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Shepherds' Nights Festival in Beit Sahour, West Bank, Palestine 12/23/10: video
Beit Sahour is a mostly Christian village directly east of Bethlehem in the West Bank. The town played a key role in the First and Second Intifadas, with local activists pioneering nonviolent resistance techniques. On December 23rd through 25th, 2010, Beit Sahour hosted its third annual Shepherds' Nights Festival to mark the Christmas holiday. The Festival is a family-friendly event with musical performers, dancers, local artisan and food vendors, a Santa Claus with gifts for children, and a candlelight procession through Beit Sahour on the final day to "Light a candle for the establishment of a Palestinian State." The three-day event is organized jointly by the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People (PCR) and the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), a program of the East Jerusalem and Shepherds' Field YMCA/YWCAs.
Silent Night was recorded from the Festival sound system during sound checks before the December 23rd show. The marching band from the the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land Catholic church, across the street from the Festival location in the Greek Melikite Catholic School playground, was practicing their routine for the December 25th Candlelight Procession, as well to welcome church leaders to Beit Sahour that night.
Palestinian National Anthem opens first night of Festival after introductory remarks and awards presented by bilingual MCs
Just before the Palestinian national anthem was played over the sound system, while everyone in attendance stood, a moment of silence was held to honor the martyrs and those currently behind bars in Israeli prisons.
Shibat Group, aka the Grey Haired Ones
Shepherds' Nights Festival 2010 in Beit Sahour, West Bank