Recognizing the Importance of Palestinian Traditions

The Importance of Cultural Tradition

The Palestinians, rightly or wrongly, have been portrayed by the media as a people without a land. When examining the idea of Palestinian traditions, is it important to separate the idea from American traditions where there are many traditions within a single culture, yet are not uniformly recognized. Such is not the case with Palestinian traditions, where culture and tradition meld together. For the people of Palestine, their traditions define the land they live in.

A Reflection of Hospitality and the Value of Family

The greatest tradition that actually is a series of traditions within a tradition is the Palestinian Wedding. In contrast to Western traditions, the wedding begins at the time of engagement of the bride. At this time the groom and several men of honor from the groom’s family go to the bride’s home. With him he will keep another tradition – several trays of Kunafa nabulsiya, a traditional sweet that is stuffed with cheese. Once they arrive and invited in, the wedding plans begin.

Another tradition is for the father of the bride to announce his agreement to the engagement, and pronounce a blessing on the marriage – the same way it was practiced 500 years ago. A sip of coffee is taken as a sign of the agreement.

Once the agreement is made, the next tradition is the engagement party. This is similar to engagement celebrations in cultures across the world. Relatives invite families and close friends, traditional music is played and various types of meals are served. The engagement ceremony can represent the marriage contract, or the contract ceremony can take place at a different time.

The wedding, unlike the engagement party, is a series of traditional events and ceremonies. A total of three events are planned: Henna Day which is restricted to females only, Groom’s Night, which is strictly for males only, and finally the Wedding Night.

Dabka is one of the traditional dances that takes place at the groom’s house.

More traditional families may have a separate wedding ceremonies, one for the bride’s family and one for the groom’s family. In most cases, a Palestinian band is hired to play traditional dance music while wearing traditional Palestinian clothing.

As you can see, there are layers of tradition that define the family culture and speak of the hospitality of Palestinians. Another aspect of Palestinian tradition is found in the home when guests or visitors arrive. Guests will be offered sweet tea during their stay. However, once you are offered coffee, it is an unspoken signal that it is time for the guests to leave.

As a guest, it is traditional that you recognize that refusing any food or drink offered to you is an insult to the host. Tradition dictates that you take the food or drink and give it a taste, then set it on the table. The Western tradition of saying “no, thank you” is considered to be an insult.

Wrapping Up Traditions

It is important to realize that Palestinians traditions are complex, layered and combined in many social situations. Yet in both the general hospitality afforded in the home and at the more formal wedding ceremony, the family is prominent. The importance of these traditions is far greater than most other people’s as they have no permanent land to establish a marker that commemorates any tradition to make it truly Palestine. The traditions reflect the people of Palestine, peripatetic yet never-changing, and yet always finding a place and a time for a celebration.

Mohammad Dahlan

Mohammad Dahlan the Questionable Palestinian Security Leader

The Israeli and Palestinian conflict is contest for land that had begun in 1947. After end of World War II millions of Jewish people were displaced from Europe and had nowhere to go. The British government had stepped up and decided to place the Jewish people in one of their Middle Eastern colonies known as Palestine.

When the Jewish people were settled into this area; their presence had caused a huge division within the area. The Palestinian people who reside there were forced onto one section of the territory so that the Jewish people could occupy the other half. As a result of this action, many Palestinian people were angry. They did not want the Jewish people in their state. Their religious and cultural beliefs and practices were also different from the Jewish people.

Ultimately, the Arab and Palestinian people who lived in this region protested en mass because they were not asked if it would be okay to bring the Jewish people into the area. By 1948, millions of Palestinians were displaced from their land and they decided to fight back. They declared war on the Jewish people and fought hard against them. However, their effort made no difference because the Israeli forces were better equipped and trained. Soon, Israel started to settle the lands that the Palestinians were losing in this conflict. By the year 2010, only a small fragment of the original Palestinian territory remained. To this day many die hard radicals and patriotic Palestinians continue to fight Israel for remains of their land and identity.

Mohammad Dahlan the Chief Security Officer in Disguise

Groups such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Hamas constantly wreaked havoc against Israel. When they do, the Israelis strike back. When the Palestinian/Israeli conflict breaks out in Palestine; a man by the name of Mohammad Dahlan is responsible for dealing with this problem.

