A while back I wrote a post about preserving the oral heritage and traditional songs in specific. In the recent weeks I have been working on a project that is both fun and in at the same time advances one of the causes dear to my heart. Towards the end of this month, the sixth installment of the Birzeit Heritage Week will be launch at the old city of Birzeit. For the second year in a row I’m happy to be involved in developing the week’s public relations and social media campaigns. The week is an amazing effort to preserve our heritage and bring through further development to the Palestinian country side. Whether it is the traditional wedding held during the opening of the festival, or the newly introduced Palestine dress competition, the week’s activities bring Palestinian heritage to the spot light.
This year however, another important element comes to play. Amti (Aunt) Tooteh is starring the show! The cartoon character is based on a real old lady from Birzeit who participates yearly in the heritage week and especially in the traditional wedding and songs. Amti Tooteh will be used to introduce the festival and its activities to facebookers and other Palestinians through Palestine TV. She is featured on the week’s poster and will be part of all the festivals and memorabilia. Amti Tooteh was an instant hit from the minute we posted the first clip of her telling her long gone neighbor about how the old houses have been renovated with the spirit of the youth who volunteer and work day and night to make the festival a success.
Most importantly, for me, Amti Tooteh recites verses from our traditional songs in different poses posted on the facebook page and encourages participation of Heritage Week followers to post versus from songs they now. I have posted a few myself 🙂
For those of you who know Arabic, you can get a better idea about this by visiting the Heritage Week facebook page here, and be sure not to miss the heritage week activities if you are in Palestine between 26-30 June, 2013.
— Jack Rabah