Platform for countries interested in cultural exchange

5th Palestinian Heritage Week opens in Birzeit

GMT 17:03 2012 Thursday ,28 June

Arab Today, arab today 5th Palestinian Heritage Week  opens in Birzeit

Couple in a traditional Palestinian wedding
Ramallah – Sona Al Deak

Couple in a traditional Palestinian wedding Ramallah – Sona Al Deak The 5th Palestinian Heritage Week 2012 began Wednesday evening in the town of  Birzeit  in the centre of  the West Bank. The events of the first day of the festival commenced with a traditional Palestinian wedding and Zaffah (Arabic wedding march) of brides and grooms who are newly-married, under the supervision of the Al-Somod Foundation for Palestinian heritage and in collaboration with the Father Anton Buzo Centre for the Elderly in Birzeit. The first day also  included a concert by Tony Qattan, a clown show, and the international  Dam Rap band supported by the French-German Cultural Centre. Heritage Week is the culmination of a series of programmes and activities  which have neem organised by the  Alrozna Association since the beginning of the year. The festival activities will continue until Sunday July 1, and will include economic, cultural and social activities  in the old town, providing a platform for those countries interested  in a cultural exchange with the local community. Governor of Ramallah and al-Bireh, Leila Ghannam, spoke  at the opening of the festival, sending greetings from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the participants. She praised the role of the festival in preserving the Palestinian heritage:  'It is a tribute to the steadfastness of our people and our ongoing quest to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.” Minister of tourism and Palestinian monuments, Rula Maaiah, added  that heritage is what  is passed down to the Palestinians from their forebears, and will be inherited by the younger generations in the future to learn and interact with it, and the cycle will continue. Maaiah affirmed the importance of working to preserve the cultural and environmental  heritage of Palestine, and to promote it  internationally in harmony with the needs of the local community, which would raise the economic and social levels of the nation. Mayor of Birzeit, Youssef Nasser, explained that Heritage Week in Birzeit has become an annual tradition, not only to  preserve the cultural heritage but to support rural development. Representative of the European Union to the Palestinian Authority, John Gatti Rutter, praised the Heritage Week and the organisers saying, “It creates an environment of cultural exchange between countries and is working on the development of the Palestinian countryside, along with encouraging the participation of young people and women to volunteer in the events.”  

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