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Christmas Celebration in Georgia
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
07 Jan 2019

On January 7 Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

On January 7th Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Georgia celebrates Christmas
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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Christmas celebration in Georgia
Tbilisi
By Ketevan Mghebrishvili
06 Jan 2019

On January 7th Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. Today the theatrical walking called “Alilo” is organized all over the country. “Alilo” is led by the Orthodox priests. During this procession, participants in colorful clothes are singing church songs and collecting sweets and fruits for poor people. Collected sweets and gifts are put on special carts. The procession is moving to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where the participants of the event will be met by the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II.

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"Easter-Jews": A Dying Ritual in Lith...
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
09 Apr 2015

Holy Saturday in Pievėnai (Mažeikiai district municipality, Lithuania).

Every Easter, in the small Lithuanian village of Pievenai, a group of young men in uniform guard the local church to ensure their yearly procession goes undisturbed.  However, they are not guarding against street gangs or violent criminals, they are guardian against what they call the “Easter Jews”; a group of young local men wearing masks and clothes resembling visual stereotypes of orthodox Jews.

 

Both groups of young men are part of a dying Lithuanian Easter ritual in which the people in uniform prevent the so-called “Easter Jews” from breaking into the church, stealing the crucifix, distracting worshipers from god, and disturbing the resurrection of Christ.

 

On the eve of Easter, the guards begin their night watch, as the young men dressed up as “Easter Jews” begin trying to infiltrate the church and disrupt the evening mass. The guard’s night watch continues through the night until the last worshipers have left the church. The guards then go to rest in a nearby house where they play cards and drink beer.

The next morning, at the crack of dawn, a beating drum awakens the villagers and summons them to the morning mass. The guards return to the church, along with the “Easter Jews”. After the service is held, worshipers and guards begin a procession in which they walk around the church three times. As this is happening, the “Easter-Jews” run around the church in the opposite direction a total of nine times, with the intention of disrupting the procession and the resurrection of Christ.

 

There are four teams that dress up as soldiers and they all wear different colored uniforms. The red uniforms represent the blood of Christ, the green ones symbolize regeneration and hope, the blue ones symbolize the ascension of Jesus, and the white ones represent the sheet in which the body of the Christ was wrapped.

 

According to the local priest Saulius Styra the origin of the tradition is not known: "It is said that virtually all the churches had such soldiers before the [Second World] War." However, locals say that the Pievenai is the only village that still practices the tradition.

 

Most Lithuanians today are unaware of this outdated tradition. For many of those who are aware of it, they regard it as a relic of the past and an outdated remnant of old-world fascist mentalities. For them it is out of step with modern times.

 

However, those participating do not see it that way. For them it is simply a local tradition derived from the bible that is not meant to offend or demonize anyone. “Easter-Jews are tempting believers,” explains Priest Styra, “they are equated to devils. And this scenario is taken out of Jesus’ Crucifixion [from the Bible]. In the region where Jesus was crucified, everyone was Jewish, and I do not see any humiliation of Jewish people in this play”.

 

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Lithuania Easter 2
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
04 Apr 2015

On Easter morning the commissionaire€“ reports to the priest that the cross was kept safe.

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Lithuania Easter 4
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
04 Apr 2015

To show their hostility, the "Easter-Jews" frolick and run around the church in the opposite direction of the procession. The procession walks three times around the church while the "Easter-Jews" run around it reverse nine times.

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Lithuania Easter 5
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
04 Apr 2015

An elderly woman at the Easter Mass gathering in Pievanai.

While the "Easter-Jews" ritual was commonplace in Lithuania before World War Two, it is now only held in the village of Pievanai.

Most of Lithaunia's once thriving Jewish population was exterminated during the Holocaust.

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Lithuania Easter 7
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
04 Apr 2015

Villagers are summoned to morning Requiem Mass by a beating drum at the break of daw.

It is thought that the sound of the drum is the sound of joy. The sound also said to deter evil spirits who try to hinder the resurrection.

