palestinian story and the futility of trying to counter hasbara (a term in Hebrew that refers to the advocacy for Israel,  a form of propaganda).He explains that we should distinguish between the shaping of the Palestinian identity, the collective consciousness, and the Palestinian national project. When and where did these emerge and who can be considered the first Palestinian?We also talk about how the Palestinian identity, despite insurmountable obstacles, has been so successful in surviving.If you want to listen to his podcast then you can visit this link:https://linktr.ee/preoccupationpodIf you want to connect to Stories from Palestine on social media, if you want to visit the website, explore the YouTube channel, sign up for the newsletter or do a donation on the Ko-fi page then please use this link:https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
71:01 1/14/23
Christian Palestinians and Christian Zionism
In this episode I speak with Yousef Khoury, which translates to Joseph the priest, a Christian Palestinian originally from Gaza, who now lives in Bethlehem. He is the 43rd generation in his family of which 36 generations were priests in the Orthodox priesthood. He studied biblical studies at the Bethlehem Bible College, he has a masters of divinity in theology and mission from the US and is currently working on his doctorate at the University of Amsterdam. We talk about the history of Christianity in Palestine and the decreasing number of Palestinians who still live in Palestine. We discuss their challenges living under Israeli military and colonial rule and their efforts to counter the Christian Zionist narrative. As we are approaching Christmas and this episode was recorded in Bethlehem, we end the episode with a Christmas wish and message for everyone around the world.If you want to learn more about Palestinian theology of liberation these are some sources to check out:Books:Munther Isaac, The Other Side of the Wall Mitri Raheb, Faith in the Face of Empire Websites:https://www.kairospalestine.ps https://www.cryforhope.orghttps://christatthecheckpoint.bethbc.edu/https://youtube.com/@ChristatTheCheckpointhttps://www.palestineportal.org/resource-directory/by-medium/books-and-films/books-about-by-palestinian-christians/
47:10 12/17/22
From Peleset to Falastin: a history of the name Palestine
Where did the name Palestine come from and for how long has it been in use? After reading the book "Palestine a four thousand year history" by Nur Masalha, a Palestinian historian and academic, it became clear that the name Palestine has been used since the 13th century BC until today. Only in the last decades did the use of the name Palestine become estranged, with the establishment of the State of Israel and the vilification of the Palestinian people. Many people doubt whether they can speak about Palestine and Palestinians. Using the name Palestine feels uncomfortable to many people. In his book, Nur Masalha shows with proof of many documents and quotes that the name Palestine has been the most common name that was used to describe the region between Egypt and today's Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, since it replaced the names Djahi, Retenu and Canaan. The first mention of the people living in the southern part of the Levant, the Peleset, gives the root letters for the name Philistia and Palaistine, that is used by the Assyrians and later the Greeks and Romans. The Arabic name Falastin derives directly from the name Palaistine, but in Arabic there is no letter P in the alphabet so they replaced it with the letter F.If you are interested to learn more you can click here to GET THE BOOK ON AMAZON (also available as audio book) Please support the podcast with a donation on Ko-fi and connect on social media:https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
42:09 12/3/22
The Sea of Galilee pilgrimage audio tour
During this episode I will take you on an audio tour to the Sea of Galilee where we will visit Bethsaida, Chorazin, Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes. These are pilgrimage locations related to places where according to tradition Jesus lived, spoke to his followers, visited synagogues and did miracles. Disclaimer: I am a trained tour guide at the Bethlehem Bible College, I am not a theologian and I do not belong to any religion. I am telling the stories the way they were told and explained to me by Palestinian Christians who still live in the land where Jesus lived 2000 years ago.If you want to read the transcript of this episode you can click on the transcript button on the buzzsprout website or visit : https://storiesfrompalestine.info/2022/11/12/sea-of-galilee-pilgrimage/Connect to Stories from Palestine on social media, sign up for the mailinglist, check out the website and the travel programs and make a donation to the podcast, all via this one link: https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
50:37 11/12/22
Armenians in diaspora in Jerusalem / Palestine
Apo Sahagian is a singer and works in different artistic related projects in Jerusalem. He is also the host of the podcast 'Apo and the city'. He grew up in the old city of Jerusalem in the Armenian quarter. His family came to Jerusalem in the 1920s when many Armenians fled from the genocide committed by the Ottoman empire. In this episode Apo gives us more insight into the Armenian community in Palestine. The Armenians came in three waves. As the first Christian nation in the world, King Tiridates III adopted Christianity as state religion in 301 AD, they have a long history of connection to Jerusalem. The first Crusaders married Armenian princesses and there are several Crusader Queens of Jerusalem that were of Armenian descent, such as the famous queen Melisande. So the first wave dates back from that time, the 12th century AD. These Armenians have integrated into the Palestinians society