This Week in Palestine`s Print Edition



This Week in Palestine`s Print Edition
Issue No. 108, April 2007
The Palestinian National Song ...................................................................................... 4
Got to be ROCK ’n’ ROLL music ................................................................................... 8
Jerusalem, Fairuz, and the Moon ................................................................................ 12
Palestine Mozart Festival 2007 ................................................................................... 16
Happy Birthday Freddy! .............................................................................................. 20
Ambassadors for Palestine.......................................................................................... 22
One Tune or the Other................................................................................................ 26
Maqamat...................................................................................................................... 32
Memories… ................................................................................................................. 34
Mustafa al-Kurd ........................................................................................................... 36
Nature’s Rhythm: The Bird Orchestra.......................................................................... 38
Palestinian Popular Song ............................................................................................ 40
Palestine: Between Creativity and Art Production ....................................................... 42
My Big Fat Palestinian Wedding.................................................................................. 46
Fighting the Dragon ..................................................................................................... 52
Sareyyet Ramallah First Ramallah Group ................................................................... 54
In the Limelight ............................................................................................................ 56
Reviews ....................................................................................................................... 60
Events.......................................................................................................................... 63
Listings ...................................................................................................................71-90
Maps & Where to Go? ................................................................................................. 91
The Last Word ............................................................................................................. 98
Picturesque Palestine ................................................................................................. 99
Issue No. 108, April 2007
We finally have something to cheer about. The new cabinet of the National
Unity government, which has been in the works for several months, has finally
been formed. While Israel has categorically declared that it will not have official
dealings with the new government, several countries have already announced
their willingness to deal with it. Norway was the first European nation to do so.
Its deputy foreign minister met with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
just days after the new government was sworn in. Other European capitals are
expected to follow suit, although officially they are adopting a wait-and-see
The loosening of the embargo that has been imposed on Palestine for more than
a year now is expected to bring us out of the doldrums. In addition to an improved
economic situation, it is hoped that the new government will bring security and
stability to the Palestinian territories. The state of lawlessness must come to an
end, and the rule of law should prevail, providing citizens with the needed sense
of security – which in itself is a spur for economic activity. Putting our house in
order is one of the most important and pressing priorities.
Amid all this political and economic turmoil, it may seem paradoxical that we
should be focusing on music in Palestine. And yet we are. Music is very much a
part of our daily life in all its aspects – the sad as well as the happy ones. From
the traditional chants and songs at weddings and other merry occasions to the
ululations and sombre soliloquies at funerals and sad events, songs are an
integral part of our social life. You will be surprised to learn that a Palestine Mozart
Festival is planned for April – something more akin to Salzburg than Ramallah.
This is in addition to the numerous concerts that take place on a regular basis in
the major Palestinian cities and towns; not to mention the musicians who perform
– sometimes improvise – at restaurants and bars.
With the arrival of a warmer climate and the Easter holiday, go out and enjoy
the many musical events that are in store.
Telefax: + 970/2-2-2951262
e-mail: [email protected]
Tony A. Khoury
Photos: Palestine Image Bank / TURBO Design
Printed by Studio Alpha, Al-Ram, Jerusalem
Binding by Al-Asdika', Al-Ram, Jerusalem
Theme: Music in Palestine
Cover photo: Maqamat Arabic Ensemble, the Edward Said National
Conservatory of Music, Yabous production Archive. Photo by: Raouf Haj Yehia
Forthcoming Issues:
• Palestinian Handicrafts - May 07
• Made in Palestine - June 07
• The Villages of Palestine - July 07
Advisory Board
Laila M. El-Haddad
Zahi W. Khouri
Journalist/Writer, Aljazeera International
Abdelqader F. Husseini
The views of all the articles do not neccessarily reflect the views of the publisher.
Maps herein have been prepared solely for the convenience of the reader; the designations and presentation
of material do not imply any expression of opinion of This Week in Palestine, its publisher, editor, and its
advisory board as to the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of the authorities thereof, or as
to the delimitation of boundaries or national affiliation.
Paola H. Michael
Chairperson, Faisal Husseini Foundation
Lecturer, Bethlehem University
Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh
President, PECDAR
The Palestinian National Song
A Personal Testimony
By Rima Tarazi
The history of music has been closely
linked to the spoken language since
time immemorial. Linguistic intonation
and rhythmic patterns influenced the
emergence of musical styles and genres
within various countries and communities.
These patterns became the basis for
accompanying the human voice in
expressing a variety of human emotions,
tribulations and aspirations, reflected in
religious invocations, poetic recitations
and dramatic renditions ranging from
the mundane to the sublime. The human
voice, the oldest and probably the most
authentic musical instrument, has,
therefore, been the transmitter of these
traditions across the world.
In Palestine, the distinct events that
marked its modern history were strongly
reflected in its musical landscape. Folk
music, a great Palestinian tradition that
boasts a large number of folk poets
with superb improvisational talents,
has been coloured by the suffering of
the Palestinians and the loss of their
homeland. Folk poets would improvise
words to traditional tunes on the spur of
the moment, depending on the occasion.
“Ala Dal’ona,” for example, a traditional
love ballad, became a song describing
the loss of homeland and the yearning
for freedom. These events, coinciding
with the emergence of Arab renaissance
and nationalist movements and with the
exposure of Arab musicians to Western
classical music, gave rise to what has
become known as the national song.
This was initially based on the form
of the anthem which became very
popular at the beginning of the 20 th
century and was shared by all Arabs
of the region. Our generation recalls
with nostalgia the times when “Nahnu
Ashabab” and “Mawtini” were chanted
with gusto by enthusiastic young men and
women during congregations, marches,
or picnics. The words reflected the
aspirations of the times. The call for Arab
unity and brotherhood amongst Moslems
and Christians as a means of achieving
independence and restoring the glory
of the past featured prominently in the
verses of that era.
The Lebanese Fleifel brothers, among
others, stood out during the first half of
the 20th century as writers of anthems that
were taught in schools mainly in Palestine,
Syria, and Lebanon. They put music to
the words of the Palestinian poet Ibrahim
Toukan (Mawtini), the Lebanese poet
Bishara Al-Khoury (Nahnu Ashabab), the
Syrian poets Omar Abu Risheh (Fi Sabeel
El-Majd) and Fakhri Baroudy (Biladu ElOrbi Awtani), amongst others.
In Palestine, two outstanding musicians
of that era were also writing national
songs targeted for school choirs with
orchestral accompaniment: Salvador
Arnita and Yusef Batroni. In this brief
essay, I would like to share my personal
experiences with those two musicians
and with others by highlighting the role
of Birzeit High School, College and
University with which they were heavily
involved, in impacting the development of
the national song in Palestine.
Arnita, my first music teacher, taught
piano and choir at Birzeit High School
and College between the years 1939 and
1946. His advanced musical training was
reflected in his musical compositions of
national songs which he wrote for choir
and orchestra. During every graduation
ceremony, a new song of his composition
would be performed, most of which were
national songs. However, I recall one very
beautiful song called “The Spring” which
diverted from the usual national theme.
Unfortunately, no trace of this manuscript
is to be found to date. During those
occasions, members of the Palestine
Orchestra would accompany the choir
made up of members from both the Girls’
and Boys’ Schools. After the Nakba,
Arnita ended up in Beirut with his wife,
Salvador Arnita conducting the Palestine Orchestra
with Birzeit Choir, 1941
Yusef Batroni conducting Birzeit Choir at
the Friends auditorium in 1956
From right to left: Kamal Nasir, Yousef Batroni,
Rima Nasser & Ameen Nasser
the renowned musicologist Yusra
Jawhariyyeh, where he established
and directed the music department
at the American University of Beirut
for many years.
In 1946, a very talented young
Palestinian/Armenian musician by
the name of Hanna Khatchadurian
(which he changed twice later
on) became music teacher at
Birzeit College. He continued the
tradition of Arnita and was the first
to compose an anthem written
by Kamal Nasir in his early days.
After 1947, he was amongst those
who left his homeland, settling in
Europe and in Armenia where he
became a prominent conductor and
This musical atmosphere at Birzeit
was fertile ground for nurturing
budding musicians, two of whom
would come to the forefront, each
with his and her own style in
expressing the national woes and
aspirations of their people through
music and song. Those two young
musicians, who were joined at the
College by the renowned Yusef
Batroni in 1954, were to express
the raging feelings of their people
at the grave injustice that befell
them and would embark on writing
an impressive number of national
songs in varying styles, to the
words of renowned Palestinian
and Arab poets, that would be
performed by the College Choir
during graduation ceremonies and
at other occasions.
Batroni, who came from Damascus
where he had spent the first few
years after the Nakba, brought with
him a trove of manuscripts of his own
compositions, which he enriched by
several other compositions written
during his sojourn at Birzeit, for the
College Choir that he directed. Amin
Nasser was studying in Germany
at the time, but would come home
during vacations and would enrich
the College with his new youthful
compositions. I had just finished my
university degree in Beirut after spending
a year and a half studying music in
France, and while I was teaching piano
at the College and co-directing the choir
with Batroni, I gave a great deal of my
time to composing for the choir and
finding my own style.
Between 1954 and 1956, Kamal Nasir
was staying at his home in Birzeit and
would pour his soul out in passionate
verses singing praises to the beautiful
lost homeland and calling on the masses
to stand up for their rights He would put
his poems before the three of us and
we would decide amongst ourselves
which to choose. His song, “Ya Akhi ElLajea,” adapted to the music of Fleifel
immediately after the Catastrophe, had
already become a landmark song widely
known all over Palestine. It was a call to
rise and to act against injustice and to
stand up against attempts at humiliating
our people and bartering their rights for
meagre food rations: “They offered us
poison in our food / turning us into a docile
and silent flock of sheep.”
This song, together with our songs
written through the years and those
written previously by Arnita and others
for the Birzeit choirs, can be considered
an honest reflection of the mood of the
times and documented moments in the
history of Palestine.
In 1956, I left Birzeit for Canada with my
husband who was to do his neurosurgical
training there. Upon my return in 1960,
I continued to compose for the choir for
many years. Batroni passed away in
1957 while still teaching at Birzeit and
other educational institutions, including
Schmidt’s College and the Women’s
Training College in Ramallah, and also
working for the Jordanian Broadcasting
Station in Ramallah. Amin Nasser spent
many years as music director at Birzeit
where he continued to compose for
the choir until he retired in 2004. The
successive music teachers at Birzeit
University, foremost amongst whom
was Nadia Abboushi, taught those
songs to the respective choirs, keeping
the tradition alive and the memory of
the lost homeland fresh in the minds of
our youth.
In the aftermath of 1967, I continued
to write music to the verses of renowned
poets for the Birzeit Choir, but I also
started writing my own lyrics and music
for adults and children inspired by
my personal experiences during the
occupation. Those songs were sung and
performed respectively by the YWCA
choir and the Ina’sh El-Usra children.
Amin Nasser pursued his composing
career and performed his national songs
at graduation ceremonies. At a later
stage he published his complete works
in an impressive volume. Amongst his
compositions was a cycle of Jabra
Ibrahim Jabra’s poetry, which was
performed to audiences in Palestine,
Jordan and Egypt by soprano Tania
Tamari Nasir.
The occupation of 1967 gave rise
to a new wave of musicians dealing
with the national songs in a variety of
styles and forms. What became known
as the ‘committed song’ became very
popular and widely spread amongst the
masses. The media and new technology
succeeded in advancing those artistic
endeavours. National songs were no
longer based solely on the form of the
anthem. They became a mixture of
art songs, popular songs and choral
works, all focusing on the tribulations
and aspirations of our people. To list
these musicians, singers and composers
would require a separate article, which
I will leave up to future researchers to
expound on.
Rima Tarazi is the President of the
Administrative Board of the General
Union of Palestinian Women in Palestine,
Chairperson of the Supervisory
Board of the ESNCM and one of its
founders. She can be reached at
[email protected]
Got to be ROCK ’n’ ROLL music
By Serop Ohannessian
The sixties were a time when hardly
anything happened in Jerusalem. We
slept with the chickens and got up with the
dawn chorus. The last time there was any
excitement here was when Pope Paul
VI visited Jerusalem. We needed some
action, and we needed it badly.
Of course, there was the local radio
station. The Hashemite Broadcasting
Service transmitted from a house behind
the Ritz Hotel in Jerusalem. We all waited
for the ‘At Your Request’ programme.
We would post our requests and glue
ourselves to the radio for days on end just
to hear our names mentioned and rejoice
in our two seconds of fame.
It was on this station that we heard Elvis
Presley, Cliff Richard & the Shadows,
and Chuck Berry, but there was nothing
like the magic of that band from England
that was causing such a sensation.
Yes, they were four teenagers like us,
a bit rebellious, and my goodness, they
had long hair that almost covered their
foreheads. They sang ‘She loves you,
yeah, yeah, yeah,’ and we were hooked.
That was it. That’s when Peter, Jack,
Mardo, and I got together. We had a
dream. Yes, four teenagers from the
Frères School in Jerusalem who could
hardly tell the difference between a guitar
and a tennis racket, but we were on a
mission to be the first Rock ’n’ Roll band
in Palestine. We didn’t even have long
hair, but that could be arranged. Mardo
had a crumbling drum kit, but maybe
some electric guitars might help. We
asked Frère Felix for help, and he came
up with an ingenious idea. The school
would help us import three Hofner electric
guitars from England (land of the Beatles)
by registering them as educational items
in order to possibly avoid paying the
taxes. It took us three seconds to agree,
but it took him more than three months
of negotiations with the customs officials
in Aqaba before they were convinced
that maybe musical instruments had
manage to get the chords right to play
‘Twist and Shout’. But persistence paid
off, and after months of practice, we could
play and sing in harmony well enough to
call ourselves a band.
It was time for that great challenge.
We wanted to go on stage and rock till
we dropped. The Schmidt Girls’ School
auditorium was just the place. The nuns
who ran the school had no idea what they
were letting themselves in for and neither
did we. We designed our first poster with
the original (and intentionally incorrect!)
spelling of the name of our new band,
‘The Flintstons’, printed in big letters on
The stage was set. We checked the
sound system as best as we could. A few
more hours, and it would all happen.
We waited impatiently behind the drawn
curtains as the auditorium filled up with
students, friends, teachers, frères, and
nuns. The place was packed. We took
our places behind the microphones. One
last terrified look at each other, hearts
pumping, a nod, and the curtains were
pulled open in short, squeaky jerks.
The sound of the first Rock ’n’ Roll
chord to be heard on a Jerusalem stage
shook the place like a storm: ‘It’s been a
hard day’s night …’, and the girls started
something to do with education. Our
mouths drooled at the sight of those
colourful guitars. There they were in front
of our very own bulging eyes. We’d only
seen electric guitars in magazines and
never thought they could be so heavy.
How do they work? Where do you plug
those things in? Then there was the
sudden revelation that we also needed
amplifiers – and which customs official
was going to be convinced that loud noise
was educational? Forget it, Charlie. There
must be something else out there!
There wasn’t a single music store in
the country, no sheet music, wala shi’.
At best, Khalaf Stores in the Old City had
a small collection of records, but if we
needed guitar strings, the nearest shop
was somewhere in Beirut. So we made
our famous school trip to the ‘Paris of
the Middle East’. As we walked in to the
music store for the very first time in our
Flintstones playing at Birzeit College
lives, I tripped over a
saxophone and fell
flat on my face. But
we walked out with
strings, cables, and
picks and, of course,
a copy of the latest
Beatles LP.
We were determined to get it right;
so during every free
moment, we worked
Flintstones playing at the USCC in Amman
on another Beatles Flintstones playing at the Frères School in Bethlehem
or Rolling Stones
the antique printing press in the Greek
screaming; everybody was clapping and
song. Our records got badly scratched as
Convent, and within hours, we pasted
dancing on their seats. We were rocking
we played each song hundreds of times.
the posters all over the Old City and the
our socks off. The excitement was
Jack was good with words, but none of
breathtaking, and we were in seventh
us, for love or money, could understand a
word that Mick Jagger sang. We thought
Come the day, we were gripped with
he was so cool that we sang his songs as
We and the audience must have all
anticipation. Our specially tailored
we heard them: total gibberish.
dreamed the same dream and heard
costumes were copies of the suits worn
and loved the same songs. The beaming
Mardo was happy playing his drums;
by the Dave Clark Five, which we had
smiles on their faces were amazing, and
Jack had never held a guitar in his life;
seen in a magazine, and our hairstyles
the nuns didn’t know what on earth was
Peter was already playing melodies from
going on. At the end of the concert, we
his Shadows LP, and I could just about
even signed autographs.
The next day, Frère Felix called us to
his room. He had yet another ingenious
idea. He advised us: ‘Don’t get too carried
away with the girls’ screaming last night.
Concentrate more on your studies, and
can you please ease up on your Rock ’n’
Roll repertoire?’ None of that registered,
of course, but thank goodness there were
no suggestions that we play anything
from ‘The Sound of Music’.
For at least a year, there were no other
bands but ‘The Flintstons’ rocking and
rolling and getting interviewed by the local
press and radio in Jerusalem, Ramallah,
and Bir Zeit College, which only had
freshman and sophomore classes at
the time.
Our world tour consisted of playing a
few gigs in Amman. It was one country
then, and we were young and free and
totally oblivious to the disasters that the
Israeli occupation would bring.
Crossing the Jordan River was a cinch.
Often there would only be one Jordanian
policeman peeling a Jericho orange who
gave us a welcoming wave as we crossed
the river. We loved playing in Amman.
There was hardly a familiar face, and
there was no need to panic if we didn’t
get the words right; the deafening cheers
from the audience took care of that.
Now it was ‘The Flintstons’ from
Jerusalem who had become the four
teenagers who were causing such a
sensation and who would soon motivate
many other teenagers to start to form rival
rock bands. The days that must have been
spent just choosing names … There were
‘The Yarneys’ from St. George School,
‘The Bats’ and ‘The Mosquitoes’ from the
Armenian Quarter, ‘The Zorbas’ from the
Greek Quarter (where else?), and ‘The
Karaman Brothers’ from Ramallah. ‘The
Believers’, from Amman, were a storyand-a-half. Their lead singer was our
‘personal’ photographer, who eventually
formed his own band and, not many years
later, became the personal photographer
to King Hussein of Jordan. Just look
where Rock ’n’ Roll can take you!
In the spring of 1967, we all took time off
to prepare for the GCE examinations but
hoped soon afterwards to get all the rock
bands together to celebrate the first Rock
Festival in Jerusalem. The exams were to
be taken at the Schmidt Girls’ School. On
Monday morning, 5 June 1967, and just
minutes into our first exam, Mr. Sahhar,
the supervisor, walked in and announced
very gently that the war had started.
Our pens dropped. Everything froze.
Yes, in that very same hall where ‘The
Flintstons’ had started a sensation, our
dreams were shattered.
What happened to those days? Could
we ever experience those feelings
It took almost another forty years
before six greying men who had shared
the same dreams got together to meet
in the same school where now there’s a
hall named after Frère Felix. We came up
with another ingenious idea and formed
the new rock band, ‘Shibat’ (‘The GreyHaired Ones’).
Hey! We still want to be rock stars …
before we grow up!
Serop Ohannessian spent the last
thirty years as director of Tako Paper
Industries in Ramallah. He now travels
between London and Palestine where
he’s involved in the productions of the
new band, ‘Shibat’, which plays rock
concerts for charity. He can be reached
at [email protected]
Jerusalem, Fairuz, and the Moon
The Radio and the Discourse of Love in Modern Arabic Song
By Dr. Ali and Aida Qleibo
I have always lived my life according to
the dictates of the moment. My feelings,
my thoughts about my feelings, and my
feelings about my thoughts constitute
an intricate net in whose context both
cause and effect dissolve into each other.
In the process, my actions assume a
heightened sense of significance and
urgency: psychic conditions that are
indispensable to justify my being. This is
not by way of justifying my actions: I am
not impulsive, but rather an artist. I have
come to realize that my priorities have
their own logic. My life, as I look back at
it, is a melodious love song composed
of the twentieth-century discourse of
Arabic love songs. My generation felt
extremely fortunate. We lived with the
divas of love. They sang exclusively for
us; we were their privileged audience. We
were the mirror in relation to whom they
perfected their image of themselves. In
Cairo or Beirut, wherever they resided
was immaterial. That was the time of
the Arab dream of unity, of Jamal Abed
el-Nasser, and of the radio. Arabic music
was in the street, in the house, and
around every corner; and it shaped our
sense of identity.
The discourse of the Arabic love song
in the twentieth century has conditioned
our personality. ‘Al wijdan el araby’, our
psycho-emotional cultural character,
has been constitutively constituted by
music. In fact, we are our music: Um
Kulthum, Najat el Saghirah, Abed el
Wahab, Farid El Atrash, Fayzeh Ahmad,
Abed El Halim Hafez, Wardeh, and
Fairuz. The grand divas provided through
their music the royal road to the world.
Parallel to the Arab intellectual of ‘Asr el
Nahdah’, the Arabic renaissance – the
Golden Age of twentieth-century Arabic
culture – musicians strove to liberate
themselves from the rigid traditional
forms of expression rooted in Turkish
and Persian music and were seeking new
creative venues. This is the great age of
modern literature: writers and intellectuals
such as Tawfiq el Hakim, Taha Husein,
Zaki Naguib Mahmoud, Naguib Mahfuz,
etc. … The musicians in their own right
experimented and struggled to update
and revitalize the identity of Arabic song
and to diversify their styles of expression
by interjecting elements of harmony and
various instruments from the Western
orchestra into their compositions. In
effect, they tuned us to Western classical
music. By extension, they objectified
concretely our cultural position at a
point of axis of Western and nascent
Arab modernism. This was precisely the
objective of the Liberal Arab age into
which I was born.
The great musicians lived and created
in Cairo. The radio dissolved the distance.
The first Thursday of every month, Um
Kulthum gathered the whole Arab world
around the radio as her Cairo concert
was broadcast live. Musicians and
lyricists vied for her recognition; Um
Kulthum custom-tailored her own music
and chose the lyrics that deified her for
us. In her career, which ran over six
decades, she reinvented Arabic music.
She reigned supreme, eclipsing the other
great divas of the period, Najat, Wardeh,
and Fayzeh, whose style of music did
not deviate from the discourse that she
had established. Only the Rahbanis and
Fairuz succeeded in creating a new genre
by adopting a creative synthesis of the
French chanson and classical lieder into
the discourse of the inimitable Lebanese
diva, Fairuz. Whereas the Egyptian
discourse favoured the baroque virtuoso
bel canto style, Fairuz had her own
separate venture. We lived vicariously
watching the grand drama unfold; the
greatest musicians and the greatest
poets were challenged to bring the best
out of them.
These were mythological moments.
The myth became reality. The pope
came to visit Jerusalem in 1965. Fairuz
joined the crowds and sang during the
procession along the Way of the Cross;
henceforth she sang of our streets, of our
waiting, and of our sadness.
Fairuz’s lyrics and the mood she evoked
mirrored life in Jerusalem. Our ‘huzon’,
our melancholic feelings of loneliness,
of desolation, and of resilient faith were
expressed in her songs. A solitary person
… the moon throwing its silvery rays into
cavernous arched houses … the cool
shadow under the covered passageways
and under the almond tree where dreams
of love lurked … the rain … and the
endless waiting, summer and winter, for
the companion whose presence would
lift the heavy cloud of loneliness … these
were the images that gave form to our
sense of huzon, lonely melancholy.
Years later, as a visiting professor in
Tokyo, I gave a seminar, ‘The Discourse
of Love in Modern Arabic Song’. We
listened to the lyrics of the songs and
traced the development of each Diva’s
discourse of love. Moment by moment,
the spectrum of love and its tribulations
found its expression in their works. Each
proffered her or his own perspective on
love, and each word and melody left a
deep imprint on our psyche.
Half a million years ago, before the
discovery of fire, before the first stone
tool was forged, Man, Homo habilis,
must have lifted his eyes up to the sky,
looked around, and in the silence of the
universe heard the music within him.
That primordial melody still haunts us.
European, Indian, Japanese, and Inca,
classical or folkloric, music is the royal
road to intercultural communication.
Geographic and historical accident has
chosen that we be born Arab or Chinese;
music dissolves these cultural barriers. In
music we are a single humanity.
Would we love, endure life, be ourselves
without music?
Music runs in my family. Father had a
great voice. Born late into the nineteenth
century, his world view and value system
were different. ‘Hamidy’, he called himself,
after Sultan Abed el Hamid. ‘Hamidy
values’ stressed modesty, discretion, and
treasured privacy: he would never sing
in public. Only in family gatherings and,
having begun with reading a selection
of verses from the Koran, he would sing
to the accompaniment of the ‘oud or
alternately to the piano.
Two cousins are well-known singers,
albeit each according to his sense of
mission. One, el Sheik Yaser is a cantor;
he is one of the leading Koran sheikhs
in the Aqsa Mosque and on the radio for
the past forty years. His voice and skill
are admired in the Arab world at large.
Even in Cairo, once my family name
Nothing can surpass the magic evoked
by the reverberations of a live piano in
one’s own living room.
Now father’s ‘oud lies silent on top of a
closet; his upright black Steinway stands
still against the wall in the salon.
The Qleibo passion for music has
passed down to Aida, my daughter.
I quote my ten-year-old daughter
verbatim: ‘Music is that mysterious feeling
underlying life. Music is not just a word,
it is the meaning of love,
of suffering, and of all
shades of feelings. Music
cannot be compared to
anything. Its power, its
magic, and its beauty
can bring you to places
that you have never
dreamed of – beyond
your imagination. Music
can be anywhere, and
anytime; in the future, in the past, and in
the present. It can be in the rain, in the
sun, and in the happiness or pain of love.
In music there are no lies: it says what
it feels and means what it says. Music
is now and here, then and there; it will
never leave us.
Music has made us this promise. Some
music has feelings: power, courage, and
fear. It can be about a swan (Swan Lake),
it can hurt, and it can bring happiness into
everyone’s heart.’
is heard, people would inquire about
our relationship. He is famous and is
assumed to be very wealthy since Koran
cantors achieve high status in Egypt.
