A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Merry Christmas, But Also a Reminder of Bethlehem's Wall

   Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long,
And then they say no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed, and so gracious, is that time.
(Hamlet 1.1.158-64)
It's Christmas Day for the Western churches (still the Orthodox and Armenians to go, though), so let me wish those who celebrate today, or even those who simply observe the secular feast, a Merry Christmas. I'm going to let YouTube do most of the work today:

Fairuz doing four Christmas songs, a couple of which appeared in earlier videos:

Fairuz singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" in Arabic:

And one those my age may remember, the first (and to date, only) Christmas message from lunar orbit, Christmas Eve, 1968:

On a more somber note, many will disagree with this rather country-ish song and the video that goes with it, but it reminds us that Bethlehem today is cut off from Jerusalem by the separation wall:

Merry Christmas. The Psalmist asked us long ago to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Still seems like a good idea.

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