and even though they cherish their heritage they are much more assimilated than the second wave.The second wave is the result of displacement during the Ottoman time and these Armenians are still much more connected to the homeland and as diaspora Armenians they are trying to preserve their culture and heritage and they have stronger connections to Armenia.The third wave consists of Armenians who came to Israel in the time that many Russians were accepted as Jews to the live in Israel. Some of these Armenians are not even really Jewish but they took the opportunity to try have a better economic life. They have been given Israeli citizenship and they are trying to stay out of politics and just live their life.Apo talks about the Armenian quarter with its convent and the Armenian churches and about what Armenians brought to Palestine in general and Jerusalem in particular.If you want to listen to Apo's podcast 'Apo and the City' find him here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1934802If you want to listen to his music you can search for Apo & the ApostlesConnect to Stories from Palestine on social media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter) visit the website, find out about the Visit Palestine program and sign up for the bi-weekly e-mail, all with this one link: https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
55:27 10/30/22
Traces of Home
In this episode you can hear an interview with Colette Ghunim about the film 'Traces of Home' that she has been working on for the past years. The film brings her parents back to Mexico and Palestine from where they respectively were forced to leave due to different circumstances. Colette grew up in a suburb of Chicago and was never really exposed to her roots as her parents were trying to move beyond their trauma and focused on raising their children in the American society. When Colette lived for a while in Egypt she made some social media reports about women harassment and when her video went viral, she decided to make a short documentary about this topic. This experience led her to a new project: tracing her roots with her parents, documenting their journeys back to the homes where they had to leave from.Colette's father is Palestinian, born in 1944. His family was forcibly displaced from Safad in 1948. Although her father did not have clear memories of Safad and of the Nakba, he carries the family trauma with him and as they are making this film the family is going through a process of grief and healing.You can sign up for the mailing list to stay updated about the development of the film and streaming and screening in the future:  https://tracesofhome.com/Connect to Stories from Palestine on social media, support the show, sign up for the mailinglist, listen to the newest episode, all with one link: https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
34:07 10/16/22
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre part 2, an audio tour
In the previous episode you could hear an introduction to the history of the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem. This episode can be used as an audio tour when you are visiting the Church. Start on the square in front of the main entrance. If you are listening from elsewhere you can follow the description and use your imagination! There are lots of photos online as well as YouTube videos.  Here is a 20 minutes documentary by AlJazeera English that gives an idea about the church and the community:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrsqNJIRGPUIf you want to read the transcript of this podcast you can do so under the transcript button on the Buzzsprout page or on the website :https://storiesfrompalestine.info/2022/10/01/holy-sepulchre-church-audio-tour/Follow Stories from Palestine podcast on social media, sign up for the newsletter, visit the website and support the show with a donation, all through one link:https://linktr.ee/storiesfrompalestine
40:27 10/2/22
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, an introduction (part 1 of 2)
One of the most visited sites in the old city of Jerusalem is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is where Christians venerate the place where Jesus was crucified and where he was buried in a tomb. Pilgrims that visit Jerusalem will follow the 'way of the cross' or in Latin the 'Via Dolorosa', the way of his suffering. On the route there are 14 stations where the pilgrims stop to remember something that happened to Jesus on his way to the Golgotha (in Aramaic) or the Calvary (in Latin). This translates as the place of the Skull. The location, on the cliff overlooking a stone quarry, where Jesus was nailed to the cross. The last 5 stations of the Via Dolorosa are inside the church.In this episode you can learn more about the crucifixion and why emperor Constantine and his mother Helena decided to build the first Church commemorating this event on this exact location.In the following episode I will take you into the Church for a guided audio tour.To connect to Stories from Palestine podcast on social media or to sign up for the weekly newsletter click : https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
26:37 9/18/22
Update on the crowdfunding for tour guide license
A short episode recorded under the olive tree in the garden to update you on the crowdfunding for the fees of the tour guide program in Jerusalem! With good news that we reached the goal! Including a shout out to some of the donors but I couldn't mention everybody because there are 69 people who supported me!!Also an update about the visit to the Open House of the School of Tourism and the English test I had to do there that consisted of a text to praise the greatness of Israel and how I managed with that...Connect to Stories from Palestine on social media and sign up for the newsletter directly with this link: https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
