Adolescence in the Holy Land: between Arab traditions and Western trends

Giacomo Pizzi12 September 2011

Managing relationships with parents and contemporaries, coping with the discovery of her own sexuality and the formation of her own personality with awareness: these are important stages that each teenage girl must pass through during the course of her adolescence. In the Holy Land there is yet another challenge to further complicate this period of change that is so important in the life of teenage girls: the need to reconcile traditional Arab culture with the models and lifestyle proposed by a Western culture that is frequently observed and imitated. This is something that is not always easy in practice, and represents a central theme throughout this crucial period of individual development.

In view of this, ATS pro Terra Sancta together with the Franciscan Social Service Office (FSSO), the social office of St. Catherine’s Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, has promoted a course for girls in Bethlehem between the ages of 16 and 18 entitled “Relationship between parents and adolescent children: Western trends and Arab traditions”. The course recently concluded with a ceremony in which the girls were presented with certificates of participation.

The idea for this course came about due to the relationship that FSSO maintains with the Guidance and Training Center for the Child and Family (GTC) of Bethlehem and the non-profit organization World Vision.