Preparing for Christmas… in Holy Land of Palestine ;)

Only 3 days left to Christmas!… And even if the weather doesn’t make us feel incoming celebration (in Palestine late autumn and beginning of winter, bring to mind rather our european spring..), there are few signs of the Feast and the commonly known symbols can be seen around 😀

Olive grove on Tel Rumeida (Hebron), December

Olive grove on Tel Rumeida (Hebron), December 2014

View from Tel Rumeida

View from Tel Rumeida

View from Tel Rumeida

View from Tel Rumeida

We’ve started with the presentation in Palestinian Children Art Centre (PCAC), concerning the catholic Christmas in our origin countries. On Thursday (02.12) we visited PCAC to describe european celebrations and encourage palestinian children to decorate with us paper christmas trees. As we were 3 members of Hebron Team from Norway, Poland and Sweden, we introduced our little friends to our culture – customs and beliefs related to the Christmas Time. We let them understand symbols of these Feast – Baby Jesus, nativity scene, Betlehem Star, shepherds, the Magi, angels, christmas tree, Santa Claus, presents…

Telling a story to the palestinian children in PCAC by Samia (coordinator in PCAC and teacher in Cordoba School in Tel Rumeida, Hebron)

Telling a story to the palestinian children in PCAC by Samia (coordinator in PCAC and teacher in Cordoba School in Tel Rumeida, Hebron)

Samia and children from PCAC

Samia and children from PCAC

Children from PCAC

Children from PCAC

Preparing the presentation about Christmas

Preparing to the presentation about Christmas

...What to start with?.. European beliefs and traditions concerning Christmas time :D

…What to start with?.. European beliefs and traditions concerning Christmas Time 😀

Explaining the idea of catholic Christmas to little muslims ;)

Explaining the idea of catholic Christmas to our little muslims 😉

Of course the biggest fun was to decorate paper christmas trees, as children were divided in 4 competing and very creative workgroups 😉

Cutting out Christmas Tree ;)

Cutting out the Christmas Tree 😉

Working on the christmas tree... 4 trees and 4 wonderful, amicable and creative workgroups :)

Working on the christmas tree… 4 trees and 4 wonderful, amicable and creative workgroups 🙂

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Palestinians scouts :D

Palestinians scouts 😀

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..selecting the winning Christmas Tree ^^

..selecting the winning Christmas Tree ^^

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The group photos at the end of workshops :)

The group photos at the end of workshops 🙂

DSC00221Workshops with our little friends from PCAC exceeded our expectations – children were so enthusiastic, active, creative and smiling!! In the same extremely polite and welcoming for us, ready to listen about our european culture… Once again they proved how open-minded and tolerant is the palestinian young generation.

We’ve liked a lot our experience in PCAC, and so, decided to repeate it in some way in our apartment. This time, idea was to bake some christmas gingerbread with our Hebron Team and two swedish friends Cecilia and Ellen, who are active in women organisation, also based in Al Khalil. We’ve met on Sunday 14.12 and worked hard… At the beginning on „classic” christmas forms, while after on rather original gingerbread design – the check point 😉

Rolling gingerbread dough

Rolling gingerbread dough…

Preparing strategy for new check-point building

Preparing strategy for new check-point building 😛

Gingerbread workshop ^^

Gingerbread workshop ^^

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Our "classic" gingerbread ;)

Our „classic” gingerbread 😉

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...Preparing main actors of the check-point ;)

…Some main actors from the check-point 😉

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…And more of them 😉

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Caramelised sugar instead of glue

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Desigining of doors and windows made with an tasty icing…

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Ta-dammm!! :D The base is ready, now is  time for details and decoration...

Ta-dammm!! 😀 The base is ready, now is time for details and decoration…

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Hebron Team - all 5 of us :D

Hebron Team – all 5 of us 😀

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...Ready to pass through?.. ;)

…Ready to pass through?.. 😉

Israeli soldiers already on guard.. :P

Israeli soldiers already on guard.. 😛

CPT with palestinian elders in traditional kofiya :D

CPT with palestinian elders in traditional kofiya 😀

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Final effect!! :D :D :D

Final effect!! 😀 😀 😀

In Hebron almost doesn’t exist (at least, oficially..) christian community, so it’s almost impossible see any festive accent… Whereas in Jerusalem, in the Christian and Armenian Quarter, preparations for Christmas are clearly visible 🙂

Streets of the Old City in Jerusalem... Christian Quarter

Streets of the Old City in Jerusalem… Christian Quarter

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Christmas Tree in Jerusalem, Old City

Christmas Tree in Jerusalem, Old City

As all the EAPPI volunteers are going to spend Christmas in Betlehemglobal epicenter of Christmas celebrations – hopefully hundreds of beautiful festive pictures will be taken, showing one more face of this multicultural, magic Palestine! 🙂

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