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Salah Abu-Ali standing among the tangled branches of the the al-Badawi Tree - by Stephanie Saldaña

Salah Abu-Ali standing among the tangled branches of the the al-Badawi Tree - by Stephanie Saldaña

The al-Badawi Tree

In the beautiful village of Walaja just between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, a valley rich with fruit trees, a small path descends away from the houses and into the orchards. A special breeze gathers along the route. If you follow it, you will likely be accompanied by birds as you walk…[…]

Lighting candles in a hilltop shrine built inside a cave where locals believe Barbara hid from her father more than 1500 years ago - by Stephanie Saldaña

The Feast of St. Barbara in Aboud

In the northern Palestinian village of Aboud on a cold December afternoon, I join villagers who huddle in the small stone church of the Virgin Mary, called al-Aboudiya by locals, and listen. A man and an elderly woman are singing prayers in Arabic in honor of St. Barbara, whose feast…[…]

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