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How Palestinians celebrate Oktoberfest | Palestinian beer, music & dancing | Oktoberfest Taybeh


The Palestinian Oktoberfest kicks off. With a procession of scouts…
…and Orthodox priests. Revellers from around the world have come
to the Christian village of Taybeh in the West Bank. The hosts are the Khoury family, founders
of the Taybeh Brewery, the oldest in the Middle East. At their Oktoberfest, they serve ten varieties
of beer. Five of them are special editions created
just for the festival. Madees Khoury is the brewer. “The special beers are doing very well, they’re
busy, and people are loving them.” Madees Khoury’s uncle and her father founded
Taybeh Brewery — it’s a family business. They created Oktoberfest in Taybeh to help
make their beers better known. And put their region on the map. The toasts often take a bit longer at the
Palestinian Oktoberfest. But just like at the original in Munich, party-goers
here sport ((1:12)) Bavarian Lederhosen and Dirndls. But they’re still all here for the beer. “This one is Palestine herbal lager. It’s got zaatar, thyme. It’s like walking through the hills here. Because you have all the smell, the scent
of the natural herbs.” +++ “It’s my first time trying the beer, which
is really, really good. I would recommend trying the IPA. It’s my favorite.” “They don’t have beer tents with long, wooden
benches. But their beer is pretty good. And their Palestinian Herbal Essence brew
is really special.” Entertainment is classic Middle Eastern. This troupe is performing the tradional Dabke,
a native Levantine folk dance. Madees’ father Nadim Khoury first came up
with the idea for an Oktoberfest in Taybeh. “I go to Oktoberfest every year in Germany,
and all over the world. And I wanted to do the same as a Palestinian
style Oktoberfest. Not like what you see in Germany. We have activities for children, folklore
dance. It will boost the economy of Palestine and
put Taybeh on the map.” Nadim Khoury learned the craft of brewing
in the United States. In 1993, when prospects for peace were good…
… he and his brother returned to the Middle East. At just nine years old, his daughter Madees
began learning how to brew beer according to the German purity law. She became the first woman ever to work as
a brewer in the Middle East. “I still feel like there’s some kind of
discrimination sometimes. Especially with the older generation, they
would rather work with my Dad or uncle, whereas the younger generation that are opening bars,
and restaurant and pubs, they would rather work with me. So that’s kind of changing.” And on top of that, there is the West Bank’s
complicated political situation. But even so, the brewery exports to fourteen
countries — though it sells most of its beers locally. Many tourists come to Taybeh especially for
Oktoberfest. “It brings people together. It doesn’t matter where you are from, what
language you speak, what your religious beliefs are, whether you drink or you don’t drink. It doesn’t matter. People just come outside, enjoy the day, the
environment, the atmosphere, the food and just have a great time. It shows a different side of Palestine to
Palestinians, and to international people and to Israelis as well.” Each year, up to 10,000 visitors flock to
the Christian village for Oktoberfest. Most West Bank residents, meanwhile, are Muslim. Taybeh Brewing Company also offers non-alcoholic
beers suitable for anyone who doesn’t drink for religious reasons. “I like the Oktoberfest, I think it’s about
mixing cultures for coexistence purposes. I like the fact that you can drink beer, have
some fun around here. It’s like a change of mentality, we are
not used to having alcohol festivals.” “This should be for the whole world: Muslim,
Jewish, Christian, Buddhist. Here we have no religion! We come to drink a beer, to celebrate and
to have a nice time.” Shahar Hertz, who promotes beers, has come
from Israel. He hopes that one day more of his compatriots
will come to the West Bank for Oktoberfest. “I think that the interest for good beer will
eventually conquer the fear.” Business is booming… and finally, Madees
Khoury gets to enjoy her first brew of the day. She only has one wish left: “For the future: hopefully peace in Palestine. Cheers!” The revellers are living it up. Once again, Taybeh Oktoberfest is a huge success
— presenting an unusual opportunity for everyone to come together and reach across divides.

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