Stories and folktales are some of the oldest narrative forms in Arabic literature. There is no accurate history of their origin, but according to history studies this type of narration emerged in prehistoric times, when men communicated through signs and gestures, before acquiring a language.
Although storytelling is normally reserved for the elderly, Hamza Aqrabawi from the West Bank city of Nablus has turned his hobby into a full-time occupation. Storytelling is a tradition that involves a person telling folktales in homes, shops, restaurants and in the streets. The storyteller impersonates his characters in the stories and keeps his audience hooked on knowing how the story unfolds. Aqrabawi memorizes popular heritage stories, proverbs, jokes and folktales related to daily life in the Palestinian territories. He also works as a tour guide in Palestinian cities and villages, taking people on field trips that aim at “connecting the story to its place of occurrence.”