Saint Peter Church Jaffa

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Transcript of the podcast episode about Jaffa part 1

This is the third part of a trilogy that we did from Jerusalem to Jaffa.  The first part, we went from Jerusalem to Latrun. And then in the second part, we passed Abu Ghosh actually  we went a little bit back and we went to Abu Ghosh, and then we visited al Lod and Ramla, and now we are reaching to Jaffa.

[00:00:20] And I thought that for this episode, it would be much better to talk to somebody who actually is from Jaffa lives in Jaffa and is a historian. And in my friend list, I found somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody. And so I’m here sitting, talking to Rami, whom I’ve never met before, but we already have something in common, which is that we are both teachers of history and we both love Palestine. Rami can you introduce yourself a little bit more?

[00:00:54]Rami: Thank you very much for giving me the chance to talk about Jaffa and I’m very glad to be here. My name is Rami. I was born in Jaffa,  born and raised into a Christian Palestinian family.

[00:01:06] And I was born and raised in Terra Santa school, the Catholic school, and graduated from there. Then I decided to make a step forward. So I decided to become a teacher for history. So in 2011, after I finished my BA degree in the Open University, I made the second step with my study.

[00:01:30]I went to Seminary which is specialized to teach people to become teachers. I have my degree since then. And I started to teach in Jaffa, only my city, because there was constant, big lack in the position, especially teachers from Jaffa. So since 2011, I am working this position, this is my 10th year.

[00:01:54]Kristel: The curriculum that you are using, are you also talking about your local history or is that not even part of what you are teaching?

[00:02:03] Rami: With teaching under the Israeli ministry of education they are deciding the history subjects.  They are not reviewing the curriculum, they are just having the same one. They are not changing. They are not adding, they are not taking out something. They are not renewing, they are not doing anything in order to make it attractive for the students. It can be attractive only for the teachers. And sometimes it’s also boring for us. For example, I’m teaching 8th grade, 9th grade, 10th grade and 11th grade. I also teach the elementary school.

[00:02:43]They are starting from the sixth grade. We are teaching them everything, you know, besides the 20th century, they are teaching the 20th century, but generally they’re not focusing on the Palestinian issue because it’s well known that it’s not their issue.  They are mentioning it as part of the Middle East subject.

[00:03:02] Only maybe on 10th grades they can listen to the word Palestine. Sometimes in the 9th grade when they are mentioning the First World War and the Arabic revolution. But they’re not focusing on the Palestinian issue as regular issue or a historical issue. And the most irritating thing is that they’re stopping on 1948.

[00:03:29] So many  students are asking me why, for example, we’re not studying about the 1967 war, the recent history, 1990, what happened in Iraq, for example 1987, the first Intifada 2000, the second Intifada. Nope. They’re not studying this though it’s a historical issues and subjects.

[00:03:54]Kristel:  Are you allowed or would you talk about it with your students outside of the curriculum or can that get you into troubles?

[00:04:01] Rami: We’re in 2021 and I guess that still, we are under control, but still I can have my own space, even when I’m teaching, for example, Sykes-Picot, even when I’m teaching the Ottoman era, even when I’m teaching the first world war, the second world war. And personally, I’m not obligated. I can tell the students the whole truth. As they say in the American court, the truth nothing but the truth.

[00:04:32] So I’m not afraid of it. Maybe people say because I’m in a private school, but I guess that every teacher can be free.  He can do his duty. And at the same time he can do his humanities duty and to tell the people and to tell the pupils, the truth that happened before 1940. Not only 1948.

 [00:04:55] Kristel: We will talk about also Jaffa in 1948. And on this podcast, you can tell the full truth. No need to hide anything. So let’s dive into Jaffa. We went to Jaffa a few weeks ago. My children are five and seven years old. Their names are Louisa and Hadi and that was the first time that they went to Jaffa and they remember it, like that they are old enough because they went when they were much younger. They don’t remember that. And my daughter, Louisa, she is still talking about Jaffa almost every day. She loved it so much. And she keeps asking, when are we going to Jaffa again? So I think that for a lot of people, when they visit Jaffa there is this magic about the place , the Harbor, the port, the old city.

[00:05:41]There is a lot of things to see and visit. And in the same time, there is the tragedy of the history, which is something that I sometimes mention to my daughter, but she’s only seven. So she just saw the magic of it, let’s say. So we’re going to dive a little bit into the history of Jaffa and also, talk about what you can see there if you go and visit.

