QUARANTINE - DAY 49 - 23rd April 2020
As we mark Saint Georges Day here in the UK, it is worth remembering the significance of Saint George (Saint Khader in Arabic) for the Palestinians - in particular in Bethlehem. He is a local hero who opposed persecution of Christians in the Holy Land. It is believed he once lived in Al-Khader near Bethlehem and that his mother was Palestinian. The Feast of Saint George or Khader is celebrated by both Muslims and Christians on 6th May (according to the older calendar used by Eastern Churches). People amass in Al-Khader to pray and light candles on 6th May, and a traditional bread portraying the Saint with dragon is baked on this day. George is one of the most popular Christian names in Bethlehem even today. The legend of Saint Khader reminds us to stand up for our beliefs and help the needy. Perhaps an important lesson even today...
Next Tuesday at 10am UK/12pm Palestine time, 4 of us from London, Bethlehem, Gaza and Australia will be doing our second virtual coffee morning/cooking session where we will learn to cook Humous. Last Tuesday we were joined by lots of lovely people from the UK, France, Palestine and Australia. Everyone is welcome to join us in our global coffee morning. A photo of one of the participants bread is shown below - the secret of their success was apparently to leave it in their car outside. Please email me if you would like to join us and I will send you the link and recipe - firstname.lastname@example.org
Today a young woman of 16 years old talks about preparations for her Tawjih (end of school) exams and for Ramadan..
I was surprised when they closed the schools for quarantine. I could never have imagined that happening. I miss being with my girlfriends - walking home with them at the end of each day chatting. I have lots of brothers so I miss girls even more! However I don't miss school as much as my friends! I can't go shopping anymore because of quarantine so haven't bought any clothes for a long time..
The Tawjihi exams start on 30th May, just after Ramadan ends. Eid al-Fitr is on 23rd May.. so I will be revising all through Ramadan. I am not too worried about the tawjihi exams because I have been revising hard for a while now. Listening to music while revising helps me - I think - especially with my maths (the solutions come much more quickly when I turn on my music!) Hopefully I will study Philosophy at university next year but it depends on the score I get in tawjihi. If the universities are online next year I don't know if I would want to go, but hopefully all this coronavirus will have finished by then - I hate this virus and the uncertainty of the future now....
During the last 48 days in quarantine, I have spent my time revising and cooking healthy meals for myself, such as salads and fruit salad. I like to experiment and mix different ingredients together to see what they taste like and invent new recipes! When I am not revising I walk around the house, chat to my friends on social media and play with the cats - we have 7. We have been sitting outside in the yard and made sweets today - qatayef. I love qatayef but its not so healthy!!
I love Ramadan. I have decorated my bedroom with lights to celebrate. My mother will cook lots of food for the six of us to eat at Iftar, so I will help with cooking, making salads and preparing the table as there will be soups, salads and the main meal - many things to do. I will sleep during the day, revise through the night and finish my lessons after eating Iftar - breaking the fast - so I have more energy...
Tomorrow morning we will wake up at 4am to eat suhoor (maybe cheese, humous, before the Al-fajar/dawn prayer