Listen to lively stories and inspiring interviews about the history and cultural heritage of Palestine and the ongoing Palestinian struggle for justice and equality. Every Monday a new episode. Subscribe to the mailing list for a weekly update so you never miss an episode. All social media links (facebook, instagram and youtube) and to subscribe to the mail chimp are in one place, easy, on the website www.storiesfrompalestine.info The music for this podcast was made by Zaid Hilal, Palestinian musician, you can find him on Soundcloud, Spotify, Facebook and Instagram.
From Peleset to Falastin: a history of the name Palestine
Where did the name Palestine come from and for how long has it been in use?
After reading the book "Palestine a four thousand year history" by Nur Masalha, a Palestinian historian and academic, it became clear that the name Palestine has been used since the 13th century BC until today. Only in the last decades did the use of the name Palestine become estranged, with the establishment of the State of Israel and the vilification of the Palestinian people. Many people doubt whether they can speak about Palestine and Palestinians. Using the name Palestine feels uncomfortable to many people.
In his book, Nur Masalha shows with proof of many documents and quotes that the name Palestine has been the most common name that was used to describe the region between Egypt and today's Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, since it replaced the names Djahi, Retenu and Canaan.
The first mention of the people living in the southern part of the Levant, the Peleset, gives the root letters for the name Philistia and Palaistine, that is used by the Assyrians and later the Greeks and Romans.
The Arabic name Falastin derives directly from the name Palaistine, but in Arabic there is no letter P in the alphabet so they replaced it with the letter F.
If you are interested to learn more you can click here to GET THE BOOK ON AMAZON (also available as audio book)
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The Sea of Galilee pilgrimage audio tour
During this episode I will take you on an audio tour to the Sea of Galilee where we will visit Bethsaida, Chorazin, Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes. These are pilgrimage locations related to places where according to tradition Jesus lived, spoke to his followers, visited synagogues and did miracles.
Disclaimer: I am a trained tour guide at the Bethlehem Bible College, I am not a theologian and I do not belong to any religion. I am telling the stories the way they were told and explained to me by Palestinian Christians who still live in the land where Jesus lived 2000 years ago.
If you want to read the transcript of this episode you can click on the transcript button on the buzzsprout website or visit :
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Armenians in diaspora in Jerusalem / Palestine
Apo Sahagian is a singer and works in different artistic related projects in Jerusalem. He is also the host of the podcast 'Apo and the city'. He grew up in the old city of Jerusalem in the Armenian quarter. His family came to Jerusalem in the 1920s when many Armenians fled from the genocide committed by the Ottoman empire.
In this episode Apo gives us more insight into the Armenian community in Palestine. The Armenians came in three waves. As the first Christian nation in the world, King Tiridates III adopted Christianity as state religion in 301 AD, they have a long history of connection to Jerusalem. The first Crusaders married Armenian princesses and there are several Crusader Queens of Jerusalem that were of Armenian descent, such as the famous queen Melisande. So the first wave dates back from that time, the 12th century AD. These Armenians have integrated into the Palestinians society and even though they cherish their heritage they are much more assimilated than the second wave.
The second wave is the result of displacement during the Ottoman time and these Armenians are still much more connected to the homeland and as diaspora Armenians they are trying to preserve their culture and heritage and they have stronger connections to Armenia.
The third wave consists of Armenians who came to Israel in the time that many Russians were accepted as Jews to the live in Israel. Some of these Armenians are not even really Jewish but they took the opportunity to try have a better economic life. They have been given Israeli citizenship and they are trying to stay out of politics and just live their life.
Apo talks about the Armenian quarter with its convent and the Armenian churches and about what Armenians brought to Palestine in general and Jerusalem in particular.
If you want to listen to Apo's podcast 'Apo and the City' find him here:
If you want to listen to his music you can search for Apo & the Apostles
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Traces of Home
In this episode you can hear an interview with Colette Ghunim about the film 'Traces of Home' that she has been working on for the past years. The film brings her parents back to Mexico and Palestine from where they respectively were forced to leave due to different circumstances.
Colette grew up in a suburb of Chicago and was never really exposed to her roots as her parents were trying to move beyond their trauma and focused on raising their children in the American society.
When Colette lived for a while in Egypt she made some social media reports about women harassment and when her video went viral, she decided to make a short documentary about this topic.
This experience led her to a new project: tracing her roots with her parents, documenting their journeys back to the homes where they had to leave from.
Colette's father is Palestinian, born in 1944. His family was forcibly displaced from Safad in 1948. Although her father did not have clear memories of Safad and of the Nakba, he carries the family trauma with him and as they are making this film the family is going through a process of grief and healing.
You can sign up for the mailing list to stay updated about the development of the film and streaming and screening in the future: https://tracesofhome.com/
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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre part 2, an audio tour
In the previous episode you could hear an introduction to the history of the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem.
This episode can be used as an audio tour when you are visiting the Church. Start on the square in front of the main entrance.
If you are listening from elsewhere you can follow the description and use your imagination! There are lots of photos online as well as YouTube videos. Here is a 20 minutes documentary by AlJazeera English that gives an idea about the church and the community:
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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, an introduction (part 1 of 2)
One of the most visited sites in the old city of Jerusalem is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is where Christians venerate the place where Jesus was crucified and where he was buried in a tomb. Pilgrims that visit Jerusalem will follow the 'way of the cross' or in Latin the 'Via Dolorosa', the way of his suffering. On the route there are 14 stations where the pilgrims stop to remember something that happened to Jesus on his way to the Golgotha (in Aramaic) or the Calvary (in Latin). This translates as the place of the Skull. The location, on the cliff overlooking a stone quarry, where Jesus was nailed to the cross. The last 5 stations of the Via Dolorosa are inside the church.
In this episode you can learn more about the crucifixion and why emperor Constantine and his mother Helena decided to build the first Church commemorating this event on this exact location.
In the following episode I will take you into the Church for a guided audio tour.
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Interesting and diverse
Interesting, engaging and honest stories. Every week a different topic. I enjoy learning about Palestine and its people. Very diverse subjects.