[00:06:02] Because what we hope is that in the end, people who listened to the podcast in the future, when the world opens up again, they will come to visit Palestine and also visit you in Jaffa. Let’s first talk about the name Jaffa, because I say Yaffa, I heard you already say Jaffa, I see on the signs Yaffo.

[00:06:23] So how should we say it? What does this name mean? Where does it come from? Why is Jaffa called Jaffa?

[00:06:31] Rami: Jaffa is a very old city. One of the oldest cities in the region, let’s say not only in Palestine, but it’s not the oldest one, it’s not like Damascus or Jericho or Jerusalem or Acca, but Jaffa is one of the cities let’s say the top 10 of all the cities in the region and the meaning of Jaffa, let’s say from the Canaanites we can take it, which means beautiful.

[00:06:58] And you said it so a few minutes ago, you mentioned your daughter. Jaffa is so beautiful because it’s on the seashore and it’s not on a place that it’s like a desert like in the South. And it’s a small hill. It’s like 30 meters above sea level. And it’s very beautiful. That’s why they call it ‘Joppa’.  When I’m talking English, I say Jaffa, though people using Yaffa  because it’s, so it’s not wrong to say Jaffa  in Arabic it is Yaffa and in Hebrew it’s Yaffo, and they took it from a  language, maybe the Canaanite itself. If you can go back to the history, it was actually when they conquered Jaffa and they entered the city. And they’re always mentioning the, maybe not the real story, maybe it’s really, maybe it’s not, we cannot know. That the Egyptian went to Jaffa in order to take control of it.

[00:07:59] So their soldiers inside the big jars, they call it in Greek legends did also mention it. But I don’t know if it’s hundred percent right because I heard it in the Greek mythology that they entered the soldiers, in the big jars and they entered from the big gates and then they started killing the people. We are not sure about this story,

[00:08:23] Kristel: It’s almost like the Greek mythology of Troy.

[00:08:25]Rami:  Yeah, exactly.  So we don’t know because it’s very old, maybe 2000 years before Christ. So you can’t tell if it’s a real story, but what’s real that the Egyptian really occupied Jaffa.

[00:08:39]And nowadays we have inside the old city when they made the new renovation during the sixties, they digged the land and they saw the remains of the Egyptian era and also the remains of the Persian era and the Greek era and the Roman era.  This is the first point of the history

[00:09:01] Kristel: I’ve also heard another Greek mythology about Jaffa, that it was Joppa, Jaffa,  was named after the mother of Andromeda, who said that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the creatures that live in the sea, do you know the story I’m talking about?

[00:09:24]Rami:] Yeah, it’s a Greek  mythology and nowadays they have it inside the underground museum, they are mentioning the story because they want to have connection with the Greek mythology.

[00:09:35] It’s a story that we’re not mentioning a lot because it’s a mythology and sometimes they are not real  they are talking about monsters and the gods and everything, but  we can mention the Greek era because Jaffa was part of Greece. So they’re mentioning it. The lady that was captured and her mother I think was called Cassiopeia. And this is a Greek mythology.

[00:09:58] Kristel: I know that tour guides always love to tell stories, especially because you know, people relate to these stories more than to the truth.

And there is these big rocks outside in the water,  in front of the harbor of Jaffa so I remember saying that these rocks were the rocks that Andromeda was attached to because they wanted to sacrifice her to a sea monster. And then in the end she was saved by another Greek God.

Or he turned them, because he was actually going around with the head of Medusa, so they looked into the eyes of Medusa and then they turned into big stone rocks.  I mean, these are stories you would find in a tour guide book, for example, but these are not stories that the people, the Palestinians of Jaffa are sharing with their children. This is not part of your tradition?

[00:10:55] Rami: I did not mention that I’m also doing tours in Jaffa since 2009, before I became a teacher, I had my own books to read, the Palestinian resources. And later on, I started reading much more about the history, but the 20th century’s history. So you’re right. We’re not mentioning a lot of the old history we’re just passing by because it’s very old and it’s very boring and it’s not relevant to our days.

[00:11:24] We can mention only the recent history or modern history, because it’s also attractive for the people who wants to listen. Not only for the truth, they want to listen for the history not a boring history. So I guess the Greek history is not that attractive to the people. And we cannot mention a lot besides story that we mentioned.

 [00:11:44]  Kristel: When you take people on a tour, maybe you can take us on a tour. What are the sites that you visit? And then tell us a little bit, the story behind those sites.

