Hannah and Je together

Monday, 18 August 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Forty Seventh Day – Soccer Final

It was actually yesterday.  Late last night.  Because it is very hot here during the day, people try to enjoy and get most out of the cool night.  Many evenings, the neighbours gather at my host family’s house and they drink the Turkish or Arabic coffee at 7pm.  How can they get asleep?  Don’t worry, they don’t sleep until really late at night.

Family Soccer Game in Beit Sahour

Family Soccer Game in Beit Sahour

My host family told me that there is soccer final in YMCA Beit Sahour.  So I joined them and went to the YMCA.  There were so many people, I’d say about quarter of the whole town gathered.

Family Soccer Game in Beit Sahour

Family Soccer Game in Beit Sahour

There was even professional recording and broadcasting.  I asked them what kind of soccer game it is.  It was the family soccer game in Beit Sahour.  The family here means different than in usual English.  I would say more like clan.  Because of long history here and lack of movement of the people neither in nor out, any people having same last name are relatives each other.  It is maybe hard to imagine in Canada or America where there are high chance of not related between random two bakers in one city.

Family Soccer Game in Beit Sahour

Family Soccer Game in Beit Sahour

There were so many people, and people were watching even outside of the fence and on the root of the building.  And in the halftime, there were door prizes.  A lady got the grand prize of Flat TV.

The final was between the family of Bannoura, and another family which I forgot the name.  Bannoura is the biggest family in Beit Sahour, and the other family is the second biggest.  There are sixteen families having their own soccer team, and this is annual thing.  There are more families than sixteen, but the rest are just very small families without soccer team.

It was like a whole town festival even though just two clans gathered.  The family tie is far much stronger than that I expected here.  And I thought that the Israeli’s random killing of Palestinian will never work.  If you kill any one of them in the whole clan, then almost everybody in the soccer field will turn into enemy and possible terrorist unless you kill every sigle one of them.

One more thing, the reason that this kind of big event is possible is that they are Christians.  Muslim families cannot join the game where the whole family members gather together in the public place and enjoy together because Muslim women are not to be in the public place with men like this.  And many Christian Palestinian women (at least every one I talked) are thankful that they were born in Christian family.

I read the sad news that several hundred people were killed by ISIS in Syria.  But several hundred people had good time in Beit Sahour last night.  I hope the people in Syria and Iraq also can enjoy their lives soon.

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