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Lithuania Easter 8
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
04 Apr 2015

When there is no one left in the church, all the teams come back to the house: to sleep, to have a snack, or just relax. In the morning €“ before believers start to gather,€“ they are go on watch again.

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Lithuania Easter 15
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

An "Easter-Jew" sews mayhem in the church and tries to steal the cross.

"I think that the festival is a beautiful custom of the village," explains Jonas, the man behind the mask. "My grandfather, my father, and my brother all took part in it and that is why I am participating too. For four years I had acted as a soldier only this year I tried the role of a Jew. It is a pleasure to play the soldier’s role, but I enjoyed being a Jew much more."

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Lithuania Easter 11
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

The commissionaire, soldiers and "Easter-Jews" play cards together as they feast.

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Lithuania Easter 12
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

A soldier reacting quickly after hearing the color name of his team.

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Lithuania Easter 13
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

Soldiers keep watch over the cross, which is the centerpiece of the entire ritual. It is the goal of the soldiers to protect the cross from the "Easter Jews" who are trying to steal it.

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Lithuania Easter 14
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

The commissionaire, the leader of the soldiers, plays cards with team members.

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Lithuania Easter 16
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

All teams gather in the church at the start of the ritual to salute the cross.

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Lithuania Easter 17
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

The last smoke before the start of the ceremony.

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Lithuania Easter 18
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

Before and during the night watch, soldiers are take turns drinking beer from the same glass.

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Lithuania Easter 19
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

Before night watch youth gather in the house.

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Lithuania Easter 21
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

A member of the green team assists his teammate in getting dressed.

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Lithuania Easter 21
Pievėnai
By Domantas Pipas
03 Apr 2015

In the house closest to the church, the coats of the soldiers are hanged before the feast. The white team (the coat hanging above) did not participate this year.

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Pilgrimage
Chalkidiki, Makedonien
By Ralf Falbe
10 Oct 2014

Greece, Chalkidiki, Mount Athos, Safni, 10.10.2014, Orthodox monks on pilgrimage at the holy Mount Athos.

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Hasidic Jews Make Pilgrimage to Ukrai...
Uman
By kierankesner
02 Oct 2014

Despite the civil war currently devastating Ukraine this year, an estimated thirty-thousand Hasidic Jews gathered in Uman, a small city at banks of the Umanka River, paying little attention to the worldly, bloody political struggle surrounding the site of their spiritual leader's tomb.

Since 1811, Jewish followers of the Breslov Hasidic movement make an annual pilgrimage to visit the grave of their founder, Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810) of Uman, in central Ukraine. The gathering, permeated by the rhythm of prayer and teaching, joy and remembrance is a central part of this religious group's devotional practice.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the city of Uman had a large Jewish population. In 1941, when the Germans invaded Ukraine, some seventeen-thousand Jews were murdered and the rest were deported - tragically wiping out the entire Jewish community of Uman.

Despite the Nazi occupation and Communist regimes, Jews continued to make the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave even though in some years less than a dozen completed the journey.

Since the fall of Communism, a small but growing Jewish population has re-established itself in Uman in close proximity to the grave of Rabbi Nachman. Despite Uman's remote location, people travel from all over the world for just one week out of the year.

Uman is typical of a small Eastern European city. However, Rabbi Nachman’s grave is protected inside a collection of buildings and sanctuaries situated in something more reminiscent of an old Jewish Ghetto.

Crooked streets and congested buildings rest haphazardly on top of each other and harken back to a place frozen in time. Instead of Cyrillic, signs are in Hebrew. Instead of people dressed in shirts and slacks, the streets are filled with men and women, often separated by gender, and dressed much like those who lived in Uman In the 18th century.

Today, the pilgrimage is undertaken by individuals driven by faith and obligation. A sea of white shirts or black suits and hats, large groups of men and, separately, large groups of women, focus on prayer - blind to the chaos and bloodshed that grips Ukraine.

