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Arab Social Life, Traditions, and Everyday Pleasures in the 20th Century
Subhi S. Ghosheh

published 2012 • 6" x 9" • 186 pages • b&w photos
ISBN 9781566567886 • paperback • $20.00


Jerusalem is a city of unique grief, a city that has been the target of conquerors more than twenty times. Yet the city has managed to maintain its Arabic culture and traditions—Islamic, Christian, and Jewish—and has emerged victorious time and time again. But beginning with its partial occupation in 1948, its full occupation in 1967, and continuing through today, the Israeli claim on Jerusalem and the government’s efforts to change its identity, threatens to obliterate the traditional Arab culture of the city.

This book is a wonderfully-presented account of Palestinian life in a city that packs more culture and history than anywhere else in the world. It seeks to document and preserve Jerusalem’s Arab customs and traditions: festivals, folk medicine, cuisine, and even the everyday simple pleasures.

Subhi S. Ghosheh is a renowned expert on the history of Jerusalem and a prolific writer on Palestinian culture. He is the chair of the Jerusalem Library in Amman, Jordan and is a founding member of the Jerusalem Deportees Committee. He is also a member of the Palestinian National Council. 


Media Reviews

"Ghosheh...presents an Arab perspective on the cultural history of his native Jerusalem. He describes traditions that he says have been threatened by the Israeli occupation; the major holidays of the three major faiths that consider the city holy; and an earlier time when religious tolerance reigned."—Book News

“Ghosheh, a founding of the Jerusalem Deportees Committee and a member of the Palestinian National Council, describing Jerusalem as “a city of unique grief,” states that the city has managed to maintain its Arabic culture and traditions—Islamic, Christian, and Jewish—and has emerged victorious time and time again.”—Islamic Horizons

“Covering birth, marriage, and death, household structure and family, gender roles, food and games, and folk medicine, superstitions and religious festivals, Ghosheh, a member of the Palestinian National Council, paints a picture of a traditional Jerusalem in which "good human and ethical habits" yield a community of social cooperation…”—Publishers Weekly

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Of Related Interest:
My Jerusalem
The Storyteller of Jerusalem
Seeking Palestine
A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Middle East
Jerusalem in History
Jerusalem Interrupted
Love Wins