This issue of This Week in Palestine falls smack within our self-imposed mandate of promoting and documenting Palestine. This is what we set out to do well over 18 years ago, and we’re still doing it. There are just so many beautiful places and great people in Palestine that it is indeed a pleasure, laced with pride, to do what we do.
“Exploring Beautiful Palestine” is this month’s theme. We allotted between four and eight pages to each of Palestine’s ten largest cities, and we did our best to bring out each city’s history, cultural landscape, noteworthy sites, traditional costumes, traditional dishes, and more. The issue also includes other articles about Palestine’s fascinating history, tourism, cycling, and biodiversity, as well as a beautiful message from the minister of Tourism and Antiquities, H.E. Rula Ma’ayah. We actually received so much material that we had to add an extra 24 pages! Realizing that this issue is a powerful promotional and communication tool, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has graciously ordered a number of copies to be distributed at international tourism exhibitions throughout the year.
Not sure how to begin our thanks to those who have contributed articles and assisted in putting out this benchmark issue. First and foremost, we would like to thank the editorial and technical team, without whom we would not be able to put out any issue! A special thank you goes to Dr. Hamdan Taha, an expert in Palestinian cultural heritage, who was essentially the mentor of this issue. A huge thank you also goes to the amazing and indefatigable Maha Saca, of the Palestinian Heritage Center in Bethlehem, who provided us with images of all the traditional costumes published in this issue. Do visit Ms. Saca’s website (http://www.palestinianheritagecenter.com) to learn more about Palestinian traditional costumes. And we can’t offer enough thanks to Chef Nabil Aho for sending us the information on Palestinian traditional dishes and agricultural produce. Thank you, sir! Last but not least, we would like to thank each and every author who has contributed an article that adds to the richness of this issue.
The upcoming September issue will take you on a time-travel journey to the past; to pre-1948 Palestine in fact! We will highlight the cultural scene, hoping to demonstrate the vibrant and cultured society of pre-1948 Palestine.
Enjoy what’s left of the summer. We wish all of you safe travels, health, and peace of mind.
Sani P. Meo