 [00:11:55]Rami: When I’m taking the group inside the city  the first thing that I mention that unfortunately, you’re looking on one-third of the city because the two third  of the city was ruined by the British troops who did it on purpose in order to stop Palestinian revolution in 1936. And as Jaffa residents we can be so sad to hear these kinds of stories. And when you’re opening the archives and you see the soldiers are taking photos and they’re happy about the thing that they did, makes us very sad and also angry about the British. By the way, they didn’t apologize, never.

They didn’t even apologize. So let the whole world know that the British the first criminals those who gave the Zionists, the key for Palestine. Until these days they are denying the crimes. But they know inside that they are the criminals, they destroyed Palestine and they gave it to the Jewish Zionist settlements before 1948.  So 1936 was only one part of the acts.

[00:13:13] So that is the fact that I’m letting the people know when they’re  with me in the tour, even if they are Jewish, even if they’re European, American, I don’t care. I just say the truth, as I said, and they see by themselves because they’re passing by open space. I told them it’s not an open space. It used to be a big neighborhood.

[00:13:37] The old city of Jaffa actually was 40 neighborhoods, small neighborhoods who were one near each other. It was so crowded. Nowadays, when you’re passing by St. Peter’s church, I will mention it later, you see an open space. It’s not an open space, actually. It’s one of the neighborhoods that were destroyed by the British troops that they did it as an act against the Palestinian revolution.

[00:14:05]Thank you again that you’re letting me say those words about the reality, the history and the reality about the British government, 2021, they’re denying all their wrong acts, the war crimes. So this is the first let’s say points telling tourists or the activists whoever can join me to the remains.  And I’m taking them to the St. Peter’s church. A very lovely church. Our church, it’s a Latin Catholic church, it was built over  the remains of the old crusader  castle even  our parents generation called the church, not St. Peter’s church, but they called it the Castle Church. ‘Knise-t-el-Qala’, but it’s actually St.Peter’s church because St. Peter was actually in Jaffa.

He visited Jaffa for three days and stayed in Jaffa near the seashore and Simon the Tanner hosted him for three days. This is a regular story, but the most important story is the thing that happened with Peter during his stay in Simon’s house. He had a vision, an angel showed him many kinds of animals and called him: Peter, you can eat. So Peter was surprised with this vision, first of all, and he was surprised that the angel is offering him non appropriate meat, is not by the Jewish tradition. It’s not allowed to eat it.

[00:15:42] So he refused. But the second time, or the third time, the angel told him, Peter, whatever God gave you, you cannot refuse. So this vision gave him a new way in order to spread the word of Christianity to the non-Jewish people. To the atheists. So this part in Jaffa was very important and that’s why many people in Jaffa believed in Saint Peter’s message, which is Jesus Christs’ message.

[00:16:17] And at the same time, Cornelius, the leader or the chief of the Roman troops also hosted Peter in Caesarea and believed in Christianity. So this is one of the most important stories in Christianity. So Jaffa became very important to Christianity.

[00:16:37] Kristel: Are there any other stories in Jaffa related to the Bible now that we are talking about biblical stories?

[00:16:45]Rami:  Think Solomon, for example, he brought the trees from Lebanon through Jaffa’s harbor, seaport. And the prophet Jonah was also mentioned that he was nearby the seashore Jaffa.

[00:16:59] Kristel: Do you happen to know where the ‘maqam’ [Muslim shrine] for prophet Jonah is?

[00:17:04]Rami:  No, actually I don’t

[00:17:06]Kristel: I’ll tell you, this is in the West bank near to Hebron in Halhul. We learned this in the Bible College that him and also his father, his father has his maqam in Beit Umar, but it’s interesting that also for Muslims, these prophets, from the Old Testament, they are relevant.

[00:17:27] A lot of people, a lot of Christians around the world, they don’t realize that for Muslims, many of the prophets that are mentioned in the Bible are also important and venerated by Muslims.

[00:17:38] So, we just saw the St Peter’s church and we heard about him staying at the house of Simon the Tanner. What is the next place that you would take us?

[00:17:46] Rami: By the way, when we’re mentioning Saint Peter, sometimes the Jewish say Napoleon was inside this church or this convent, but it’s wrong. What’s right, is that the convent was actually built by the Franciscan friars for Franciscan monks, they came from Italy.

