I’billin: a musical evening at St Mariam House
Galilee: It is a first, On Friday August 28, 2015, the site of the house where Mariam Bawardi was born and grew in I’billin; was honored for the first time in a spiritual, musical and cultural evening.
The initiative is part of a group of local prayer, “True Life in God”, landlords of the site, the family of Ezzat Dawud, and “neighbours of the saint”, including Abouna Saba, Greek Orthodox parish priest, whose church is situated opposite the old house. The small event took place in what could be the inner courtyard of the Bawardi’s home.
This musical, cultural and spiritual event – first of its kind in this place – has marked spirits through its authenticity and its spontaneity, remote from protocol or official handlings.
The programme included spiritual and cultural items, given by Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo and by Fr Saba. Songs were performed by a group of local singers: Mervet Ashqar, Olfat Haj, Sandra Haj, Alysar Haj, Abanob Khalil directed by Conductor Zahi Grayyeb. Texts of the songs were inspired from writings by the two Palestinian saints, Mariam Bawardi and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, while most of the melodies were composed by local musicians.
From the house of the Saint, there remains only stones used to reconstruct, in the years 96-97, arches reshaping the skeleton of the old house, the entrance door, a large stone with a hole to hold the water basin, and the inverted basis of an ancient pillar, where Jiries Bawardi manufactured black powder. Hence the name of Family Bawardi : “powder manufacturer”.
In the 90’s the landlords wanted to reconstruct the house, decayed because of time factor, but looked convenient as chapel for pilgrims. While setting the foundations, archaeologists discovered mediaeval ruins, even byzantine and roman and – according to the landlords Tawfiq and Asaad Dawud – decided therefore to halt the project.
Text : our correspondent in Galilee
Photos : A.K.