‘Eid Al Milad’ Bazaar: A Bridge between Palestine and Italy (PHOTOS)

By Romana Rubeo

The Italian capital city, Rome, has hosted a Palestinian Christmas Bazaar last weekend, with Palestinian food, traditional dance (dabke), free workshops, and live music.

The event took place on December 11-12 in the popular neighborhood of San Lorenzo and has been organized by three women, Rania Hammad, Sara Alawia and Nasmia Mallah – who are also the founders of the popular Rome’s Falastin Festival – in collaboration with several associations.

The ‘Eid Al Milad’ Bazaar is part of the ambitious startup project ‘Ya Amar’, which was recently launched by Hammad, Alawia and Mallah, winners of a European Commission competition on cultural heritage.

“Our goal is to create a bridge between the diaspora and the motherland”,  Rania Hammad told The Palestine Chronicle, adding that they “aim at strengthening the principles of community and solidarity”.

Promoting the work, art, and professionalism of Palestinians living in Italy is the ultimate objective of all the cultural activities included in the Ya Amar project.

“We decided to take center stage and to give Palestinian culture a platform that is often denied by mainstream media,” Hammad continued, adding: “We want to show all the beautiful aspects of Palestinian culture and our deep-rooted multiculturalism.”

Palestine is the birthplace of Christianity, so the bond between Christmas and Palestine is very strong. “All Palestinians celebrate Christmas; even Muslims cannot wait to eat the special Christmas dessert called Burbara,” Hammad said.

Indeed, those who attended the event could taste the Burbara and other Palestinian delicacies thanks to the presence of Palestinian chef Hanan Samara, who also prepared a special dinner on Saturday. 

Palestinian photojournalist Issam Rimawi displayed his work in an exhibition entitled “Roses Bloomed at Christmas”, curated by Palestinian Italian photographer Jasmine Barri, while actress and storyteller Hanin Tarabay presented a traditional Christmas tale and recited some of Najwan Darwish’s poems in Arabic.

“It is important for us to fight negative stereotypes and cliches. Our people are extremely diverse and Palestinians are rich with culture, skills and talents,” Hammad continued.

“I think that women are particularly good at conveying this message, and these cultural events are also a testimony to women’s strength and empowerment,” she concluded.

(All Photos: Courtesy of Matteo Nardone)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

- Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.
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