[00:18:06]Saint Francis came to Egypt, actually, he visited Sultan el Kamel and he took permission to leave open the Latin parish, the Latin Patriarchy in Palestine in the holy land. That’s why, when we mention Terra Santa it’s actually the Holy land from the Latin word. So he took permission from Sultan Kamel it was in the 13th century, the end of the 13th century.

[00:18:33] And he took permission. So the Franciscan, re-opened the Latin Catholic church, and they opened the churches in Jaffa, in Akka, in Haifa, though they are not Franciscan, and in Tiberias of course, in Jerusalem in Jericho, Ramla of course, Nazareth of course. So since then we have the Custodia di Terra Santa.

[00:19:01]The Franciscan that they really entered Palestine again after the Crusaders left. So this is the truth that we are mentioning, but Napoleon was actually downstairs, if we can mention, inside or nearby the Armenian Church. The Armenian, they are proving the story, they say, yeah, and then he was here and he was inside our convent also.

[00:19:28] And there’s a very famous  painting, a French painting, about Napoleon when he was checking out his soldiers who were sick because they got sick when he killed the citizens of Jaffa. So the, the I don’t know if it was malaria, I forgot the disease

[00:19:46] Kristel: The plague, I think.

[00:19:48] Rami:  It was spread all over the city and the soldiers got sick and he came to check on them.

[00:19:53] Kristel: It’s in the Louvre.

[00:19:54] Rami: Yeah, it’s in the Louvre exactly.

[00:19:57] Kristel: The painting is by Antoine -Jean Gros. I just found this information because I was reading a little bit more in my preparation. And it was the first time I saw this painting and it was really interesting because reading the description, it says that on the painting, is basically the first time that Napoleon Bonaparte is depicted in all his glory. He is starting to prepare himself for his high position of becoming a King. And then you see him touching the person who is having the plague. And it is almost the same as Jesus, how he is depicted when he used to heal people with leprosy and leprosy is also a disease that is very contagious. So people would kind of see on this painting, like, look, Napoleon Bonaparte he cared about his soldiers and he even touched them just like Jesus used to do. 

What did Napoleon Bonaparte do in Palestine? When and why did he come?

[00:20:58]Rami: This story, we are teaching the eighth grade by the way. It’s very lovely that they are studying about this history when they’re studying about Napoleon Bonaparte. Generally, so we’re starting with his occurrence in Europe. And later on, they’re mentioning when they tried to occupy Egypt in 1799.

[00:21:19] So this is his tragedy when he came to Egypt, he stucked in Egypt. And he didn’t announce the war over the Ottomans. He said that I’m going to Egypt because I want to fix the situation. And because of the situation in the city and also the French traders are suffering from the Mamluks so I’m coming to make order.

[00:21:44] This is his point of view, of course, but he came actually to be inside the way between the Mediterranean and the Middle East or  India. And when he decided to enter Palestine, he was thinking that before the Ottomans will come, I will surprise them.

[00:22:04] So he took his troops from Egypt through Gaza. And he went on over until Ramla, he entered Ramla, he came West to Jaffa. From the East side of Jaffa. When he entered Jaffa, many stories mention that his soldiers, they were  a few hundreds, maybe, maybe less.

[00:22:29] And they started negotiating. So one of the stories mentioned that the Ottomans opened the Gates for Napoleon from the east side, because the old city of Jaffa was surrounded by five gates, three from the East and two from the West. We don’t have any gates from the North and from the South. From the West he couldn’t enter, because it’s from the seaside. So they entered from the East. And mainly, maybe from the main gate, we call it the main gate. Nowadays it is not a gate, it’s like the street that people are passing by and the cars are passing by. There’s a traffic light. And it’s very clear that it was the main gate.

So he entered with his troops and started killing the troops of the Ottomans and also he started killing people who covered inside the city and thought that they won’t be harmed. There’s another story that said that the Christian families, when they heard that Napoleon is coming they fled away to Ramla. And they knew that Napoleon maybe won’t harm there. The same story was also repeated when the Islamic troops came to Jaffa and the Islamic refugees, the families left the city. So I’m not sure that the story is 100% true, but it was mentioned in one of the resources, but anyway, Napoleon entered and he slaughtered the citizens, or the people of Jaffa. They mention maybe 5,000.

[00:24:03]That’s why we don’t have true Jaffa residents. It’s like Napoleon cut the history of the people. Maybe a few of them remain. And since 1800 Jaffa started to rebuild itself and the Ottomans got aware that this is a city that they should, they must reopen.

