An Alien in Her Hometown?
Perceptions from the Other Side of the Wall
By Elise Aghazarian | Andrea Merli |
Lucia Maria Russo | Ingeborg Tiemann
Reihe: Monographien zu Geschichte und Gegenwart des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens
Monographs of Middle Eastern History and Presence
AphorismA Verlag Berlin - May 2010/ Mai 2010
76 Seiten | Softcover | ISBN 978-3-86575-017-4 - mit CD-ROM
Rachel's Tomb - Qubbet Rahil in Arabic, Kever Rachel in Hebrew - is believed to be the place where Rachel, a religious matriarch important to Judaism and Christianity and also highly regarded in Islam, died when giving birth on her way with her husband Jacob to the land of Isaak''s home in Hebron.
This very site in the town of Bethlehem comprises a Muslim graveyard where in the 'Bilal-Ibn-Rabah Mosque' Islamic rites and prayers for the deceased were performed. Over the centuries this site was of major significance for Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities alike - a place of inter-religious and intercultural encounters and coexistence. Here Jews, Muslims and Christians met, did business together and got to know each other.
Rachel's Tomb changed its character significantly only within the past few years. Since 2005 the whole site has been cut off from Bethlehem by an Israeli government built 30 foot high Wall which has turned Rachel''s Tomb into a fortress to which no Palestinians from the West Bank have access any more. This process of expropriation of such an important religious and cultural heritage site from Muslims and Christians in Palestine, and in Bethlehem in particular, is now culminated in the unilateral declaration from the Israeli government to include Rachel's Tomb Bilal-Ibn-Rabah Mosque, and also the Cave of Machpelah / Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, in the list of Israeli Cultural Heritage sites.
This book is designed to present the research findings and to be a means by which the cultural heritage and importance of Rachel's Tomb / Bilal-Ibn-Rabah Mosque for the people of Bethlehem and all Palestinians is preserved and passed along to future generations.