Spring Term 2018

“Welcome back” to e-turathuna as we commence Spring Term 2018.

We started the academic year 2017-2018 featuring a new genre – “the interview” –in an interactive encounter with Palestinians whose lives are marked with a “passion for turath.”  Fall Term featured Ms. Maha Saca, a Bethlehemite and a generous donor of Bethlehem University Library. If you haven’t read this feature, click the following link so you are updated:


This Spring term, e-turathuna showcases Mr. George Al-Ama, who also hails from Bethlehem and is a Bethlehem University graduate having majored in English Literature with a minor in Business Administration. After completing his Master’s degree in Archaeology at Al Quds University Abu Dis, he is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Hebrew University specializing in Archaeology.

George M. Al-Ama in his
Graduation Ceremony 
from Bethlehem University in 2004
George M. Al-Ama with
his classmates during 
a field visit of the
archaeological excavations

Mr. Al-Ama is not new to our efforts to put “turath” centre-stage. He made it literally possible to have the Jabra painting exhibition here at the Turathuna Centre, for which we are immensely grateful.

The Ribbon Cutting of the Jabra Ibrahim Jabra Painting Exhibition on the 7th of October 2013

Mr. Al-Ama clarifies that more than being a collector, he is also a researcher; in that sense there is a solid foundation underpinning his love for “turath” – he also works at providing “documentation” to authenticate facts, and to a certain extent, to give credibility to practices that Palestinian tradition points to. At present there is an interesting, attractive exhibition put up at the Bank of Palestine, one that speaks of national pride and a clear Palestinian identity.

A few Items of George’s Unique Collection

Mr. Al-Ama’s interview brings to light – with a historical slant – interesting facets of Palestinian heritage which he is proud to make known and share with others through the interview. Like Maha, George has travelled far and wide in a bid to be enriched and enrich his knowledge of Palestinian culture as well as acquire artifacts and items of value. For Mr. Al-Alma, “collecting items or documents …is a national duty,” which he does for posterity and because he wants to “know more about them to spread the knowledge.”

For him a hobby has eventually become a passion to conserve the past and to document his homeland with a rich but embattled history. He is, in his own words,  “a researcher and a collector.” However, being one has its challenges; in his own words, he says:

“Everything needs patience and good planning. In the long run it is my dream to set up a special museum about the handicrafts produced in Bethlehem, my hometown.”

A  carved Mother of Pearl Shell depicts the scenery of the  Nativity Story in the nineteenth century This  rare handcraft combines Olive Wood and Mother of Pearl that embodies the scenery of the Church of Nativity A  carved Mother of Pearl depicts the scenery of the story of Joseph and his brothers in the nineteenth century

Click here for the video-taped complete interview in Arabic with Mr. George M. Al-Ama.


*Special acknowledgements and heartfelt gratitude to Mr. George M. Al-Ama for his availability and quality time to actively contribute to enriching Palestinian oral history thus promoting love and appreciation for the wealth of Palestinian heritage which Bethlehem University Library has painstakingly favored, promoted, and preserved through the years.

*We thank Mr. Munjid Kharoufeh of the IT Unit, Bethlehem University, for sharing his valuable time during the video-taping of our interview with Mr. George Al-Ama.

*This interview was made possible by Ms. Mary van Teffelen and Ms. Dina Massad,  supported by the rest of the Turathuna Team: Ms. Mary Claire Habash and Sister Rose Amacanin, spc.

*Mr. Mike Hazboun, staff-in-charge of the Library Digital Services has unconditionally given his time and talent in preparing this presentation for the Library Homepage.

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