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Brewing for Peace
By nadineajaka
27 May 2014

Nehmeh Mikhael, Taybeh Resident (Arabic)
David Khoury, former Taybeh Mayor (English)
Nadim Khoury, Co-Founder Taybeh Brewing Co. (English)
Maria Khoury, Public Relations Taybeh Brewing Co. (English)
Madees Khoury, Assistant Brewer and daughter of Nadim Khoury (English)

INTRODUCTION
In the small village of Taybeh (population: 1,500)—the last remaining fully Christian village in the West Bank—is Palestine’s first and only microbrewery. The brewery’s story began with the promise of peace and the Oslo Accords, when Nadim Khoury and his family returned to Taybeh in 1995 after 30 years in Boston. Nearly 20 years later, the obstacles to running a successful business in Palestine have not ceased. Last year, the brewery's annual Oktoberfest was canceled and forced to relocate to a smaller location outside of a Ramallah hotel, and precarious border regulations and regional instability continue to be an obstacle. Yet, the Khoury family has created a distinctly Palestinian microbrew that they sell in the West Bank and export to Israel, Japan and Sweden. This is the story of one small town and how its microbrewery is putting a different face on resistance.

SHOT LIST
-Interview with Nehmeh Mikhael, Taybeh resident for over 80 years: “Before I begin, I must pray. In the name of the father and the son, and the holy spirit, Amen.”

-Close-up of Nehmeh’s face

-Nehmeh Mikhael: “God is who guides us and gives us good thoughts so we can speak”

-Various shots of St. George Orthodox Church in Taybeh

-Nehmeh Mikhael: “Jesus Christ, he had friends here in Taybeh. He came to Taybeh and stayed three days. He enjoyed himself. But I wish we could know the exact place where He was. Until now, I think and say, ‘God, guide me.’”

-Shot of St. George Orthodox Church, bells ringing

-Various shots of church ruins in Taybeh

-Interview with David Khoury, former Taybeh mayor: “Taybeh is ancient city, it was mentioned in the Bible by the name of Ephraim.”

-Close-up of David’s face

-David Khoury: “And it’s the only remaining Christian city in the West Bank.”

-Shot of St. George Church

-Interview with Nadim Khoury, co-founder of Taybeh Brewing Company: “Did they explain to you where you are? This is a settlement called Amona, right across from the brewery you can see it on the mountain there.”

-Shot from Taybeh overlooking the surrounding countryside

-Nadim Khoury: “And that way toward Ramallah, and more to the left toward Jerusalem. So we are in a good location where you are.”

-Various shots of flowers around the brewery

-Nadim Khoury: “It’s a beautiful village. I love it, it’s my homeland.”

-Various shots of church ruins in Taybeh

-Nadim Khoury: “Many people of Taybeh have left Taybeh because of the occupation, because of the wars.”

-Nehmeh Mikhael: “ ‘48 there was a war, I remember. ’63 there was a war, ’67 there was a war. It was all wars, this last century. Not just in Taybeh—all of Palestine.”

-Shots of signs entering the West Bank, the separation wall.

-David Khoury: “afterwards we had Oslo which was inspiring, you know were thinking about free, independent Palestine. So we were the first to take the plane and come back and invest in Palestine by opening the Taybeh brewing company, the only brewery in Palestine.”

-Various shots inside the brewery of the bottling process

-Interview with Maria Khoury, Public Relations for Taybeh Brewing Company and wife of David Khoury: “Taybeh beer is the finest micro-brewed beer in the Middle East and it’s the first micro-brewed beer in the Middle East”

-Close-up of Maria’s face

-Maria Khoury: “The brewery began on a dream, a father that wants his children not to stay abroad “

-Shots of Nadim and David Khoury with their father

-Maria Khoury: “It’s the dream of every father to have his children come back and be with him. So David Khoury, my husband, and Nadim Khoury my brother in law, were just obedient good children.”

-Shots of newspaper clippings about Taybeh

-Various shots of bottles, hops

-Nadim Khoury: “Well it started as a hobby when I was in Boston as a student, I get hooked with some friends that were brewing beer at home

-Shots of newspaper clippings about Taybeh

-Nadim Khoury: “And my father encouraged me very much to go ahead and study brewing. I used to come here with two home brew kit and make beer for them at home. And they would believe it’s magic—how could you make beer at home (laughs)?”

