Traditional Palestinian Villages – Housing

The traditional housing of Palestine in villages was very unique – the look of the house depended of the area where it has been built and of course the material which has been used to construct the house. Most of the old Palestinian houses was built from tightly put stone.

The majority of Palestinian Villages were found in the mountains of the central Palestine which were divided into twenty-one chieftaincies, each governed by a sheik.

Traditional Palestinian Houses

Palestinian Traditional Village Houses

Traditional Palestinian Houses were built on three levels. The first qa el-beit (stable), hounded the animals and agricultural implements. The second level, el-mastabah (dwelling), was where the family lived. It comprised a bedroom (during the day the mattresses were stored in a large niche or qaws), a living room, a kitchen and a dining room cantered around a whitewashed hearth (mawaqaq). A huge, earthen chest, used for storing food, separated the living area from the third leavel, er-rawieh (attic), where the harvest and clay were stored: produce was dried on the roof in the sun and then dropped into the through the hole. Typical Palestinian houses were topped by a groined vault symbolizing the unity between the fallah (a farmer), the earth and nature.

The typically tripartite layout of Palestinian houses or dar (a word used to designate the family living area, a group of houses arranged around a central courtyard or even a tribal district) had many local variations. Some houses were “L” shaped, with the living area flanked by the stable and the attics.

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