[00:24:28]So they started to take control again. They made a new order and they brought a new governor.  And then 1809, maybe less than 10 years after Napoleon came Mahmud Abu Nabbut, Mahmud Agha, he was so strong person. He was mentioned in the historical resources, Arabic, Hebrew, and English also. And the Ottomans gave him the permission to become the Jaffa governor. He was a very successful person. He started to reopen the city again, to renew the city again. He built few monuments, which was destroyed again in 1936.

He renewed the mosque, the big mosque that is inside the old city, we call it ‘El Mahmudiya’. He didn’t build it because it was built in the 18th century and again in the 19th century. And he built also markets near the mosque. So he got Jaffa on the map again in 1809 and so the Ottomans started to understand that Jaffa shouldn’t be left again. So this is one of the monuments that we’re mentioning. If we’re entering into the Ottoman era, we still have monuments inside the city, inside the walls and outside the walls.

[00:25:55] The Ottomans occupied Palestine and  the Arabic lands, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq also, and East of Jordan river. And in Egypt also, in the 16th century, 1515, actually, they took control over these lands, Shia, the one who took control over the lands of Iran and Iraq and Syria.

[00:26:20]So they took control over all of these lands and they stayed until the first world war. So it’s 400 years of rule and they had a lot of negative issues, and they had good  acts, but  at the end of the 19th century, they started to understand that they are way behind the European countries and they started to re-open now the gates for the Europeans in order to make new relations with the French and the British and even the Russians who were their strongest enemy for many years.

[00:26:56] Kristel: We learned in the Bible college about the era of modernization called the Tanzimat.  They started to open foreign embassies and to allow also foreign missions to come and to buy lands and to build buildings and to build churches. So this is in the mid 19th century, I guess.

[00:27:18] Rami: Actually it was step by step. The last defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan was in 1878 against the Russian and the Balkan people, the Slaves. When they evacuated the area the Ottomans had only Albania, they lost all the Balkans. When they lost to the Russian, they understood that the Russian are stronger than them. And they are not only stronger than them, they are intending to enter Palestine and to build churches and to have the pilgrims to come to Palestine, to their own land, not only the Greek Orthodox or the Catholic.

[00:27:57] And they started to rethink about the relations with the European countries. And we can have an example in Jaffa about the Scottish school, 1864. My late mother was teaching there Arabic for the elementary school and it was very nice era when I was visiting her and taking a look at the study and the classes and looking at a lovely building. And when I started studying history by my own I understood that actually it was during that era that I mentioned. And the stones that they brought they brought it from the walls of Jaffa. Most of them.

[00:28:47] In 1882, the French came to Jaffa and they built College de Freres. It’s a well-known French school. It’s very big. It’s from kindergarten until high school. Nowadays it’s still functioning and it’s a mixed school. It’s French, but French people are not there, only maybe teachers. Few of them are French, but it’s a very mixed school. It had a lot of nationalities. You can have there Palestinians, Israeli citizens of the Palestinians, Israeli Jewish, Israeli Russian.

[00:29:23]Also the diplomatic families, especially the French speakers. And it’s a very big school that is functioning until this day by the French curriculum and the Scottish by the Scottish curriculum. And as you mentioned, the churches, not all of them were new, but a few of them were built in that time at that time, the 19th century, actually no, they built only institutions, because the churches were built before that era and after that era. The 20th century and way before the 20th century.

[00:29:58] Kristel: When we speak about the Ottoamans, I remember that when you enter Jaffa there is this one big clock tower that really draws all our eyes to it. Can you explain what is that clock tower?

[00:30:13] Rami: Nowadays we took it as a symbol of Jaffa, though Jaffa had a lot of symbols, the seaport, the orange.  The clock tower is very important to our history. It was made actually in 1901. And it wasn’t made just in order to build something because the last Ottoman emperor Sultan Abdulhamid the second celebrated 25th anniversary he started building very big monuments inside of the main cities Jaffa, Nablus, Jerusalem and. Safad also. Those monuments, the biggest of them ‘Khan el Umdan’, it’s like a one big hotel. And at the top of it, it’s the clock tower, but our clock tower is very beautiful. It’s not small one.

By the way the clock tower in Jerusalem, the British destroyed it because they have to say that it wasn’t…  

[00:31:14] Kristel:  It didn’t fit with the theme of the old walls.

[00:31:17] Rami:  Exactly.