Once I asked him why he did not sing
secular music. ‘I have dedicated my
gift to God’s glory’, he answered. Our
cousin Ahmad, much younger, is equally
recognized as a pop singer.
An artist myself, I have always envied
Dr. Ali Qleibo is an anthropologist,
author, and artist. He can be reached at
[email protected] Aida Qleibo is a
student at AISJ (Anglican International
School Jerusalem)
Palestine Mozart
Festival 2007
By Tim Moore
Two hundred local and international
musicians will be performing works by
Mozart throughout the West Bank this
month, during a festival whose top-bill
artists include two young Palestinian
musicians who are enjoying great
success abroad.
For Edward Said, Mozart’s gifts
‘bordered on the supernatural’ – and
indeed, dedicated festival-goers will
be able to enjoy works ranging from
the most intimate of solo piano pieces
to religious works sung by a chorus
of 60 people. For light relief, there
will even be three performances of
Mozart’s enchanting comic opera, The
Magic Flute.
During the first two weeks of April,
the Palestine Mozart Festival will reach
venues in Bethlehem, Jerusalem,
Nablus, and Ramallah. Fifty of Mozart’s
compositions will be performed.
The festival opens with a recital for
organ, with Mozart revelling in his
‘king of instruments’. There follows a
fascinating week of the composer’s
smaller-scale works – melancholy and
introspection lurking alongside sunny
folk melodies in a series of chamber
concerts taken from all periods of his
life. The second week begins with two
playful recitals of operatic arias, which
lead up to the full-scale performances
of The Magic Flute – before the festival
suddenly wheels back round once
again to close with the Requiem, the
often-terrifying choral work on which
the composer was feverishly working
when he died.
These two weeks will be an excellent
way for newcomers to Mozart to learn
whether they enjoy this famous music;
they should consult the superbly
detailed festival website (see below)
for brief summaries of all of the pieces
being performed. At the same time,
the festival offers experienced listeners
an opportunity to thread their previous
enjoyment together. A small series of
lectures and documentaries, which focus
on the composer and his relationship
with the Near and Middle East, will
accompany the performances.
Salim Abboud. Photo by Monika Rittershaus, Berlin
Choir of London
Choir of London
label, 2005) includes one of the Mozart
piano sonatas that he will be performing
in this festival.
For him, the festival counters the political
isolation felt by many Palestinians. ‘The
more we are politically isolated, the
more we must fight to find our voice on
the international cultural stage. But to
have that voice, you can’t just deal with
your own folklore. You have to produce
art beyond that. In poetry and literature,
we have. But our music has yet to find
a world stage. I suspect that classical
music may offer a route. So we must be
part of this festival – both as performers
and as audiences’.
The Palestine Mozart Festival runs
from March 31 to April 14. Complete
listings are available on the internet at
The music promises to be top-rate.
The festival has been organized by the
Choir of London, a large group of young
professional musicians from Britain who
are returning for their third volunteer tour
of the region. Their debut CD, Sir John
Tavener’s Lament for Jerusalem, recently
spent many weeks at number one on the
UK classical music charts.
When not performing, choir members will
offer a number of workshops and master
classes in schools. This supplements their
grassroots commitment to Palestinian
musical education, which has led them
to host a number of gala concerts in the
UK to raise money for a bursary scheme
to fund residential music training in Britain
for four Palestinian students a year.
During the festival, the choir will be joined
by tireless local music organizations,
including al-Kamandjâti and the Edward
Said Conservatory, as well as other local
choirs. They will also welcome two of the
hottest young Palestinian music talents
Dima Bawab, a 25-year-old soprano
singer, was born in Amman and currently
resides in Paris. Since 2004, when
the jury of the Toulouse Conservatory
unanimously awarded her their gold
medal with distinction, Ms. Bawab
has been performing with a number of
European orchestras and also appeared
last year at the Jerash Festival. She will
be performing a duet recital of Mozart
songs and arias, and singing solo before
the Requiem.
Saleem Abboud Ashkar was born
in Nazareth and studied piano at the
Royal Academy in London. He has
already performed in the most celebrated
musical venues in the world under
the batons of the most challenging
conductors; his debut CD release (EMI
Dima Bawab
Happy Birthday Freddy!
knew how to touch the heart and mind
of a human being.
No one should try to compare Chopin
with other musicians. His uniqueness
comes not only from his romantic
affiliation to this life, but also from his
great love for his country, Poland, and
his people. Just listen to Polonaise #2
(Siberia) in E flat, which is as beautiful
and nationalist as #6 (Heroic) and #3
(Military). According to one of Chopin’s
compatriots, Chopin wrote the first strain
to imitate the doleful clank of the chains
upon the vanquished Polish patriots in
their long march to Siberia, thus calling
for freedom.
I could not conclude this little sharing of
thoughts about such a great composer as
Chopin without mentioning his meticulous
and scrupulous effort to rewrite, many
times over, the same piece and even
the same measures, as though trying
to discover the perfect piece. His
additional ability to combine such lovely
melodies and passion with the virtuosity
of performance is well exhibited in his
piano concerti, especially the one in E
minor. The great soulful melody in his
third movement seems to be a heartfelt
cry that is immersed in the tears of a
broken heart whose lover has left her
without remorse. Very often, as I strike
the opening fortissimo short notes of
this third movement when I practice
alone, I am struck by the feeling that
we Palestinians have long ago been
deserted by our lover, freedom. And yet,
I never lose hope. Inasmuch as the great
people of Poland resisted annihilation
and oblivion, Chopin’s music brings hope
to Palestinians that the seemingly distant
‘lover’ will come one day to free us …
Happy Birthday Frederic, and on
March 1, 2010, we will light 200 candles
for you.
On March 1, 1810, in a village called
Zelazowa Wola (approximately 50
kilometres from Warsaw), a baby boy
was born. Little Frederic was destined
to become a remarkable pianist ... a
composer of heavenly music that no
ordinary musician could match … Some
people call him a poet—a poet of the
piano. Indeed, this he was, but he was
also much more …
Frederic Chopin’s personality could
not be easily explained. It is true that
musicians sometimes become eccentric,
and biographers attempt to reveal their
true personalities, yet Chopin was more
complex than any biographer could
easily describe. Chopin was filled with
rich emotions, thoughts, concepts,
and designs of tonality, music, and
One of the major characteristics of
Chopin’s music is his philosophy of
interpretation that is embedded in his
works. Take, for example, his famous
Fantasie Impromptu in C# minor. In the
first two sections, one can feel the music
rapidly moving toward challenges and
then becoming confused and trying to
find resolution. The third section contains
the famous love melody that attempts to
outweigh the first two motifs. How can
a composer manage to integrate such
contradictory, almost irreconcilable,
feelings into a simple piece of piano
music? Isn’t that one of the great
secrets of Chopin? Wasn’t he called the
Piano Poet? The sounds of this work
reach deep into the soul. Syrian poet,
Ghaida Tabbaa, describes her lover as
a Chopin—a loving, caring man who
Dr. Saleem Zougbi
Frederic Chopin Palestinian Society
Ambassadors for Palestine:
Young Musicians Take to the World Stage
By Heather Bursheh
As the world buries its head in the
sand and Palestinians continue to be
vilified and misrepresented in many
international circles, two groups of
extraordinary young Palestinians are
actively challenging negative stereotypes
and placing Palestine firmly on the world
map of music.
prohibition on the entry of refugees and
many Diaspora Palestinians to Palestine,
this might seem an impossible task.
However, the ESNCM has transformed
a hurdle into an opportunity, effectively
saying that until the world allows the PYO
into Palestine, Palestine will just have to
take the PYO to the world.
Palestinians who reside in Jordan, Syria,
and Palestine, but several have come from
Europe and elsewhere. The Palestinian
Diaspora in Latin America has still been
largely untapped, but the ESNCM is
actively seeking new members worldwide in
the hope of expanding the PYO to the size
of a full symphony orchestra. In addition,
every year a number of guest musicians
are invited from around the world. Every
concert features a concerto or solo that
is accompanied by the orchestra, and
the soloists have included the prominent
Palestinian musicians Salim Abboud
orchestra has been a revelation, not only
for audiences, but for PYO members
as well. For many of the young people,
particularly those living in Syria, Palestine
is the homeland they have never seen,
and several had never met Palestinians
who actually live there. There was initial
nervousness among people who had
grown up in such different worlds, with
different backgrounds, accents, and
in some cases, not even a common
language. However, any initial tension
dissipated rapidly, firm friends were made,
e-mail addresses swapped, and a real
Palestine Youth Orchestra - dress rehearsal at the Roman Amphitheatre in Amman – Jordan, 2006. ESNCM Archive.
Maqamat Arabic Ensemble performing at The Jerusalem Festival 2005. Yabous production Archive. Photo by Raouf Haj Yehia.
Two ground-breaking ensembles,
established and run by the Edward
Said National Conservatory of Music*
(ESNCM), are turning heads locally and
internationally, as their members have
become cultural ambassadors for a
positive, creative Palestine.
Ashkar (piano), Alexander Suleiman
(cello), Karim Said (piano), and the risingstar soprano, Dima Bawab, as well as the
German violinist, Peter Clemente.
PYO programs come from the core of the
symphonic repertoire and have included
Brahms’ First Symphony, Beethoven’s
Triple Concerto, and Kodaly’s ‘Dances
of Galanta’. The members have been
honoured to be led by two prodigious
conductors, Anna-Sophie Bruening of
the Barenboim-Said Foundation, and
the award-winning British conductor,
Sian Edwards.
As a tutor during the first two PYO
courses, I have seen firsthand how the
For the last three consecutive years, the
ESNCM team has organized a summer
residential course for the orchestra in
the mountains of Jordan, culminating
in a concert after a fortnight of intensive
rehearsals. Particularly for the Palestinian
population in Jordan, these concerts have
been moments of pride as well as musical
satisfaction. Diala Khasawneh, a young
Palestinian-Jordanian blogger, described
the 2005 performance in the Roman
Amphitheatre of Jarash in these words:
‘Palestine was beautiful tonight—artistic
and talented, confident and promising’.
The PYO consists of 55 talented
musicians, most of whom are between
the ages of 14 and 25. The majority are
The Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO)
was founded in 2004, with the vision of
bringing together Palestinians not only
from the Occupied Palestinian territories,
but also from historic Palestine and
the Diaspora, to create a high-quality
national youth orchestra on a par with
those worldwide. Given the occupation’s
sense of purpose achieved. Despite many
fiery debates, there is clear unity in their
conviction that this orchestra is theirs,
and its purpose is equally for music and
for Palestine.
This summer, the PYO will move further
afield, holding its summer course in Bonn,
Germany, where it will be under the baton
of Walter Mik, who conducted the newlyformed Arab Youth Orchestra in 2006.
Since its inception, the ESNCM has
formed many different Oriental ensembles
from the student bodies of its three
branches in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and
Bethlehem. After several years of intensive
the Amwas monastery that day. This was
an exciting new addition to the musical
scene in Palestine – a group of young
people playing, with a maturity beyond
their years; a rich beauty of sound and a
strong stage presence.
Since then, the members of Maqamat,
like those of the PYO, have gone from
strength to strength. They travelled to
Dubai in the UAE in 2005, and gave
two highly successful concerts there.
They have performed in several local
events and festivals such as the Yabous
‘Songs of Freedom’ Festival and the
Palestine Festival. In January 2007,
Maqamat toured Sweden, performing ten
concerts and workshops in Gothenburg,
Oskarshavn, and elsewhere, as part of
an exchange program with the University
of Gothenburg, which was funded by
the Swedish International Development
Agency (SIDA).
These two groups of talented,
committed youngsters have an enormous
contribution to make in enhancing the
image of Palestine abroad. Through the
medium of Western classical music, the
PYO is on an equal footing with some of
the major youth orchestras worldwide,
thereby opening doors to audiences with
little prior knowledge of Palestine or the
Arab world; through Arabic and Oriental
music, Maqamat portrays Palestine as
young, aspiring, and confident. Equal,
or perhaps more important, is the
contribution of both ensembles to the
cultural and artistic identity of Palestine,
for their fellow Palestinians in Palestine
and the Diaspora. Alongside traditional
folkloric music, pop, world music and rap,
Maqamat and the PYO—representing
the classical traditions of both East and
West—are part of a wide, rich cultural life,
which is steeped in Palestinian heritage
but also open to the world. Musically,
and in countless other ways, they are
and will remain a source of pride for
Photo by Raouf Haj Yehia
preparation, some of these groups have
gone on to perform in concerts and
participate in workshops and camps
inside and outside Palestine. From this
strong foundation, an idea was formulated
to establish an enlarged ensemble of
advanced students from all three branches
to perform high-quality concerts and
to represent the ESNCM at home and
abroad; thus Maqamat was born.
Its repertoire consists of classical Arabic
music by the likes of Abd al-Wahab,
Fareed al-Atrash, and Mohammad alQasabji; Oriental music from the wider
geographical area, especially from the
Turkish school of the early/mid-twentieth
century; and contemporary compositions
by, for example, the great Palestinian
musician and composer, Simon Shaheen.
All Maqamat programs are arranged
especially for the group by their leader
and tutor, Ibrahim al-Atari.
The character of the ensemble is highly
Oriental, yet not entirely traditional. It is
a 14-member ensemble (male/female
ratio is 12:2) that consists of 2 qanoons,
4 violins, cello, double bass, clarinet,
nai, 2 ouds, saz, flute, and percussion. It
is worth noting that some of these multitalented youngsters excel in Western and
Oriental music, and are members of both
Maqamat and the PYO.
Maqamat performed its first official
concert in the Ramallah Cultural Palace
during the summer of 2004. A few days
beforehand, however, they had given an
informal performance at the ESNCM’s
summer camp in the village of Iqbeibeh,
and I will never forget the buzz that went
round the tiny basement concert hall in
Heather Bursheh is a teacher at the
* ESNCM website:
One Tune or the Other...
Musical Interrelations between Galilee and the West Bank
By Khaled Jubran
Due to its historical role as a bridge
between Egypt and Syria, Palestine
gradually cultivated a kaleidoscopic
culture. Almost every Palestinian cultural
component could be analyzed and
understood as a certain compound or
mixture of Egyptian and Syrian elements.
Being placed amidst these two powerful
poles, Palestinians naturally adopted
either or both as a mother culture.
Music, moreover, is not to be excluded.
considerations do not fall within the scope
of this article, suffice it to say that the
very poor chances of finding a decent
mansaf meal beyond the northern gate
of Jenin or a kobbeh nayyeh dish south
of Nazareth make you wonder: Can
we expect a homogeneous cultural or
musical scene?
Completely detached from their
mother culture after 1948, abandoned
by their urban aristocracy and bourgeois
While moving through Palestine from
north Galilee to Gaza, one will definitely
experience a transition between two
subcultures, which is evident in costumes,
traditions, colloquial dialects, cuisines, or
musical tastes. The Palestinian coastal
strip that stretches from Gaza to Jaffa
and Acre has been more affected by
Egyptian culture, whereas the Galilee
mountains were naturally under Syrian
influence. Although post-World-War-I
political and religious leaderships, and
paralyzed by fear and ignorance, the
remaining Arabs of Galilee began to
face a very ‘successful’ long-term master
plan, which aimed to turn them into a
marginal, inert section of Israeli society.
In order to achieve that goal, the state
of Israel continuously injected into
the Arab community the magic potion
that lessened its dependency on Arab
neighbours. The fear of any collaboration
or contact between the local Arab minority
and ‘enemy’ Arab states drove the state of
Israel to involuntarily encourage a semiself-contained Arab civil society. Listening
to Egyptian radio was prohibited by law.
Alternatively, controlled Arabic broadcast
and print media were soon established.
Egyptian and other Arab literature was
selectively pirated and re-printed in Tel
Aviv. Central educational, health, and
welfare systems were established and
even electoral rights were promptly
granted. Within a few decades, a brand
new upper-middle class emerged on the
surface of a completely rural peasant
class that was left behind after 1948. In
addition to this new class, there stood a
lower-middle class that consisted of the
remainder of Arab society. Both classes
very soon learned two realities: 1) Unlike
the temporary Ottoman rule and British
Mandate, the state of Israel was of an
‘everlasting’ nature and hence their
defeat shared the same quality; 2) Once
they gave up any national/political or
other ‘security-related’ aspirations, their
economic situation would be quite stable.
Their secured ‘life quality’ was at stake
if and when they might oppose Israeli
existence in any way. When compared to
the godforsaken Palestinians who were
left behind in the West Bank or Gaza and
tossed over from British to Hashemite or
Egyptian régimes, the 1948 Palestinians
felt themselves ‘lucky’! Very soon they
absorbed the rules of the game and
started on their prescribed long journey
of slow decay.
One way or another, the doomed and
isolated Arab minority in Galilee clung
to certain components of their Arabic
culture. Literature, poetry, and journalism
were protected by the legitimate channels
of the communist party. Music seems
never to have been interrupted due to
the 1948 occupation. On the contrary,
musicians were re-activated not only
through mingling with Jewish musicians
who were newcomers from Iraq, Syria,
and Egypt, but also through wedding
parties, official Israeli media bands, and
participation in a formal music curriculum
in Arab schools. Both Sephardic and
Arab wedding-feast traditions were
quickly transformed into very active
music-oriented events. The possibility to
earn a living as a music teacher and/or
musician of the various local bands left
no room for ‘personal voice’. Musicians
continued their careers by echoing the
main music currents from neighbouring
Arab states while never feeling any need
for original expression.
Unlike the Israeli theatre scene, the
Israeli music scene failed to inspire Arab
musicians to any kind of innovation; on
the contrary, the Israeli music scene
preferred touristic, stagnated Arabic
music formats. Double exposure and
adaptation of Egyptian as well as Syrian/
Lebanese music styles saturated the
musical space and left little or no room at
all for Western musical influences.
The social composition of the West Bank
was a bit more complicated. Stronger
shades of ‘aristocracy’ survived even until
1967, and a wider, more pragmatic slice
of the bourgeoisie became activated and
even more powerful. Parts of this upper
class felt and acted as natural inheritors
of the British Mandate intelligentsia. They
imposed their cultural leadership over
society and used their familiarity with
British/Western language, culture, and
manières to maintain their elite status
with respect to the relatively very poor
and uneducated lower class.
The absence of a formal music
education system led music lovers onto
alternative paths (mostly Western):
either quasi-classical music training
through church schools and monasteries
or Western pop music practice, which
flourished mainly in some private schools
(the Friends School, the Frères School,
the Rosary Sisters’ School, etc.) and
some community centres such as the
YMCA. Although the above-mentioned
options suited narrow elitist fragments
of Palestinian society, the remaining
majority was shut out of this scene. Their
love for the ‘oud and nai ‘folksy’ sounds
did not fit in to the elegant Franco-Arab
space, nor did their colloquial dialects
match the refinement of the prevailing
bon ton. Although several testimonies
indicate the presence of habitual ‘oud
and artistic musical gatherings in some
well-established family houses, such
as the famous ‘women’s receptions’
in Nablus, these non-public traditions
seem to have lost their appeal too soon,
leaving very little impact on the younger
By the mid-seventies, West Bank
society began to loosen up after the
double shock of the 1967 War and the
1970 Black September massacres.
Seasonal and occasional music and
dance parties flourished again. This
time, several musicians from the Galilee
took part in these fairly rewarding
musical happenings, and some even
switched their living places to cities
in the West Bank, where the lack of
serious competition added to the fame
and recognition they had gained as
Israeli media stars, and made them act
and be treated as local megastars.
but give way and later on try to join or
‘adopt’ the new breed of street leadership.
The political strategies and performances
of the past, as well as national and social
conduct, were carefully re-examined
and evaluated according to their real
contributions and roles in crystallizing
a genuine national and cultural identity.
Naturally, the soft-music and dance
happenings slipped into irrelevance as
did the five o’clock tea gatherings.
The post-Intifada Palestinian artist had
to be much more than a mere musician,
actor, etc. That fatal, yet evasive,
difference between entertainment and
art began to take its first steps into
Palestinian awareness. Music became a
highly valued manner of self-expression
rather than a luxurious hobby that was
restricted to the wealthy. As part of their
claim to a decent place under the sun,
the young generations began to search
for Palestinian sound and rhythm. And as
‘ouds, qanuns, nais, and other previously
neglected Oriental instruments gained
of ‘Iraqism’ and talent into the music
scene in order to redeem the ‘oud from
its previous ‘sleepy’ image. The young
and proud Lebanese musicians, Zeyad
Rahbani and Marcel Khalifah, with their
Arab instruments and simple, meaningful
lyrics, swiftly overshadowed the great
Fairuz legacy. It was only natural for
Palestinians in the 1990s to embrace
such models and to have a stronger
affinity to Sabreen’s music than to Majida
el-Roumi’s angelic voice. The amazing
fact is not only that Palestine started its
own wave of music innovation but also
that this spark started in the West Bank
and not in the allegedly saturated and
‘well-experienced’ Galilee. The mixture
of Galilee artists who knew the ‘how’ and
West Bank artists who knew the ‘why’
was crucial.
The 1990s witnessed a second wave
of Galilee musicians who chose the West
Bank as their field of work. Unlike the
waves of the ’70s and ’80s, economic
considerations played no role. An Israel-
The 1988 Intifada was much more
than a natural resistance reaction to 21
years of Israeli occupation. It indicated
a profound internal transformation in
beliefs, national priorities, and social/
political hierarchy. Palestinian streets
and backyards became the ultimate
sources of this new, internationally
respected, straightforward, and nonrhetorical strategy. The old, constantly
defeated patriarchal system could not
appreciation and occupied the heart of
every relevant music hall in the West
Bank, Western instruments such as
pianos and guitars were sidelined as they
failed to cope with the ‘fresh’ tones and
The Arab World had already witnessed
the birth of such a gap between the
stagnant ‘old’ and the vibrant ‘new’ back
in the 1980s. The Bashir brothers, Jamil
and Munir, had injected a potent dose
free atmosphere and the awakening thirst
for fresh art invited many Galilee-born
artists to experience the authenticity
of their artistic as well as national
While the Galilee went on chewing the
same pointless tarab-drugged music,
the pathetic image of a musician in
the Galilee as a craftsman who was
subordinated to the taste of his nouveauriche audience became obvious. On the
other hand, West Bank musicians smartly
bypassed the shackles of Arabic music
heritage, choosing only what suited them
most in order to express their personal
voice and environment as loudly and
boldly as possible.
Palestinian music and art experienced
a few golden years during the ’90s
– to be more accurate, between the
first and second intifadas. The free
space that enabled such prosperity was
created due to the physical retreat of the
defeated Israeli army from Palestinian
cities, the euphoric expectations of
change that were created by the Oslo
agreements, and the absence of an
actual, active ministry of culture. Hence,
no interference or censorship was
implemented. Ramallah became a
cultural model to be imitated in Nazareth
and Haifa. Booming with almost every
possible musical style and dialect, the city
attracted musicians and audiences from
all over Palestine, in addition to Western
musicians, who seemed fascinated by
the oriental lure and decided to try their
chances in the country. Surprisingly
enough, even world-class musicians such
as Daniel Barenboim spared no efforts in
order to seize a niche in the Palestinian
musical scene!
The military reactions to the second
Intifada were more than a cruel blow to
Ramallah’s short spring season. Many
musicians and talented youths fled from
what became huge, secluded dungeons.
Yet the years 2002–2007 witnessed
the circulation of no less than 25 new
Palestinian CDs, most of which contain
original music compositions with various
degrees of ingenuity. This could not have
been achieved without the very inspiring
years of the ’90s.
The unique ‘Ramallah experience’ may
have been a once-in-a-lifetime successful
musical development. The history of
developing countries in our region does
not include many such fortunate chiasms,
but rather the gradual taking-over by
some kind of central bureaucracy such as
the overriding ministry of culture in some
neighbouring countries or the palaceaffiliated conservatories and art-school
directors in others.
A few minutes after writing these last
‘gloomy’ sentences, I was informed that
the Palestinian Ministry of Education
had initiated a procedure of burning and
destroying copies of a book of Palestinian
folk stories! I could not help wondering,
Are my last phrases too gloomy? And
is it the inevitable nature of pessimist
prophecies to turn into dark realities that
soon? How long will it last until some
ministry decides to destroy another book
or perhaps even a CD? Or imprison a
poet, a painter, or a composer?
Arab culture and history teach us that
every caliphate inherited three of the
Prophet Mohammad’s belongings: the
prophet’s gown, ring, and sword. These
three items became the most important
symbols of any caliphate, including that
of Abdul Hameed II, who was the last
Ottoman caliph. During the twentieth
century, Arab kings, sultans, and dictators
replaced those ancient holy symbols with
modern, very unholy, ones: a ministry of
culture, an opera house, and a symphonic
orchestra. My last personal ‘pessimistic’
prophecy for this article is: may I not live
long enough to witness any of them being
realized in Palestine.
Khaled Jubran is a composer and
master player of buzuq and ‘oud. He was
born in the Galilee in 1961 to a musical
family. Between 1985 and 1992, he
studied music composition and theory at
the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem where
he later worked as a teacher. In 1993,
he founded and headed the Arabic music
department at the Palestinian National
Conservatory in Ramallah. In 2001 he
founded Al-Urmawi Centre for Mashreq
Music, which he currently leads. Al-Urmawi
is a Palestinian institution that works to
promote excellence and innovation in
Arabic music and to develop the skills and
knowledge of young Arab musicians.
Article Photos by Said Murad
By Issa Boulos
Maqam (plural: maqamat) is a series
of pitches (scale or mode) that can be
represented by seven or more tones based
on eastern-modal systems. The repertoire
that emerged from these maqamat
is called maqam music. Historically,
maqam music gained sophistication
and momentum during the height of the
Islamic Empire between the eighth and
the thirteenth centuries.
The mood of the maqam is maintained
by time-tested monophonic melodic
figures that bear rhythmic and/or
modulatory qualities and formulas. A
musical composition is governed by
the accumulation of these figures and
formulas while other variations on pitch
and melodic relationships are constantly
being explored. A melodic entity is based
within a group of notes (tetrachords and
pentachords) that interlock with a different
group within the maqam for the sake of
development and exploration of other
areas of the maqam, including its higher
register. The musical entry (madkhal)
differs from one maqam to another.
