Modern Birzeit is a thriving community built around an historic hilltop village known as al-Khirbeh – the ruin. Birzeit translates as 'well of oil’, and almost certainly refers to the olive oil that has been the mainstay of the economy here for centuries.
In recent decades, Birzeit has become known for its university, founded in 1924 and widely regarded as the best in Palestine, which has brought a lively feel to the streets of the town.
Birzeit has a developing historic center encompassing a number of cultural, archeological and scientific centers.
There are a number of Christian churches that are worth a visit here.
In midsummer look out for the Heritage Week festivities that include a number of music, dance and theatrical performances in addition to a number of exhibits and displays of artifacts, antiquities, books, paintings, photos and much more.
In November, look out for the Mahrajan al-Maftoul (Maftoul Festival) in the gardens of the Latin church – a festival of food and music that celebrates a delicious local form of couscous.