Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Centuries after it disappeared from the Middle East, attempts to revive language spoken in Jesus' time

Art Daily Newsletter
Atif Zarka, 64, a volunteer Aramaic teacher's assistant holds a copy of the Gospel of Luke in Aramaic script. AP Photo/Diaa Hadid.

By: Diaa Hadid, Associated Press

JISH, ISRAEL (AP).- Two villages in the Holy Land's tiny Christian community are teaching Aramaic in an ambitious effort to revive the language that Jesus spoke, centuries after it all but disappeared from the Middle East. The new focus on the region's dominant language 2,000 years ago comes with a little help from modern technology: an Aramaic-speaking television channel from Sweden, of all places, where a vibrant immigrant community has kept the ancient tongue alive. In the Palestinian village of Beit Jala, an older generation of Aramaic speakers is trying to share the language with their grandchildren. Beit Jala lies next to Bethlehem, where the New Testament says Jesus was born. And in the Arab-Israeli village of Jish, nestled ... More

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