Mohammad Dahlan has been the Chief of the Palestinian National Security Force since 2007. He has the responsibility of ensuring that the Palestinian borders and homeland are not be overrun by Israeli forces. He is also responsible for controlling and checking the militant factions that operate inside of Palestine.

Dahlan has been heavily involved with the security of his country. By various accounts he has been responsible for controlling the violence that takes place in and around the region. Sometime, Dahlan has been accused of inciting violence and creating situations where assassination attempts, murders and outright conflict has been carried out. In some instances various factions and individuals who are against him; have accused him bringing violence against the Palestinian people instead of turning it away.

During his time as Chief Security Officer of Palestine he has used the nation’s forces to curve violent attacks from Israeli forces and from other pro-Palestinian groups that have been known to combat the government. Dahlan does not fight on the street but has his commanders on the ground to inform him where he needs to send troops and what he must do to keep the small Palestinian nation from being completely torn apart. Some people even claim that Dahlan is an Israeli spy who is posing as Palestinian government leader.

Western countries have been known to support Dahlan and they are trying hard to return him back into office. In 2014 Dahlan had to leave his position because he was being tried for an assassination attempt. After his removal from office, no one else has really claimed to be the new Chief of Palestine’s security forces. As a result, Dahlan still asserts himself in this position. However, he does it in a way that is vague and not very defining.

A lot of Palestinian governmental critics are leery of Dahlan because they claim that he is not making a legitimate claim to his former position. As a result, Dahlan is supposedly being backed by the west as the current Chief Security Officer in Palestine. Currently, Palestine’s government is not fully functional and as a result many of the former leaders are now making claims (whether valid or not) that they are officially representing Palestine in the region and to the world. So many of the Palestinian citizens say this is not true.

Ultimately, Mohammad Dahlan is one of the strongest members of the Palestinian government and to their cause. Regardless if his position is legitimate or not as long as he has the backing of western nations, he will probably be able to continue to make this claim and to act on behalf of Palestine when conflict occurs.

Biggest Fears for Palestinian Citizens

Brief History on Palestine conflict
Living in a country like Palestine, you are prone to suffer or rather have already suffered the aftermath of war. Citizens of Palestine (Palestinians) on a day to day live in fear of many things happening to them or to their own country. The wars have been the cause for the separation of different societies and their homes; this has led to division among the country due to these wars. The conflict between Israel and Palestine is the main cause of fear among the Palestinians and this brings about fear in the Palestine citizens, this conflict existing from mid 20th Century to now.
This conflict has revolving issues around border agreements, water rights, control of Jerusalem and a claim for return of Palestine refugees.
Life full of fear for the Palestinians

1. Losing their lives

Since the beginning of the conflict, there have been thousands of deaths recorded. This is a count of men, women and children. There are people living in Palestine who have either lost their parents or their children, this lives as a huge fear in them in losing their lives. Palestinian citizens live only for today with fear for tomorrow because it may not come, due to the ongoing conflict between them and Israel.

2. Losing their homes

Palestinian citizens get displaced every now and then within their country by losing their homes either through bombing and hostile takeovers from Israel. This forces them to sometimes sleep in the cold, which is only if they are able to get sleep. This fear causes them to only build temporary structures with fear that to build permanent homes will be much of a waste since they might be destroyed.

3. Becoming refugees in Israel

When Palestinian citizens are left without homes, they sometimes are forced to move to other countries for shelter as refugees due to lack of their basic needs. Living as a refugee is not something easy for anyone especially after losing your home due to some unresolved conflict. The living conditions are the worst. Living in a foreign country has a host of other challenges.
Future hope for Palestine or not
Despite efforts from leaders of countries in the region such as Egypt and Jordan, the Israeli – Palestine conflict seems not to end any time soon. Distrust among the two countries still remains at the backbone of these wars and until both countries can come together for a peace deal, there is little hope for people living in both Israel and Palestine. Palestine has lost over 7,500 people since 1987 and this is a loss to the economy of the country.
Despite non peace deal being struck by the 2 parties, there is much of hope shown by the Israel military through their removal of checkpoints and decline in terrorist activity as from 2010. The authorities of both countries are making efforts by allowing Jews and Arabs to move around in the West Bank cities and Palestine cities. Hopefully, in the near future, the numbers will reduce and Palestinian citizens will stop living in fear.