At Bait Al Karamah (House of Dignity), you cook your own food. A group of women from the Old City of Nablus opened a house in the souq to cater to visitors who are interested to learn about the local culture, meet people, listen to stories, walk the hidden alleys of the old city, and, above all, taste the delicious food and delicacies of Nablus.
Anarrow winding alleyway at the start of Ras Iftais Street (Star Street) tempts you to enter the high old stone walls. Your heart beats faster with every step. Here, you discover an open-air alleyway, then an archway, then an open courtyard with a narrow paved road and tall trees that stretch to reach the sunlight. To the left, high staircases with hanging plants that adorn the walls lead you to the sky. A breathtaking moment brings you to a small sign in Arabic that reads: Hosh al-Syrian (Syriac Quarter). Continue reading “Hosh al-Syrian”→
In the middle of the valley to the north of Ramallah is a small evergreen, quiet, and peaceful village called Jifna. Its history goes back to a millennium before Christ when it was first mentioned in the Old Testament as “Ophni” and “Gophna,”* although the village was renamed Jifna, which means “the vines,” as it is known for its grapevines. Later on, Jifna appeared in the renown Madaba mosaic map as a town with two towers and a gate. Jifna is also mentioned in a tenth-century inscription on a stone above the gate of St. George’s Monastery in Wadi Qelt near Jericho. Continue reading “Jifna Preserves the Presence of Ancient Christianity”→
In the middle of the village lies a clean, recently renovated piazza called As-Saha that contains a large fortified Ottoman-style building. A quiet neighborhood attracts visitors to explore the five-acre old town of Mazari al-Nubani, a village located in the heart of the middle mountain range of Palestine, rising 510 meters above the Mediterranean Sea. (Lat.: 32.04919833, Long.: 35.16583333)
Every time I think of our history, I become nauseated. I cannot finish even one history book about the loss of modern Palestine and how it was occupied, suppressed, taken, blockaded, divided, mined, and stolen. But something powerful drags us towards remembering tragedy, death, and loss. Here, we remember the Iraqi Army Martyrs Graveyard in Nablus (32.2171, 35.295).
Hidden among cypress trees inside the campus of Nablus Secondary Industrial School and protected by a low wall with an arched cement gate is a cemetery of forgotten Iraqi soldiers who were killed by the Zionist forces in the battle of Palestine in 1948. The cemetery contains the remains of around 200 mainly Iraqi soldiers, in addition to some other Arab soldiers from neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Jordan. Continue reading “The Iraqi Army Martyrs Graveyard”→
In the heart of the central Palestinian heights lies Deir Istya in the midst of a sea of evergreen olive groves. Deir Istya lies 440 meters above sea level and is located some 15 kilometers southwest of Nablus and about 25 kilometers north of Ramallah as the crow flies. Deir Istya was part of the Nablus governorate until 1995, when the Palestinian cabinet named Salfit a governorate and included Deir Istya within its boundaries. (Location: 32.1307667, 35.1402191)