TRADITIONAL PALESTINIAN WEDDING
Photos by: Ahmad Daghlas
The Heritage Week Festival in Birzeit is unique among festivals in the breadth and diversity of the exhibits, productions, articles and activities. street performances, theater for adults and for children, and dancing and music – much, much music, from jazz to traditional Palestinian folk songs. There will be soloists and big bands, groups from inside and outside the Green line, with songs that may be witty, patriotic, cynical, or hopeful. Art, some from prisoners, will be everywhere – hanging in courtyards and attics, depicting the obstacles of today’s life under Occupation. Other countries join in Birzeit’s festivities at the “International Souq”.
The opening ceremony and a very special highlight is a traditional Palestinian wedding. Visitors to the Festival will be able to observe millennia-old wedding rituals – women carrying on their heads flower-bedecked trays of henna which will be applied to the bride, the joyous singing and call-and-response chanting of the “al-zaffeh” accompanying the groom, the “al-suffeh” head-dress and tunic decorated with exquisite traditional Palestinian embroidery, a technique that came to Palestine in the 8th century when Damascus produced the fine needles requisite for embroidering intricate designs. The ceremony ends with an exuberant and very traditional “dabka” dance, expressing the joys of new beginnings symbolized by the weddings.
Ahmad Daghlas is a Palestinian Humanitarian photographer, who uses his camera in storytelling.