Occasionally, a player emphasizes certain
areas of a single maqam that do not
necessarily directly indicate its tonal
centre. The concept of resolution and
melodic development depends on the
pitch make-up of the maqam as well as
its register, repertoire, and genre. These
elements and roles also govern the
ascending or descending procedures of
a composition. Eventually, they become
the basis upon which performers depend
while composing and/or performing a
monophonic piece.
The maqam is established to introduce
an instrumental or vocal performance
or as an independent solo piece with a
decisive musical beginning and ending. In
all cases, modulating to different maqamat
is possible, but there must be a final
return to the original scale. The number
of maqamat in use has varied throughout
history. Of these, about one hundred have
been developed into musical settings.
The intonation system of maqam music
is not equally tempered. It is, rather, based
on microtonal octave divisions, which have
varied throughout history. Depending on
genre, musical heritage, and region (from
the Atlas Mountains and parts of the
Sahara in Africa to the Arabian Gulf region
and the banks of the Euphrates), a single
maqam octave may contain between 17
and 72 microtonal octave divisions. There
are many theoretical intonation systems
that were developed and are currently
in use, each with its own different set of
roles and pitch necessities. Since this
tradition continues to rely to a great extent
on oral tradition and auditory memory of
the maqam tone series and the number of
scale notes and pitches within the octave,
it is nearly impossible to accommodate
all the existing regional variations of a
single maqam by applying one intonation
system to the whole repertoire. The tonal
structure of vocal and instrumental music
in Greater Syria, for instance, shows
relative coherence and unity of their
existing intonation system. Although this
system is not theoretically articulate, the
existence of unified and coherent musical
performances indicates that regional
theoretical systems are only dealt with as
mere musical tools to aid the coexisting
orally transmitted tradition. Accordingly,
musicians and theorists in various regions
apply different systems that fit their own
regional and traditional musical criteria,
which lead to differences in musical
practice and its transcription.
For more information, visit http://www.
Issa Boulos is a composer, ‘oud
performer, critic, researcher, writer,
and lyricist. Most recently he was
commissioned to write four pieces for
both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
and his group, Nawa. The four pieces
were premiered in September 2006 and
critically acclaimed. He is a lecturer at the
University of Chicago, where he directs
the Middle East Music Ensemble.
By Frederic Hazou
After a half-hour conversation between
Frère Bernard and Frederic Hazou (known
as Fredo), the latter enthusiastically
informed his waiting colleagues that his
wish had been fulfilled: their band would
be named ‘The Silverstones’.
The year was 1972. All five band
members bounced into the practiceroom to create, unbeknownst to them, a
radically new world of music that would
change the lives of young Palestinians.
Fredo Hazou, Ibrahim Murad, Garo
Demrejian, Abdallah Bahajj, and Suheil
Sahhar revved up their engines to race
to the top of the music charts.
Gruelling practices paid off, and the
Silverstones became the warm-up band
for major concerts at a number of local
venues and were asked to play weekly
at various churches. Slowly, but surely,
the Silverstones were
becoming known.
In 1975, and after
the group had signed
its first contract to play
every weekend at the
Ramallah Municipality
Restaurant, Suheil,
the drummer, left the
group in order to go
to the United States
and was replaced by
Roger Hazou (Fredo’s brother). Not long
afterwards, Abdallah, the guitarist, left the
band to go to Jordan.
One could say that the Park of Ramallah
Restaurant was where it all started.
Genuine fame. The weekend crowds
were so huge that the owner had to
borrow chairs from his neighbours in
order to accommodate the overflow.
Fifteen fourteen-year-old musicians set
Ramallah summer nights on fire with their
music. A new era had begun. The young
generation had found its voice.
The year for national tours was 1976.
After performing in Jerusalem, Ramallah,
Nablus, Bethlehem, and Gaza, the
group decided to participate in the
competition that included bands from
all over Palestine. Even though the
panels of judges made the official call,
the audiences left no room for doubt
as to which band was the best. For six
consecutive years, the Silverstones were
number one.
And in 1978–79, the arrival of Sarkis
Y’acobian (trumpet) and Shunt Tavitian
(saxophone) made an already great band
even greater.
Finally, the much-awaited day came on
December 12, 1982. The Silverstones
headed off to make their first recording.
Ramzi Khamis had recently joined the
group as a backup to lead singer, Garo.
The song was ‘Bihebbek’ (‘I Love You’),
with lyrics written by Fredo and music by
All the comings and goings had little
impact on the Silverstones’ popularity.
The band was able to keep the
momentum and stability it needed to
stay in the limelight. They performed at
least every day and sometimes even
twice a day. Often joining the band
as guests for various concerts were
well-known stars such as Bassima
Khoury, whose nickname was ‘Fairuz
of Jerusalem’, Maha Khoury, Roland
Salman, ‘Odeh Turujmann, Wourroud,
and Edline Saygh.
De La Salle Hall, Al-Hakawati Theatre,
the Cinema Hall of Jerusalem, and the
city of Akko were some of the venues for
the Silverstones’ concerts.
At the beginning of the first Intifada in
1987, the group stopped its activities and
cancelled all its music performances. The
precarious and fear-provoking situation
left little space for entertainment.
Despite the band’s abrupt dissolution,
members have always stayed in touch
members of the Silverstones, as well as
members from other former bands, to
form a new music group called Shibat.
Roger became a deacon and serves
the Syriac Catholic Church. He is also the
financial manager at Ecce Homo Convent
in Jerusalem. When he finds the time, he
still enjoys playing the drums.
Ibrahim has his own business as a
fashion designer and is a member of the
new band, Shibat.
Lutfi has taken his music to the States.
He works in a large conservatory in
California, tunes pianos, and performs
as a one-man band.
Ramzi has a travel agency in Nazareth
and has recently returned to the music
scene. He was Shibat’s guest performer
during its 2006 Christmas concert.
In the year 2000, the Silverstones got
together again to start a tour of concerts
to promote peace in cooperation with AlSabeel. During the tour, Garo joined the
band with Freij Najarian, the drummer
Ramzi. For two months, it stayed on the
charts and could be heard everywhere
– on the radio, in restaurants, and at
universities. Its success encouraged
the band to record a second song,
‘Khalitini Inssa Alhub’ (‘You Made Me
Forget Love’), also Fredo’s lyrics and
Ramzi’s music. The two songs were
sold on the same record, which became
a tremendous success.
At the end of 1982, Garo left the band
and moved to Jordan. Lutfi Hissen then
became a member, as did Faisal AlWazani, who soon left the group and was
replaced by the famous singer, Bassam
with each other. Fredo works as a music
teacher and has formed several bands for
school students. He even opened a music
store called ‘Silverstones Music Shop’.
He continues to write songs with social
and political themes and has even written
a number of children’s songs, among
them ‘Jidar Tamn Mtar’ (‘A Wall Eight
Metres High’), and ‘Atfal Kula l-Awtan’
(‘Kids of All Countries’).
Garo remained in the music business
and became Palestine’s first one-man
band. He still performs at weddings and
is presently preparing to release a new
CD. He was instrumental in reuniting the
who used to replace Roger during his
absence, and William Canawati, an
organist and singer. The impressive
concerts were performed for free and
very well-received.
Even today, many Silverstones members
are active in schools and perform yearly
charitable concerts at Christmastime in
cooperation with members of other ‘old
and famous’ groups.
The soul of the Silverstones lives on.
Frederic Hazou can be reached at
[email protected]
Journey in the Palestinian Political Song
and songwriter, he sets to music the
lyrics of renowned Palestinian poets
such as Mahmud Darwish, Rashid
Hussein, Taufiq Zayyad, and Fadwa
Tuqan, as well as his own poems, and
accompanies them on his ‘oud. When
the ‘oud, the king of instruments in
Arabic music, is played by Mustafa alKurd, it becomes an orchestra in itself.
The Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem,
the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip has
had a direct impact on the work of
Palestinian musicians and songwriters.
Since 1967, they have had to confront
head on the effects of the occupation
on all aspects of life within Palestinian
society. It was then that Mustafa al-Kurd
began to write and perform his songs.
They were songs of resistance to the
occupation, such as ‘The Plow’ (‘Give
me the plough and the sickle, never leave
your land …’), which at the time was
transformed into a Palestinian anthem
against the occupation. During the years
of the Palestinian political-cultural revival
of the early seventies, his songs were
heard all over the Occupied Territories:
‘In the Arab sector of Jerusalem, young
folks in jeans and colourful shirts visit one
another in order to listen, spellbound,
to a home-crafted record. The poetic
complaints of Mustafa al-Kurd evoke, in
veiled terms, not only the occupation, the
judaization of the land, and the struggle
of the Palestinian National Front, but also
the longing for peace’. (Eric Rouleau)
Mustafa al-Kurd was born in 1945 within
the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem,
where he grew up at the intersection
of several musical traditions: classical
Arabic ‘oud, Sufi chants and rhythms,
Byzantine song, European organ music,
and Palestinian folklore. From these
rich sources, he created a new genre
in response to the occupation: the
Palestinian political song, and a new
style of music: contemporary Palestinian
music and chansons. As a composer
His first record was produced by Salah
ed-Din Office, in cooperation with the
Palestinian theatre group, al-Ballalin,
where he also worked as an actor. The
record was then published in France as
the first record of Palestinian political
After several arrests in 1976
(administrative detention), Mustafa
spent the next nine years in involuntary
exile. In Europe, he performed not only
for Arab students and workers and
solidarity groups, but also in big festivals
of political music (East Berlin’s Festival
of Political Songs, Vancouver’s Folk
Music Festival, the Rudolstadt Folk
Festival, the Modena Festival, and many
more). He often performed together with
other political songwriters of the time
– from Greece’s Mikis Theodorakis to
Chile’s Inti-Illimani, from South Africa’s
Miriam Makeba to Portugal’s Jose
Afonso and the United States’ Pete
He recorded many new records and
cassettes in Europe, among them
‘Without a Passport’ (the words of
a poem by Rashid Hussein), which
reflects the experience of exile in
general and the Palestinian experience
of statelessness, in particular. The song
was recorded live during the Festival
Contr’Eurovision in 1979 in Brussels.
Back in Palestine just in time for the
beginning of the first Intifada in 1987, he
wrote the songs for his first Intifada album:
Children of the Intifada. It was published
both as a cassette and later on as a CD,
and included his famous song ‘A Stone
and an Onion and a Bucket of Water’.
Jerusalem inspired him to write a
new cycle of chansons dedicated to
his hometown. The songs were first
performed at a memorable concert in
the cloisters of the Lutheran Church in
the Old City during the summer of 1990,
and featured a new arrangement with
two ‘ouds and Arab percussion. The
Jerusalem cycle was published on CD
in Switzerland (‘Fawanees’) in 1993, by
an ensemble of Swiss and Palestinian
musicians that was led by Mustafa himself
(‘oud, percussion, bassoon, and flute).
Throughout his career, Mustafa al-Kurd
has composed and produced the music
for many films, especially documentary
films such as Mustafa Abu Ali’s Tell ezZaatar (1977), countless theatre-plays,
including al-Hakawati’s The Thousand
and One Nights of a Stone Thrower
(1982), and the first Palestinian opera,
Antar, also by al-Hakawati (1988).
In recent years, Mustafa’s music has
become much richer, more complex
and full, moving away from the earlier
and rather direct political songs toward
a distinctly lyrical genre where the artist
and his deepest feelings dominate. At
the moment, he is working on a new
Jerusalem album with songs written and
composed by himself, which should be out
soon. The next project will be an album
of songs based on the lyrics of the most
famous Palestinian contemporary poets.
Mustafa al-Kurd directs the Jerusalem
Center for Arabic Music, which he founded
after his return home from exile. At
the center, he teaches music, writes,
performs, produces his own work, and
cooperates with other artists in both music
and theatre.
Nature’s Rhythm: The Bird Orchestra
By Sami Backleh
collaborating with musicologists to ask
what music is and how it evolved. The
mix has raised far more questions than
it has answered, but it is attracting new
fans to feathery and furry composers that
make some really loud noises.
Correspondingly, it has been said
that ambient sound (the surrounding
soundscape) is a central component
of natural habitats. Moreover, there is
evidence that the ambient sound of
an environment mimics a modern-day
orchestra: the voice of each creature has
its own frequency, amplitude, timbre, and
duration, and occupies a unique niche
among the other musicians. This ‘animal
orchestra’ represents a unique sound
grouping for any given biome.
We call some bird vocalisations ‘song’
and take for granted the equivalence
between birdsong and human music.
But the question here is, How much of
human music had its first roots in imitation
of birdsong? It is, in fact, hard to know.
Many scientific researchers, however,
have indicated that it is not a coincidence
that some of today’s birds sing ‘music’ in
the sense that their songs can be quite
faithfully transcribed into our standard
musical notation.
Interestingly enough, birds have earned
the respect of some of the world’s
greatest musicians. Mozart selected a
starling as a pet and musical companion.
The ability of this species that mimics
other species astonished Mozart and
hence increased his admiration for his
avian companion. These birds skilfully
and abundantly mimic frogs, goats, and
whistling shepherds. The interesting thing
about this bird, moreover, is its ability to
belt out two songs at the same time by
acquiring a two-part voice organ – typical
of songbirds – through which it can
mimic two birds at the same time. This
strongly influenced Mozart in one of his
Art, music, and literature are constituents
of culture. Each of these constituents,
however, has its separate history and
can also be seen as a manifestation
of a human biological drive – a drive
towards exploring and experimenting
with the analysis of human perception.
Music, which is defined as patterns of
sound that vary in pitch and time and
that are produced for emotional, social,
cultural, and cognitive purposes, has
Photo by Imad Atrash PWS archive
been said to be the identity of many
ancient civilisations. Although human
music-making may vary dramatically
between cultures, the fact that it is found
in all cultures suggests that there is a
deep human need to create, perform,
and listen to music.
Various studies have revealed that the
sounds of many animals, such as whales,
birds, insects, and primates, have a
structure that is similar to human music.
Scientists have also proved that the
rhythmic, repeated utterance, whether
by a bird, a frog, an insect, a whale, or a
human being, is constructed according
to laws that are strikingly similar to those
adopted by human composers.
This attention to animal music has arisen
through the growing interest in a broader
area called biomusicology. Biologists are
compositions. It has also been reported
that one of his famous compositions, ‘A
Musical Joke’, which Mozart affectionately
wrote after the death of his beloved
bird, clearly shows the starling style. It
includes such starling-like bits as tangled
tunes, off-key recapitulations, and an
unexpected ending.
Ornithological and musical examination
of birdsong reveals every elementary
rhythmic effect found in human music.
There are interval inversions, simple
harmonic relations, and retention of
melody with change of key. Not all bird
sounds are derived from the vocal tract;
some are produced with ‘instruments’
such as special feather structures; others
by the bird pounding on an object with a
‘preferred’ resonance.
It has been said that the word ‘song’
implies a certain musicality or tunefulness,
and was first applied to the regular
springtime outpourings of birds because
so many of them are tuneful. In bird
biology, however, the word ‘song’ has
come to acquire its own wider meaning:
any sound – melodic or unmelodic
– delivered in the nesting period, usually
by a male bird, is often for the purpose
of territorial defence or the attraction of
a mate.
For most of us, the songs of birds
have an aesthetic appeal, and we
respond to the most beautiful, as we do
to music. A few birdsongs are, in any
case, virtually indistinguishable from
human instrumental music. People in
various cultures adore the songs of many
species of birds. This admiration has led
to the dubbing of certain singers with the
names of specific birds. The nightingale
(andaleeb in Arabic) has some of the
most astonishingly beautiful songs. The
blackbird (shahroor) has been called
the Beethoven of birds. The male sings
long, beautifully shaped phrases that
are well-defined in time and tone. The
effect is smooth, flute-like, and musical.
The bulbul is one of the most popular
birds in Palestine for its sweet songs and
rhythms. The curlew (karawan) has long
been known for its calls at dawn. Even the
goldfinch (hasson), although it is sadly
often trapped in captivity, is traditionally
well-loved for its wonderful songs.
Musical sounds form an exciting, natural
bond between members of our own
species, between our species and others,
and between the arts and sciences. By
looking at musical commonalities, our
understanding of music expands, and by
Photo by Imad Atrash PWS archive
viewing musical sounds as an intuitive,
nonverbal form of communication, we can
better understand our own development
in a biodiverse world.
Sami Backleh is a conservation
biologist. He can be reached at sbackleh_
[email protected]
Palestinian Popular Song
By Abdel Aziz Abu Hadba
Popular song is one of the features
of Palestinian folklore. Like medieval
Scottish ballads, Palestinian popular
song takes the form of a poem, usually
simple and fairly short. It often begins
abruptly, utilizes vernacular language,
makes use of refrains, and is either sung
by a single male or female singer or by
a chorus. Used widely for various social
occasions, popular song dramatizes the
feelings and passions of the singer.
Popular song can be divided into three
main categories according to function:
songs for social occasions, songs for
manual labour, and songs of friendly
Whereas songs for social occasions,
such as weddings, circumcision,
pilgrimage, and childbirth, are meant to
generate an atmosphere of joy, religious
songs seek to revive and strengthen
religious fervour and values among
people. Songs for social occasions are
culturally bound and, as such, they reveal
much about the reality of Palestinian
social life. Wedding songs, for instance,
manifest the Palestinian wedding in
its various stages – betrothal, henna,
groom’s procession, bride’s departure
from her father’s house, and ululation
– and each stage has its own special
song. The following are examples.
Betrothal: We walked from morning
till evening, / Looking for girls of noble
Henna: Your henna and elaborate
ornaments have filled the cup; / Joy to
whomever has taken you, / And misery to
the one who has failed to have you.
The bride’s departure from her father’s
house: Get up and go, get up and go,
what do you care? / We have given rights
of dowry to your father and uncle. / Get up
and go, get up and change your abode;
/ We have given rights of dowry to your
father and uncle.
Groom’s procession: ‘Tell me where
to hold your wedding ceremony, /
Mohammad, the handsome’. / ‘At the
Dome of the Rock, between the two
mosques’./ ‘Tell me where to set up
your wedding ceremony, / You that have
beautiful eyes’. / ‘At the Dome of the
Rock, and the Prophet is my physician’.
Ululation is a series of loud, deep tones
bellowed by a woman with a sharp, shrill
voice. The following is an example:
Yahee ya bay your face was never
overcast, / And your enemy never in
courts sat; / By your father’s life, and
the earth of who gave you life, / Drive
away your enemies, each on his steed
This is usually followed by the combined
ululation of a group of women.
The second type of popular song is
sung by peasants and farmers during
land-ploughing, harvest time, and
fruit- and olive-picking. The songs
motivate individuals to continue their
work unwearyingly. They offer labourers
psychological consolation for the
weariness and burden of hard labour.
The following are examples of labour
Harvest time: My crackling sickle /
Knived through the crops; / My sickle
with a pointed knife / That I brought
from Gaza.
Olive-picking: You black olive, like
the mascaraed eyes of women, / Your
ancestors rose early in the morning /
To pick you; / Why don’t you turn into
lemon? / Why don’t you turn musakhan
in the oven?
Planting: I will plant garlic for you in
the front yard / Where you can spread
a dress or two; / The look of your eyes
has enchanted me; / But now they desire
to sleep.
The third and last type of popular song
contains gentle reproaches to friends. It
is sung by a single person in high pitch,
and it requires an outstanding vocal talent
that attracts the attention of the audience.
As the name of the song suggests, it is
characterized by agonizing feelings that
result from the painful experiences that
people pass through during their lives. It
usually starts with the word owf:
Ya mijana, ya mijana, ya mijana, /
Violets are budding / And it is springtime
in my country. / We salute the time that
has brought us together.
The last line is used as a refrain, and
the audience sings it with the singer.
Another example of a song of friendly
reproach follows:
Good evening to you all, / I kiss your
hands, all of you; / In times of tribulation
I will call for your help, / When night falls,
O Arabs.
Photo by James Prineas
with him, / But he said his trip was long.
Putting the child to sleep: God
overcomes all fear, Sleep, my dear, in
God’s protection.
When a child is teething: I cheer you, I
cheer you; / Seven camels hold for you
/ Peanuts and hazel nuts, / All for the
growth of your teeth.
A child standing up for the first time:
My horse, toughen your legs; / My horse,
stand as tall as cane hay.
We have seen the significance of
popular song at social occasions and
noted that each stage of life has its
own relevant songs that describe the
wishes and hopes of the singer. The
emotionally rich nature of popular
song makes a strong impact on all the
members of the audience, who often
participate in repeating various parts of
the song. Finally, popular song is always
developing. New words are added and
new songs emerge. Hence the creativity
of singers keeps popular song alive
and relevant to all occasions despite
differences of time and place.
Photo by James Prineas
In contrast to other types of folklore song,
popular song is always accompanied by
music, especially the tambourine. The
clarinet, the double-piped flute, and the
oboe accompany the traditional dabka
dance and dialogic songs.
Moreover, there are didactic popular
songs especially for children. These are
divided into two types: a type reiterated
by parents during the first stages of their
children’s development, and another
reiterated by children after they grow up
and start to play in groups or go through
daily life experiences.
Below are examples of children’s
Playing with children: I took to the camel
rider / When the day for him to leave had
arrived; / I told the camel driver to take me
Abdel Aziz Abu Hadba is the director
of the Palestinian Folklore Center.
Palestine: Between Creativity
and Art Production
There are no preconditions for art
creativity. An artist can be creative in
times of sadness, happiness, poverty,
and wealth. For an artist, any state of
being may precipitate momentum for
creativity. The artist only needs the right
tools to express his feelings.
The history of art is rich in models of
creativity where suffering or happiness
is the main drive. The suffering of Taha
Hussein and the happiness of Abu Nuwas
made them two of the most well-known
figures in the field of art. In addition, the
poverty of Van Gogh and the wealth
of Salvador Dali, rather than being
obstacles to creativity, gave their art new
horizons. Sheikh Imam sang while he
was living in poverty in an old house in a
poor suburb. The poverty-stricken poet,
Ahmed Fouad Najem, and the wealthy
narrative writer, Tharwat Abaza, gained
fame during the same period.
By Said Murad
an institution that protects the rights of
writing, publishing, and distribution. The
above are preconditions for a complete
artistic circle, with art production forming
the backbone for the renaissance and
spread of art.
Music in Palestine: An art for every
class, and a class for every art
As all other societies, Palestinian
society is characterized by its own class
divisions. Class divisions are, in turn,
characterized by their social, cultural,
artistic, and musical concepts and
interests. For example, the Palestinian
rural areas tend toward ‘folklore’
music, which consists of old, traditional
compositions that are bequeathed
through oral narration. In such folklore,
the model maintains its characteristics
and rhythm, as well as its lyrics. Yet new
words, which are similar to the original
ones, can be added when they accurately
reflect Palestinian life. This type of art is
very popular at wedding parties and other
events, including national holidays, and
it aims to maintain a sense of national
identity. The most famous folklore singers
are Mosa Hafez, Muhareb Theib, and
Rajeh Al Silfiti; and the mijwiz, rababe,
and yarghul are the main instruments
for this type of music, which is played
in a group and accompanies dancing or
singing. This is a powerful expression
of the spirit and history of an important
part of the Palestinian people. However,
a large number of Palestinians tend
towards ‘common’ Arab music, both
classical and popular. Parties that feature
this music are often organized in the
backyard of a home or in community and
school auditoriums. This type of music is
prevalent in large cities and is typically
performed using the guitar, piano, and
Music Production
Despite the importance of talent and
creativity, the question remains: Are these
sufficient for creating a broad, successful
musical movement? It is well known that
such a movement could not be created
without a strong artistic circle that
includes a stable infrastructure. Talent,
educational facilities, and resources that
include teachers, books, and venues to
experience and express this talent are
only the beginning. The next step is to
provide the infrastructure necessary
for production – publishing houses and
possibilities for recording and organizing
performances. The role of the print,
broadcast, and electronic media is
no less important. Also, outreach and
communication with other Arab and
international cultures, through joint
festivals, meetings, art exhibitions,
and recordings, are needed as well,
along with the existence of laws and
institutions must be set up, and there
should be a mechanism in place to
encourage and develop communication
and interaction among these institutions
in order to ensure a common vision and
to overcome whatever challenges may
Music in Expression and Change
Despite their difficult living conditions,
Palestinians are committed to preserving
their culture and to sharing it with the
outside world at both regional and
international levels. In the musical arena,
this has often led to the formation of music
groups that perform locally and abroad.
Recently, several Palestinian music
organizations and institutions have been
established to promote music education
and to provide venues for concerts and
festivals. But due to lack of resources
and an incomplete infrastructure, the
audience for these events is limited in
number. In addition, musical events are
typically restricted to large cities such as
Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem,
with the exception of some fairly large
festivals of humble quality, which have
recently been discontinued. The most
popular musical performances and
concerts are held within the context of
public occasions and wedding parties.
On the international level, Palestinian
music is limited to political songs and
lacks the breadth that is needed to be
considered part of the world music scene.
In addition, due to lack of communication
and cooperation between Palestinians
involved in the field of music, musical
production work is often duplicated,
thus decreasing the energy and
creativity available for strengthening
and broadening the possibilities to enter
the world music arena.
Although the Palestinians have made
great strides in the world of culture
and music, there remains much to
be done. Progress can only happen
through a comprehensive national plan
that includes coordination among all
governmental and non-governmental
organizations, appropriate and fair
distribution of roles, and the cooperation
and partnership of stakeholders, including
schools, universities, cultural centres, and
publishing and distribution companies.
Educational, media, and production
Music Types/Forms/Colours
Songs in Palestine can be categorized
as national, resistance, or revolutionary.
In my opinion, the musical differences
among them are based on the extent
of their contribution to changing the
prevailing musical models. National
and resistance songs depend on known
models, without influencing musical
form or content. Revolutionary music,
on the other hand, is distinguished by
its modern models. One could say that
revolutionary songs are the musical
revolution itself and that they contribute
to making qualitative changes in musical
form and content. Below are examples of
the three types of song.
