- Title: WEST BANK: BEIT SAHOUR HOLDS ANNUAL CUCUMBER FESTIVAL
- Date: 30th June 2005
- Summary: (MER1) BEIT SAHOUR, WEST BANK (JUNE 27, 2005) (REUTERS) 1. SLV JIBREEL JIBREEL A PALESTINIAN STRIPED CUCUMBER (FAKOUS) FARMER AT HIS FAKOUS FARM; SLV JIBREEL PICKING LAST OF THE FAKOUS CROP 0.20 2. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JIBREEL JIBREEL FAKOUS FARMER SAYING: "The Fakous Festival, happens every year at about this time, because Beit Sahour is the origin of the fakous. It (Beit Sahour) started planting fakous since the time of our grandparents, and the sweetest tasting fakous comes from Beit Sahour." 0.35 3. SCU FAKOUS; SLV / MV MARCHING BAND WITH DRUMS AND BAG PIPES (4 SHOTS) 1.06 4. MV MASTER OF CEREMONIES KICKS OFF THE ANNUAL FAKOUS FESTIVAL BY WELCOMING RESIDENTS AND FARMERS OF BEIT SAHOUR; SLV PEOPLE STANDING FOR THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM 1.19 5. MV FARMER JIBREEL JIBREEL WALKING TOWARDS STAGE TO RECEIVE "FAKOUS FARMER" AWARD; SLV JIBREEL ON STAGE RECEIVING AWARD; SLV CROWD APPLAUDING 1.41 6. MV THE OLDER GENERATION OF BEIT SAHOUR WOMEN IN TRADITIONAL EMBROIDERY DRESSES DOING THE TRADITIONAL BEIT SAHOUR SONG AND DANCE; SLV CROWD APPLAUDS (5 SHOTS) 2.03 7. MV PALESTINIAN TRADITIONAL DANCE (DABKA) (3 SHOTS) 2.16 8. MV FAKOUS BASKETS BEING BROUGHT IN BY DIFFERENT PEOPLE FOR THE FESTIVAL 2.21 9. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SHADA BANOORA, ONE OF THE ORGANIZERS OF THE FESTIVAL, SAYING: "The Fakous Festival (takes place) because the town of Beit Sahour, for a long time has been famous for planting the fakous. The seeds of the Sahouri (from Beit Sahour) fakous, if taken out of Beit Sahour, will taste different, meaning that the Sahouri fakous has become famous on a Palestinian level and even more than that." 2.41 10. MV DABKA PALESTINIAN TRADITIONAL DANCE; MV HILWA BANOORA, A RESIDENT OF BEIT SAHOUR, CLAPPING TO MUSIC 2.47 11. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HILWA BANOORA, A RESIDENT OF BEIT SAHOUR, SAYING: "The fakous of Beit Sahour has something special to it, it is different than all the fakous's. It's different than the fakous of AlKoo' or the fakous of AlKhader. It has a special quality praise be to God." 2.57 12. MV BASKET OF FAKOUS BEING PASSED AROUND; FARMER PASSING A BASKET OF FAKOUS; BEIT SAHOUR RESIDENTS EATING FAKOUS 3.23 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 15th July 2005 13:00
- Location: BEIT SAHOUR, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Reuters ID: LVA50EBVY0FYNJCGMQ1RJ5QKFUS
- Story Text: Beit Sahour, a biblical city that neighbours Bethlehem in the West Bank, holds its annual Cucumber Festival.
Beit Sahour, a biblical town that neighbours Bethlehem in the West Bank,
has held its annual Fakous (striped cucumbers) Festival on Sunday (June 26, 2005) and
Monday (June 27).
The old city takes great pride in having the best tasting fakous
(cucumber), according to locals.
Local farmers say that the fakous cultivation first found its roots in Beit
Sahour and has become a tradition of the small town.
"The Fakous Festival happens every year at about this time, because Beit
Sahour is the origin of the fakous. It (Beit Sahour) started planting fakous
since the time of our grandparents, and the sweetest tasting fakous comes from
Beit Sahour," Jibreel Jibreel, a fakous farmer from Beit Sahour told Reuters.
Beit Sahour lies to the east of Bethlehem, and south-east of Jerusalem.
The origins of the name Beit Sahour (the house of vigilance) reputedly
stems from the Canaanite words "beit", meaning place, and "sahour", meaning
night watch, which reflected the importance of the area for shepherds,
according to the Beit Sahour Municipality website.
Beit Sahour is most famous for its Field of the Shepherds, which is a big
field with an old cave believed to be one of the places used by the shepherds
who came to the manger in Bethlehem, according to Christian tradition.
Today Beit Sahour is home to 13,000 Palestinian residents, with an 80%
Christian majority and 20% Muslims, and is considered by many as a model of
cooperation and brotherhood between Christians and Muslims.
Marching bands with drums and bag pipes marked the start of the event.
Farmers of fakous were rewarded for keeping the tradition alive through
continuously planting this rare crop that tastes better at Beit Sahour than any
of the neighbouring towns which grow the striped cucumbers, the residents
"The Fakous Festival (takes place) because the town of Beit Sahour, for a
long time has been famous for planting the fakous. The seeds of the Sahouri
(from Beit Sahour) fakous, if taken out of Beit Sahour, will taste different,
meaning that the Sahouri fakous has become famous on a Palestinian level and
even more than that," Shada Banoora proudly told Reuters.
Fakous has a short season and is lighter in colour than the traditional
cucumber. It is also fuzzy and crispy, best eaten early in the season before it
becomes oversized and loses some of its taste.
The residents of Beit Sahour have gained a reputation for sticking together
and having great pride in their city and the products of the city, which
include artisan craftsmanship, mainly in mother-of-pearl, olive wood and
The Fakous Festival came to an end with farmers handing out the last of
their season's crop to residents to taste and bid farewell to this short-lived
"The fakous of Beit Sahour has something special to it, it is different
than all the fakous's. It's different than the fakous of AlKoo' or the fakous
of AlKhader. It has a special quality praise be to God," Hilwa Banoora said
with a smile.
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