Gaza city is considered one of the oldest cities in the world, having been founded more than 3000 years ago. The ancient coastal road linking Egypt with Palestine and the lands beyond passed through Gaza, making the city an important port city where the traders can take a rest before they continue their trips from Africa to Asia, and vice versa.
Gaza city has a population of 775.000 according to the population census of 2017, and an area of fifty-six square kilometers, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It is often called Gaza Hashim because the tomb of the grandfather of the Prophet (peace be upon him) Hashim bin Abdul Manaf is located there. Gaza is also famous for being the hometown of Imam Shafei , one of the four imams among Sunni Muslims.
The city was originally founded by the Canaanites in approximately 1500 BC and has a very rich history and civilization was ruled throughout history by several empires, such as the Egyptians, Greek, and Byzantines. Later, it became an important strategic center after the Islamic conquest.
The population of Gaza is overwhelmingly Muslims, most of whom are Sunni. There is also a minority of Christians in Gaza, mostly Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox, most of whom live in the Zaytoon Quarter in the old city.
Gaza is characterized by its dry, hot summer, July and August being the hottest months. The average temperature is thirty-three degrees Celsius. The weather in winter in Gaza is mild and rainy, with most of the rain occurring between November and March. January is the coldest months of the year, the average temperature is between 17 and 7 degrees Celsius. Being close to the sea, Gaza is humid most of the year.
The Culture of Palestine is the culture of the Palestinian people, located across Historic Palestine as well as in the Palestinian diaspora. Palestinian culture is influenced by the many diverse cultures and religions which have existed in historic Palestine, from the early Canaanite period onward. Cultural contributions to the fields of art, literature, music, costume and cuisine express the Palestinian identity despite the geographical separation between the Palestinian territories, Palestinian citizens and the diaspora.
Palestinian culture consists of traditional dishes and traditional folklore such as folk dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, zajal and comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of Palestinian culture. The Palestinian intellectuals such as Nimr Sirhan, Musa Allush, Salim Mubayyid have revived the Palestinian folklore, and the emphasized pre-Islamic cultural roots, re-constructing Palestinian identity with a focus on Canaanite and Jebusite cultures. Such efforts seem to have borne fruit as evidenced in the organization of celebrations like the Qabatiya Canaanite festival and the annual Music Festival of Yabus by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture.
Speaking of food, some of the most traditional dishes in Gaza are Falafel, a popular dish and street food made from chickpeas, Sumaghiyyeh a dish whose main ingredient is Sumac, Sardine Kofta, and many other dishes often found only in Palestine.