National Music and Song
This form of music is common in
Palestine. Its nature is traditional and
classical, and it is performed in groups.
There is little variation in this type of
music even though its superficial form
may appear to be modern, as in ‘Mawtini’
(‘My Homeland’) and ‘Bilad al ’Arb Awtani’
(‘The Arab World is My Homeland’), for
Resistance Music and Song
Although based on national and
folkloric songs, resistance music not only
advocates for political and democratic
change, but also protests discrimination
and occupation. These songs normally
use well-known forms and models.
Examples of resistance songs include
the 1973 war songs, the Palestinian
revolution songs, Al ‘Ashiqeen, and
songs of political and environmental
organizations. Such songs deliver direct
and specific messages that represent
specific political, social, and military
Revolutionary Music
Since music is linked to the human
person at a certain moment in time
and in a particular emotional or
psychological state, it can have
the quality of bringing balance to
consciousness. Revolutionary music
is a new creature that took the form of
the general environment and became
a comprehensive social movement
that is characterized by deviation
from the norm and non-recognition of
certain forms. This music renewal not
only applies to the level of composed
text but also to the level of musical
distribution, utilization of instruments,
types of instruments, the merging
of instruments, and the drafting of
compositions. Revolutionary music
is not restricted to one form of song;
it can be national, resistance, or
emotional, like the poetry of Mahmoud
Darwish, Ahmed Al Arabi and Marcel
Khalifa, Insan and Sabreen Group,
Hat e Sikeh and Mustafa Al Kurd, and
the songs and music of Sheikh Imam,
as well as setting to music the poetry
of Nizar Qabani by Kazem el Saher.
Said Murad is a composer and
the general director of Sabreen
Association for Artistic Development.
be a broadcaster/cameraman). The rest,
as they say, is history.
For better or for worse, I am an
American married to a Palestinian. This
arrangement has created many cultural
especially in marriage, you are bound
to watch a very funny movie. Here are
some scenes from my movie, “My Big
Fat Palestinian Wedding,” except that it
isn’t a movie, it’s really my life:
“You met an Arab?” my mother screams
into the phone long distance (although
I can’t see them, her eyes are popping
out of her head). “And he wants to marry
“Yes, he’s very serious.”
conundrums for me because, as with
anywhere in the Middle East, you don’t
just marry the person, you marry their
family and, for me, their culture. As a
“tourist bride,” an outsider who has come
to live in Jerusalem and “work” in the
West Bank, I have had some difficulty
getting used to things or else I have
questions about how people view me
here. As you can imagine, whenever two
radically different cultures come together,
“You sure he doesn’t want to marry you
just to come to America?”
“No, Ma, he’s lived here already. He
prefers Palestine.”
“You’d better watch out—he better not be
marrying you for money.”
“No, Ma, he has more money than I
“Are you sure he won’t marry another
woman while he’s married to you?”
My Big Fat Palestinian Wedding
or How I Became a non-Palestinian Bride
By Irene Archos
If someone had told me a year ago
today that in the near future I would be
married to a Palestinian and living in
Al-Quds, I would have told them to go
jump off a cliff and stop wasting my time.
But, as fate would have it, ladies and
gentlemen, fact is stranger than fiction.
How could have anyone expected it? I
had come first to Jerusalem to celebrate
Pascha 2006. I’m a Greek American girl
from New York City who wrote the book
and the website (www.greekamericangirl.
com). The experience changed my life.
I had come sick, tired, broken, and
after witnessing the miracle of the Holy
Light and living the reality of Christ’s
Resurrection, I too was born again. My
mother was healed of cancer. I travelled
through my first desert in Jericho. I had a
shopping frenzy in Ramallah and ended
it with a cup of Rukab’s ice cream. I fell
in love with Palestine. So I made a vow, I
was going to come back. And so I did, in
the summer only three months later.
Everything fell into place. I asked for
a six-month leave from my job. I got
assignments to cover culture, religion,
and tourism from at least three journals
and magazines. And so I was off. And
one fateful day, on a sunny, hot day, a
few feet down from the 6th Station of the
Via Dolorosa, I did something I normally
do not do. I asked for directions to find a
church from two shopkeepers who were
smoking and sitting down playing a game
of chess. And there he was—THE ONE. I
always had a liking for Palestinian men,
but this one made my head light. I got
that flutter in my stomach and began to
giggle. We started talking and then I did
another thing I normally don’t do: I gave
him my business card and number. I
asked him (on pretence, of course!) to call
me because I needed to interview him for
some research I was doing on Arabic and
Western conceptions of truth. (He used to
“No, Ma, he’s promised.”
“Your eyes 14, my unfateful one,” she
says (it’s a Greek expression).
“How are you going to live in a foreign
land all alone?”
“I’m not alone. I have over 300 relatives
I haven’t met yet. Plus, there are many
Greek women married to Arabs in
Palestine and they are living just fine.”
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” she cries into
the phone, her voice on the verge of
tears, “Why couldn’t you just find a good
Greek boy?”
“Because that was not my fate.” (Greeks
believe in fate, so this silences her.)
“When are you going to get married?”
“Well, Ma,” I explain apologetically, “we
kinda already are married . . .”
“What! But you just met him!”
Because I am a non-traditional
American coming into a traditional
Palestinian culture, I couldn’t follow
the normal way that leads to marriage.
I found out Arabs don’t live together
before they get married, so well, I had to
get married right after I arrived from the
airport (actually the second day after I
arrived from the airport.) I would not look
“honourable” if I were living in his house
without a marriage paper, either for him
or for me. So, I had to fast-forward the
courtship period to a span of just two
weeks. Because I was non-traditional,
he was non-traditional too. As a matter of
fact, he did a big no-no in his culture; he
married out of love, not family agreement.
He did not have to ask permission from
my father or my brother to marry me. I
did not have to go through the scrutiny of
mothers, sisters, sisters-in-laws. We just
fell in love and there it was.
As a Palestinian wife, I have had to give
up my idea of the word “privacy.” I don’t
know what it means anymore. There is
no near equivalent of the word “privacy”
in Arabic; the closest translation would
be “loneliness.” I did not know when I
met my husband that he was yoked to
one of the oldest, noblest Jerusalemite
families. His genealogical tree can cover
the entire house. I, being the new tourist
bride, would be at the tips of many a
relative’s tongue. So, I have branches and
offshoots of branches of that tree come
over to the house on any given day of the
week, without notice, at the drop of a hat,
curious to see the new bride. I don’t speak
a stitch of Arabic so I go around smiling
and saying the only snatch phrases I
can, “Salam aleikum,” “Ahlan Wu Sahlan”
“bidek kawah, tsai, aseer, Coca-Cola?” I
go around taking coffee orders, sweet
- not sweet - low sugar - 3 tablespoons
of sugar, and then carefully stand watch
over the slowly frothing coffee getting it
just right, because as I later find out, if I
mess up the coffee, it means that I have
insulted my guests! Coffee without froth
on top means “OK, nice to see you, but
you have to get going now.” No coffee
means “get lost.” And these guests, they
don’t just drop by for a quick coffee, they
stay for hours! I did not know all this, but
there is a certain ceremony, a series of
events that happens when guests come
to visit. First I am supposed to bring out
a cold beverage, Coca-Cola or orange
juice or soda. Then, I bring out sweets
or dried fruit. Then after the third round
of emptying the silver tray, I bring the
precious coffee. But it’s not finished yet.
Fourth round I have to make mint tsai,
gobbled with sugar the way the guests
like it. Then I bring individual plates of
unpeeled fruit such as banana, orange,
apple, pear with an individual cutting knife
nestled between the fruit to each and
every guest. By the time the guests leave,
two to three hours later, I am exhausted.
And then I have to do the mountain of
dishes all these guests accumulated for
just dropping by to say hello. And the
questions they ask! My husband’s sister’s
daughter asks, “Do you love your new
son the same as your daughter?” (Both
my husband and I have children from
previous marriages). How do I answer
without being impolite as I am a host and
she the guest and as I later found out, a
host can never talk badly to a guest no
matter what off-the-wall comment he or
she has made?
Oh my God! As I am the woman of the
house, I am the de facto housekeeper.
The work in the house doesn’t end.
I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner
(some holidays you take with you
wherever you are). I was trying to stuff
the oversized turkey with the rice stuffing.
It so happened that the man from the
telephone company was there in the living
room connecting the phone and Internet
service (Hamdulalah! It only took three
months for the phone company to install
it, and in one month it was off because
a cable went down in a rainstorm.)
“Honey,” I called my husband, “Can you
come and help me for a minute?” Now,
some of the time my husband helps me
around the house. I would like that he
helps more, especially since I am the one
working outside the house more often.
But I hear from other women that I can’t
complain; he is a very helpful husband
by comparison. The telephone man and
my husband then proceed to talk about
something I know would bother me. It’s
funny how I don’t understand a single
word, but I understand when people are
talking negative about me. After he left,
I asked my husband, “What were you
talking about?” He said, “Don’t get angry,
but the man asked me if he could ask a
personal question. I told him, ‘Go ahead,’
and he said, ‘Do you actually help your
wife around the house? I would never
do that.’ I answered ‘Of course I do.’ ”
Ooohhh I was so mad. If only I could
speak Arabic, I’d tell him a thing or two
about helping out women in the house,
especially if they made twice as much
money as he did by hanging up telephone
wires! This is something I will never get
used to. Because in America, everyone
works, it is not fair to leave one person
who is exhausted after a day of work
responsible for all the housework. But
the sex roles are so rigid in Palestine it
is going to take a long time for men and
women to nurture children and roost the
nest equally.
Although I don’t dress provocatively,
I have had to get used to the Arabic
standards of “decent dress.” Sometimes,
especially in the summer, I really miss
wearing my knee-length skirts and yes,
kill me if you want, showing off my boobs
(not a lot, just enough to know they exist).
I brought a whole luggage of summer
clothes that I have not been able to wear,
not once, because according to my new
husband, “You have to cover yourself
as I don’t want anyone talking about my
wife.” “Honey, they are gonna talk about
me whether I wear a long skirt or a mini,”
I say. But, he insists, don’t add fuel to the
fire and tempt the evil eye.
That’s another thing I had to get used
to living in a Palestinian Arab society,
the differences in doing business and
sense of personal space. I am always
clobbered, jostled, and nudged on that
gruelling walk from the top of Bab ElAmoud to my house on the Via Dolorosa.
The sea of people constantly breaking like
never-ending waves against me, with the
cardboard merchants shouting “Ashara,
ashara, ashara shekel” I never, repeat
never, get a rightful seat on Service
bus 18 to Ramallah, because a line of
overweight sittis, obnoxious teenagers,
and hordes of little girls cut in front of me.
Arabs have no idea how to form a single
line; people cut in front of each other
willy-nilly. Half of my stay in Palestine I
have spent just waiting, waiting, waiting
– on line at the bank, at the post office
on Salah Al-Din, at the Basic office, at
the Austrian-Arab clinic, at the Ministry
of the Interior, at the checkpoints, etc.,
etc. Waiting has become a way of life.
I have waited more than four weeks for
the telephone company to fix my broken
Internet connection (I’m still waiting...).
Time in general beats in a new rhythm in
Palestine. “Please go do the photocopies
for the paperwork for the visa,” I tell my
husband. “I’ll do it bukra,” he responds. A
letter takes three weeks to arrive. A travel
agent takes two weeks to call and give me
a quote. In New York City, I could not hold
on to the days; they slipped away like little
ants. I remember sitting on the couch one
late afternoon and realizing, “My God!
The day is long!” I was intimately aware
of the passing of time here because it
slowed down enough that I could feel
its passing.
And then there are the scenes in my
movie when the entire family is crammed
elbow to elbow around the dinner table
(there are so many people they have to sit
on plastic white garden chairs) happy to
stuff their faces with mansaf and rice and
leben and pita and stuffed grape leaves.
One person passes the new member of
the family, the pudgy beautiful baby boy
that looks like those cute Norwegian troll
dolls, from one arm to another and he
coos and giggles at you. And the children
run around laughing and playing tag
around the table, and you think, it is a
blessing to be married to a Palestinian.
There is the scene where people you
hardly know embrace you passionately in
the street and say, “Allah mach.” When
little children you teach run to embrace
you and give you flowers they picked for
you from their sitti’s olive grove. When
your new sister-in-law sends over a
steaming, brimming pot of molochiya
and a tray of freshly-made knafe. When
a considerably older man on Service 18
to Ramallah taps you on the shoulder and
says, “Fadaleh,” pointing to the seat he
just gave up so that you, as a lady, could
sit down. And the scene where you gaze
into your husband’s eyes and realize that
all the gold of Arabia and the sacrifice of
a thousand sheep, all the bright lights
of Times Square and all the stars in the
American flag are not worth the integrity,
the honour, the dignity present in one
drop of Palestinian blood.
The movie, I think, ends happily ever
after and the bride in the film actually wins
an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Irene Archos is a writer, editor, teacher
trainer, and tutor living in Jerusalem.
She is looking for investors who would
want to help produce the movie that has
become her life, “My Big Fat Palestinian
Wedding.” She welcomes all comments
at [email protected]
Fighting the Dragon
By Toine van Teeffelen
This is a story about an old Palestinian
who has recently come back to help the
homeland. He is known among Christians
as St. George and among Moslems as
Al Khader.
to break down the negative stereotypes
that often exist in Britain. (In the city of
Leicester, home to Holy Land Appeal,
Moslems account for 15 percent of the
population, or approximately 40,000
people.) Finally, the book
will provide basic information
about the Palestinian struggle
for freedom.
The Leicester-Bethlehem
Link Group, based in Leicester,
is working to develop bonds
between the two cities. The
Group intends to organize a
children’s art competition on
the theme of St. George/Al
Khader that will culminate in a
public exhibition to celebrate
St. George’s Day in Britain (23
April). The Leicester Branch of
the National Union of Teachers
plans to invite students and
teachers from every school in
the city as well as members of
local churches and mosques.
The Leicester initiative is vital, especially
now, as the Separation Wall begins to
infringe on the village of Al Khader, further
hindering the freedom of movement of the
villagers. For Palestinians, the legend of
St. George and the Dragon has taken on
new meaning and urgency—the Dragon
has become the Wall!
Many of you know about St. George,
the patron saint of England. However,
only a few know that St. George is, in
fact, a Palestinian and that there is a
village near Bethlehem (Al Khader)
that commemorates St. George’s
imprisonment there by the Romans in the
fourth century. The Crusaders ‘exported’
St. George to England.
Now for the more recent part of the
story: Holy Land Appeal in the UK (www. has taken up
the cause of St. George with its upcoming
publication of a booklet called, Saint
George: The Palestinian who became
the Patron Saint of England.
The book will contribute to a greater
understanding of Saint George, as
most people in England know little
about their patron saint! In addition, the
publisher hopes that the book will foster
Christian-Muslim harmony in Britain
through providing some insights into
Palestinian Arabic culture that may help
Dr. Toine van Teeffelen is Director of
Development at the Arab Educational
Institute (AEI-Open Windows) in
Bethlehem. More information about
St. George/Al Khader can be found at Just type ‘St.
George’ or ‘Al Khader’ into the search box
on the home page. Of particular interest
is the photo series about last year’s St.
George celebrations in Al Khader that
was produced by Leyla Zuaiter. (Click
on Photography–local/weddings and
celebrations on the left side of the
home page.)
Nabi Musa and the "Saturday of Light"
Between 31 March & 7 April 2007
By Amal Nashashibi
Despite the tight closure imposed by
the Israeli government around Jerusalem,
Palestinians are preparing to celebrate
two events that are intertwined with
Jerusalem: the Nabi Musa festival and
the Saturday of Light. Both have stunning
similarities, and both start and end in
Historically, the Nabi Musa festivities
are launched in Jerusalem by the Mufti
on the Friday that precedes Palm Sunday
for the Greek Orthodox Church. The
procession of the Mufti is preceded by
huge banners or “Bayareq” hoisted by the
youth of the City, and followed by drums
and music played by the city’s scout
groups. The procession enters Al-Haram
Al-Sharif esplanade and leaves through
Bab Hutta Gate to go to Jericho via Saint
Stephen’s Gate. From there they proceed
in a huge parade to Jericho via the old
historic road of Abu Dis and Azzariyyeh
a united return, through St. Stephen’s
Gate to Al-Haram, and after prayers on
Good Friday they disperse.
The next day, another popular festivity
is launched in the courtyard of the Holy
Sepulchre with almost identical rituals:
Saturday of Light or “Sabt El-Nour”
in Arabic. On that day, thousands of
Christians from all over Palestine flock to
Jerusalem to take part in the celebration
of the “Light,” connected to the light of the
resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Traditionally, young men from Jerusalem
compete to bring the light from the tomb
to the roof of the Holy Sepulchre, where
everyone is waiting to receive it. The
popular celebration spreads to every
street in the Christian Quarter of the Old
City. Young people parade the streets
hoisting banners and singing and dancing
to Palestinian folk tunes.
Designated representatives of
For three consecutive days thereafter,
Palestinians from all over converge on
Jerusalem to celebrate in the very same
way. They enter Jerusalem from the gates
facing their towns, proceed to Al-Haram
Al-Sharif, stay overnight and leave the
next morning for the shrine in Jericho
from St. Stephen’s Gate.
In the shrine itself they feast and pray
until Maundy Thursday, when they make
the Christian
communities from each city or village
take back “the light” to their communities
on Saturday afternoon where it is
greeted with the drums and music of
the city’s scout groups (both Muslim and
Amal Nashashibi
Resident of Occupied East Jerusalem
Sareyyet Ramallah (First Ramallah Group)
Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival 2007
First the local step ... then on to a regional Arabic network and membership in
international dance institutions.
After the success of the dance
performance, ‘At the Checkpoint’, which
was produced by the Sareyyet Ramallah
Troupe for Music and Dance in 2005, the
Troupe quickened its steps to perform in
specialized festivals such as the Amman
Theatre Days Festival, in Jordan, and
the Carthage Theatre Days Festival, in
Now, after two years, Sareyyet
Ramallah has established the first school
for dance. The school, which includes
120 students, is getting ready to produce
a new performance called ‘Rose Valley
Story’. The Troupe has become part of
the World Dance Alliance and a member
of the International Dance Council (DIC)/
MASAHAT (Landscapes) Network of
Contemporary Dance
Sareyyet Ramallah’s first Contemporary
Dance Festival took place from April 4 to
18, 2006. Maqamat Dance Theatre in
Lebanon nominated some of the groups
that participated. Meanwhile, Haya
Cultural Center contacted the Ramallah
Festival administration to organize a
similar event in Jordan. This cooperation
precipitated the creation of MASAHAT
Contemporary Dance Network in order to
organize combined festivals in Lebanon,
Jordan, and Palestine between April 18
and May 5, 2007.
This initiative responded to the need
for cooperation among organizations in
order to achieve mutual cultural goals.
The founding associations believe that,
with the aid of international technology,
it is possible to break through borders
and barriers to create a genuine,
effective partnership among regional
and international cultural and artistic
Achievements of 2006
Among the most important achievements
last year was organizing the Ramallah
Contemporary Dance Festival, which
included the participation of many local
and international dance companies. As
expected, the preparations were tough.
It was not easy to convince companies
to participate in a pioneer dance festival
in a complicated region.
The Western media had wildly influenced
their thinking regarding the region. But
after witnessing the successful festival,
artists returned to their countries with
a different perception of Palestine and
the festival. Some even ranked it among
the top international festivals in terms of
administrative and technical organization.
Eric Boudet, a contemporary dance
photographer, said: ‘If I have a word to
say about this festival, it is BRAVO. I
was personally very impressed by the
professionalism of the festival team and
the lovely welcome in Ramallah’.
Ramallah Contemporary Dance
Festival 2007
The 2007 festival will include 11 dance
companies from Europe, Africa, South
America, Palestine, Canada, and the
United States.
The festival is supported by the A.M.
Qattan Foundation, the Swiss Agency
for Development and Cooperation, the
Portugal Representative Office, the
French Cultural Center, the Goethe
Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the
Ramallah Municipality.
For more information about the festival,
please call 295-2706 or 295-2690, or email [email protected]
Translated by Maysa Gayyusi
The Butterfly’s Burden
Poems by Mahmoud Darwish
Translated by Fady Joudah
Copper Canyon Press, USA, 2007, 327
pages, $20
Mahmoud Darwish is the most acclaimed
poet in the Arab world. The Butterfly’s
Burden presents three recent books in
a single volume, each translated into
English for the first time: The Stranger’s
Bed (1998), Darwish’s first collection of
love poems; State of Siege (2002), a
terse, politically charged sequence written
in Ramallah; Don’t Apologize For What
You’ve Done (2003), a song “green like the
phoenix” after the daily horrors in Ramallah.
These poems provide continual contrasts,
balancing old literary traditions with new,
highlighting lyrical, loving reflections
alongside a bitter longing for the Palestine
that he lost. While each work stands alone
as a dialogue within and among its poems,
the larger conversation Darwish conducts
with language, and with self, from one
book to another, is evident. The breadth
and inventive variety of The Butterfly’s
Burden confirms Mahmoud Darwish as
one of today’s premier artists, an artist
who distinctly speaks to and from our time
– a poet who seeks conversation across
national borders while also continuing to
expand the borders of poetry.
Mahmoud Darwish was born in Birwe, a
village in upper Galilee, in 1942. In 1948,
he fled with his family to Lebanon when
the Israeli army destroyed his village.
He has published more than thirty books
of poetry and prose, which have been
translated into 35 languages. A former
member of the PLO’s Executive Council,
and the Poet Laureate of Palestine, he
wrote the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of
Independence. In 2001, he was awarded
the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize.
He now splits his residence between
Ramallah, where he continues to edit the
internationally acclaimed literary review,
Al-Karmel, and Amman, Jordan.
Fady Joudah was born in Austin, Texas,
in a Palestinian home. He is a physician
of internal medicine and a field member
of Doctors Without Borders.
to perform opera as well as pop, rock
and roll, and oriental music. He is also
one of the few performers in the world
who can sing in Arabic, English, French,
Armenian, and Italian – as though each
language were his mother tongue. His
extraordinary talent took him to a vocal
competition in 1986, which resulted in his
being hired by the Hilton Hotel chain as a
one-man-band entertainer. For a number
of years, he performed not only at some
of the world’s top luxury hotels, but also
on cruise ships and in various exclusive
clubs in Europe, Canada, and the United
States. One of the highlights of this period
of his career was performing at the Tunis
Hilton Hotel in the presence of the late
President Yasser Arafat.
The major turning point in Garo’s
life was in 2000, when he met Dr.
Anoush Nakashian, an Armenian poet
who inspired and encouraged Garo to
compose music for her lyrics. The first
CD was released in 2001, and included
songs and poetry readings by Anoush
and Garo. In 2003, a video was also
released. Together, Garo and Anoush
have given concerts in Jerusalem, Jaffa,
Armenia, and Jordan, and today, a
second CD is in the works.
Despite world travel and fame, Garo
has not forgotten his humble beginnings.
A reunion of his original band, the
Silverstones, and the members of other
Palestinian rock bands, gave birth to
Shibat (the grey-haired ones). A band
that gives charity Christmas concerts
for school children and others, Shibat
has kept alive the spark of creativity that
ignited the young generation during the
Garo, the one-man band, still performs
for special occasions and continues
to make many couples happy when
he sings at their weddings. His main
focus these days, though, is on his
responsibilities as an executive in a
leasing, freight-forwarding, and public
relations company.
Artist of the Month
Book of the Month
After 26 years of exile from his native
Galilee, Darwish returned to Ramallah in
1996. Two years later he completed The
Stranger’s Bed, his book of love. When
it appeared so soon after his return many
readers were ambivalent about – some
alienated by – a book of love. Eventually
readers embraced the book.
How often?
At noon, I brandished my mirrors. I
myself for a happy feast. And my breasts,
your nights’
baby doves, were filling with yesterday’s
I see in the marble veins the milk of
talk running and screaming at the
Write me, as Ritsos said. Where
have you hidden yourself
and hidden my exile from my desire?
I do not see my image in mirrors, or the
of a woman from Athens running her
emotional errands as I do here.
(from Housework)
Garo Demergian
Most people know Garo Demergian
as ‘the one-man-band entertainer’. For
others, however, he is the well-educated
business executive. The reality is that
he is both; and he has balanced and
nurtured these two parallel careers for
much of his life. Even though he was born
on November 18, 1960, the exciting part
of Garo’s life started at the College des
Frères in Jerusalem.
Garo’s musical talents were encouraged
early on and developed by his teachers,
Brother Bernard Rock and Mr. Augustine
Lama. He first put those talents to use
in 1973, when he became the lead
singer and keyboardist in the renowned
Palestinian band, the Silverstones.
In 1982, Garo went to Italy. During
his time there, he met Mario, an Italian
one-man-band performer at the Cavalieri
Hilton Hotel in Rome. It wasn’t long before
Garo recognized his life’s vocation. He
returned to Palestine and immediately
took steps to make his dream a reality.
The major obstacle was finding the
equipment he needed. Finally, in 1984,
everything was in place, and he officially
became the first Palestinian one-man
Garo’s vocal prowess has been a
major asset to his career, allowing him
Composer of the Month
Three years later, he was granted a
scholarship to study music at the famous
Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.
He studied composition with Professor
Alfredo Casella and organ with Professor
Fernando Germani, who was the Vatican
organist as well. These three years were
the supreme learning period of his life. It
was in Rome that Salvador Arnita, the
composer, was born.
The years he lived in Jerusalem,
between 1934 and 1949, were a time
of transition. During these years, he
followed diploma courses in orchestration
techniques with Guild Hall College in
London, under Sir Landen Roland. He
also taught music and was the music
director of the YMCA in Jerusalem. He
composed his early works during this
period – mostly orchestral pieces that
included a few choral works and chamber
music compositions.