10:29 9/11/22
New season new plans for tour guiding in Palestine
After a long summer break I am back with new episodes. But from now on you can listen to the podcast bi-weekly.  In this episode I will tell you about my new plans for this coming year and I need YOUR help (and help of all my friends, relatives and podcast listeners!) to proceed with this plan. That's why I am explaining you why I think it is an important step in my life and how you can help me. If you agree and if you can and want to support, then this is the link you need to click: https://www.gofundme.com/f/national-tour-guide-license-for-kris Connect to Stories from Palestine on social media through the linktree: https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
17:09 9/4/22
Visit Palestine this October with Saleem & Kristel
In this episode you can hear all about the Visit Palestine October program that Saleem and myself are organizing! This 10-days program includes a full day of olive picking and two nights with local families in the village of Abud. We will visit many of the people and places that you have heard about in the last two years of podcast episodes!We will start the program on Monday 3 October with an introduction to get all participants on the same page when it comes to history and terminology that we will need to understand throughout the visit. The first nights we will stay in Beit Sahour in a family hotel and we will discover Bethlehem area, Battir and Jerusalem. Then we will go towards Jericho and on our way we will visit several of the desert monasteries and of course Hisham's palace! Of course we won't miss out on the experience of floating in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.The next two days we will be in Abud, a small village north west of Ramallah. The people of Abud will welcome us in their homes and we will get a chance to connect with the local families. On Sunday there is a full day of olive picking including a nice brunch on the field. In Taybeh we have the opportunity to visit the famous Taybeh beer brewery as well as a local distillery. In Nablus there is so much to explore, the Turkish bath, the olive soap factory, the spices shop, the Ottoman clock tower, the Green Mosque and of course we will eat Knefeh Nabulsiya. On our way back to Bethlehem we pass by Mount Gerizim and we will visit the Samaritan community and learn more about their relation to the land and their claim that the true Temple was not in Jerusalem but on Mount Gerizim. There is a free day in Bethlehem that you can use to rest and relax, to go shopping, to discover more in Bethlehem or in Jerusalem and we can strongly advice to take the Sacred Cuisine food tour in the old city of Jerusalem. The last day we head to the West towards the Mediterranean Sea and we will visit the city of Jaffa. For more information about this program visit the website and request the PDF filehttps://storiesfrompalestine.info/travel-to-palestine/
31:13 7/20/22
'Khazaeen' Palestinian archive
 In the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Israeli settlers are in the process of taking over many Palestinian houses, there is an archive where Palestinians can store their photos, diaries, posters and other tangible documents. It is the first Palestinian run archive that is trying to collect memories, history AND documents that are produced TODAY, to store them for future generations.The initiative is called 'Khazaeen', the Arabic word for 'cabinets'. Each Palestinian that brings documents to Khazaeen, gets its own box, its own cabinet, to store the documents.  Through interviews, stories are collected and published on the blog of Khazaeen's website and on social media. The items are digitized and the owner can decide to take them home or to leave them in the cabinet. In the process of collecting and bringing documents to Khazaeen, many Palestinians have learned about the life and circumstances of their own ancestors. Often this has helped them to understand their own family history and the generational trauma that has been passed on, especially through the experiences of the Nakba in 1948 and the Naksa in 1967."It is very important to write our own history and to collect our own archive, rather than having our history stored in the colonial archives of the State of Israel", says Eman Alyan. "It is also important to collect brochures, pamphlets, posters, photos and art work of today, so we can save it for the future. "If you want to visit the website of Khazaeen you can use this link: https://khazaaen.org/en
48:33 6/12/22
Community Action Center to empower the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem
 In 1999 Al-Quds University created the “Community Action Center” (“CAC”), a semi autonomous association, which aims to empower the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem.The CAC aims to empower the disadvantaged Palestinians of East Jerusalem to access their rights and entitlements and negotiate the complex bureaucratic procedures that control the flow of these rights. Most Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem are residents and not citizens of Israel. They have to prove that the center of their life is actually in Jerusalem, otherwise they will lose their residency. As Palestinians can’t leave East Jerusalem as they will lose their residency, they need to build new homes for their children in East Jerusalem. But they barely get the permits needed to build new houses, even on their own land property. When they decide to build without a permit, there is a chance to receive a demolition order. They have to demolish their own house. If they don't do it, the authorities will come, do it for them and present them with a huge bill of around a hundred thousand dollars. The Israeli policies in Jerusalem are made to increase the number of Jewish inhabitants and reduce the number of Palestinians. Many Palestinians do not know what their rights are, how to deal with the authorities and where to find support. The CAC gives legal assistance, advice and works on advocacy to get the international community involved. In this episode you can hear General Director Mounir Nuseibeh and Advocacy Officer Munir Marjieh.To learn more about the CAC you can visit their website https://cac.alquds.edu/en/TIP: Listen to 'Pre-occupation pod' a not so short history of Palestine, available on most podcast players or use this link: Listen to the podcast
