Audio Book | Blogging in Bethlehem - Paldywan Kenobi

Palden Jenkins
Retired author, photographer, webmaster, historian and humanitarian
Palden Jenkins
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Audio Book | Blogging in Bethlehem

Bethlehem Old Town
Blogging in Bethlehem
An audio book by Palden Jenkins

A book drawn from a blog I wrote in June 2011 when working in Bethlehem, in the West Bank of Palestine.

If you wish, listen to an 8-minute sample chapter. The audio book is in seven 40ish minute parts. If you prefer to read it as text on-screen, there's a PDF version too. It's free, with no strings. Send it around!

It's all about the lives of ordinary Palestinians, the situations that arise in a strangely holy land under military occupation, and my experiences as an independent humanitarian working there. It's about the real lives of Palestinians, a bit like a travel book - and in a conflict zone.

I’ve written three Palestine blogs and this is the second. The first, from a three-month visit in 2010, is published as a printed book called Pictures of Palestine. You can order the book online and it's also available as a free PDF for on-screen reading. The third blog, from a five-month visit in 2011-12, is published online as a PDF, called O Little Town of Bethlehem – Christmas in the Holy Land (get them all here).
There's also an 8-minute YouTube video and lots of pictures.

Blogging in Bethlehem hasn’t been published before because its contents would have caused significant security, legal and social issues, and they still could. So this version has had critical details removed (sorry), but the story is interesting, even rather compulsive listening.

It features the Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem, which educates in trauma-recovery, special needs and community reconstruction. I worked there for some years. If, after listening to this, you like what they do and you'd like to support Hope Flowers, links are on the right.

I hope you enjoy the book and its insights into life in Palestine – at least as it was in 2011. The information in this book was valid at that time. But although details change, not a lot changes in Palestine, in any way that Palestinians would really like.

Blogging in Bethlehem may be circulated freely in audio or written form, without alteration, modification, misrepresentation or moneymaking, and with proper attribution (preferably with a link to this page). Any other uses, please contact the author. Thanks.

Sample chapter
8 minutes long, in case you wish to try it first
Audio book
Each instalment lasts 35-45 mins

Omnibus Version
All of the above together. 255Mb download.
Good for keeping and for binge-listeners.

Or if you'd like to read it as text on-screen...
Download the PDF
Hope Flowers School
Donations: UK/EU | USA
Sounds. The first is the Calling to Prayers in Manger Square, Bethlehem, with the bells of the Church of the Nativity sounding from over the square. Unusually, in Bethlehem all the mosques have live, not pre-recorded muezzin who sing the prayers. It's uncommon for the Calling to Prayers and churchbell-ringing to happen at the same time - a centuries-old agreement in the town avoids that.
When the Caliph Omar invaded the area shortly after the death of Muhammad the Prophet, wisely he decided not to turn the Church of the Nativity into a mosque - instead, a mosque was built over the other side of the square. But they didn't have amplified PA systems then, so the balance of the bells and the muezzin was much better in former days. Bethlehem has always been a place where Christians and Muslims get on well.
However, when the muezzin in different mosques around town all start up together, it gets to be audially confusing - sometimes a headache, sometimes quaintly fascinating, and sometimes the fingers of Allah seem mysteriously to steer them in a sort of harmony.
The second chant is another set of Qur'anic prayers recorded in Manger Square, coming from the Omar Mosque. The in-between short bits between each chapter are of a muezzin in Al Khader, part of Bethlehem where I lived at the Hope Flowers School.
Unfortunately I didn't have a good sound-recorder at the time, so I had to work on the ropey sound-quality when putting together this audio-book!
Blogging in Bethlehem
An audio book by Palden Jenkins
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