From BBC Learning English
Thanks so much to Enrico for his student blog in January. It was great to hear all about his running, his music and his plan for when he wins the lottery!
All the best from the BBC Learning English team
posted on Thursday, 04 February 2010 | comment on this post
Isn't an interesting life?
I am Eman Sultan from Palestine, Iam very delighted to be a blogger in BBC learning English, and I hope that my writings will gain your interest and open the way for your comments.
I work as public Relations and Marketing Manager in Information Technology Center of Excellence at Palestine Polytechnic University which is located in Hebron City- Palestine
I live in an agricultural area which is not crowded with buildings and people, instead of that it is crowded with orchards of grapes and almond trees, surrounded by mountains that are filled by the oak and Pine trees, it has a moderate climate.
This region is called Albwaireh which includes a small number of houses that belong to my relatives.
Albowaireh region in the winter, a pond is mediated it to irrigat the surrounded fields of grapes, this pond is filled now with the rain water
In addition to the development of the residents of this region in various fields of life, particularly in education, but they also cling to their ancestral lands and continue to take care of it and planting its trees until the last breath in their life.
My grandfather who ages more than 95 years is standing beside a small fig tree planted by himself
And here he is watering a herb of “Al-Mardakoush” which is used for the treatment of some diseases
People in our area get used to eat and cook from their agricultural products and they prepare very delicious food as they inherited from their ancestors, sometimes they use firewood for cooking to add a tasty flavor to it
My grandmother is cooking apricot jam, it is very delicious and I like it very much
We also rely in our consumption from dairy products on our small cattle ranch; we make from its milk yoghurts, butter and cheese
For example, we produce yoghurt by filtering the milk in special bag
I like and enjoy this manner of life, along with availability of new technologies such as my VAIO, iphone that facilitate my life, and I believe that practicing the natural manner is healthier and more fun.
My favorite activity is to ride the horses and roam between grape fields and mountains, and visit relatives who all have kind hearts.
This mare is called Adab it is calm mare and I like to ride it
It is enough till now and I will tell you more about my life, my work,travels and our traditions in the coming blogs.
posted on Thursday, 04 February 2010 | comment on this post
After a Long Day of Work
Thank you very much for all your comments and understanding of our culture and admiring it, I would like also congratulate you all for all your life, since all of you have unique way of living.
In this blog I would like to talk about my job, my daily life and how I perform from 08:00am to 04:00pm
Every morning after getting dressed and having breakfast I get into my car and drive my brother who ages 10 years to his school then direct to work through Hebron city streets that are crowded with traffic in the morning hours since everybody is heading to his job.
My way to work through Hebron city streets
This is Friends of Fawzi Kawash IT Center of Excellence,in which I work as public relations and marketing manager, it is one of non academic centers in Palestine Polytechnic University, and aims to develop the information technology sector in Palestine specially in the south area.
Today I were out of my office as I had a meeting with my colleagues in Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU) to work on the publicity of the 3rd Palestinian International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (PICCIT 2010) that is focusing on research, innovation and entrepreneurship, and which will be held by PPU on March 9, 2010.
In this photo I am sitting between Wisam( left) and Ruba (right) members of the conference public relations committee. Wisam is the chairman of the committee, while I and Ruba are responsible of media coverage and other PR issues. so we meet to discuss ideas and to follow up the works of the committee during the committee’s weekly meeting.
I am mentioning the conference to focus on the non political aspects of Palestine, since International media usually focuses on political aspects of Palestine such as the occupation, the movements and the settlement…. , and ignores the events and initiatives that take place in other aspects such as technology, education and commerce, so I wish that the International media can draw attention to these events and convey to the world the technological level that Palestine has reached despite the occupation policies and practices.
After that meeting I had another meeting with Razan who works with me on writing a proposal for fundraising purposes
Finally, after a long day of work, my mother and sister surprised me with a meal of grilled chicken cooked using our firewood heater.
And in this photo my father and my brother in law are ready to eat the grilled chicken with me.
It was really a happy day, and keep waiting for more...
posted on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 | comment on this post
You have to be creative
You are wondering how the chicken that my mum and sister have made was grilled without being burned, it was cooked with a bottle filled with water, and get matured through the steam of this water. It was the first time that we grill the chicken in this manner, and through using our firewood heater, since we usually use the gas oven for cooking.
