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With a history that envelops more than one million years, Palestine has played an important role in human civilisation. The crucible of prehistoric cultures, it is where settled society, the alphabet, religion, and literature developed, and would become a meeting place for diverse cultures and ideas that shaped the world we know today. Its rich and diverse past, abundant cultural heritage, and the archaeological and religious sites of the three monotheistic faiths including the birthplace of Jesus Christ, make Palestine a unique centre of world history.
For Palestinians, this cultural diversity is viewed as a source of wealth, and each part of the million years of settled life plays an integral part in wider human heritage of those that call this land home. This past makes up a large part of the contemporary Palestinian philosophy of sustainable development, which seeks to keep active the cultural identity of the Palestinian people.
Visitors to Palestine will encounter on their journey myriad religious, historical, and archaeological sites. Beyond the historical, Palestine offers walks and hikes in its extensive valleys, along coasts, as well as desert hills, towns, and ancient marketplaces at the hearts of cities and villages nestled in the heart of breath-taking landscapes. They will enjoy Palestine’s sumptuous cuisine and, most important, feel the warmth and hospitality of the Palestinian people, Christians and Muslims alike, who will share with them the hopes and aspirations of a nation that is in the process of rebuilding. With its million years of human history, and a welcoming people offering rich hospitality, visitors are left with the warm feeling of being at home.
Palestinian Arabic is the primary language spoken by Palestinians that has a unique dialect. It is a Levantine Arabic dialect subgroup spoken in Palestine. However, Palestinian refugees in other parts of the world may have a different dialect to the Palestinian Arabic. In the West Bank, there are many Israeli settlements where since the turn of the 20th century Hebrew has become more common. However, Russian and Amharic has also started to appear resulting from aliyah from Ethiopia. Other Jewish migrants have also brought other European languages.
The Palestine pound was the currency of the British Mandate of Palestine from 1927 to May 14, 1948, and of the State of Israel between May 15, 1948, and August 1948, when it was replaced with the Israeli lira. It was divided into 1000 mils.