[00:31:18] Kristel:   But of course there was something behind it. I guess it was too much of a sign of the power of the position of the Ottomans, so they wanted to get rid of it.

[00:31:28] Rami:  Yeah. I thank God that they didn’t destroy the rest of the clock towers, really. So sometimes when we, when we’re looking at those monuments, we thank God that not everything was destroyed.

[00:31:39]So it was built in 1901, like the rest of the monuments. And it was functioning all the time. The mayor of Jaffa, the last mayor of Jaffa Dr. Yosef Haykal, mentioned in his biography that this clock was ringing every 15 minutes. Nearby this clock tower, we had the Ottomans monuments also. One of them still remaining, but it became a hotel. It was the ‘Kishle’, the kishle is the prison by the name of the prison in Turkish language. And it was functioning even after the Ottomans left. The British took control and took it as a police station.

[00:32:23] And also the Israeli  when they occupied Jaffa in May 1948, they also made the same step  as 10 years ago, maybe 15 years ago. I forgot the date. They closed the new station in order to show off that we are here. And this is one of the stories that we can mention about the actuality, and we will talk about it later.

[00:32:44] So nowadays it’s a hotel,  it was opened maybe three years ago it have two sections old one and new one, they built over the old building. Nearby is the mosque. The big mosque that I mentioned was built 1710, and surrounding it, it had the shops. That was actually belong to the Muslim community, which we call it ‘waqf’. And the Israeli, when they controlled Jaffa they didn’t give back the shops to the Muslims and they took control and they hired these shops .

The next side of it we have the biggest monument that was destroyed by the Zionist troops on 4th of January, 1948. They put the bombs near the ‘Saraya’, the new Saraya and the British troops didn’t see them and they run away and the bomb actually hit the building and the next building and destroyed the three stories of the new Saraya which is the building of the Ottomans, which was built on 1892. It’s like the government offices.

The Jewish story  is a very big lie. They put signs or two signs. They put it on the wall of the building, because nearby it’s the building of the Municipality of Jaffa, which was built also the end of the 19th century.

[00:34:17]The building wasn’t touched, it was maybe a little bit destroyed, but it was complete. It’s still complete. But anyway, on the wall they had two signs. One of the signs mentioned the bombing and when they mentioned the bombing, they said that the Arabs  they were inside of this building and that’s why we bombed it.

[00:34:36]And they didn’t even mention the amount, the number of the civilians who got killed, 28  and one of them was a football player of the Islamic club of Jaffa. So this is the monument that is not anymore.

[00:34:53] It was destroyed, they just renewed the four columns in front of the building.

It’s a good issue to mention that Jaffa became a municipality, when AbdulHamid the second became the Sultan. At his first year, first or second year, he wanted to show that he’s democratic and in order to show the Europeans, that I am not a one man ruler.

[00:35:26] And he opened municipalities in the main cities that I mentioned, the Palestinian ones and also the Syrian and the Lebanese. And Jaffa had the Municipality in 1876. From that time we had Municipality until the 20th century when Hafez Bek Saeed, who was a very rich guy and who was a very important guy that lived in Jaffa and was not a young guy he was very active person.

[00:35:56] And he was also accepted from the community of Jaffa, from the Arabs, Palestinians, Christians, and Muslims. And he became the mayor of Jaffa and the British accepted the fact that all of the institution of Jaffa accepted that this guy, this person will be our mayor. He was very successful one because he was a mayor for 20 years, almost thirty years until the Palestinian revolution.

[00:36:33] So imagine he was a strong person he had a strong personality and three years ago, I started to connect with his grandson, Nabeel, he is now living in Cairo, he is a refugee, he is not a citizen of Egypt. Through Facebook and WhatsApp he’s telling me stories, personal stories.

[00:36:58]Sometimes also he told me very nice stories about his grandfather that he built the building that is now in il Nuzha neighborhood. Very large building, very big building, three stories. That’s what he built for his own family. And the first floor was for the municipality. So imagine this kind of richness that this guy had not only richness, nationality, awareness.

[00:37:25] So I was lucky you know, Nabeel his grandson, that he kept telling me stories about his grandfather.

[00:37:35] We are reaching to the last century, let’s say, we are in the 20th century. And there is part of that history that we have to mention that is not an easy bit of history. And I know that there may be even Palestinians listening to this podcast who had family in Jaffa and who were expelled from Jaffa in 1948.

And in order to understand what is the scale of what happened to Jaffa and its residents, we will continue with part 2 next week Monday.