It is very hard to see a young
composer trying to adopt a philosophy of
composition, especially if he comes from
a society that barely knew or cherished
classical music. Arnita stressed the fact
that his life was full of exciting events as
he was growing up. Movement from one
place to another and numerous social and
political developments rendered it nearly
impossible to adopt classicism as a
philosophy of composition. Romanticism
was much closer not only to his life, but
also to his heart.
Salvador Arnita
The Brahms of Palestine:
He was sitting on the balcony of his
house, which overlooks the sea on one
side and greater Beirut on the other. It
was night-time, and the full moon was
twining above.
This is not a romantic scene; it is
the scene of a great composer who
was retiring as chair of the American
University of Beirut’s music department,
a Palestinian artist and musician who
lived far from his beloved city, Jerusalem,
and struggled greatly to put Palestinian
classical music onto the international
scene. This was Salvador Arnita, the
‘Brahms of Palestine’, in the words of
the Bethlehem Academy of Music. He
whispered quietly and dejectedly: ‘I still
have so many compositions that I have
not been able to realize: no orchestra, no
financial support, and no state …’
Born in 1914 in Jerusalem, Arnita began
early to develop his musical talent and
started playing the church organ at the
age of 11. He was strongly encouraged by
the legendary Augustine Lama, who even
taught him for a brief period of time.
At 16, he was sent to Alexandria,
Egypt, where he worked as church
organist at St. Catherine’s Cathedral and
became conductor of its choir in 1931.
Tragedy struck in 1948, and he went into
the Diaspora, as did many of his people.
One could say that in the same way as
Vienna was the Mecca for musicians
during the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, Beirut became the Mecca not
only for musicians but also for culturists,
artists, and thinkers of the Arab World,
especially Palestine. So in 1949, he
settled in Beirut and joined the American
University of Beirut (AUB), where he
stayed until he retired in 1980. During
these 30 years, he taught several young
pianists, including the famous Walid
Ghareeb and others. He wrote most of
his works in Lebanon and also rewrote
many of his earlier compositions.
During this period, too, he toured
many countries. He performed in more
than 100 concerts as solo musician and
conducted many orchestras, including
the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the
Pittsburgh Orchestra, the Boston
Symphony Orchestra, and Tanglewood,
among others. He performed piano
as a soloist with the BBC Symphony
Orchestra, conducted by Sir Henry
Wood, the Rome Symphony Orchestra,
conducted by Maestro Molinari, and the
famous Promenade Concerts in London.
He also joined the renowned conductor,
Charles Munch, of the Boston Symphony,
in concerts. He often performed at
Harvard and MIT, as well as in a number
of European cities. He obtained several
prizes and honours, including that of King
Leopold of Belgium.
Among his compositions, there are
three symphonies, four concertos (one
each for piano, organ, flute, and viola),
two suites for orchestra, two piano
sonatas, ten preludes, four preludes and
fugues for organ, two string quartets,
four sonatas for organ, and a ‘refugee
cantata’ for baritone solo, choir, and
orchestra, which was based on the
famous poem of Mahmoud Darwish
(‘Sajjil Ana Arabi’). In addition, he and his
wife, Yusra, jointly composed an album
for children, called Shadi and Shadiyah.
It is important to note that Yusra was
a remarkable woman. Daughter of the
famous Arab musician and ‘oud virtuoso,
Wasif Jawhariyyeh, she was a highly
educated woman who believed in her
husband and supported him. Moreover,
she herself was a musician, who taught
music as well at the
AUB, and wrote songs. Her keen
interest in Palestinian heritage and
culture led her to write a number of
books. She was honoured several times
by Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, and
by other Arab leaders as well.
Salvador’s works were performed
in many cities throughout the world,
including Australia, the United States,
Germany, Poland, Austria, and France.
Perhaps his most well-known works
are the organ concerto, the suites for
orchestra, and a string quartet. His
‘refugee cantata’, mentioned above,
earned great admiration not only because
of its famous libretto and description of
the plight of Palestinian refugees, but
also because of its superbly dramatic
music. Rather than a recitative, it can be
classified as a passionate aria in which
the choir and orchestra must struggle
breathlessly to keep up with the themes
of the solo baritone. This mastery is well
exposed in one of his other works: a
choral for organ and choir, strings and two
soli, called ‘The Winter Night Was Dark
and Still: A Christmas Carol’, op. 40).
Last May, during a conference that I
was attending in Beirut, I dropped by
the AUB music department, where the
late Arnita had worked. When I began
to speak to the chair of the department
about my interest in the works of Maestro
Arnita, a spark of excitement lit his eyes,
and he said, ‘I knew him … I knew him
… he was my great friend’.
You are our great friend Salvador,
and we will work to make many people,
not only Palestinians, understand your
vision for refined music compositions in
our tradition.
God bless your memory, Salvador.
Dr. Saleem Zougbi
Bethlehem Academy of Music
extracted oil. The seeds contain a high
quality protein and are rich in soluble
fibre. The combination of the oil and the
fibre makes flaxseeds an ideal laxative.
Flaxseeds contain vitamins B-1, B-2, C, E,
and carotene, in addition to iron, zinc, and
trace amounts of potassium, magnesium,
phosphorus, and calcium. Flaxseeds
contain over a hundred times more of a
phytonutrient, known as lignin, than any
of its closest competitors, such as wheat
bran, buckwheat, rye, millet, oats, and
soybeans. Lignins have received a lot of
attention lately because of possible anticancer properties, especially in relation
to breast and colon cancer.
Grind fresh flaxseeds and sprinkle them
as a seasoning on salads or cereals,
or mix them into muffins. When buying
seeds, be sure they are whole, not split;
splitting exposes the inner seed to light
and heat and decreases the nutritional
Flaxseeds turn rancid quickly. Store
them in the fridge and grind as much as
needed for each consumption.
Herbal Medicine
Flaxseeds & Flax Oil
Flax oil and flaxseeds are being
rediscovered as true health foods. They
definitely merit being included on any
top-ten list of foods that are good for you.
Flax is not a new food. It is actually one of
the older and, perhaps, one of the original
"health foods," treasured because of its
healing properties throughout the Roman
Empire. Flax was one of the original
"medicines" used by Hippocrates. The
very nutrients that give flax its nutritional
benefits – essential fatty acids – also give
it a short shelf life.
Besides being the best source of omega
3, flax oil is a good source of omega 6,
or linoleic acid (LA). Sunflower, safflower,
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Website Review
El-Funoun: Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe
Music has intertwined with Palestinian
culture and heritage ever since time
began, or to be more exact, ever since the
first Philistine started to plough the land of
the Eastern Mediterranean. It is therefore
no wonder that El-Funoun Palestinian
Popular Dance Troupe mesmerises
audiences with its rich dance ensembles
that are based on and inspired by this
rich legacy.
El-Funoun website is a commendable
effort that puts all this into an easy
electronic medium that enables us to
get a glimpse of and be fascinated by
the valuable musical treasures that we
have. It is a dual-language site with
almost exact content replicas of each
other. For many reasons, it is appropriate
that this particular site portray its riches
to both English- and Arabic-speaking
The home-page image, an inviting work
of art that should please even the most
stringent of observers, highlights the
theme of this artistic site. The picture
of the dancer, blurred in the motions
of a typical dance, directs the viewer’s
attention to the details on the left, namely
the varied sections of the site, which
include About Us, News, Productions,
The Vision, Video Clips, Youth Troupe,
Photo Gallery, and The Beginnings.
As visitors delve into the various
well-written sections of the site, the
background begins to accentuate the
site’s simple, yet effective, structure,
which portrays just the right elements
to invite viewers to explore more details
as the journey progresses. This is an
excellent way to keep the site as lively
and interactive as possible, without being
too overwhelming in terms of technology
or bandwidth. It was clearly intended to
be conscious of bandwidth usage, given
that it uses small, but clear pictures that
depict actual dances and provide for an
entertaining passage through the site.
Overall, I found this site fluid and
resourceful in its use of technology and
content, which is laudable. Yet some
expected navigation elements along the
journey do not always point you back
to where you started and need to be
addressed, so that the site becomes
self-contained and not reliant on the
features of the internet browser in order to
navigate. Some of the material is dated,
and the site lacks detailed captions for
pictures; but that could easily be rectified.
Well done!
Gabriel Batato, IT Specialist
Mr. Batato can be reached at
[email protected]
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Call our Representative for your FREE consultation
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Restaurant review
Note: Please make sure to contact the venue to check if the programme is still running.
Beit Jala
Tel.: 02-274-1419
Open daily from noon till 10.30 p.m.
Closed on Sundays.
Friday 20
14:30 Abdülhamit Düşerken (The Fall of
Abdulhamit) (Turkish with English subtitles),
Turkish Cultural Center
There is no menu at Ka’bar’s. The
restaurant only serves chicken that
is grilled on charcoals on the outside
grill. Once seated, you will be treated
to a variety of five salads, including an
excellent home-made houmos, a hot chili
sauce, and the restaurant’s signature
dip: garlic and olive oil whipped into a
mayonnaise-like dip for your chicken.
Don’t expect to find dessert here. You
can end your meal with coffee or mint tea.
As for beverages, you can find beer and
Arak. Service is friendly, and the price is
very reasonable.
Ka’bar has been around for many years
and is very well known even beyond
the Beit Jala and Bethlehem areas. It
is therefore well worth a trip for its own
sake. The place also does a brisk takeaway business.
This is probably one of the simplest
eateries in town – and one of the better
ones. Ka’bar is located in the centre of the
town of Beit Jala, which lies to the west
of its twin city, Bethlehem. The town’s
centre has been renovated, with neatly
paved streets and alleys. It also has a
tiny produce market that has undergone
a facelift.
Ka’bar is located on one of the
renovated streets leading off from the
town’s main square. The restaurant has
built its stone grill just outside, to the right
of the entrance. Inside there are several
tables and chairs that can seat some forty
diners. Salads and drinks are served from
behind a marble counter.
Al- Quds University, tel. 279 0606; Centre for
Jerusalem Studies at Al-Quds University, tel.
628 7517; Edward Said National Conservatory
of Music, tel. 627 1711; Lutheran Church of the
Redeemer, tel. 626 6800; Kenyon Institute, tel.
582 8101; Palestinian National Theatre (PNT),
tel. 628 0957; Palestinian Art Court -Al Hoash,
tel. 627 3501; St. George's Cathedral, tel. 628
1557; Turkish Cultural Center, tel 540 0592
Friday 27
14:30 Abdülhamit Düşerken (The Fall of
Abdulhamit) (Turkish with English subtitles),
Turkish Cultural Center
Tuesday 3
17:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Mozart and
the Middle East Lecture, Kenyon Institute
Thursday 5
19:00 Keep Hope Alive, dedicated to the Olive
Tree Campaign by YMCA & YWCA, curated by
Mizuko Yakuwa, Al Hoash Gallery
Friday 13
15:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Edward Said
and Music Lecture, Kenyon Institute
Thursday 12
17:00 Inauguration of an exhibition of icons by
Bethlehem artist Johnny Andonieh, Russian
artist Irine Rafa and other icon writers (through
April 23rd opening hours Monday – Friday
10:00 – 15:00, Saturday 10:00 – 13:00), St.
George's Cathedral
Wednesday 18
17:00 Evening with Jean Vanier
Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche (international
communities for people with intellectual
disabilities and their friends) and renowned
leader in raising awareness about the suffering
of all who are marginalized, will give a talk
entitled “Becoming Human: How to Create a
More Compassionate Society” (in English),
Ecole Biblique
Sunday 1
19:30 Palestine Mozart Festival: Chamber
Masterpieces 2, St George's Cathedral
Friday 13
20:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: The Magic
Flute, PNT
Tuesday 3
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Saleem
Abboud Ashkar, St George's Cathedral
Tuesday 10
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Dima Bawab/
Andrew Staples, St George's Cathedral
Monday 16
12:30 Theatre of Oppressed Season: Don't
Lose Heart- Germany, Al Quds University,
Abu Dis
Saturday 14
20:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Gala Concert,
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
Saturday 21
19:00 Theatre of Oppressed Season:
Demolition - Spain, PNT
Saturday 7
19:00 Writers on the Borders, by Samir
Abdallah and Jose' Reynes, Al Hoash
The tours “Jerusalem, A Palestinian
Perspective” are organized by the Centre for
Jerusalem studies of Al-Quds University. The
dates of the tours are to be confirmed. For
further information please call the Centre for
Jerusalem Studies, tel. 02-628 7517
Friday 13
14:30 Abdülhamit Düşerken (The Fall of
Abdulhamit) (Turkish with English subtitles),
Turkish Cultural Center
17:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: In Search of
Mozart, documentary, PNT
Saturday 7
10:00- 13:00 Easter Rituals in the Old City:
a walking tour to explore "The Church of the
Holy Sepulchre", its history, art & architecture,
(meeting point Centre for Jerusalem Studies),
Centre For Jerusalem Studies
Peace Center, Al Najah University and Birzeit
University (through April 8th daily from 10:00 till
18:00), Bethlehem Peace Center
Monday 9
10:00 Hills & Valleys in Jerusalem: the walking
tour will start from Lion's Gate towards Kidron
Valley, along to Rababah Valley and to
Golgotha hill where Jesus Christ was crucified
(meeting point Centre for Jerusalem Studies),
Centre For Jerusalem Studies
Wednesday 4
15:00-17:00 Easter event with Al Harah
Theatre group and bright stars students, The
International Center of Bethlehem
Friday 6
9:30 - 13:00 Friday Club, Bethlehem Peace
Saturday 14
9:00- 18:30 Artas Lettuce Festival: the tour will
start at Solomon’s Pools, the group will take
a leisurely walk through the beautiful Artas
Valley, ending in the village of Artas where they
will join performances which include debka
troupes and the drama Story of Mona by
Ashtar Theatre, (meeting point Hind Husseini
College), Village of Urtas - Bethlehem
Friday 13
9:30 - 13:00 Friday Club, Bethlehem Peace
Friday 20
9:30 - 13:00 Friday Club, Bethlehem Peace
Saturday 21
10:00-13:00 Arab Neighborhoods in West
Jerusalem: the tour will take along Mamilla
Ma’man Allah (Sanctuary of God), a 13th
century Mamluk Cemetery, Katamon,
Talbiyeh & Baqa’a where the most striking
houses & properties were built and owned
by Palestinians (meeting point Hind Husseini
College), The Village of Artas - Bethlehem
Friday 27
9:30 - 13:00 Friday Club, Bethlehem Peace
Monday 9
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: The Magic
Flute, The International Center of Bethlehem
Tuesday 10
19:00 Choir Concert by the Jerusalem
Center for Near Eastern Studies– Brigham
Young (Mormon) University in cooperation
with Bethlehem Peace Center, Bethlehem
Peace Center
Bethlehem Peace Centre, tel. 276 6677;
International Centre of Bethlehem (Dar
Annadwa), tel. 277 0047; University of
Bethlehem, tel. 274 1241
Sunday 1
10:00 - 18:00 Inauguration of an exhibition
entitled “Troubled Images” organized by the
British Council in cooperation with Bethlehem
Monday 16
18:00 Musical concert by the Spanish
Pianist Daniel Del Pino, organized by The
Bethlehem Academy of Music, Bethlehem
Peace Center
Thursday 12
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Gala Concert,
The International Center of Bethlehem
Saturday 28
19:00 Musical concert entitled “Mawasem”
By Muhsen Subhi and his musical band, The
International Center of Bethlehem
Saturday 14
19:00 German Gospel Choir Musical
Night, musical concert with the German
Gospelsterne Choir, The International Center
of Bethlehem
Wednesday 4
19:00 Passion of Christ, The International
Center of Bethlehem
Thursday 19
18:00 Rocky Balboa, Bethlehem Peace
Thursday 26
18:00 The Holiday, Bethlehem Peace Center
Friday 27
19:00 The Irish Film Making and Festival, The
International Center of Bethlehem
Monday 30
18:00 Little Hands ( Arabic with English
subtitles) and “The Cane” (Arabic with English
subtitles) by the Palestinian Director AbdelSalam Shehadeh, produced by Ramattan
News Agency, organized by The Palestinian
Audio Visual Project (PAV)/A.M. Qattan
Foundation, in cooperation with Bethlehem
Peace Center, Bethlehem Peace center
19:00 The Irish Film Making and Festival, The
International Center of Bethlehem
Thursday 5
18:00 Flushed Away, Bethlehem Peace
Thursday 12
18:00 Garfield 2, Bethlehem Peace Center
Wednesday 18
17:00 Shashat 2nd Women’s Film Festival in
Palestine, Palestinian Women Filmmakers, films
Screening entitled “1000 Women and a Dream”
by the director Gabriela Neuhaus & Angelo
Scudeletti (with Arabic Subtitle) organized by
Shashat in cooperation with Bethlehem Peace
Center, Ibda’a Center, Dehasheh Refugee
Camp, Bethlehem Peace Center
Monday 16
16:00 Evening with Jean Vanier
Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche (international
communities for people with intellectual
disabilities and their friends) and renowned
leader in raising awareness about the suffering
of all who are marginalized, will give a talk
Tursday 12
13:30 Artas Lettuce Festival, valley
Opening Speeches, Folklore and Drama
15:30- 18:00 Inauguration of exhibitions, food
and craft stalls, picking fresh lettuce (See
"Where to Go",
entitled: “Becoming Human: How to Create
a More Compassionate Society” (in English
and Arabic), Bethlehem University.
Monday 9
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: The Magic
Flute, The International Center of Bethlehem
Friday 13
9:00 Artas Lettuce Festival, Hiking from
Solomon's Pools to Artas with Palestine
Wildlife Society and Artas Folklore Center with
optional traditional lunch
9:30 Artas Village and Valley Exhibitions
10:00-15:00 Children's activities
15:00-18:00 Beginning of Drawing Competition
and Folklore and Drama Performances
Saturday 14
12:30 Ashtar's Theatre of Oppressed Season:
Don't Lose Heart - Germany, TalitaKoumi
School, Beit Jala
15:30 Ashtar's Theatre of Oppressed Season:
The Story of Mona , organized by Ashtar
Theatre, Artas Village, Bethlehem
Saturday 14
9:00 Artas Lettuce Festival, Hiking from
Solomon's Pools to Artas with Palestine
Wildlife Society with optional traditional
9:30 Artas Spring, Opening the Local Market
and the exhibitions
15:00-18:00 Artas Valley Folklore and Drama
Performances, Judging of Traditional Drawing
Wednesday 4
13:30-16:00 An Open Day for Children On
the Occasion of the National Reading Week
in Palestine and the Palestinian Child Day,
organized by Tamer Institute for Community
Education, in cooperation with Bethlehem
Peace Center, Arab Society for Rehabilitation,
Directorate of Youth & Sports, Al Khader
Center, Beit Jibrin Center, Al Rowwad Center,
Directorate of Culture, S.O.S, Ghiras Center at
Manger Square, Bethlehem Peace center
Sunday 15
Artas Lettuce Festival, Special Hike to
Herodium from Artas Village, with Shat-ha
Monday 16
10:00 On the Occasion of the International
Health Day, a special program under the
slogan of “Investing in Health & Building
a Better Future” Organized by Bethlehem
Peace Center in cooperation with The Medical
Relief Society in Bethlehem, Bethlehem
Peace center
JENIN (04)
Khadouri College Tulkarem, Tel: 09-2671073
Monday 23
14:30 Theatre of Oppressed Season:
Demolition - Spain, Freedom Theatre, Jenin
Refugee Camp
Wednesday 25
15:00 Theatre of Oppressed Season:
Demolition - Spain, Khadouri College,
Children Happiness Center, tel. 229 9545
Sunday 15
15:30 Theatre of Oppressed Season: Don't
Lose Heart - Germany, Children Happiness
Al- Najah University, tel. 2341003; Nablus
the Culture Center, tel. 233 2084; Zafer Masri
Foundation, tel.
Sunday 22
15:30 Demolition - Spain, Theatre of Oppressed
Season, Children Happiness Centre
Sunday 29
15:30 Theatre of Oppressed Season Stories
of Seeh Shishaba Village organized by Ashtar
Theatre, Children Happiness Centre
Tuesday 10
10:00- 14:00 An exhibition entitled “Troubled
Images” organized by the British Council,
(through April 18th daily from 10:00 till 15:00),
Al Najah University
Monday 2
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Saleem
Abboud Ashkar, Friends Boys School
Thursday 5
18:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Chamber and
Choral Classics, Zafer Masri Foundation
Wednesday 4
18:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Chamber
and Choral Classics, Friends Boys School,
Saturday 14
19:00 Piano recital by the pianist Daniel Del,
Al Najah University
Saturday 28
Oriental Music Evening, Nablus The Culture
Monday 9
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Dima Bawab/
Andrew Staples, Friends Boys School
Tuesday 17
19:00 Theatre of Oppressed Season
Don't Lose Heart - Germany, Zafer Masri
Wednesday 11
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Gala Concert,
Ramallah Cultural Palace
Thursday 19
19:00 The Spring Concerts Season 2007,
Rafael Serrallet from Spain – Guitar, organized
by the Edward Said National Conservatory of
Music, ESNCM Hall
Tuesday 24
19:00 Demolition- Spain , Theatre of
Oppressed Season, Zafer Masri Foundation
Friday 20
19:00 The Spring Concerts Season 2007,
Wasim Odeh accompanied by a group of
musicians – Oud, Organized by the Edward
Said National Conservatory of Music, ESNCM
Al-Kasaba Theatre & Cinematheque, tel: 296
5292; A. M. Qattan Foundation, tel. 296 0544;
Birzeit Ethnographic and Art Museum, tel. 298
2976; Edward Said National Conservatory of
Music, tel. 295 9070; Franco-German Cultural
Center, tel. 298 7727; Friends Boys School,
tel. 295 6230; Khalil Sakakini Centre, tel.
298 7374; Popular Art Centre, tel: 240 3891;
Ramallah Cultural Palce, tel. 298 4704;
Sareyyet Ramallah, tel. 295 2706
Saturday 21
19:00 The Spring Concerts Season 2007,
ESNCM Advanced piano students, playing
with fun and Joy –Piano, Organized by the
Edward Said National Conservatory of Music,
Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival, Al
Kasaba Theatre & Cinematheque
Wednesday 25
19:00 Pictures on the Wall, a dance performance
by Okhela company from South Africa,
Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival, Al
Kasaba Theatre & Cinematheque
19:00 A dance performance by Ola Qadha
from Palestine, Ramallah Contemporary
Dance Festival, Al Kasaba Theatre &
Sunday 29
15:00-18:00 Dance performances by different
Palestinian dance groups on the occasion
of International Dance Day, Ramallah
Contemporary Dance Festival, Sareyyet
19:00 Flatland, a dance performance by
Patricia Porela dance company from Portugal.
Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival, Al
Kasaba Theatre & Cinematheque
Thursday 26
19:00 Comfort Guidelines & Stringers,
two dance performances by Mancopy
Dance Company from Denmark, Ramallah
Contemporary Dance Festival, Al Kasaba
Theatre & Cinematheque
Monday 30
19:00 24 preludes, a dance performance by
Zappala dance company from Italy, Ramallah
Contemporary Dance Festival, Al Kasaba
Theatre & Cinematheque
Friday 27
19:00 Frozen Beliefs, Homeless Noor excerpt
from Hiyaat Noor, Still Moving, Layered Identity,
Liquid Renaissance, dance performances by
Ya Samar Company from USA, Ramallah
Contemporary Dance Festival, Al Kasaba
Theatre & Cinematheque
19:00 A dance performance by Amal,
Salma and Yezen from Palestine, Ramallah
Contemporary Dance Festival, Al Kasaba
Theatre & Cinematheque
The Popular Art Centre will screen films from
its library for groups of five persons or more
by prior reservation only.