-Various shots of the brewing, bottling, and packaging process

-Madees Khoury, Assistant Brewer and daughter of Nadim Khoury: “Doing business in Palestine is not easy. Also being a beer company in Palestine, doing business is not easy. And then being a beer company, doing business in Palestine under occupation is even worse.

-Close-up of Madees’ face

-Madees Khoury: “I’m learning to basically to do everything in the brewery and becoming the first female, Palestinian female brewer.”

-Various shots of Madees brewing Taybeh beer

-Madees Khoury: “It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of work. But my father and uncle and my grandfather, they put everything in the business you know and it helps me to do the same, follow their footsteps.”

-Shot of Madees packaging the bottles

-Shot of broken shards of bottle next to the machine

-Nadim Khoury: “Running a business in Palestine is not like running any business anywhere in the world, because we’re in the end of nowhere here. There is no borders, no port, no airport, you have to use other borders, we have to apply for permits”

-Shot of the West Bank countryside from the brewery

-Shot of a sign with West Bank commercial crossing points

-Shot of a Taybeh poster that says “Drink Palestinian”

-Shot of beer barrels being loaded into the truck

-Madees Khoury: “It’s like exporting two times. Exporting to Israel, and from Israel exporting to the country that you’re exporting to,”

-Shot of empty Taybeh boxes ready to be packed

-Maria Khoury: “You go the Israeli minister of economy they say ‘well but you’re Palestinian go to your Palestinian minister of economy’ you go to the Palestinian minister of economy they say “oh but we don’t control anything, the Israelis control the border”. So it’s like you’re passing the bucket and no one can help you, and you really just want to do business.”

-Shot of Madees calculating shipments

-Shot of the brewing company guestbook

-Shot of an employee rolling boxes of beer on a cart

-Nadim Khoury: “It’s not easy. Politics and making beer, they don’t mix, in our region here”

-Madees Khoury: "What happened in Egypt, what’s happening in Syria right now, it’s all affecting tourism. And that affects business, not just our business but all the Palestinian businesses as well.”

-Shot of an employee stacking boxes of Taybeh beer

-Shot of beer being boxed

-Madees Khoury: “What have I learned? That you have to be very determined, you need high hopes, you need to be aggressive (laughs). “

-Shot of Madees taking notes about today’s brew

-Shot of an employee putting stickers on bottles one by one

-Nadim Khoury: “You can make a book out of the obstacles that we have. But I’m determined to produce good quality product and to stay in business, and to show the whole world that we’re normal people.”

-Shot of an employee loading bottles onto the belt

-Maria Khoury: “You know I think we’re making beer but it’s a bigger message than that, because the message is that we just want to be normal people. All Palestinians. And we want the regular things that all people around the world have.”

-Shot of the village of Taybeh

-Madees Khoury: “Palestinians want to live a normal life like anywhere else in the world, like just go to school, make money, drink beer, go to parties, you know, have fun live life, love life."

-Nadim Khoury: “Peace will come. We have the right to live.”

-Shot of a Taybeh school bus driving away

-Nadim Khoury: “We’d like to have our country, and some day we will have it. Maybe by the Taybeh beer. “

-Shot of inside the brewery, signs and Palestinian flags

-Maria Khoury: “That’s what we hope for and that’s what we’re waiting for and my husband keeps seeing the light at the end of the tunnel because he thinks really, we will toast to peace using Taybeh beer and that makes you wake up every day and try to do a good job at making a good product.”

-Shot of Maria talking to brewery guests, a glass of beer in focus in front of her; shot of the tourist she is talking to

-Shots of bottles going down the belt

-David Khoury: “I hope to continue growing, God gives us health, I’m wishing that my children will come back and continue the legacy of the Taybeh beer in Palestine.

-Madees Khoury: “Cheers. (laughs)”