ALBAYDAR البيدر “the ancient threshing floor” in Arabic, has been the open-space center of community life and commons in Palestine for thousands of years, which has maintained community resilience for ages. It has been also the central gathering venue of community's economic exchange and social life.
We want to revive such a rooted culture of Albaydar in a contemporary spidig (spiritual-digital) way and this website is just the start to create the first order.
Many might don't know that Agriculture started in Palestine around 12.000 years ago, in the Mesolithic period, which indicates that the first human settlements used ALBAYDAR for threshing their grains.
Around the threshing floor, in the early summer peasants used to gather their crops from their fields, and with the help of a donkey or a horse pulling a pre designed heavy threshing board pierced with small stones underneath, loaded with a big rock crushing the crops from atop, the invested pressure is sometimes coupled with a load of playful kids riding the board. The pressure separates the grain from its chaff making it edible.
Afterwards the farmers transport their yield on the backs of camels to final storage (khabieh) where it is made available for human use as well as livestock fodder.
With this imperative process ripe, freshly picked grains are later grounded and kneaded into bread to constitute the main nutritional element and energy source of the human diet.
On the threshing floor, they also exchanged their wages, so the camel driver, the barber, the teacher, the sheikh and the merchant take their share of the yield without a middleman.
And on the threshing floor the villagers share their leisure time and chant their enjoyment of life with loving kindness and generosity. On the threshing floor they hold weddings, sing and dance in circles around folklore music.
In Palestine, these practices lasted until a couple of decades ago and live still in people’s memories and nostalgia. The ALBAYDAR lyrics and genres are present until today’s heritage scene.
Co-edited and proofread with Aya Yassin.
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