In this photo you can observe the bottle of the water while being removed from the chicken
Regarding the apricot jam made by my grandma, we all help in making this jam, as after picking the matured apricot and isolating its seeds, my grandma prepare the stove and put the apricot in the coppery pot, then she add the sugar to the apricot, and start cooking with continuous moving through a wood stick, and when it is being cooked my grandma add the peeled nuts of the apricot to the jam, to have a delicious apricot jam.
My grandma is removing the nutshell from the apricot nut.
This is the jam after adding the nuts of the apricot.
They are simple and innovative methods in our traditional cooking....
posted on Sunday, 14 February 2010 | comment on this post
In 17 seconds
My sister Asma rode it before three years, she reached the end line with her mouth moved away in her face with the fear, and my brother in law Jamil reached with his standing hair and blown head, therefore, at this time, they warned me and tried to prevent me from riding it, but I had a strong wish to ride it, to have a challenge and to see what will happen with me.
And there, I climbed aboard unique dragster-style trains that moved slowly forward to the starting line, I whispered to myself: I must not be afraid; I must enjoy it, turning around looking for Asma and Jamil who was focusing his video camera on me.
I kept my arms down, my head back, and hold on, the tree lights countdown to green, launched to speed of 120 mph in less than 4 seconds, rising my hands and climbed 420 feet into the air, crest a massive hill and spiral 270 degrees, felt as if my legs were separated from my body, in this moment I hold on strongly and closed my eyes then opened them to see the earth from this point, oh god…where I am? Then speed towards the finish line rising my hands again, the entire experience was over in 17 seconds. Yes, it was the Top Thrill Dragster; which is one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters on Earth.
I felt with some fear when I was in the air, but it decreased when I believed that there is no bad will affect me and the dragster will reach the end line in a moment, also I didn’t forget that I am in a challenge mode with my sisters, I was cool after being out of dragster and I really loved it and wish if I can ride it again.
Although I didn’t feel with a big fear in dragster, but I have experienced the greatest fear aboard the Millennium Force, where I seated beside my sister, it was more scary than dragster as we climbed the 310-foot-tall lift hill smoothly and quickly to reach the peak and stop for a moment then down towards the earth at an 80-degree angle at speeds of 93 mph! With feeling of being thrown, reached the ground then climbed and twisted and turned, then down, however, I also liked it, and if I were asked to ride again I will do.
We have tried other thrill rides such as maXair, in which our legs were dangled freely, fly in the air with feeling of weightlessness, it was interesting and not frightening.
In this photo jamil who is sitting in the right hand of me, he is very scared since he was thinking that this ride will be frightening.
but it was sooo interesting
That all was in Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio, one of the most interesting places that I have visited during my journey to USA in last august, in accompany with my sister and brother in law.
It is nice to visit such places and enjoy the rides that make you experience the mode of being thinking with self, with fear, excitement and happiness. Especially when you are with accompany of people who have sense of humor, like our friend Raghad and her family who have spent interesting times with us.
Here are my friend Raghad and my sister Asma standing besides me in the entrance of Cedar Point.
I like this kind of trips where I can spend my vacation days away of the work stress and daily routine of life, in spite of the interesting nature around us.
In the last two years, I have spent my vacations traveling in Jordan and Syria, I have visited Syria three times with accompany of my family, I have spent a great times there specially when I have been with my father and my uncle, discovering the nature and traditions of the country, building friendship with its people who insist to host us in their homes.
As well, in this year I will spend my vacation in someplace in the world, but where it will be? It is up to God.
posted on Monday, 15 February 2010 | comment on this post
Yesterday I’ve visited my uncle Sufian at his home, he hosted me at his large, crowded with scientific books library, and as he told me a brief about the different subjects included in his library, I was eager to know more about one of his publications, that is not merely considered as a documentation for one of the most important aspects of our ancestral and current life, but also it is considered to be an International scientific reference for those who are concerned and interested in agriculture and vineyards. Well, this publication was about grapes and titled by “Grapevines”.
My uncle is a Prof in agriculture, he was the dean of faculty of agriculture in many Palestinian universities, he is a member of the Palestinian Economic and Development Council and he was the head of Palestinian Environmental Authority for the last twelve years, and now he is retired and works as a consultant in environment and agriculture, in addition to that he works in his own and my grandfather vineyards, He has many publications in environment and agriculture, thus I will tell you about his publication in grapevines, where he used his academic background and practical experience as vine growers at Hebron district in Palestine since long period, in order to boost the Arab scientific publications and thereof benefit all.
This is the cover of Grapevines book that catch the attention to my grandpa in his vineyards.
