Palestinian Culture

The West Bank is situated west of the Jordan River between Israel and Jordan, slightly smaller than the state of Delaware. Most of the population in the West Bank is Palestinian Arab. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers also live in their own communities in the West Bank. Palestinian Arabs tend to value bravery, freedom, and strong familial ties. Palestinians believe they have the right to an independent state that provides them with basic human rights. Palestinians are taught to cherish their heritage and respect their elders.

Host a Palestinian student in the U.S.

Palestinian People and Community

Palestinian families are often large. Parents typically support their children until they finish school or get married. The mother may work outside the home but is expected to take care of housework and children as well. Sons are expected to support their father with his duties, and girls assist with household duties from an early age. Boys usually work with their fathers to learn a skill or trade that they may one day take over for the family. Brothers may serve as their sister’s protector in Palestinian culture. Brothers and sisters maintain close relationships. When daughters get married, responsibility for their financial needs are taken on by their husbands.

Language and Communication Styles

Palestinian Arabs speak Arabi (Arabic). Palestinians speak a dialect of Arabic known as Palestinian, which is different than Modern Standard Arabic.

Food in West Bank

Rice, beef, lamb, and vegetables with tomato sauce are common in the Palestinian diet. Chicken, fish, chickpeas, fava beans, oranges, grapes, dates, figs, and olives are also common. Specialties include mansaf (rice, lamb, cooked yogurt, bread, and nuts), musakhan (bread with fried onions, sumac, and chicken on top), and waraq dawalee (stuffed grape leaves). Also common are maqluba (vegetables, meat, and rice served with salad and yogurt) and maftool (couscous) served with yakhni (hearty chicken and vegetable stew).