Dates in Arabic culture

The sweet fruit of the date tree has been a staple food in the Middle East for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian frescoes depict people harvesting dates, which confirms the long and strong relationship of this fruit with local peoples. Having a high sugar content and high nutritional value, dates in the Arab countries have found a wide variety of uses. They are consumed fresh, in the form of dried fruits, syrups, vinegars, spreads, jaggery (a type of sugar) are made from dates. Date palm leaves have played a very important role in the history of the Middle East. In ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, the palm tree was considered a symbol of fertility and longevity. Later, palm leaves also became part of the Christian tradition: this is due to the belief that date palm leaves were laid out in front of Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. Date leaves are also used on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Dates have a special place in the Islamic religion. As you know, Muslims observe the fast of Ramadan, which lasts for one month. Completing the post, a Muslim traditionally eats – as it is written in the Koran and thus completed the post of the Prophet Muhammad. It is believed that the first mosque consisted of several palm trees, among which a roof was erected. According to Islamic traditions, date palms are abundant in paradise. Dates have been an integral part of the diet of the Arab countries for over 7000 years, and have been cultivated by humans for over 5000 years. In every home, on ships and during desert journeys, dates are always present as an addition to the main meal. Arabs believe in their exceptional nutrition along with camel milk. The pulp of the fruit is 75-80% sugar (fructose, known as invert sugar). Like honey, invert sugar has many positive properties: Dates are extremely low in fat, but rich in vitamins A, B, and D. The classic Bedouin diet is dates and camel milk (which contains vitamin C and fat). As noted above, dates were valued not only for fruits, but also for palm trees. Their shock created shelter and shade for people, plants and animals. Branches and leaves were used to make . Today, the date palm makes up 98% of all fruit trees in the UAE, and the country is one of the leading producers of the fruit. The Mosque of the Prophet, built in Medina around 630 AD, was made: trunks were used as columns and beams, leaves were used for prayer rugs. According to legend, Medina was first settled by the descendants of Noah after the flood, and it was there that the date tree was first planted. In the Arab world, dates are still fed to camels, horses, and even dogs in the Sahara desert, where little else is available. The date palm provided timber for construction.

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