Where Jesus walked, told through ‘Arabesques’ – Israel in Translation


As Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas Eve tonight, we travel to the Galilee through the eyes of the novelist Anton Shammas, a native of this region of Israel.

In honor of Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, host Marcela Sulak reads three excerpts from Shammas’ novel Arabesques, which has been called, “a history of its author’s youth and the memoir of a family and a fabled region – Galilee.” One of the most striking features of the novel is how the life of Jesus and the miracles of Nazareth are woven into the fabric of daily life.

The New York Times named Arabesques one of the seven best works of fiction in 1988.

All this against the backdrop of Christmas songs sung by Fairuz, one of the most respected and admired Lebanese singers alive.

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Arabesques, by Anton Shammas. Translated by Vivien Eden. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.



I Believe – lyrics by Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl and Al Stillman in 1953. Sung by Fairuz.

Talj Talja [Snow, Snow] – Fairuz

Silent Night – Fairuz


Producer: Laragh Widdess
Technical producer: Lior Peleg

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