Seven Cool Things from the Middle East Recognized by Unesco

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So, there’s this thing called Unesco, right? They’re all about preserving cool stuff, especially traditions and culture. And guess what? They’ve noticed seven really cool things from the Middle East that they’ve officially recognized. Let’s check ’em out:

Majlis Revived

Imagine strolling into a Majlis, a place of pure respect and honor. The Majlis is basically a room filled with comfy carpets and cushions where the community comes together. It’s where folks chill, chat, and sip Arabian tea or coffee for hours. Some even take this shindig outdoors around a cozy bonfire. It was initially a spot for locals to tackle community stuff, but now it’s all about gatherings and shindigs. Its real deal hasn’t changed much; it’s still about preserving the old stories and societal rules.

Turkish Coffee Tale

Over in Turkey, coffee is more than just a drink; it’s an art form. Making, pouring, and sipping Turkish coffee is like a sacred ritual with rules that have stayed the same for centuries. It’s not just a daily drink; it’s part of weddings, parties, and whatnot. Every Turkish region has its own spin on enjoying this liquid gold. Some like it plain, others add milk or sugar. The process? Well, it involves grinding coffee beans to dust, mixing them with water and a bit of sugar in a special pot, and giving it a gentle stir until it’s frothy. Turkish coffee is more than caffeine; it’s about reading the future in the coffee grounds.

Damask Roses’ Charm

Damask roses, first brought to Europe from Damascus eons ago, are quite the sensation. Their soft pink petals are known worldwide, used for making perfumes, essential oils, cosmetics, and fragrant rosewater. But these roses are more than just eye candy; they’re turned into delicious jams, syrups, and pastries. Sadly, the ongoing turmoil in Syria casts a shadow over this cherished tradition, leaving many worried about its future.

Palestinian Storytime

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Picture chilly Palestinian evenings lit up by captivating tales spun by Palestinian ladies and kids at home or gatherings. These stories, often works of fiction, delve into modern-day issues, family dynamics, and moral dilemmas. The storytellers use expressive tones, keeping audiences hooked for hours. This oral tradition provides Palestinian women a platform to voice their thoughts and concerns, offering critiques of societal norms and poignant narratives of hardship. Plus, it’s a crucial tool for recording and passing on Palestinian history, especially stories tied to occupation and forced displacement.

Egyptian Stick Dance

Tahtib isn’t your average martial art; it’s a rhythmic stick dance with deep Egyptian roots, once part of military training. Today, it’s a celebrated art at weddings and sports events. Two folks, armed with sticks, engage in a friendly duel, aiming for each other’s heads. This practice embodies values like respect, camaraderie, balance, and pride. Accompanied by the beats of traditional tabla baladi drums and poetry, Tahtib carries cultural weight. There’s even a push to get it recognized internationally as a sport.

Bedouin Poetry

Poetry is the lifeblood of Bedouin culture. For ages, spoken words have been how they record beliefs, values, histories, and family trees. Taghrooda is a form of Bedouin poetry where verses are sung while riding camels. It’s not just for fun; it’s a way to solve disputes and keep the history alive. This tradition bonds the community and stands as a testament to Bedouin heritage.

Algerian Wedding Bling

Up in Tlemcen, Algeria, wedding glam is off the charts. Brides deck themselves out in layers of fancy jewelry and luxe fabrics. The fancy embroidery on their clothes screams cultural pride. On the big day, brides wear handwoven silk, rock intricate metal headpieces, and sport velvet kaftans decked out with crazy designs. Deep, lush colors like burgundy and emerald rule the fabric, while strings of pearls are believed to bring good luck. Elaborate patterns are painted on their cheeks and below their lips, symbolizing purity and protection.

In a nutshell, Unesco is all about preserving these seven remarkable Middle Eastern traditions, ensuring these unique cultural gems live on for generations.

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