German Jordanian University in Madaba

13 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean, Universities, Colleges, Academies

© GJU - GJU

© GJU – GJU

German-Jordanian University (GJU) is a public university located near Madaba, Jordan. It offers more than 28 programs to over 6,000 students, primarily from Jordan and the Middle East. The curriculum differs from other Jordanian universities, with German language courses offered as preparation for the fourth academic year at a university of applied sciences in Germany and an introduction to German industry through an obligatory internship within the framework of the study program. Manar Fayyad was appointed president of the university in 2017, after being its vice-president from 2013 to 2017.   read more…

Mea Shearim in West Jerusalem

11 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Shabbat Square © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shabbat Square © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Mea Shearim (“hundred gates”; contextually, “a hundred fold”) is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. It is populated by Haredi Jews, and was built by members of the Old Yishuv. The oldest Sephardic Haredi dynasty, Levi Kahana of Spain, has a religious cultural center in the neighborhood. The name Mea Shearim is derived from a verse from Genesis, which happened to be part of the weekly Torah portion that was read the week the settlement was founded: “Isaac sowed in that land, and in that year, he reaped a hundredfold; God had blessed him” (Genesis 26:12). According to a tradition, the community originally had 100 gates, another meaning of Mea Shearim.   read more…

Battir in the West Bank

2 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

© flickr.com - Labour Palestine/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Labour Palestine/cc-by-2.0

Battir is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, 6.4 km west of Bethlehem, and southwest of Jerusalem. It was inhabited during the Byzantine and Islamic periods, and in the Ottoman and British Mandate censuses its population was recorded as primarily Muslim. In former times, the city lay along the route from Jerusalem to Bayt Jibrin. Battir is situated just above the modern route of the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway, which served as the armistice line between Israel and Jordan from 1949 until the Six-Day War, when it was occupied by Israel. In 2007, Battir had a population of about 4,000. In 2014, Battir was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, as Land of Olives and Vines — Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir.   read more…

The origins of Jerusalem stone architecture in East Jerusalem

23 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Old town Suq Aftimos © Rastaman3000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old town Suq Aftimos © Rastaman3000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jerusalem stone (Meleke) is a lithologic type of white, coarsely-crystalline, thickly bedded-limestone found in the Judean Hills in Israel and the West Bank. It has been used in the traditional architecture of Jerusalem since ancient times, especially in Herodian architecture. Though it is often popularly referred to as Jerusalem stone, that phrase can refer to a number of different types of stone found and used in or associated with Jerusalem. Jerusalem stone is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times. One of these limestones has been used in many of the region’s most celebrated structures, including the Western Wall. Jerusalem stone continues to be used in construction and incorporated in Jewish ceremonial art such as menorahs and seder plates. Limestone is used all over the world. The unique selling point is the mining area, the origins of which lie in the Palestinian old town of East Jerusalem. This unique selling point naturally also applies to other mining areas, e.g. for the Austin Stone from Austin, Texas or the Cotswold Stone from the British Cotswolds.   read more…

Rue Gouraud in Beirut

22 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© flickr.com - Karan Jain/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Karan Jain/cc-by-sa-2.0

Rue Gouraud is a mixed residential and commercial street in Gemmayzeh, a neighborhood in the Rmeil district of Beirut in Lebanon. It is named after French General Henri Gouraud. Gemmayze, and Rue Gouraud specifically, competes with the trendy village-type neighborhood of Badaro, as one of Beirut’s bohemian quarters. the district is full of narrow streets and historic buildings from the French era. The neighborhood is well known today for its trendy bars and pubs, cafes, restaurants and lounges, most of which are directly located on Rue Gouraud.   read more…

Beit Aghion in West Jerusalem

14 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

U.S. Vice President and possible future U.S. President Joe Biden meets With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu © U.S. Department of State/Matty Stern

U.S. Vice President and possible future U.S. President Joe Biden meets With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
© U.S. Department of State/Matty Stern

Beit Aghion, also known as Beit Rosh HaMemshala (House of the Prime Minister) is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is located at 9 Smolenskin Street, on the street corner of Balfour Street in the upscale West Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia, situated between the city center and the Talbiya neighborhood. The private residence of Netanyahu is located in Caesarea, north of the ancient city of Caesarea Palaestinae, where the official residence of the Roman praeses Pontius Pilate was located (Pilate stone).   read more…

Tiberias in Israel

2 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Pacman

© Pacman

Tiberias is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Established around 20 CE, it was named in honour of the second emperor of the Roman Empire, Tiberius. In 2019 it had a population of 45,000.   read more…

Israeli development towns

25 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Or Yehuda © Oyoyoy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Or Yehuda © Oyoyoy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Development towns were new settlements built in Israel during the 1950s in order to provide permanent housing for a large influx of Jewish immigrants from Arab countries, Holocaust survivors from Europe and other new immigrants (Olim), who arrived to the newly established State of Israel. The towns were designed to expand the population of the country’s peripheral areas while easing pressure on the crowded centre. Most of them were built in the Galilee in the north of Israel, and in the northern Negev desert in the south. In addition to the new towns, West Jerusalem was also given development town status in the 1960s. In the context of the Arab–Israeli conflict, Jewish refugees from Arab states were initially resettled in refugee camps, known variously as immigrant camps, ma’abarot and development towns. Development towns were subsequently considered by some to be places of relegation and marginalisation in often remarkable architectural monotony, with a strong reference and a mixture of socialist classicism and modernism, which is reminiscent of the socialist orientation of the state after its foundation. Many towns gained a new influx of residents during the mass immigration from former Soviet states in the early 1990s. By 1998, 130,000 Russian-speaking immigrants lived in development towns. Despite businesses and industries being eligible for favorable tax treatment and other subsidies, with the exception of Arad, most of the towns (particularly those in the south) have fared poorly in the economic sense, and often feature amongst the poorest Jewish Areas in Israel. In 1984, the Development Towns project was awarded the Israel Prize for its special contribution to society and the State of Israel.   read more…

Abu Dis in the West Bank

21 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Dome of Rock in East Jerusalem as seen from Abu Dis © Padres Hana/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dome of Rock in East Jerusalem as seen from Abu Dis © Padres Hana/cc-by-sa-3.0

Abu Dis or Abu Deis is a Palestinian village in the Quds Governorate (Jerusalem) of the Palestinian National Authority bordering the Palestinian East Jerusalem. Since the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Abu Dis land has been mostly part of “Area C“, under full Israeli control. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) census, Abu Dis had a population of 12,604 in 2016. Abu Dis is situated on an ancient site, surrounded by deep valleys. Ruins have been found of ancient buildings, cisterns, grape presses and caves, one with a columbarium. Ceramics from Late Roman and Byzantine period has also been found.   read more…

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