Tuesday 12
19:00 Always....Look them in the Eyes, film
by Azza El Hassan, Al Kasaba Theatre and
Saturday 28
19:00 Hurry Up, a dance performance by
Perpetuum dance company from Serbia,
Sunday 15
15:00 The Little Magic Flute (Die kleine
Thursday 26
19:00 The Spring Concerts Season 2007, Issa
Murad Accompanied by a group of Musicians
– Oud, organized by the Edward Said National
Conservatory of Music, ESNCM Hall
Wednesday 11
10:00-15:00 A photography exhibition
entitled "Seascape" by Jamil Daraghmeh,
in cooperation with A.M Qattan foundation
(through April 17th daily from 10:00 till 15:00,
except Fridays and Sundays), the Ethnographic
and Art Museum- Birzeit University
Friday 27
19:00 The Spring Concerts Season 2007, Loai
Bishara from Palestine 1948 accompanied
by a group of musicians – Oriental Violin,
organized by the Edward Said National
Conservatory of Music, ESNCM Hall
Saturday 20
10:00- 15:00 An exhibition entitled “Troubled
Images” organized by the British Council,
(through April 28th daily from 10:00 till 15:00
except Fridays & sundays), the Ethnographic
and Art Museum- Birzeit University
Saturday 28
19:00 The Spring Concerts Season 2007,
Samer Totah accompanied by Ghofran Group
– Oud, organized by the Edward Said National
Conservatory of Music, ESNCM Hall
Monday 23
18:30 Face to Face, Photography by German
artist Stefan Moses (through April 30 th)
Al Sakakini cultural Center, A.M Qattan
Foundation, Franco-German Cultural Center
Tuesday 24
19:00 A dance performance by Superintendente
de Produção Artística company from Brazil,
Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival,
Ramallah Cultural Palace
Sunday 1
17:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: Chamber
Masterpieces 1, ESNCM Hall
Zauberflöte, German with English subtitles),
Franco German Cultural Centre
Tuesday 10
19:00 Palestine Mozart Festival: The Magic
Flute, Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque
Monday 23
19:00 Festival Ciné-Junior: Opening of the
children's film festival with "Sherlock Junior",
Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque
Thursday 12
19:00 The Theatre of Oppressed Season
opening Ceremeony: Stories of Seeh
Shishaba Village, organized by Ashtar
Theatre, Ramallah Cultural Palace
Wednesday 4
16:30 Palestine Mozart Festival: Mozart and
the Middle East Lecture, Khalil Sakakini
Wednesday 18
12:30 Theatre of Oppressed Season: Don't
Lose Heart - Germany, Al Ahliyeh College
Tuesday 10
18:30 West Eastern Diwan, Reading with
author Adania Shibli and Moritz Zinke, Franco
German Cultural Centre
Saturday 21
17:00 Literary Reading, reading by German
author Esther Dischereit, Franco German
Cultural Centre
East Jerusalem (02)
Palestinian National Theatre
Tel: 628 0957, Fax:627 6293
[email protected]
Al-Jawal Theatre Group
Telefax: 628 0655
Public Affairs Office
Al Kasaba Theatre
Tel: 628 2456, Fax: 628 2454
Tel: 626 4052, Fax: 627 6310
[email protected]
Sabreen Association for Artistic
Alruwah Theatre
Tel: 626 2626
[email protected]
Thursday 19
10:30 Theatre of Oppressed Season: Stories
of Seeh Shishaba Village, organized by Ashtar
Theatre, Ashtar Theatre
Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art
Thursday 26
19:00 Theatre of Oppressed Season:
Demolition - Spain, organized by Ashtar
Theatre, Ashtar Theatre
Al-Urmawi Centre for Mashreq Music
Tel: 532 1393, Fax: 532 1394
[email protected],
Sanabel Culture & Arts Theatre
Tel: 628 3457, Fax: 627 2312
[email protected]
Tel: 671 4338, Fax: 673 0993
[email protected]
The Edward Said National
Conservatory of Music
Tel: 234 2005, Fax: 234 2004
[email protected]
Tel: 627 1711, Fax: 627 1710
[email protected]
Ashtar for Theatre Productions & Training
Theatre Day Productions
Telefax: 582 7218
[email protected]
Tel: 585 4513, Fax: 583 4233
[email protected]
British Council
Turkish Cultural Centre
Tel: 626 7111, Fax: 628 3021
[email protected]
Tel: 540 0592, Fax: 532 3310
[email protected]
Center for Jerusalem Studies / Al-Quds
Yabous Productions
Tel: 626 1045; Fax: 626 1372
[email protected]
Tel: 628 7517
[email protected]
Community Action Centre (CAC)
Bethlehem (02)
Tel: 627 3352, Fax:627 4547
Al-Harah Theatre
Telefax: 276 7758
[email protected]
[email protected],
French Cultural Centre
Tel: 628 2451 / 626 2236, Fax: 628 4324
[email protected]
Alliance Française de Bethléem
Gallery Anadiel
Tel: 628 2811, Fax: 626 4403
Telefax: 275 0777
[email protected]
Goethe Institute
Anat Palestinian Folk & Craft Center
Tel: 561 0627, Fax: 561 8431
[email protected]\jerusalem
Telefax: 277 2024
[email protected]
Arab Educational Institute (AEI)-Open
Hakawati Group
[email protected]
Tel: 274 4030
Issaf Nashashibi Center for Culture &
Artas Folklore Center
Telefax: 581 8232
[email protected]
Tel: 276 0533, 0599 938 0887
[email protected]
Jerusalem Centre for Arabic Music
Bethlehem Academy of Music/ Bethlehem
Music Society
Tel: 627 4774, Fax 656 2469
[email protected]
Tel: 277 7141, Fax: 277 7142
Palestinian Art Court - Al Hoash
Bethlehem Peace Center
Telefax: 627 3501
[email protected]
Tel: 276 6677, Fax: 274 1057
[email protected]
Cardinal House
Beit Et Tifl Compound
Telefax: 276 4778
[email protected]
Telefax: 229 1559
[email protected]
Catholic Action Cultural Center
Tel: 274 3277, Fax 274 2939
[email protected]
(Palestine Polytechnic University)
Telefax: 229 3717
[email protected]
Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation
Children Happiness Center
Tel: 276 6244, Fax: 276 6241
[email protected]
Telefax: 229 9545
[email protected]
Inad Centre for Theatre & Arts
Tel: 228 3663
[email protected],
British Council - Hebron Contact Point
Dura Cultural Martyrs Center
Telefax: 276 6263, Fax: 276 7746
[email protected]
Palestinian Child Arts Center (PCAC)
International Centre of Bethlehem-Dar
Tel: 222 4813, Fax: 222 0855
[email protected],
Tel: 277 0047, Fax: 277 0048
[email protected]
Theatre Day Productions
Telefax: 229 1559, [email protected]
The International Palestinian Youth League
ITIP Center "Italian Tourist Information Point"
Telefax: 276 0411
[email protected]
Tel:222 9131, Fax: 229 0652
[email protected],
Palestinian Heritage Center
Jericho (02)
Telefax: 274 2381, 274 2642
[email protected]
Jericho Community Centre
Telefax: 232 5007
Palestinian Group for the Revival of Popular
Jericho Culture & Art Center
Telefax: 274 7945
Telefax: 232 1047
Sabreen Association for Artistic
Municipality Theatre
Tel: 232 2417, Fax: 232 2604
Tel: 275 0091, Fax: 275 0092
[email protected],
Jenin (04)
Tent of Nations
The Freedom Theatre/Jenin Refugee Camp
Tel: 274 3071, Fax: 276 7446
[email protected],
Tel. 250 3345
[email protected]
The Edward Said National Conservatory of
Nablus (09)
Telefax: 274 8726
[email protected],
British Council Info-Point (An-Najjah Univ.)
Telefax: 237 5950
[email protected]
The Higher Institute of Music
Telefax: 275 2492
[email protected],
Cultural Centre for Child Development
Turathuna - Centre for Palestinian Heritage
Tel: 238 6290, Fax: 239 7518
[email protected],
Tel: 274 1241, Fax: 274 4440
[email protected],
French Cultural Centre
Hebron (02)
Tel: 238 5914, Fax: 238 7593
[email protected]
Al Sanabl Centre for Studies and Heritage
Nablus The Culture
Tel: 256 0280
e-mail: [email protected],
Tel: 233 2084, Fax: 234 5325
[email protected],
Ramallah & Al-Bireh (02)
Association d’Echanges Culturels HebronFrance (AECHF)
A. M. Qattan Foundation
Telefax: 222 4811
[email protected],
Tel: 296 0544, Fax: 298 4886
[email protected],
Badil Centre
Al-Kamandjâti Association
Tel: 297 3101
[email protected],
Tel: 277 7086
Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque
Tel: 296 5292/3, Fax: 296 5294
[email protected],
Al-Rahhalah Theatre
Telefax: 298 8091
[email protected]
Tel: 240 8023, Fax: 240 8017
[email protected],
Ashtar for Theatre Production
Tel: 298 0037, Fax: 296 0326
[email protected],
Baladna Cultural Center
[email protected]
[email protected]
RIWAQ: Centre for Architectural
East Jerusalem (02)
Christmas Hotel (37 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 240 6887, Fax: 240 6986
[email protected],
Addar Hotel (30 suites; bf; mr; res)
Commodore Hotel (45 rooms; cf; mr; res)
Sandouq Elajab Theatre
Tel: 296 5638
[email protected]
Tel: 297 3336, Fax: 297 3338
[email protected],
Ambassador Hotel (122 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Tel: 627 2416, Fax: 626 4658
[email protected],
British Council
Tel: 296 7741, Fax: 296 7742
[email protected],
Tel: 296 3293-6, Fax: 296 3297
[email protected]
Tamer Institute for Community Education
El-Funoun Dance Troupe
Tel: 240 2853, Fax: 240 2851
[email protected],
First Ramallah Group, Sareyyet Ramallah
Tel: 295 2706 - 295 2690, Fax: 298 0583
[email protected],
Franco-German Cultural Centre Ramallah
Tel: 298 1922 / 7727, Fax: 298 1923
[email protected],
Tel: 298 61212/, Fax: 298 8160
[email protected],
The Edward Said National Conservatory
of Music
Manar Cultural Center
Young Artist Forum
Capitol Hotel (54 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Jerusalem Panorama Hotel
Telefax: 296 7654
[email protected]
Capitolina Hotel (ex. YMCA)
(55 rooms; bf; cf, mr; res)
Tel: 628 6888, Fax: 627 6301
[email protected]
Knights Palace Guesthouse (50 rooms)
Tel: 628 2537, Fax: 628 2401, [email protected]
Telefax: 284 6405
[email protected],
Ashtar for Culture & Arts
Telefax: 283 3565
[email protected]
Telefax: 286 5896, [email protected]
Culture & Light Centre
French Cultural Centre
Tel: 286 7883, Fax: 282 8811
[email protected]
Tel: 296 7601, fax: 295 1849
[email protected],
Gaza Theatre
Palestinian Association for Cultural
Exchange (PACE)
Global Production and Distribution
Tel: 298 4704 / 295 2105, Fax: 295 2107
(74 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 627 2277, Fax: 627 3699
[email protected]
Arts & Crafts Village
Telefax: 281 5825
[email protected]
Ramallah Cultural Palace
Tel: 628 2561/2, Fax: 626 4352
Tel: 283 9929, Fax: 283 9949
[email protected]
Telefax: 288 4403
Tel: 240 3891, Fax: 240 2851
[email protected],
Jerusalem Meridian Hotel
(74 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 628 5212, Fax: 628 5214
Fawanees Theatre Group
Popular Art Center
Jerusalem Claridge Hotel (30 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 234 7137, Fax: 234 7139
[email protected]
Tel: 628 2447, Fax: 628 3960
[email protected],
Mazra’a Qibliyeh Heritage and Tourism
Tel: 240 7611, Telfax: 240 7610
[email protected],
Tel: 628 3282, Fax: 628 3282
[email protected],
Austrian Hospice
Azzahra Hotel (15 rooms, res )
Tel: 295 7937, Fax: 298 7598
Palestinian Association
for Contemporary Art PACA
Jerusalem Hotel (14 rooms; bf; mr; res; live music)
Tele: 298 0036, 296 43489/, Fax: 296 0326
[email protected]
Al-Qattan Centre for the Child
Tel: 298 7374, Fax: 296 6820
[email protected],
Tel: 627 2888, [email protected]
(84 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Tel: 627 9777, Fax: 627 9779
[email protected],
The Palestinian Network of Art Centres
Telefax: 298 1736/ 298 0546
[email protected]
Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
Holy Land Hotel (105 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
American Colony Hotel
Tel: 295 9070, Fax: 295 9071
[email protected],
Gaza Strip (08)
Tel: 240 1123 / 240 2876, Telefax: 240 1544
[email protected],
Golden Walls Hotel (112 rooms)
Tel: 541 2222, Fax: 582 8202
[email protected]
Tel: 626 5800, Fax: 627 1472
offi[email protected]
Greek Cultural Centre - "Macedonia"
In’ash Al-Usra Society- Center for Heritage
& Folklore Studies
Tel: 627 1414, Fax: 628 4701
Gloria Hotel (94 rooms; mr; res)
Tel: 628 2431, Fax: 628 2401
[email protected]
Sharek Youth Forum
Tel: 298 7375, Fax: 298 7374
Tel: 626 3111, Fax: 626 0791
Alcazar Hotel (38 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 628 1111; Fax: 628 7360
[email protected],
Telfax: 295 8435
Carmel Cultural Foundation
Tel: 628 2588, Fax: 626 4417
Tel: 282 4860, Fax: 282 4870
Telefax: 288 4399
[email protected]
Holst Cultural Centre
Tel: 281 0476, Fax: 280 8896
[email protected]
Theatre Day Productions
Telefax: 283 6766
[email protected]
Lawrence Hotel (30 rooms; business facilites; res)
Tel: 626 4208, Fax: 627 1285
[email protected]
Beit Al-Baraka Youth Hostel (19 rooms)
Hisham Palace Hotel
Tel: 222 9288, Fax: 222 9288
Tel: 232 2414, Fax: 232 3109
Telefax: 298 7858
Beit Ibrahim Guesthouse
Inter-Continental Jericho
Al-Murouj Pension (Jifna village) (8 rooms; res)
Metropol Hotel
Tel: 274 2613, Fax: 274 4250
[email protected]
(181 rooms; su; bf; cf; mr; res; ter; tb)
Tel: 231 1200, Fax: 231 1222
Telefax: 281 0881
Telefax: 298 0412
Bethlehem Hotel (209 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Jericho Resort Village
Tel: 277 0702, Fax: 277 0706
[email protected]
(60 rooms; 46 studios; bf; cf; mr; res)
Tel: 232 1255, Fax: 232 2189
[email protected],
Ankars Suites (22 suites; cf; res; bf)
Tel: 582 8891, Fax: 582 8825
[email protected]
Bethlehem Inn (36 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 274 2424, Fax: 274 2423
Jerusalem Hotel (22 rooms)
Tel: 232 2444, Fax: 992 3109
New Imperial Hotel (45 rooms)
Bethlehem Star Hotel (72 rooms; cf; bf; res)
Telepherique & Sultan Tourist Center (55 rooms)
Tel: 628 2507, Fax: 628 5134
Mount of Olives Hotel (61 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 628 4877, Fax: 626 4427
[email protected],
Mount Scopus Hotel (65 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 627 2000, Fax: 627 1530
New Metropole Hotel (25 rooms; mr; res)
Tel: 274 3249 - 277 0285, Fax: 274 1494
[email protected]
Tel: 628 3846, Fax: 627 7485
Casanova Hospice
New Regent Hotel (24 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 628 4540, Fax: 626 4023
[email protected]
New Swedish Hostel
Tel: 627 7855, Fax: 626 4124
[email protected]
Notre Dame Guesthouse
Tel: 627 9111, Fax: 627 1995
Petra Hostel and Hotel
Tel: 628 6618
Tel: 627 2416
[email protected]
Tel: 628 4871, Fax: 627 4879
Savoy Hotel (17 rooms)
Tel: 628 3366, Fax: 628 8040
Seven Arches Hotel (197 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Grand Park Hotel & Resorts
Casanova Palace Hotel (25 rooms; bf; res)
Tel: 274 2798, Fax: 274 1562
Tel: 225 4240 / 222 9385, Fax: 222 6760
e-mail: [email protected]
St. George Hotel (144 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Tel: 627 7232 - 627 7323, Fax: 628 2575
[email protected],
(84 rooms; 12 grand suites; bf; cf; mr; res; sp; pf)
Tel: 298 6194, Fax: 295 6950
[email protected]
Hebron Hotel
Everest Hotel (19 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Regency Hotel (76 rooms; su; res; tb; cf; bf)
Tel: 274 2604, Fax: 274 1278
Tel: 225 7389/98, Fax: 225 7388
[email protected],
Grand Hotel (107 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Tel: 274 1602 - 274 1440, Fax: 274 1604
[email protected]
Nablus (09)
Golden Park Resort & Hotel (Beit Sahour)
Al-Qaser Hotel (38 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Gemzo Suites
(90 executive suites; cs; mr; pf; gm; res)
Tel: 240 9729, Fax: 240 9532
[email protected],
Manarah Hotel
Tel: 295 2122, Telefax: 295 3274
[email protected],
Tel: 238 5444, Fax: 238 5944
[email protected]
Merryland Hotel (25 rooms)
(250 rooms; su; bf; cf; mr; res)
Tel: 276 6777, Fax: 276 6770
Al-Yasmeen Hotel & Souq (30 rooms; cf; mr; res)
Tel: 233 3555 Fax: 233 3666
[email protected],
Rocky Hotel (22 rooms; cf; res; ter)
Lutheran Guesthouse "Abu Gubran"
Asia Hotel (28 rooms, res )
Telefax: 295 6808
Tel: 277 0047
Telefax: 238 6220
Plaza Hotel
Nativity Hotel (89 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Chrystal Motel (12 rooms)
Telefax: 298 2020
Telefax: 233 3281
Ramallah Hotel (22 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Ramallah & Al-Bireh (02)
Retno Hotel (15 rooms & su; res; mr; gm; sp)
Tel: 274 45424544 274 - 3/
[email protected]
Tel: 673 2401; Fax: 673 1711
[email protected],
Tel: 296 0450, Fax: 295 8452
[email protected]
Hebron (02)
Paradise Hotel (166 rooms;cf;bf;mr;res;su;pf)
St. Andrew’s Scottish Guesthouse
"The Scottie" (17 rooms + 1 hostel)
Best Eastern Hotel (91 rooms; cf; res)
(60 rooms; mr; res)
Tel: 274 3981, Fax: 274 3540
Tel: 277 0650, Fax: 274 4083
[email protected],
Tel: 626 7777, Fax: 627 1319
[email protected]
Tel: 295 2602, Fax: 295 2603
[email protected]
City Inn Palace Hotel (47 rooms; bf; cf; res)
Tel: 240 8080, Fax: 240 8091
Inter-Continental Hotel (Jacir Palace)
Rivoli Hotel
Al-Wihdah Hotel
Tel: 232 1590, Fax: 232 1598
[email protected]
(54 rooms; res, bar, pool)
Tel: 277 4414
Pilgrims Inn Hotel (16 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Al-Hajal Hotel (22 rooms; bf)
Tel: 298 7176, Telefax: 298 7074
Tel: 296 4470, Telefax: 296 1871
Pension Miami (12 rooms)
Tel: 295 3544, Fax: 295 5029
Saint Antonio Hotel (36 rooms; mr; cf;res;pf)
Al-A’in Hotel (24 rooms and suites; mr; cf)
Tel: 240 5925 - 240 4353 Fax: 240 4332
[email protected]
Tel: 274 4308, Fax: 277 0524
Al-Bireh Tourist Hotel (50 rooms; cf; res)
Santa Maria Hotel (83 rooms; mr; res)
Telefax: 240 0803
Telefax: 295 0022
[email protected]
Royal Court Suite Hotel (24 suites; res)
Tel: 296 4040, Fax: 296 4047
Tel: 276 7374/5/6, Fax: 276 7377
[email protected]
St. George’s Pilgrim Guest House
(25 rooms; bf; res)
Tel: 628 3302, Fax: 628 2253
[email protected]
Shepherd Hotel
Strand Hotel (88 rooms; mr; res)
Tel: 628 0279, Fax: 628 4826
St. Nicholas Hotel (25 rooms; res; mr)
Tel: 274 3040/1/2, Fax: 274 3043
Victoria Hotel (50 rooms; bf; res)
Tel: 627 4466, Fax: 627 4171
Saint Vincent Guest House (36 rooms)
Tel: 274 0656, Fax: 274 4888
[email protected],
Tel: 276 0967/8, Fax: 276 0970
[email protected],
Bethlehem (02)
Talita Kumi Guest House (22 rooms; res; mr; cf)
Alexander Hotel (42 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 274 1247, Fax: 274 1847
Tel: 277 0780, Fax: 277 0782
Jericho (02)
Al-Salam Hotel (26 rooms; 6f; mr; cf; res)
Tel: 276 4083/4, Fax: 277 0551
[email protected]
Al- Zaytouna Guest House (7 rooms; bf; res; mr)
Telefax: 274 2016 Deir Hijleh Monastery
Tel: 994 3038, 0505 348 892
East Jerusalem (02)
Notre Dame - La Rotisserie
Golden Roof
3 Arches Restaurant
Tel: 627 9114
Fax: 627 1995
Tel: 274 3224
Tel: 569 2692
Fax: 623 5192
Panorama Restaurant
Tel: 277 0047
Tel: 626 3344
Al-Diwan (Ambassador Hotel)
Tel: 541 2213
Fax: 582 8202
La Terrasse
Papa Andreas
Tel: 275 3678
Tel: 628 4433
Fax:627 5224
Mariachi (Grand Hotel)
Al-Shuleh Grill
Tel: 627 3768
Amigo Emil
Tel: 628 8090
Fax: 626 1457
Il’iliyeh Restaurant
Tel: 274 1440 - 274 1602
274 1603, Fax: 274 1604
Tel: 582 5162 - 532 8342
Patisserie Suisse
Tel: 276 6777
Fax: 276 6754
Tel: 628 4377
Antonio’s (Ambassador Hotel)
Tel: 541 2213
Pizza House
Arabesque, Poolside & Patio
Popular Arab
(American Colony Hotel)
Tel: 627 9777
Fax: 627 9779
The Gate Café
Armenian Tavern
Tel: 628 2588 - 6264418
Tel: 627 3854
Riwaq Courtyard (Jacir
Palace Inter-Continental)
Tel: 627 3970 - 628 8135
Tel: 583 3226
Tel: 627 4282
The Patio (Christmas Hotel)
Victoria Restaurant
Shepherds Valley Village
(The Tent)
Tel: 277 3875
Tachi Chinese
Tel: 274 4382
Zaitouneh - Jacir Palace
Inter-Continental Bethlehem
Tel: 276 6777
Fax: 276 6154
Tel: 628 3051
Tel: 532 4590
Jericho (02)
Gaza Strip (08
Commodore Gaza Hotel (120 rooms;su; bf)
Tel: 283 4400, Fax: 282 2623
[email protected]
Adam Hotel (76 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Telefax: 282 3521/19
Gaza International Hotel (30 rooms; bf; cf; res; sp)
Al-Amal, Palestinian Red Crescent
Tel: 283 0001/2/3/4, Fax: 283 0005
Tel: 286 1832
Tel: 284 94986468/, Fax: 284 9497
[email protected]
Grand Palace Hotel (20 rooms; cr; mr; cf; res; internet)
Al-Deira (11 suites; cf; mr; res; ter)
Tel: 283 8100/200/300, Fax: 283 8400
[email protected]
Hotel Sea Breeze
Tel: 283 0277 - 284 2654, Fax: 282 4231
Al-Quds International Hotel
Marna House (17 rooms; bf; mr; res)
(44 rooms; 2 suites; bf; mr; res)
Telefax: 282 5181 - 282 6223 - 286 3481 - 282 2269
Tel: 282 2624, Fax: 282 3322
Palestine Hotel (54 rooms; bf; cf; mr; res)
Al-Waha Hotel
Tel: 282 3355, Fax: 286 0056
Tel: 287 0880, Fax: 287 0889
Summerland Tourist Village (casino; cf; res)
Beach Hotel (25 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 284 7171, Fax: 286 4008
Telefax: 282 5492 - 284 8433
Zahrat Al-Madain
Cliff Hotel (24 rooms; bf; mr; res)
Tel: 282 6801
Tel: 282 3450, Fax: 282 0742
Tel: 628 2447
Bethlehem (02)
Al-Nafoura Restaurant
Blue Dolphin
Abu Eli Restaurant
(Jericho Resort Village)
Tel: 232 1255
Fax: 232 2189
Tel: 532 2001
Fax: 581 1737
Borderline Restaurant Café
Tel: 532 8342
Caf‫ﹶ‬é Europe
Tel: 628 4313
Café Imperial
Tel: 628 2261
Fax: 627 1530
El Dorada Coffee Shop &
Internet Café
Tel: 626 0993
Four Seasons Restaurants &
Coffee Shop
Tel: 628 6061
Fax: 628 6097
Tel: 18003010105853223/
Kan Zaman (Jerusalem Hotel)
Key: su = suites, bf = business facilities; mr = meeting rooms, cr = conference facilities; res = restaurant,
ter = terrace bar; tb = turkish bath, cf = coffee shop; gm = gym; pf = parking facilities, sp = swimming pool
Tel: 627 1356
Lotus and Olive Garden
(Jerusalem Meridian Hotel)
Tel: 628 5212
Abu Shanab Restaurant
Tel: 274 2985
Tel: 277 3335
Green Valley Park
Tel: 232 2349
Akkawi Café
Tel: 274 8447
Al Makan Bar - Jacir Palace
Inter-Continental Bethlehem
Tel: 276 6777
Fax: 276 6770
Jabal Quruntul
Tel: 232 2614
Fax: 232 2659
Seven Trees
Tel: 232 2781
Tel: 275 0221, Fax: 277 7115
Baidar - Jacir Palace
Nablus (09)
Inter-Continental Bethlehem
Tel: 276 6777
Fax: 276 6770
Salim Afandi
Café Bonjour
Tel: 238 3164
Fax: 233 3666
Tel: 274 0406
Tel: 237 1332
Zeit Ou Zaater (Al-Yasmeen Hotel)
