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Muslim communities generally seem to have lots of weddings. Or maybe it's just that they're very public community affairs and so a lot more noticeable. But even so, I'm sure Nazareth is trying to get in the Guinness Book of Records for the most weddings ever held in a single year!
In my first two months here, just in the two streets near my house there have been over ten weddings! Apparently late summer is the marriage season here but that still seems a pretty impressive rate! And it's not counting the ones on other streets but still within hearing distance. Barely a night goes by without the music blasting out and the endless beeping of car horns!
Written Oct 3, 2004
If you're coming to Nazareth on the first day of October things will look a little bit different. Nearly all the shops and businesses are closed and everyone has the day off work. But it's not a celebratory holiday and the streets are pretty empty with people generally staying at home.
The reason is the anniversary of the start of the second Palestinian intifada, which broke out in 2000, and Arab towns throughout Israel pretty much close down as a mark of respect. Major demonstrations are held in smaller towns like Sakhnin, with small protests in Nazareth.
In Nazareth, the day also marks the death of two local men, shot dead when Jewish youths marched from nearby Nazareth Illit came to the town to protest against the start of the Intifada. Tensions rose, minor clashes broke out and the police and army came in. Two of the Arab demonstrators, all of whom were unarmed, were killed. Needless to say, there hasn't been an inquiry and no-one has been brought to justice. Obviously that's the Arab version of events rather than the Jewish one, and there is still a lot of anger in Nazareth about that day.
Updated Oct 3, 2004
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