Thursday, August 04, 2022

Yisrael Medad found this ad in Haaretz from 1935:

It says that Ramallah is the nicest place in Eretz Yisrael, and invites people who want to escape the heat and enjoy the clean air to visit the Grand Hotel Ramallah. The hotel featured dances and tennis as well as running water.

I found the equivalent ad in English in the Palestine Post:

It turns out that hotels in Ramallah before 1948 enjoyed holding dance contests on weekends. Here's an ad for the Harb Hotel Kit-Kat Casino from 1933:

The interesting thing is that while these ads attempted to attract Jews to the hotels, the main clientele for the dances was Arab.

Just as in Egypt, the social scene for Arabs in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s was far more liberal than today. 

The Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah today has a pool, but there are restrictions on who can go, as this 2019 poster (the most recent one I could find) states in the small print:

A woman visiting the hotel alone who wants to swim is out of luck. And you simply cannot find photos of people swimming in that pool because photos of women swimming would cause an uproar. 

A mixed-couples dance is severely restricted under Palestinian rule today - in fact, the rare times it happens, trouble follows, and the dance scene there is mostly under the radar. 

It is ironic that the more conservative Palestinian society becomes, the more "progressive" its supporters are. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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