For 11th year in a row, Palestinian Christian distributes water and dates to fasting Muslims in Nablus
For the 11th year in a row, a Palestinian Christian man distributed water and dates to fasting Muslims in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus ahead of the iftar dinner when practising Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
Khalil Kowaa, a 39-year-old Christian man from Nablus, came up with the idea eleven years ago when his Muslim friend suggested finding an initiative aiming at encouraging drivers to slow down their speed before sunset.
Speaking to The New Arab, Kowaa said, "I offer water and dates throughout the days of the holy month to those who were fasting and late for some reason in reaching their homes to eat their iftar dinner."
Initially, Kowaa paid all expenses of the water and dates, but as his initiative became popular, dozens of locals and merchants donated.
"It seems a little different to the world, which is witnessing conflicts over sectarian and religious backgrounds," he added. "We (the Palestinians) present a role model for the love, intimacy, tolerance, and brotherhood that it witnesses among its residents, despite the diversity of beliefs in it between Muslims, Christians and Samaritans."
"In Palestine," according to Kowaa, "we are brothers and live in peace. We respect our different religions and share joys and sorrows events as we were based on the same religion."
For this, he used to help his neighbours by decorating the streets with lanterns and coloured lights to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.
Residents in Nablus praised the Kowaa's initiative, considering him an idol Palestinian who reflects a potential for real peace in the Palestinian Territories.
Hisham Nobani, a resident of Nablus, told TNA that "such initiative let the foreigners and international community, who think that we are living in conflict with those who adopt a different religion, that we live in tolerance and peace with Christian and Samiritians brothers."
"We used to exchange congratulations with the Christians during their feasts. It is normal in Palestine, unlike in the European countries, which are divided between the Muslims and Christians," Nobani added.
Salim al-Jaabary, another Nablus resident, said, "The Israeli occupation seeks to project a wrong image about the Palestinians, mainly the Muslims, and it seeks to stir up religious conflicts between us and our Christian brethren, but we will not allow them to do so."
Historically, al-Jaabary believes, "Palestine was a land of the Islamic, Christian and Jewish religions and all their people were living in peace in the territory, but the colonials supported the Zionists and divided between the people based on their religions."