61:14 6/5/22
Avdat and the Nabateans
In the Naqab desert you can find the Nabatean desert cities that were established on the incense and spices route. This was a very important trade route that stretched over about 1800 kilometers from Yemen / Oman until the port in Gaza. The trade was mainly in frankincense and myrrh, but also pearls, gold and cotton were traded. As the camels needed to stop every 35 kilometers to rest and drink, there were about 65 stops on the whole incense route.The Nabateans, a nomadic Bedouin group in the Arabian desert, was very familiar with the area and the places where to find water. They developed cisterns where they collected rainwater that they marked secretly so that only they could find them. This meant that all traders were depending on the Nabateans for water.The Nabateans set up forts and protected resting places on the incense route that grew into cities. When the Romans took over control of the incense route and moved it to go through Egypt, the Nabateans developed desert agriculture and specialized in wine making.They also converted largely to Christianity in the Byzantine time.The excavated cities of Avdat, Mamshit, Shivta and Haluza are on the UNESCO world heritage list since 2005. They are National Parks that you can visit by paying an entrance fee.Connect to Stories from Palestine podcast on social media: https://linktr.ee/StoriesfrompalestineSupport the podcast with a donation: https://ko-fi.com/storiesfrompalestine
32:08 5/29/22
Palestinian Arak Distillery Muaddi
With a group of fifteen Palestinians and foreigners we visited the Arak distillery of Nader Muaddi in Beit Jalla. This podcast episode was recorded during his presentation.Nader Muaddi is very passionate about the craft of distilling Arak and the Palestinian heritage of this product. Arak is the oldest spirit in the world. Every single spirit comes from the roots of Arak. It started in the 8th / 9th century when the Arabs had their renaissance period. The first person documented in the world to distill alcohol was the Arab scientist Jaber Bin Hayan, after whom 'algebra' was named, who lived in Baghdad.  He said that it is of little practical use but of scientific significance nonetheless.  He originally created the still to refine the process of making 'al-kuhl', the medieval eyeliner that was used to make lines under the eyes to absorb the sunlight. It didn't work for that purpose so he tried using it for other purposes and he discovered how to distill it to make alcohol, that could also be used for medicinal purposes. And people didn't know how to name it so they used the name 'al-kuhl', the name of the eyeliner. When it arrived to the European ports the name changed in pronunciation to alcohol.In this podcast episode Nader explains the history of distilling Arak in a very engaging and informative way and he really brings pride to this old craft. If you want to follow him on Social media go to his Instagram @muaddi_craft_distilleryOr on facebook: www.facebook.com/ArakMuaddi If you want to connect to Stories from Palestine podcast on social media, if you want to follow us on YouTube, get the weekly e-mail update or support us with a donation you can use this linktree: https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
63:38 5/22/22
7amleh and digital rights in Palestine
In this episode you can hear Nadim Nashif and Mona Shtaya who both work for 7amleh, The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media and Digital Rights in the Palestinian context.  We talk about several aspects of their work. For example how social media is censoring Palestinians and others with a pro-Palestinian message. Many Palestinians have their social media profiles shut down without a valid reason and it is often hard to counter that.  Another issue that 7amleh works on is digital security and the use of Israeli spyware on Palestinians and beyond. Recently there was a scandal when it was discovered that Pegasus malware, produced by the Israeli NSO group, was found on devices of human rights defenders, journalists and state representatives.   Other topics we discuss are PayPal, that doesn't have integration for Palestinians to use with their local bank accounts, and Google Maps that does not show Palestinian cities and towns in the Westbank on their maps, while it does show clear details of illegal Israeli settlements.   Furthermore, we discussed a recent campaign to counter Hate Speech online. The campaign targets Palestinians to raise awareness about abusive language on social media and how to recognize it.This is their website: https://7amleh.org/(Click the English language button on top left)If you want to connect to Stories from Palestine podcast on social media or sign up for the newsletter, if you want to follow the YouTube channel or do a very appreciated donation to keep the podcast going, then use this linktree: https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
63:37 5/14/22
Ancient Banias or Caesarea Philippi