Café Sima
Tel: 275 2058
Cigar Bar (Jacir Palace InterContinental Bethlehem)
Tel: 276 6777
Fax: 276 6770
Dar Jdoudnah Coffee Shop
Tel: 626 0034
Telefax: 232 2555
Al-Hakura Restaurant
Tel: 627 5277
Moon Light Pizza
Tel. 274 1897
Tel: 274 3212
Ramallah &
Al-Bireh (02)
Al Makan
Tel: 295 7676
Fax: 297 1776
Tel: 295 7028
Tel: 298 0456
Tel: 295 1410 - 296 4844
Tel: 295 6408 - 298 1455
Baladna Ice Cream
Telefax: 295 6721
Tel: 296 0937
Birth Café
Tel: 297 6614
Muntaza Restaurant &
Tel: 295 6835
Zan Restaurant and Pub
Tel: 297 0548
Zarour Bar BQ
Tel: 295 3270
Tel: 295 6767 - 296 4480
Fax: 296 4357
Piano Restaurant
Zeit ou Zaater
Tel: 298 7995
Tel: 295 4455
Pizza Inn
Osama’s Pizza
Tel: 298 11813/2/
Tel: 295 9093
Plaza Restaurant & Park
Tel: 295 6020
Fax: 296 4693
Gaza Strip (08)
Pollo-Loco (Mexican)
Tel: 298 1984
Pronto Resto-Café (Italian)
Tel: 282 5062
Tel: 295 3467
Tel: 298 1460
Saba Sandwiches
Tel: 282 3355
Tel: 296 0116
Tel: 295 0590/ 1
Diwan Art coffee Shop
Tel: 297 3043
Elite Coffee House
Tel: 296 5169
Ein Al-Marj (Birzeit)
Tel: 281 02201/
Tel: 298 7046
Tel: 296 4040
K5M - Caterers
Tel: 295 6813
Mac Simon
Tel. 297 2088
Mr. Donuts Caf‫ﹶ‬e
Al-Diwanea Tourist
Tel: 286 3599
Tel: 240 5338 - 240 3088
Tel: 295 6808
Usra society, Al-Bireh, Tel: 240 2876, Fax: 240 1544, Opening hours: daily from 8:00 - 15:00 except Fridays
The Birzeit University Ethnographic and Art Museum Tel: 298 2976, [email protected], Opening hours:
Bethlehem (02) Al-Balad Museum for Olive Oil Production, Tel: 274 1581, Opening hours: 8:00-14:30
Tel: 283 8100300/200/
Rukab’s Ice Cream
Tel: 296 4081
Ramallah & Al-Bireh (02) Museum of Palestinian Popular Heritage - In’ash el Usra, In’ash el
daily from 10:00 - 15:00 except for Fridays and Sundays
Café Mocha Rena
Chinese House Restaurant
Tel: 298 7312
Tel: 282 1272 - 283 3769
Caesar’s (Grand Park Hotel)
Tel: 298 6194
Tel: 298 7658
East Jerusalem (02) Armenian Museum, Old City, Tel: 628 2331, Fax: 626 4861, Opening hours: Mon.Sat. from 9:00 - 16:30 Dar At Tifl Museum (Dar At Tifl Association), Near the Orient House, Tel: 628
3251, Fax: 627 3477 Islamic Museum (The Islamic Waqf Association), Old City, Tel: 628 3313, Fax:
628 5561, Opening hours for tourists: daily from 7:30 - 13:30 Qalandia Camp Women’s Handicraft Coop.,
Telefax: 656 9385, Fax: 585 6966, [email protected]
Monday through Saturday Baituna al Talhami Museum, (Folklore Museum) Arab Women’s Union, Tel:
274 2589, Fax: 274 2431, Opening hours: daily from 8:00 - 13:00/ 14:00 - 17:00 except for Sundays and Thursdays
afternoon Bethlehem Peace Center Museum, Tel: 276 6677, Fax: 274 1057, [email protected], www., Opening hours: daily from 10:00-18:00 except Sundays from 10:00 - 16:00 Natural History Museum, Telefax: 277 4373, [email protected], The Crib of Nativity Museum, Tel: 276
0876, Fax: 276 0877, [email protected], Palestinian Ethnographic Museum,
Tel: 276 7467, Fax: 276 0533, [email protected], Opening hours: daily from 9:00 - 17:00 Palestinian Heritage
Center, Telefax: 274 2381, [email protected],
Tel: 286 8397
Shukeireh Restaurant
Tel: 282 2705
Telefax: 283 3188
Tel: 297 5233
Tel: 286 4385
Al-Sammak Ghornata
Tel: 296 6038
Tabash (Jifna village)
Tel: 284 0107
Tel: 281 0932
Tal El-Qamar Roof
La Mirage
Tel: 283 4779
Tel: 298 79056/
Tel: 286 5128
The Orthodox Club
Tel: 295 6520
Tel: 286 4198
Tel: 240 99912/
Tel: 282 6245 - 282 1399
Urobian Coffee shop
Roots - The Club
Tel: 295 7031 - 296 6505
Tel: 288 8666 - 282 3999
282 3777
Vatche’s Garden Restaurant
Tel: 296 5966 - 296 5988
Tel: 240 7196
Mr. Pizza
Tel: 240 3016 - 240 8182
Tel: 282 1011
East Jerusalem (02) Car Rental • Car & Drive, Tel: 656 5562/3 • Dallah Al-Baraka, Tel: 656 4150
Good Luck, Tel: 627 7033 - 656 9851 • Orabi, Tel: 585 3101 • Petra, Tel: 582 0716,Taxis Abdo,Tel: 585
(Beit Hanina), Tel: 628 3281 (Damascus Gate) • Al-Eman Taxi & Lemo Service, Tel: 583 4599 - 583 5877
Al-Rashid, Tel: 628 2220 • Al-Aqsa, Tel: 627 3003 • Beit Hanina, Tel: 585 5777 • Holy Land, Tel: 585
Tel: 628 2504 • Jaber - Petra, Tel: 583 7275 - 583 7276 • Khaled Al-Tahan, Tel: 585 5777
• Imperial,
of Olives, Tel: 627 2777 • Panorama, Tel: 628 1116 Tourist Transportation Abdo Tourist, Tel:
1866 • Jerusalem of Gold, Tel: 673 7025/6 • Kawasmi Tourist Travel Ltd, Tel: 628 4769, Fax: 628
4710 • Mount of Olives, Tel: 627 1122 • Mahfouz Tourist Travel, Tel: 628 2212, Fax: 628 4015
Bethlehem (02) Car Rental Murad, Tel: 274 7092 Taxis Asha’b, Tel: 274 2309 • Beit Jala, Tel: 274
Hebron (02) Car Rental Holy Land, Tel: 222 0811 • Taxis Al-Asdiqa’, Tel: 222 9436 • Al-Itihad,
Tel: 222 8750
Jericho (02) Taxis Petra, Tel: 232 2525
Nablus (09) Car Rental Orabi, Tel: 238 3383 • Taxis Al-Ittimad, Tel: 237 1439 • Al-Madina, Tel: 237
Ramallah & Al-Bireh (02) Car Rental Good Luck, Tel: 234 2160 • Orabi, Tel: 240 3521 • Petra,
Tel: 296 4688 • Taxis Al-Bireh, Tel: 240 2956 • Al-Masyoun Taxi, Tel: 295 2230
295 5805 • Al-Wafa, Tel: 295 5444 • Al-Itihad, Tel: 295 5887 • Hinnawi Taxi, Tel: 295
• Omaya, Tel: 295 6120 • Shamma’ Taxi Co., Tel: 296 0957
Gaza Strip (08) Car Rental Al-Ahli, Tel: 282 8534 • Al-Farouq, Tel: 284 2755 • Imad, Tel: 286 4000
Luzun, Tel: 282 2628 • Taxis Al-Nasser, Tel: 286 1844, 286 7845 • Al-Wafa, Tel: 284 9144 - 282 4465 •
Tel: 286 8858 • Midan Filastin, Tel: 286 5242
Tel: 295 2602
East Jerusalem (02) 4M Travel Agency, Tel: 627 1414, Fax: 628 4701, [email protected],
• Abdo Tourist & Travel , Tel: 628 1865, Fax: 627 2973, [email protected] • Aeolus Tours, Tel: 0505 635 5496,
Fax: 656 5823, [email protected] • Albina Tours Ltd., Tel: 628 3397, Fax: 628 1215, [email protected];
[email protected],, • Arab Tourist Agency (ATA), Tel: 627 7442, Fax: 628 4366,[email protected] • Aswar Tourism Services, Tel: 628 2183, Fax: 628 2189, [email protected] • Atic Tours &
Travel Ltd., Tel: 628 6159, Fax: 626 4023, [email protected], • Awad & Co. Tourist Agency,
Tel: 628 4021, Fax: 628 7990, [email protected], • Aweidah Bros. Co., Tel: 628 2365,
Fax: 628 2366, [email protected], • Ayoub Caravan Tours, Tel: 628 4361, Fax: 628 5804
[email protected] • B. Peace Tours & Travel, Tel: 626 1876, Fax: 626 2065, [email protected] • Bible
Land Tours, Tel: 627 1169, Fax: 627 2218, [email protected] • Blessed Land Tours, Tel: 628 6592, Fax: 628 5812,
[email protected], • Carawan Tours and Travel, Tel: 628 1244, Fax: 628 1406,
[email protected], • Daher Travel, Tel: 628 3235, Fax: 627 1574, [email protected], • Dajani Palestine Tours, Tel: 626 4768, Fax: 627 6927, [email protected] • Dakkak
Tours Agency, Tel: 628 2525, Fax: 628 2526, [email protected] • Egythai Int. Tours and Travel, Tel: 628
1184, Fax: 628 4701, [email protected] • Gates of Jerusalem Travel Agency, Tel: 234 4365, Fax: 234 3835,
[email protected] • George Garabedian Co., Tel: 628 3398, Fax: 628 7896, [email protected] • GEMM Travel,
Tel: 628 25356/, [email protected] • Golden Dome Company for Hajj& Umra Services, Tel: 628 0770, Fax:
628 5912 • Guiding Star Ltd., Tel: 627 3150, Fax: 627 3147, [email protected], • Holy
Jerusalem Tours & Travel, Tel: 540 1668; Fax: 540 0963, [email protected], www.holyjerusalemtours.
com • Holy Land Tours, Tel: 532 3232, Fax: 532 3292, [email protected] • J. Sylvia Tours, Tel: 628 1146,
Fax: 628 8277, [email protected] • Jata Travel Ltd., Tel: 627 5001, Fax: 627 5003, [email protected]
• Jiro Tours, Tel: 627 3766, Fax: 628 1020, [email protected], • Jordan Travel Agency, Tel:
628 4052, Fax: 628 7621 • JT & T, Tel: 628 9418, 628 9422, Fax: 628 9298, [email protected], •
KIM’s Tourist & Travel Agency, Tel: 627 9725, Fax: 627 4626, [email protected], • Lawrence
Tours & Travel, Tel: 628 4867, Fax: 627 1285, [email protected] • Lourdes Tourist & Travel Agency,
Tel: 627 5332, Telefax: 627 5336, [email protected] • Mt. of Olives Tours Ltd., Tel: 627 1122, Fax: 628 5551
[email protected], • Nawas Tourist Agency Ltd., Tel: 628 2491, Fax: 628 5755 • Near
East Tourist Agency (NET), Tel: 532 8706, Fax: 532 8701, [email protected], • O.S. Hotel
Services, Tel: 628 9260, Fax: 626 4979, [email protected] • Overseas Travel Bureau, Tel: 628 7090, Fax: 628 4442,
[email protected] • Royal Orient Tours & Travel, Tel: 626 4181/2, Fax: 626 4186, [email protected] • Safieh
Tours & Travel, Tel: 626 4447, Fax: 628 4430 • Samara Tourist & Travel Agency, Tel: 627 6133. Fax: 627 1956, [email protected] • Season Travel ltd., Tel: 627 7552, Fax: 627 7564, [email protected], •
Shepherds Tours & Travel, Tel: 6284121- 6287859, Fax: 6280251, [email protected],
• Shweiki Tours Ltd., Tel: 673 6711, Fax: 673 6966 • Sindbad Travel Tourist Agency, Tel: 627 2165, Fax: 627
2169, [email protected], • Siniora Star Tours, Tel: 628 6373, Fax: 628 9078, [email protected] • Terra Sancta Tourist Co, Tel: 628 4733, Fax: 626 4472 • The Pioneer Links Travel & Tourism
Bureau, Tel: 626 1963, Fax: 628 4714, • Tony Tours Ltd., Tel: 244 2050, Fax: 244 2052,
[email protected] • United Travel Ltd., Tel: 583 3614, Fax: 583 6190, [email protected],
Universal Tourist Agency, Tel: 628 4383, Fax: 626 4448, [email protected], • Zatarah
& Travel Agency, Tel: 627 2725, Fax: 628 9873, [email protected]
Bethlehem (02) Angels Tours and Travel, Tel: 277 5813, Fax: 277 5814, [email protected],
ps Arab Agency Travel & Tourism, Tel: 274 1872, Fax: 274 2431, [email protected], www.aca-palestine.
com Crown Tours & Travel Co. Ltd., Tel: 274 0911, Fax: 274 0910, [email protected],
Four Seasons Co. Tourism & Travel, Tel: 277 4401, Fax: 277 4402, [email protected] Friendship Travel
& Tourism, Tel: 277 7967, Fax: 277 7987, [email protected] Gloria Tours & Travel, Tel: 274 0835, Fax:
274 3021, [email protected] Golden Gate Tours & Travel, Tel: 276 6044, Fax: 276 6045, [email protected]
Kukali Travel & Tours, Tel: 277 3047, Fax: 277 2034, [email protected] Laila Tours & Travel, Tel: 277 7997, Fax:
277 7996, [email protected], Lama Tours International, Tel: 274 3717, Fax: 274 3747, [email protected] Millennium Transportation, TeleFax: 676 7727, 050-242 270 Mousallam Int’l Tours, Tel: 277 0054,
Fax: 277 0054, [email protected] Nativity Travel, Tel: 274 2966, Fax: 274 4546 Sky Lark Tours and Travel,
Tel: 274 2886, Fax: 276 4962, [email protected] Terra Santa Tourist Co., Tel: 277 0249 Fax: 277 0250
Agency, Tel: 295 6221, Fax: 295 7940 Golden Globe Tours, Tel: 296 5111, Fax: 296 5110, [email protected]
Issis & Co., Tel: 295 6250, Fax: 295 4305 Jordan River Tourist & Travel Agency, Tel: 298 0523, Fax: 298 0524
Kashou’ Travel Agency, Tel: 295 5229, Fax: 295 3107, [email protected] The Pioneer Links Travel &
Tourism Bureau, Tel: 240 7859, Fax: 240 7860, [email protected] Rahhal Tours & Travel, Tel: 240
3256, Fax: 240 6692, [email protected] Raha Tours and Travel, Tel: 295 1781, Fax: 296 1782, [email protected], Ramallah Travel Agency, Tel: 295 3692, Fax: 295 5029, [email protected],
Reem Travel Agency, Tel: 295 3871, Fax: 295 3871 Royal Tours, Tel: 296 6350/1 Fax: 296 6635 Sabeen
Travel Tourism, Telefax: 240 5931, [email protected] Salah Tours, Tel: 295 9931, Fax: 298 7206 Shbat
& Abdul Nur, Tel: 295 6267, Fax: 295 7246 Skyway Tourist Agency, Telefax: 296 5090
Jenin (04) Asia Travel Tourism, Telefax: 243 5157, Al Sadeq Travel & Tourism, Tel:
Nablus (09) Dream Travel & Tourism, Tel: 233 5056, Fax: 237 2069 Firas Tours, Tel: 234 4565, Fax: 234
7781 Top Tour, Tel: 238 9159, Fax: 238 1425, [email protected] Yaish International Tours, Telefax:
238 1410, 238 1437, [email protected]
Tulkarem (09) Faj Tours, Tel: 2672 486, Fax: 2686 070, [email protected]
Gaza Strip (08) Al-Muntazah Travel Agency, Tel: 282 7919 Fax: 282 4923 • Halabi Tours and Travel
Co., Tel: 282 3704, Fax: 286 6075, [email protected], Maxim Tours, Tel : 282 4415 Fax:
286 7596 National Tourist Office, Tel: 286 0616 Fax: 286 0682, [email protected] Time Travel Ltd.,
Tel: 283 6775, Fax: 283 6855, [email protected]
Airport Information Gaza International Airport, Tel: 08 213 4289 • Ben Gurion Airport,
Tel: 03 972 3344
Air France and KLM, Tel: 02 628 2535/6 (Jerusalem), Tel: 08 286 0616 (Gaza) Air Malta, Tel: 02 298 6395
(Ramallah) Air Sinai - Varig, Tel: 02 627 2725 (Jerusalem), Tel: 08 282 1530 (Gaza) British Airways,
Tel: 02 628 8654 (Jerusalem) Cyprus Airways, Tel: 02 240 4894 (Al-Bireh) Egypt Air, Tel: 02-298 6950/49
(Ramallah), Tel: 08 282 1530 (Gaza) Emirates Airlines, Tel: 02 296 1780, (Ramallah) Gulf Air, Tel: 09 238
6312 (Nablus), Tel: 02 295 3912/3 (Ramallah) Iberia, Tel: 02 628 3235/7238 (Jerusalem) Lufthansa, Tel: 09
238 2065 (Nablus) Malev-Hungarian Airlines, Tel: 02 295 2180 (Ramallah) Palestine Airlines, Tel:
08 282 2800 (Gaza), Tel: 08 282 9526/7 (Gaza) Qatar Airways, Tel: 02 240 4895 (Al-Bireh), Tel: 08-284 2303
(Gaza), Royal Jordanian Airways, Tel: 02-240 5060 (Ramallah), Tel: 08 282 5403/13 (Gaza) SN Brussels
Airlines, Tel: 02 295 2180 (Ramallah), SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Tel: 02 628 3235/7238 (Jerusalem)
Singapore Airlines, Tel: 02 295 2180 (Ramallah) South African Airways, Tel: 02 628 6257 (Jerusalem)
Swiss International Airlines, Tel: 02 295 2180 (Ramallah) Tunis Air, Tel: 02 298 7013 (Ramallah), Tel:
08 286 0616 (Gaza) Turkish Airlines, Tel: 02 277 0130 (Bethlehem)
Brothers Travel & Tours, Tel: 277 5188, Fax: 277 5189, [email protected],
Magi Tours, Telefax: 277 5798, [email protected]
Hebron (02) Al Amir Tours, Telefax: 221 2065, [email protected] Alkiram Tourism, Tel: 225 6501/2,
Fax: 225 6504, [email protected] Al-Haya Travel & Tourism, Tel: 229 3108, Fax: 229 7496 Al-Salam
Travel and Tours Co., Tel: 221 5574, Fax: 223 3747 Arab Nisr Travel & Tourism, Tel: 221 5970/1, Fax: 229
2730/1, [email protected] Sabeen Travel Tourism, Telefax: 229 4775, [email protected]
Ramallah (02) Al-Asmar Travel Agency, Telefax: 295 4140, 296 5775, [email protected] Al Awdah Tourism &
Travel, Tel: 295 2597, Fax: 295 2989 All Middle East Pilgrimage and Tourism Coordination Office, Telefax:
289 8123, [email protected], Amani Tours, Telefax: 298 7013, [email protected]
Anwar Travel Agency, Tel: 295 6388, 295 1706, [email protected] Arab Office for Travel & Tourism, Tel:
295 6640, Fax: 295 1331 Atlas Tours & Travel, Tel: 295 2180, Fax: 298 6395, Darwish Travel
Beit Jala (02) Guiding Star Ltd., Tel: 276 5970, Fax: 276 5971, [email protected]
Beit Sahour (02) Alternative Tourism Group, Tel: 277 2151, Fax: 277 2211, e-mail: [email protected], www.patg.
243 8055, Fax: 243 8057, email: [email protected]
Total Monthly Activities for the Period from
20/02/2007 To 19/03/2007
East Jerusalem (02) Apostolic Delegation, Tel: 628 2298, Fax: 628 1880 • Belgium, Tel: 582 8263,
Fax: 581 4063, e-mail: [email protected] European Community - Delegation to the OPT, Tel: 541
5888, Fax: 541 5848 France, Tel: 582 8250, Fax: 582 0032 Great Britain, Tel: 541 4100, Fax: 532, 2368,
[email protected], Greece, Tel: 582 8316, Fax: 532 5392 Italy, Tel 582
2170, Fax: 561 9190 Spain, Tel: 582 8006, Fax: 582 8065 Swedish Consulate General, Tel: 646 5860,
Fax: 646 5861 Turkey, Tel: 591 0555-7, Fax: 582 0214, e-mail: [email protected],
United States of America, Tel: 622 7230, Fax: 625 9270
Ramallah & Al-Bireh (02) Australia, Tel: 240 7710, Fax: 240 8290, [email protected], [email protected]
com Austria, Tel: 240 1477, Fax: 240 0479 Brazil, Tel. 295 3753, Fax 295 3756, admin-offi[email protected]
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Tel: 240 58 60/1, Fax: 2405862, [email protected]
/ [email protected] Canada, Tel: 295 8604, Fax: 295 8606 Chile, Tel: 296 0850, Fax:
298 4768, [email protected] Cyprus, Tel: 240 6959, Fax: 240 4897 Czech Republic, Tel: 296 5595,
Fax: 296 5596 Denmark, Tel: 240 2330, Fax: 240 0331 Finland, Tel: 240 0340, Fax: 240 0343 Germany,
Tel: 298 4788, Fax: 298 4786, [email protected] Hungary, Tel: 240 7676, Fax: 240 7678, [email protected]
com India, Tel: 290 3033, Fax: 290 3035, [email protected] Ireland, Tel: 240 6811/2/3, Fax: 240 6816,
[email protected] Mexico, Tel: 297 5592, Fax: 297 5594, ofi[email protected] Norway, Tel: 234
5050, Fax: 234 5079, [email protected] Poland, Tel: 2971318, Fax: 2971319 Portugal, Tel: 240 7291/3, Fax:
240 7294 Republic of Korea, Tel: 240 2846/7, Fax: 240 2848 Russian Federation, Tel: 240 0970, Fax:
240 0971 South Africa, Tel: 298 7355, Fax: 298 7356, [email protected] , Switzerland,
Tel: 240 8360, e-mail: [email protected] The Netherlands, Tel. 240 6639, Fax. 240 9638 The
People’s Republic of China, Tel: 295 1222, Fax: 295 1221, chinaoffi[email protected]
Gaza Strip (08) Egypt, Tel: 282 4290, Fax: 282 0718 • Germany, Tel: 282 5584, Fax: 284 4855 • Japan,
Tel: 284 2406, Fax: 284 2416 Jordan, Tel: 282 5134, Fax: 282 5124 Morocco, Tel: 282 4264, Fax: 282
4104 Norway, Tel: 282 4615, Fax: 282 1902 Qatar, Tel: 282 5922, Fax: 282 5932 South Africa, Tel:
284 1313, Fax: 284 1333 Tunisia, Tel: 282 5018, Fax: 282 5028
Al- Quds Index
Banking Index
Industrial Index
Insurance Index
Investment Index
Services Index
FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Jerusalem (02), TeleFax: 532 2757, 532 1950,
[email protected], IBRD, - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World
Bank), West Bank (02), Tel: 236 6500 Fax: 236 6543, Gaza (08) Tel: 282 4746 Fax: 282 4296, firstletterofsurname.
[email protected] • IMF, - International Monetary Fund,, Gaza (08), Tel: 282 5913; Fax:
282 5923, West Bank (02), Tel: 236 6530; Fax: 236 6543 • ILO - International Labor Organization, Jerusalem
(02), Tel: 626 0212, 628 0933, Fax: 627 6746, [email protected], Ramallah (02), Tel: 290 0022 Fax: 290
0023, Nablus (09), Tel: 237 5692 Tel: 233 8371, Fax: 233 8370 • OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner
For Human Rights, Gaza (08), Tel: 282 7021, Fax: 282 7321, [email protected], West Bank Office, Telefax: 02-296
5534 • UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Ramallah (02), Tel:
295 9740, Fax: 295 9741, [email protected] • UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, Jerusalem (02),
Tel: 581 7292, Fax: 581 7382, [email protected], • UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund,
Jerusalem (02), Tel: 583 0013,4 Fax: 583 0806, Gaza (08), Tel: 286 2400 Fax: 286 2800, [email protected]
• UNIFEM - United Nations Development Fund for Women, Tel/ Fax: 628 0450, Tel: 628 0661 • UN OCHA
- United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Tel: 582 9962/02 - 582 5853, Fax: 582 5841,
[email protected], • UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Gaza (08), Tel: 677
7333, Fax: 677 7555, [email protected], West Bank (02), Tel: 589 0401, Fax: 532 2714, firstletterofsurname.
familyname • UNSCO - Office of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,
Tel: 08-2843555/02-5687276, Fax: 08-2820966/02-5687288, [email protected], • UNTSO
- United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, Jerusalem (02), Tel: 568 7222 - 568 7444, Fax: 568 7400, [email protected] • WFP - World Food Programme, Gaza (08), Tel: 282 7463, Fax: 282 7921, Jerusalem
(02), Tel: 540 1340, Fax: 540 1227, [email protected] • WHO - World Health Organization, Jerusalem
(02), Tel: 540 0595 Fax: 581 0193, [email protected], Gaza (08) Tel: 282 2033 Fax: 284 5409, [email protected]
• World Bank, Tel: 236 6500, Fax: 236 6543
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP)
4 Al-Ya’qubi Street, Jerusalem, Tel: 02 6268200, Fax: 02 6268222
E-mail: [email protected] / URL:
- 3.43
- 8.34
- 0.01
0.53 %
2.39 %
- 4.52 %
- 6.36 %
- 0.02 %
1.44 %
Monthly Trading Activities
* This Month
Number of Trading Sessions
Number of Trades
Value (US$)
Daily Average Turnover Value (US$)
Market Capitalization (US$)
** Last Month
% change
- 9.09 %
- 9.30 %
- 11.74 %
- 14.92 %
- 6.41 %
0.27 %
* From 20/02/2007 To 19/03/2007
** From 20/1/2007 To 19/02/2007
Sector Statistics
No. of
Number of
Number of listed companies
Number of traded companies
Advancing stocks
Unchanged stocks
Declining stocks
Top five gainers
change %
24.00 %
12.82 %
12.63 %
10.32 %
5.00 %
Top five losers
change %
- 12.63 %
- 12.37 %
- 8.24 %
- 6.88 %
- 6.72 %
Top five by value traded
change %
26.03 %
17.88 %
17.60 %
15.80 %
12.32 %
For more information: Palestine Stock Exchange(PSE)
Main office: Nablus, Tel: (+970) 9 234 5555, Fax: (+970) 9 234 1341
Ramallah Branch, Tel: (+970) 2 240 3903, Fax: (+970) 2 240 3902, Email: [email protected]
Ramallah (02) Al Rafah Microfinance Bank, Tel: 297 8710, Fax: 297 8880 • Arab Bank, (Al-Balad) Tel:
East Jerusalem (02) Hospitals, Augusta Victoria, Tel: 627 9911 • Dajani Maternity, Tel: 583 3906
(Ein Kerem) Tel: 677 7111 • Hadassah (Mt. Scopus), Tel: 584 4111 • Maqassed, Tel: 627
Red Crescent Maternity, Tel: 628 6694 • St. John’s Opthalmic, Tel: 582 8325 • St. Joseph, Tel:
582 8188 • Clinics and Centers Arab Health Center, Tel: 628 8726 • CHS Clinics, Tel: 628 0602/0499
Ibn Sina Medical Center, Tel: 540 0083/9, 532 2536 • Jerusalem First Aid Clinic, Tel: 626 4055 •
Relief Women’s, Health Clinic, Tel: 583 3510 • Palestinian Counseling Center, Tel: 656
2272, 656 2627 • Peace Medical Center, Tel: 532 7111, 532 4259 • Red Crescent Society, Tel: 586 056 •
Spafford Children’s Clinic, Tel: 628 4875 • The Austrian Arab Community Clinic (AACC), Tel: 627
3246 • The Jerusalem Princess Basma Center for Disabled Children, Tel: 628 3058
Bethlehem (02) Hospitals Al-Dibis Maternity, Tel: 274 4242 • Al-Hussein Government, Tel: 274
1161 • Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation, Tel: 274 4049-51, Fax: 274 4053 • Caritas Baby, Tel:
275 8500, Fax: 275 8501 • Mental Health, Tel: 274 1155 • Shepherd’s Field Hospital, Tel: 277 5092 • St.
