Nablus is also known as the uncrowned Queen of Palestine or The Damascus of Palestine as the old city of Nablus is similar to the Old Damascus in Syria. Nablus has the largest and the most known university in the West Bank. Students from all over the West Bank attend the university for its high quality and range of fields such as Medicine, Engineering, Business Studies and many more. As a result, Nablus has become the nest for many famous and successful Palestinian scholars, poets, artists, doctors, engineers and business men/women.
Nablus was established approximately 9000 years ago by the Canaanites. It is 49 km north of Jerusalem and it is the nerve center of the northern West Bank. The city is originally located in the valley between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. As the city was and still is growing, it has started climbing up both mountains.
Nablus is well known for its olive oil and related products. Stories say that people in Nablus were storing their produced olive oil in big wells and when the Romans invaded Palestine back in the day, they spelled the olive oil from the wells to punish the people. Nowadays, Nablus is still known for its olive oil and the production of olive oil soap, known as Sabon Nabulsi (Soap of Nablus). It is probably the healthiest soap one can find.
You also like food? You can enjoy a variety of Palestinian and Levant food and sweets. Nablus is also the cheesy desert capital of the world with its famous kunafa. It is a warm sweet and cheese-based pastry topped with pistachios. Make sure to try it once, and I guarantee you that it will become an addiction.
In Nablus, you can see a mosque, church and synagogue within a 15-minute walk. The city has a mixture of Palestinians with different religious backgrounds who live in harmony.
The differences between them are not noticeable. Muslims, Christians, and Samaritan Jews mutually and peacefully share the city and its traditions.
Leaving Nablus or coming to Nablus makes Palestinians think twice. Nablus, as any other Palestinian city, is suffocated by illegal Israeli settlements and military check points outside the city. Palestinians often need hours to get to another Palestinian city, like Jenin or Ramallah. Students, elderly, kids and sick patients are not exempted from the illegal practices of the Israeli military checkpoints.
My Name is Waleed and Nablus is my hometown. I went to school and university in Nablus and I currently work for an Arabic technology startup. I associate almost every part of the city with a certain part of my life – whether it was riding a bike for the first time, playing football or meeting up with my first crush. Come and explore Nablus with me and let’s try some kunafa together.