My uncle devoted his work in this book to my grandpa All Sheikh Abdurrahman Sultan, one of grape farmers seniors in Palestine who dedicated his life to the service of his homeland, and to his farm which is exploited to holding many of the researches and the experiences of grape related to agriculture, breeding, planting, pruning and controlling pests and diseases which helped in the enrichment of this book subjects by the sound scientific bases in those fields.
My grandpa is looking at a cluster of grapes in his vineyards
In this photo my grandpa and my uncle are holding secateurs used to prune the vine.
Grandpa is pruning the grape
Here they are taking a break and drinking a cup of mint tea
and here uncle is showing the pruning process
These photos had been taken to enrich the vineyards book with practices in pruning the vine, since this book gives a clear description of the practical and the basic principles of vine production with more detailed information about vine distribution, native origin classification, and its economical, nutritional and grape tissues and organs, as well as the lifecycle and the suitable conditions for vine production and planting. Moreover it contains a full description of various techniques of modern practices for vineyard management in arid and semi arid regions with full details on planning, propagation, supports, training, pruning cultivation, fertilization, soil management, irrigation, means of improving grape fruit quality, diseases and pests control and the main growing varieties of grapes in Palestine.
the following photos show the process of grafting grapes manually.
That was a general description about the “Grapevines” book, that is really shades the light on grapes production in our vineyards in particular and in Palestine in general, and shares it with the world.
And as stated in the book, I will list the popular grapes varieties in our vineyards with photos
Balouti (Oaken Grapes)
Health and wellbeing grandpa......
In coming blogs I will tell you about our traditional foods and cookings made of grapes.
posted on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 | comment on this post
Traditional Grape Recipes
“Al-Khabeesah” is one of the most famous Hebron deserts, that is made of a mix of grape juice, with semolina flour and nuts. Where, all members of the family meet together, to share the happy moments of making and eating such a seasonal desert.
My cousins and aunt are moving the mixture, after adding semolina to the grape juice.
My father is adding almond nuts to the mixture.
And here, they are pouring “A-lkhabeesah” into a smaller pot to be poured for eating.
It is ready for eating.
And after cooking “Alkhabeesa”, sometimes it is dried by sunshine, to be what is called “Malban”, as shown in the following photo.
Another traditional grape recipe is grape molasses, that is made in larg quantities by septemper; when grapes are harvested, and consumed during the year.
Molasses is made of grape juice, using these big copper pots.
And here are different types of Raisins, dried using sunshine, it is really mouth watering!
posted on Saturday, 20 February 2010 | comment on this post
Gathering and Social Relations
People in our country are carrying on maintaining the social relations among relatives and friends, through visits and meetings at feasts, festivals and occasions.
Here, women in my family are gathering and talking about different topics, such as their work, housekeeping, children teaching and care.
Relatives here are eating lunch together.
They also, do not lose the moments of making the grape desert “Al-Khabeesah” together.
My grandma is visiting her sister, recalling their past days together.
Children also, are enjoying their times together.
They are playing strange and funny game, from their minds.
posted on Sunday, 21 February 2010 | comment on this post
Is it jealousy or ambition?
My grandma has a desire and ambition to learn reading and writing, since she had married at an early age of eleventh, and didn’t complete her primary study. She was busy in housekeeping, and working at the farm besides grandpa.
And now, she is doing her best to read and write.
My grandpa Alsheikh Abd Alrahman, is a Prof in Islamic studies, as completed his higher education at AlAzhar in Egypt, he gathered between his love to his farm and his love to benefit others in Islamic issues, his father Sheik Shoukri was also a Prof in Islamic studies and had many Islamic publications.
I took a photo for my grandpa’s library, which contains old books with nearly damaged papers, he still reading them.
My uncle Dr. Hisham Sultan, the eldest son of grandpa, has followed the steps of his father, and completed his Master study in Islamic Philosophy, and Phd in Religions and Beliefs. Three years ago, he was the deputy of Islamic Issues, in “Al albayt” University in Jordan, and now he is a Prof at Albalqa’ University.
Uncle Hisham, who live in jordan, is taking a photo in front of Khaled Ibn Alwaleed Mosque in Syria.
My uncle Sufian, as you read in my last blogs, completed his studies in agriculture and environment, while my father chose the track of trade and goldsmith, and other uncles are enjoying their work in trade and agriculture.
Here uncle Radwan, is carrying a cabbage in our land.
My uncle shareef, is sitting between "Beithingan" vegetable, after being harvested.
posted on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 | comment on this post