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Time Off: Entertainment, Games and Pass Times in Palestine between the End of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate

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In this article I would like to provide a little piece of the mosaic of everyday life in Palestine by analyzing some of the places and types of free time in the area between Nablus and Jerusalem in the period between the end of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of the British Mandate. In particular the paper considers both the games and pastimes in vogue among the men of the so-called middle class, and forms of recreation practiced by women, and it provides an overview of the most popular leisure activities among children, for both boys and girls. The reconstruction of these “fragments of life,” through the “history” of the memoirs (Palestinian diaries and autobiographies) provides a picture of Palestine at that time which is in many respects unusual and not at all static. There are already clearly perceptible elements of discontinuity, change and modernity which penetrate everyday life under the influence of factors which are internal as well as external.

Affiliations: 1: Università di Trieste


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