The Palestinian Museum in Birzeit

29 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  8 minutes

The Palestinian Museum © I Love Falastin/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palestinian Museum © I Love Falastin/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palestinian Museum is a flagship project of the Welfare Association, a non-profit organization for developing humanitarian projects in Palestine. Representing the history and aspirations of the Palestinian people, the museum aims to discuss the past, present, and future of Palestine. The Museum in Birzeit (25 km north of Jerusalem) opened on 18 May 2016, despite not having any exhibits. The inaugural exhibition “Jerusalem Lives” was opened on 26 August 2017. On 29 August 2019, the museum received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.   read more…

Jenin in the West Bank

22 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Almonroth/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Almonroth/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jenin is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate of the State of Palestine and is a major center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, Jenin had a population of approximately 40,000 people, whilst the Jenin refugee camp had a population of 10,000. Jenin is under the administration of the Palestinian National Authority (as part of Area A of the West Bank). As in other areas of Palestine, the living conditions of the population have deteriorated significantly since the Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out in 2000. It suffers from the closure of the areas, many buildings are destroyed, unemployment is high (about 80%).   read more…

Ariel in Palestine

22 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Ariel University Center © Ori~

Ariel University Center © Ori~

Ariel is an urban Israeli settlement organized as a city council in the central West Bank, Palestine, part of the Israeli-occupied territories, approximately situated between 17 kilometres (11 mi) and 22 kilometres (14 mi) east of the Green Line, and 34 kilometres (21 mi) west of the Jordan River, Jordan‘s western border. Ariel is adjacent to the Palestinian National Authority town of Salfit and southwest of Nablus. It is approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Petah Tikva, and 42 kilometres (26 mi) east of Tel Aviv to which it is connected by the Highway 5 and 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of Jerusalem, to which it is connected by Highway 60. Ariel was first established in 1978 and its population was 20,540 in 2019, composed of veteran and young Israelis, English-speaking immigrants, and immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, with an additional influx of above 10,000 students from Ariel University. It is the fourth largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, after Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit, and Ma’ale Adumim. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. Ariel’s jurisdiction spans 14,677 dunams (14.677 km²; 5.667 sq mi), and borders the Palestinian towns and villages Salfit, Marda and Iskaka. According to B’Tselem, within Ariel’s municipal area there are several enclaves of privately owned Palestinian land, whose owners are not allowed access to them.   read more…

Nakba Day

15 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  13 minutes

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Nakba (lit.: “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe, was the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948, and the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs. The term is also used to describe the ongoing persecution, displacement, and occupation of the Palestinians, both in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. The foundational events of the Nakba took place during and shortly after the 1947–1949 Palestine war, including 78% of Mandatory Palestine being declared as Israel, the exodus of 700,000 Palestinians, the related depopulation and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages and subsequent geographical erasure, the denial of the Palestinian right of return, the creation of permanent Palestinian refugees and the “shattering of Palestinian society”. The most important long-term implications of the Nakba for the Palestinian people were the loss of their homeland, the fragmentation and marginalization of their national community, and their transformation into a stateless people.   read more…

Qalqilya in Palestine

14 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Qalqilya from Hod HaSharon © iiiii/cc-by-sa-4.0

Qalqilya from Hod HaSharon © iiiii/cc-by-sa-4.0

Qalqilya or Qalqiliya is a Palestinian city in the West Bank which serves as the administrative center of the Qalqilya Governorate. In the 2007 census the city had a population of 41,739. Qalqilya is surrounded by the Israeli West Bank barrier with a narrow gap in the east controlled by the Israeli military and a tunnel to Hableh. Oranges are grown there.   read more…

Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance

16 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Energy, Environment, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  12 minutes

Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal map © Makeandtoss

Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal map © Makeandtoss

The Red Sea–Dead Sea Conveyance (RSDSC), sometimes called the Two Seas Canal, is a planned pipeline to run from the coastal city of Aqaba by the Red Sea to the Lisan area in the Dead Sea. It will provide drinking water to Jordan, Israel and Palestine, bring water with a high concentration of salts resulting from the desalination process (reject brine) to stabilise the Dead Sea water level, and generate electricity to support the energy needs of the project. The project is planned to be carried out by Jordan and is entirely in Jordanian territory. It will be financed by the governments of Jordan, Israel, and a number of international donors.   read more…

Holy Land

24 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Star of Bethlehem in the Church of Nativity © Dirk D./cc-by-sa-3.0

Star of Bethlehem in the nativity grotto of the Church of Nativity in Betlehem © Dirk D./cc-by-sa-3.0

The Holy Land is an area roughly located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine. The term “Holy Land” usually refers to a territory roughly corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the State of Palestine, western Jordan, and parts of southern Lebanon and southwestern Syria. Jews, Christians, and Muslims regard it as holy. Part of the significance of the land stems from the religious significance of Jerusalem, and the location of the First and Second Temples), as the historical region of Jesus’ ministry, and as the site of the first Qibla of Islam, as well as the site of the Isra and Mi’raj event of c. 621 CE in Islam.   read more…

Towns and villages depopulated during the 1947–1949 Palestine war

29 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  2 minutes

Towns and villages depopulated during the 1947–1949 Palestine war © Wiki Commons

Towns and villages depopulated during the 1947–1949 Palestine war © Wiki Commons

During the 1947–1949 Palestine war around 400 Arab towns and villages were depopulated, with a majority being entirely destroyed and left uninhabitable (Nakba). Today these locations are in Israel; many of the locations were repopulated by Jewish immigrants, with their place names replaced with new Hebrew place names.   read more…

Haram esh-Sharif or Temple Mount in East Jerusalem

3 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

Known to Muslims as the Haram esh-Sharif (“the Noble Sanctuary”, or “the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem”) and the Al Aqsa Compound, and to Jews as Temple Mount (“Mount of the House [of God, i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem]”), is a hill in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Old City of Jerusalem that for thousands of years has been venerated as a holy site in Christianity, Islam and Islam, and Judaism alike.   read more…

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