Photo Essay: A Palestinian Zaffa at Hammam Al-Sammara

A traditional Palestinian Zaffa. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Ajjour – Gaza

The Zaffa is a main fixture in traditional Palestinian Arab weddings. The Zaffa is for dancers, musicians, family and friends to welcome the bride and groom into the reception hall. Palestine Chronicle photojournalist in Gaza, Mahmoud Ajjour, attended a traditional Zaffa for a Palestinian family in Gaza City.

This particular Zaffa was carried out on Palestinian Folklore Day in the Hammam al-Sammara, the only active Turkish bath remaining in Gaza. It is believed that the hammam dates back to the pre-Islamic era in Gaza, and that it was restored by the Mamluk King – some say Governor –  of Gaza, Sanjar al-Jawli. 

The hammam is referred to as Al-Sammara because it was built and maintained by the Samaritans, which, centuries ago, was a thriving community in Palestine.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Mahmoud Ajjour is a Gaza-based photojournalist. He is the Palestine Chronicle’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip.

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