Mary’s Maternity, Tel: 274 2443 • The Holy Family, Tel: 274 1151, Fax: 274 1154 Clinics and Centers
Beit Sahour Medical Center, Tel: 277 4443 • Bethlehem Dental Center, Tel: 274 3303
Hebron (02) Hospitals Amira Alia, Tel: 222 8126 • Al-Ahli, Tel: 222 0212 • Al-Meezan, Tel: 225 7400/1
Tel: 222 9035 • Hamdan, Tel: 228 1860 • Mohammed Ali, Tel: 225 3883/4 • Shaheera,
222 6982 • St. John’s Opthalmic, Tel: 223 5042 • The Red Crescent, Tel: 222 8333 • Yattah
Governmental Hospital, Tel: 227 1017 / 227 1019 Clinics and Centers Red Crescent Society, Tel: 222
7450 • UPMRC, Tel: 222 6663
Jericho (02) Hospitals Jericho Government, Tel: 232 1967/8/9 Clinics and Centers UPMRC, Tel:
232 2148
Nablus (09) Hospitals Al-Aqsa Hospital and Medical Center, Tel: 09 294 7666 • Al-Ittihad, Tel: 237
Al-Watani, Tel: 238 0039 Al-Zakat Hospital (TolKarem), Tel: 09 268 0680 Aqraba Maternity
Home, Tel: 09 259 8550 Rafidia, Tel: 239 0390 Salfit Emergency Governmental Hospital, Tel: 09 251
5111 Specialized Arab Hospital, Tel: 239 0390 St. Luke’s, Tel: 238 3818 UNRWA Qalqilia Hospital
(Qalqiliya), Tel: 09 294 0008 Clinics and Centers Al-Amal Center, Tel: 238 3778 Arab Medical Center,
Tel: 237 1515 Hagar (Handicapped Equipment Center), Tel: 239 8687 Red Crescent Society, Tel:
238 2153 UPMRC, Tel: 283 7178
Ramallah & Al-Bireh (02) Hospitals Arabcare Hospital, Tel: 298 6420 AL-Karmel Maternity
Home, Tel: 247 1026 Al-Mustaqbal Hospital, Tel: 240 4562 AL-Nather Maternity Hospital, Tel: 295 5295
Ash-Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Tel: 298 8088 Birziet Maternity Home, Tel: 281 0616 Care Specialized
Dental Center, Tel: 297 5090 Khaled Surgical Hospital, Tel: 295 5640 Ramallah Government Hospitals, Tel: 298 2216/7 Red Crescent Hospital, Tel: 240 6260 Clinics and Centers Arab Medical Center,
Tel: 295 4334 Arabcare Medical Center, Tel: 298 6420 Emergency & Trauma Center, Tel: 298 8088
Harb Heart Center, Tel: 296 0336 Modern Dental Center, Tel: 298 0630 Patients’ Friends Society
K. Abu Raya Rehabilitation Centre, Tel: 295 7060/1 Peace Medical Center, Tel: 295 9276 Red
Crescent Society, Tel: 240 6260 UPMRC, Tel: 298 4423, 296 0686
Gaza Strip (08) Hospitals Al-Ahli Al-Arabi, Tel: 286 3014 • Dar Al-Salam, Tel: 285 4240 • Nasser,
Tel: 205 1244 Shifa, Tel: 286 2765 Clinics and Centers Arab Medical Center, Tel: 286 2163 Beit
Hanoun Clinic, Tel: 285 8065 Dar Al-Shifa, Tel: 286 5520 Hagar (Handicapped Equipment Center),
Tel: 284 2636 St. John’s Opthalmic, Tel: 284 8445 UPMRC, Tel: 282 7837
East Jerusalem (02) Arab Bank (Al-Ezzarieh), Tel: 279 6671, Fax: 279 6677 • Arab Bank (Al-Ram), Tel:
234 8710, Fax: 234 8717 Center for Development Consultancy (CDC), Tel: 583 3183, Fax: 583 3185
Commercial Bank of Palestine, Tel: 279 9886, Fax: 279 9258
Bethlehem (02) Arab Bank, Tel: 277 0080, Fax: 277 0088 • Arab Land Bank, Tel: 274 0861 • Cairo-
Amman Bank, Tel: 274 4971, Fax: 274 4974 Jordan National Bank, Tel: 277 0351, Fax: 277 0354 Bank of
Palestine Ltd., Tel: 276 5515/6, Fax: 276 5517 Palestine Investment Bank, Tel: 277 0888, Fax: 277 0889
Hebron (02) Al-Ahli Bank, Tel: 222 4801/2/3/4 • Arab Bank, Tel: 222 6410, Fax: 222 6418 • Bank of
Palestine Ltd., Tel: 225 0001/2/3 Cairo-Amman Bank, (Wadi Al-Tuffah) Tel: 222 5353/4/5 CairoAmman Bank, (Al-Balad) Tel: 222 9803/4 Cairo-Amman Bank, (The Islamic Branch) Tel: 222 7877
Islamic Arab Bank, Tel: 2254156/7 Islamic Bank, Tel: 222 6768 Jordan Bank, Tel: 222 4351/2/3/4
Palestine Investment Bank, Tel: 225 2701/2/3/4 The Housing Bank, Tel: 225 0055
Gaza Strip (08) Arab Bank, Tel: 08-286 6288, Fax: 282 0704 • Arab Bank (Al-Rimal), Tel: 282 4729, Fax:
282 4719 Arab Bank, (Khan Younis) Tel: 205 4775, Fax: 205 4745 Arab Bank (Karny), Tel: 280 0020, Fax:
280 0028 Arab Land Bank, Tel: 282 2046, Fax: 282 1099 Bank of Palestine Ltd., Tel: 282 3272, Fax:
286 5667 Beit Al-Mal Holdings, Tel: 282 0722, Fax: 282 5786 Cairo-Amman Bank, Tel: 282 4950, Fax:
282 4830 Commercial Bank of Palestine, Tel: 282 5806, Fax: 282 5816 The Housing Bank, Tel: 282
6322, Fax: 286 1143 Jordan Bank, Tel: 282 0707, Fax: 282 4341 Palestine Development Fund, Tel:
282 4286, Fax: 282 4286 Palestine International Bank (PIB), Tel: 284 4333, Fax: 284 4303 Palestine
Investment Bank, Tel: 282 2105, Fax: 282 2107
Nablus (09) Arab Bank, Tel: 238 2340, Fax: 238 2351 • Arab Bank (Askar), Tel: 231 1694, Fax: 234 2076
Arab Land Bank, Tel: 238 3651, Fax: 238 3650 • Bank of Palestine Ltd., Tel: 238 2030, Fax: 238 2923
• Bank
Palestine (Al-Misbah), Tel: 231 1460, Fax: 231 1922 • Cairo-Amman Bank, Tel: 238 1301, Fax:
•238 1590 of Commercial
Bank of Palestine, Tel: 238 5160, Fax: 238 5169 • The Housing Bank, Tel: 238
6060, Fax: 238 6066 • Jordan Bank, Tel: 238 1120, Fax: 238 1126 • Jordan-Gulf Bank, Tel: 238 2191, Fax:
238 1953 • Jordan-Kuwait Bank, Tel: 237 7223, Fax: 237 7181 • Jordan-National Bank, Tel: 238 2280,
Fax: 238 2283 • Palestine Investment Bank, Tel: 238 5051, Fax: 238 5057 • Palestine International
Bank, Tel: 239 7780, Fax: 239 7788
CHS (Old City Jerusalem)
101 / 050-319120
02-274 1123
102/22 28121-2-3
02-232 2658
04-250 1225
09-238 3444
02-295 6102
09-267 2106
09-294 0440
101 / 02-274 4222
101 / 08-2863633
101 / 02-232 1170
101 / 04-250 2601
101 / 09-238 0399
101 / 02-240 0666
101 / 09-267 2140
101 / 09-294 0440
02-274 8231
02-232 2521
04-250 1035
09-238 3518
02-295 6571
09-267 2161
09-294 22730
Telephones Services
298 6480, Fax: 298 6488 Arab Bank, (Al-Bireh), Tel: 295 9581, Fax: 295 9588 Arab Bank, (Al-Manara)
Tel: 295 4821, Fax: 295 4824 Arab Land Bank, Tel: 295 8421 Bank of Palestine Ltd., Tel: 298 5921,
Fax: 298 5920 Bank of Palestine Ltd., (Al-Irsal) Tel: 296 6860, Fax: 296 6864 Beit Al-Mal Holdings,
Tel: 298 6916, Fax: 298 6916 HSBC Bank Middle East, Tel: 298 7802, Fax: 298 7804 Cairo-Amman
Bank, Tel: 298 3500, Fax: 295 5437 The Center for Private Enterprise Development, Tel: 298 6786,
Fax: 298 6787 Commercial Bank of Palestine, Tel: 295 4141, Fax: 295 4145 Cooperative Development Unit, Tel: 290 0029, Fax: 290 0029 Deutsche Ausgleichsbank (DTA), Tel: 298 4462, Fax: 295 2610
The Housing Bank, Tel: 298 6270, Fax: 298 6276 International Islamic Arab Bank, Tel: 240 7060, Fax:
240 7065 Jordan Bank, Tel: 295 8686, Fax: 2958684 Jordan-Gulf Bank, Tel: 298 7680, Fax: 298 7682
Jordan National Bank, Tel: 295 9343, Fax: 295 9341 Palestine International Bank (PIB), Tel: 298
3300, Fax: 298 3333 Palestine Investment Bank, Tel: 298 7880, Fax: 298 7881 Union Bank, Tel: 298
6412, Fax: 295 6416
Wake up calls
Talking ClockClock
time around the world
Vocal Information
Pager Service
Repeat call
Last call
Call waiting
Call forwarding
General information
Corporate services
Wake up calls
Free fax service
Follow me
(forwarding calls)
Phone book
Internet maintenance
Calls from Overseas
Dial access code, international
country code (972) or (970),
area code (without the zero),
desired number
Tourism and Antiquities
02-277 0750/1
08-282 9017
02-232 4011
09-385 244
Border Crossings
Allenby Bridge 02-994 2302
Arava Border 08-630 0555
Eretz Crossing 08-674 1672
Rafah Border 08-673 4205
Sheikh Hussien 04-609 3410
Population and Demography (revised - 2007)
Projected Population (15/03/2007)
Palestinian Territory .............................................................................................................. 3,979,047
West Bank (all governorates) ............................................................................................... 2,495,881
Gaza Strip ............................................................................................................................ 1,483,166
Jerusalem Governorate .......................................................................................................... 413,360
Projected Population by Age (Mid 2007)
0-17 years .............................................................................................................................52.2%
18-64 .....................................................................................................................................44.9%
65+ ..........................................................................................................................................2.9%
Sex Ratio (2007) ......................................................................................................................... 102.8
Fertility rate (2003) .......................................................................................................................... 4.6
Population’s Natural Increase Rate (2007)...................................................................................... 3.2
Percentage of youth aged 15–29 (mid 2007) .............................................................................27.0%
Percentage of households with at least one person aged 15-29 (2006) ....................................74.0%
Percentage of households headed by a youth aged 15-29 (2006)
Both sexes .............................................................................................................................12.6%
Males .....................................................................................................................................13.5%
Females ...................................................................................................................................2.9%
Land Use and Agriculture
Palestinian Territory (PT) Area (Km2) ........................................................................................... 6,020
Area of PT by Type of Use (different reference periods)
• Agricultural Land (2005) ...........................................................................................................24.7%
• Forest and Wooded Land (2005) ...............................................................................................1.5%
• Palestinian Built-up Land (2000) ................................................................................................9.7%
Area of built-up land in Israeli Settlements of the total area of West Bank (August, 2005) ..........3.3%
Cultivated Area (Km2)-2004/2005 ........................................................................................... 1,833.4
Education (2005/2006)
Illiteracy rate for persons 15 years and over (2006) .....................................................................6.7%
Illiteracy rate for persons 15-29 years (2006) ...............................................................................0.8%
No. of schools .............................................................................................................................. 2,277
No. of school teachers ............................................................................................................... 40,957
No. of school students .......................................................................................................... 1,067,489
Students per class (Schools) ......................................................................................................... 34.4
Drop-out rate (schools 2004/2005) ...............................................................................................1.0%
Repetition rate (schools 2004/2005).............................................................................................1.5%
Health (2003-2005)
No. of hospitals (2005)*** ................................................................................................................. 76
Doctors per 1000 population (2005) *** ........................................................................................... 1.6
Nurses per 1000 population (2005) ................................................................................................. 1.9
Beds per 1000 population (2005) *** ............................................................................................... 1.3
Culture (2005)
No. of mosques (in operation) .................................................................................................... 1,900
No. of churchs ............................................................................................................................... 149
No. of newspapers (in operation) ..................................................................................................... 12
No. of museums (in operation) ........................................................................................................... 5
No. of cultural centers (in operation) ................................................................................................ 86
Information & Communication Technology (2006)
Availability of TV sets .................................................................................................................95.3%
Availability of satellite dish for household having TV set ............................................................80.4%
Availability of computers at home ...............................................................................................32.9%
Availability of Internet at home ...................................................................................................15.9%
Persons (10 years and over) have acces to the Internet ...........................................................18.4%
Persons (10 years and over) use computer ..............................................................................50.9%
Percentage of households who have a mobile ..........................................................................81.0%
Percentage of households who have phone ..............................................................................50.8%
Percentage of households who view palestine TV .....................................................................29.9%
Living Standards and Humanitarian Aid (2005)
Percentage of Households below poverty line ...........................................................................51.5%
Number of Individuals below the poverty line ....................................................................... 2,095,437
Percentage of households that lost more than half of their income during Al-Aqsa Intifada ......51.6%
Percentage of households that indicated their need for assistance ...........................................67.0%
Average Monthly per capita Expenditere in the Palestinian Territory ............................................ 89.5
Labour Force (4th quarter of 2006)
Labour Force participation rate................................................................................ 68.0%
Unemployment rate in Palestinian Territory (PT) ..................................................... 23.5%
Unemployment rate in West Bank ........................................................................... 17.4%
Unemployment rate in Gaza Strip ........................................................................... 35.6%
Average net daily wage for employees working in PT (US$)...................................... 17.7
Percentage of working children (5-17 years) 2004 ............................................... 5.3%
Percentage of graduates of high education and vocational training
of persons aged 15 years and over (End 2005) .........................................................................14.5%
Percentage of graduates of high education and vocational training
that participated in labour force (End 2005) ...............................................................................83.4%
Unemployment rate of graduates of high education and vocational training (End 2005) ...........25.4%
GDP (2006-million US$)-at constant prices (RWB and GS)** .................................................. 4,150.6
GDP Per Capita (2006- US$)-at constant prices (RWB and GS)** .......................................... 1,141.4
CPI and percent change in Palestenian Terrotiry
in February 2007 Compare with January 2006 ........................... 153.42..................................-0.40%
GDP per capita for the 4th Quarter 2006 in US $ at constant price (RWB & GS) ....................... 246.7
Quaterly GDP at constant price in million of US $ (RWB & GS) for the 4th Quarter 2006 ........... 908.3
Number of Establishment in Operation in Private Sector and Non Governmental Organization
Sector by Economic Activity (2006)***
Mining and Quarrying................................................................................................................. 204
Manufacturing ....................................................................................................................... 12,907
Electricity and Water supply....................................................................................................... 498
Construction ............................................................................................................................... 570
Commerce ............................................................................................................................ 54,861
Transportation, storage and communication.............................................................................. 821
Hotels and Restaurants ......................................................................................................... 4,185
Financial Intermediation ............................................................................................................. 727
Real Estate, Rental and Business Activities ........................................................................... 3,833
Education ................................................................................................................................ 1,929
Health and Social work ........................................................................................................... 3,654
Other Community, Social and Personal Services .................................................................. 6,351
Imports (2004 million US$) *..................................................................................................... 2,373.2
Exports (2004 million US$) * ....................................................................................................... 312.7
Hotels (3rd quarter, 2006)
Room occupancy rate.................................................................................................................13.9%
Bed occupancy rate .................................................................................................................... 11.0%
Available quantities of water (2005** in mcm) ............................................................................. 315.2
Connected households to wastewater network (2006)...............................................................45.3%
Housing Conditions (2005)
Average number of rooms in housing units ..................................................................................... 3.3
Average number of persons per room (housing density)*** ............................................................ 1.8
(RWB and GS)=Remaining West Bank and Gaza Strip
* RWB and GS at constant prices: 1997 is the base year: revised version
** It’s primary results
*** Revised Figures
Prepared by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Tel: 02-240 6340, Fax: 02-240 6343
Email: [email protected] - URL:
As Palestine continues its struggle for independence, it has already begun to acquire sovereign cyberspace
recognition. A difficult three-year international debate resulted in the "Occupied Palestinian Territory" being
officially assigned the two-letter suffix, ".ps," in the ISO 3166-1 list for the representation of names of countries
or territories. The successful struggle to attain country code 970 led the way for the Internet Corporation
for Associated Names and Numbers (ICANN), the international corporation that manages the country code
Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) system on the Internet, on 22 March 2000, to assign Palestine its unique country
identifier, ".ps," in line with other sovereign nations such as .fr for France and .ca for Canada.
ARTS AND CULTURE: Ashtar Theater, Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, ArtSchool
Palestine, Baha Boukhari, Family Net www., Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (Ramallah), Paltel Virtual
Gallery(Birzeit University), Rim Banna, RIWAQ:
Centre for Architectural Conservation, Sunbula (fair trade/crafts),
The International Center of Bethlehem (Dar Annadwa), The Popular Arts Centre,, Sumud, Palestinian
Pottery, A.M. Qattan Foundation, The Musical
Intifada, El-funoun, Sabreen Association for Artistic Development
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY: Arab Palestinian Investment Company, Hebron
Store, The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction
(PECDAR), Palestinian Securities Exchange, Ltd., Massar www., Palestine Development and Investment Ltd. (PADICO)
DIRECTORIES, ISPs AND PORTALS: Jaffa Net; Palestine-Net www.palestine-net.
com, Palestine On line, Palnet, Al-Quds Network,
Palseek, Paleye, Al Buraq
GOVERNMENT: PLO Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD), PNA
ps, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Industry, Ministry
of Education, Ministry of Health, Governnt Computer Center www., Orient House
HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH: Augusta Victoria Hospital, Gaza Community Mental
Health Programme, Ministry of Health Palestinian Counseling
Center, Red Crescent Society, Spafford Children Clinic www., UNFPA, Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees www., Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation
HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS: Al Haq, Defence for Children International Palestine
Section, LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
Environment, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, BADIL, Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC),
RESEARCH AND NEWS: Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem, JMCC,
Al Ayyam, WAFA, Al-Hayyat Al-Jadedah,
Palestine Wildlife Society, Ramallah on line, Ramattan
Studios, Palestine Family Net, Palestine Mapping Centre, The Palestine Monitor, OCHA- The United Nations Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
TOURISM: Ministry of Tourism, Arab Hotel Association www.palestinehotels.
com, Arab Travel Association
TRAVEL AGENCIES: Alternative Tourism Group, Atlas Aviation, Awad
Tourist Agency, Aweidah Tours, Blessed Land Travel www., Crown Tours, Daher Travel, Guiding
Star, Halabi Tours and Travel Co., Jiro Tours www.jirotours.
com, Mt. of Olives Tours, Pioneer Links, Raha Tours www., Ramallah Travel Agency, United Travel,
Universal Tourist Agency
UNIVERSITIES: Birzeit University, An-Najjah University, Al-Quds University, Al-Azhar Univeristy (Gaza), Arab American University, Bethlehem University, Hebron University, The
Islamic University (Gaza), Palestine Polytechnic
Where to Go?
Easter in Jerusalem
Map of Jerusalem source: Arab Hotel Association/Pecdar
Whereas Bethlehem is the focal
point of religious activity during the
Christmas season, Jerusalem takes
centre stage during Easter. All the
sites that are visited during the Holy
Week are located in and around
the Old City. A traditional walk to
trace Jesus’ last days would start at
the Cenacle, also called the Upper
Room, which is believed to be the
site of the Last Supper that Jesus had
with his disciples. The garden of the
Gethsemane is the place where Jesus
was betrayed by Judas and arrested.
Walk through the Kidron Valley, as he
did, to reach St. Peter in Gallicantu,
the place thought to be the house of
Caiaphas and the place of Peter’s
denial of Jesus.
Walking through the Armenian
Quarter brings you to the Citadel at
Jaffa Gate, where it is believed Jesus
was tried before Pontius Pilate. The
Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains
the Golgotha, or Calvary, the place
where he was crucified and also the
place of his burial and resurrection
three days later.
Where to Go?
The Thirteenth Annual
Artas Lettuce Festival
April 12 – April 15
Photo by James Prineas
In that sliver of space between Easter
festivities and the buckling down of students
for final exams, a magic time awaits those
who make the effort to attend the Artas
Lettuce Festival. The first agrarian festival in
modern Palestine, this celebration honours the
Palestinian peasant and allows Palestinians
to reconnect with their land, heritage, and
each other, and to ponder the diverse
manifestations of their shared identity. This
year, a special effort is being made to include
the resident expatriate community as well.
The festival offers four days of fun for the
whole family. In addition to debkeh, drama,
and poetry events, there will be various
cultural exhibitions, guided visits to the folklore
museum, hikes, home-cooked meals, and
an artist sketch competition. Friday morning
is devoted to children’s activities. During
the festival, an essay and photography
competition will be announced. This year, we
also pay homage to the late Hanna Abdullah
For reduced-rate Bethlehem
accommodations, contact Arab Hotel
Association hotels or the Holy Land Trust.
For program and directions, visit www. or contact us at
[email protected] or 052-229-2782.
Where to Go?
Ramallah’s Wholesale
Spring is already in the air – and
officially on the calendar. The most
recent downpours have drenched the
vegetation and made the season’s
produce ripe and glistening. So grab
your shopping basket and head to
Ramallah’s wholesale market, known
as El-Hisbeh in Arabic.
Located in downtown Ramallah,
not far from Al-Manara Square, the
market is conveniently located close
to the central bus station from which
shoppers can get transportation to
their towns and villages. Similarly,
this makes it easier for villagers to
bring their produce to the market, to
be sold.
The market’s main building contains
row upon row of stalls selling all
kinds of fruits and vegetables. It is
entertaining to pass among the stall
owners who shout at the top of their
voice hawking their wares. The market
is almost always crowded, especially
so on Saturdays, so brace yourself for
the crowds.
You will find all kinds of green leaf
vegetables such as spinach, Swiss
chard, chicory, rocket leaves, lettuce,
etc. Everything looks very fresh and
inviting. Don’t forget to get a bunch
of fresh mint leaves to flavour your
tea and your salad. Artichokes are in
season, so let your imagination run
wild. Fresh garlic is also out. Now is the
time to buy and store this all-important
The Last Word
I recently read an article written by Dr. Musa Budeiri, a professor of political
science and international law at Birzeit University, which was posted on
Haaretz website. The topic was the treatment – or rather, ill-treatment – of
Palestinians, under the pretext of ‘security’, when they travel via Ben Gurion
Of late, that particular topic has often been in the news; and not too long
ago a lawsuit against this mistreatment was brought before the Israeli high
court. The case was actually won, but for some reason the measures to
reverse the situation at Ben Gurion will not start before this summer! The
article itself was Dr. Budeiri’s detailed account of the two-and-a-half gruelling
hours before he was allowed to board his flight to London.
Judging from the spectrum of the responses to the article that were posted
online, it was simply amazing to see how the same story can be read or
interpreted in completely different ways. For instance, I was definitely left
with the conviction that the article described a clear-cut case of institutional
harassment and yes, humiliation of Palestinians, the purpose of which, this
time, was to discourage Palestinians from using Ben Gurion Airport. After
all, as Dr. Budeiri clearly points out, a high level of security can be achieved
without traumatizing a traveller. You would think, he also infers, that making
the trip approximately 160 times (not necessarily with similar treatment)
would entitle you to some immunity, or at least to the right to be treated in
the same way as everybody else.
Musa Budeiri’s article was not simply a snapshot of that day’s events.
He clearly intended to distinguish between the need for security and the
humiliation of a Palestinian traveller. Yet many responses to the article totally
ignored the human element and suffering and actually praised the existing
system. Whether the reason for this stems from ‘security mania’, or from
sheer insensitivity, or from being part of a culture that sees nothing wrong
with systematically dehumanizing Palestinians, some of the people who took
the time and effort to send their feedback read the article in a manner that
differed totally from what Dr. Budeiri had intended. I am certain that he felt
that those people simply missed the whole point, or maybe even chose to
miss the point. It is possible that the article itself was written in a language that
some could not relate to; but to be fair, I do not think that any article or even
any act would now change most mentalities, whether Israeli or Palestinian.
Unfortunately, most of us have reached the point where we say, ‘I have made
up my mind, so don’t confuse me with the facts!’
Although statistics show that the majority of both Israeli and Palestinian
societies ‘want peace’, unfortunately, when it comes to core issues such as
Jerusalem and refugees, that percentage plummets drastically. We simply do
not see eye to eye. The past forty years have taught us that it is almost futile
to try to change each other’s perceptions, much less positions. No doubt that
some are benefiting from the current situation. But assuming that both official
parties genuinely want out, I pray that one day the leaders of this region would
reach a business-like agreement that does not take ‘seeing eye to eye’ into
consideration. Otherwise, I do not see a way out of this impasse!
Sani P. Meo
Spring in Palestine - Photo by Ahmad Daghlas

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