This site is technically not in Palestine but in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. It is only a few kilometers west of Tel el Qadi (Tel Dan) and it is really a beautiful ancient site with an interesting history. It was the most northern part of the region that Jesus ever visited and according to the Bible it was here that he first confirmed to his disciples that he was the Messiah. Banias is called after the Greek god of fertility, nature and wildlife: Pan. It was believed that his birth cave was here in the big cliff and the same cave was considered to be the entrance to Hades, the underworld, where the fertility gods would spent time during winter. People used to come and sacrifice goats to Pan by throwing them in the spring. If the goat did not sink down then the sacrifice was not accepted and they would toss in new born babies. During excavations a lot of statues of deities were found and remains of Temples that were built in Greek and Roman time. The son of Herod the Great, Philip, made it the capital of his territory and named it Caesarea Philippi, after the emperor Caesar Augustus and after himself. It was a thriving Roman city. Jesus never entered the city but he came up to the cave of Hades to proclaim that he would be victorious over death.After his visit to Banias he went down south towards Jerusalem and on one of the mountains, thought to be Mount Tabor, the transfiguration happened and he radiated in glory and he was seen by his apostles with Moses and Elijah.Connect to Stories from Palestine podcast on social media, follow on YouTube and support on Ko-fi, all links through this linktree: https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
24:30 5/8/22
Mama's Palestinian kitchen facebook group, Palestinian diaspora and right of return
In this episode you can hear Palestinian American activist Abbas Hamideh, the founder of Al Awda for the right of return of Palestinians and the founder of the immensely popular Facebook group Mama's Palestinian Kitchen! Abbas was  born in Puerto Rico and grew up in the United States. When he was 12 years old his father took him to his homeland, Palestine. They went to Deir Yassin, in West Jerusalem, where his father is originally from. At the same age as Abbas was during that first visit, 12 years old, his father witnessed the Deir Yassin massacre. He survived it and he ended up in a refugee camp in Jericho. In 1967 they were expelled again and they left to Puerto Rico. This visit changed everything for Abbas. He understood the sadness, the bitterness and the anger of Palestinians in diaspora. He decided to become an activist, to struggle for the right of return of the Palestinian refugees that got scattered around the world. He established Al Awda and they organized many awareness raising events and protests. During the Covid pandemic they could not do anymore protests and gatherings. Some of the platforms on social media that Palestinians were on, were not necessarily a safe space where they could publicly share their love for Palestine. There was a particular group where Arabic food was the common ground, but the admins kept blocking Palestinians who were critical and asked to boycott Israeli products. So Abbas decided to start with Mama's Palestinian Kitchen and he could have never imagined how successful that would be. He had to ask friends to help him moderate the group and they had to come up with some strict rules in order to keep the page manageable and alive. If you want to become a member of the group you can find the Facebook page here, click:Mama's Palestinian Kitchen Facebook groupCheck out the website of Al Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition https://al-awda.org/Connect to Stories from Palestine podcast on social media, check out the YouTube channel, sign up for the newsletter and do a very much appreciated donation to keep the podcast going! All the links can be found on: https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
61:00 5/1/22
A critical tour in Silwan at the City of David archaeological site
On Sunday 17 April I took the bus from Beit Safafa to the old city to join a tour in Silwan with Emek Shaveh, an Israeli NGO that, in their own words, works  to defend cultural heritage rights and to protect ancient sites as public assets that belong to members of all communities, faiths and peoples. That day was Easter Sunday for the Catholic Church, Pesach for the Jews and Ramadan for the Muslims. As we walked up to Mount Zion we saw a lot of police blockades, police everywhere and Jewish people walking towards the plaza in front of the Buraq wall. We heard helicopters flying over and we realized it was a tense day to go on a tour in Silwan. During the tour we heard shooting several times.Silwan is a Palestinian village close to the old city. Silwan is the place where the city of Jerusalem started in the Canaanite period, in the Bronze Age time. This is where the first small settlement was established near the Gihon spring. Today there is a big archaeological site and a lot of excavations are happening in Silwan. With archaeologist and founder of Emek Shaveh, Yonathan Mizrachi, we walked around the visitor center and the excavations and other parts of Silwan, to talk about how archaeology is used to make claims of ownership and to create a justification for taking over the Palestinian area of Silwan. There are two settler organizations active in Silwan: Elad and Ateret Cohanim. They use different methods to take over houses from Palestinians and create Jewish presence in the neighborhood.In this episode you can hear from archaeologist Yonathan Mizrachi that there is no evidence that the palace of King David was built in this area. They have not found anything from the 10th century, the time of King David, although the site is called 'City of David' archaeological park. If you want to know more, visit their website : https://emekshaveh.org/enIf you want to connect to Stories from Palestine podcast on social media, check out the YouTube channel, sign up for the mailinglist or make a donation to support the podcast, then you can use this linktree : https://linktr.ee/Storiesfrompalestine
55:12 4/24/22

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