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Emmy / Christmas in the West Bank - Posts

25 December, 201225 December, 2012 1 comments Christmas in the West Bank Christmas in the West Bank


This Christmas season I had, for someone from the United States, a probably once-in-a-lifetime experience. I spent time in the West Bank staying with a Christian Palestinian family and had Christmas season experiences I will probably never have again.


What is on my heart this Christmas due to my new experience? I don’t have to describe or point out the beauty of Bethlehem, the lights, and the sights. It is something different that is on my heart.


This is not meant to be judgmental. I want to present a contrast. The same day I was in Bethlehem, I was in Jerusalem. I was in the Old City. “Anaa wa’ahlee” (Arabic for “my family and I” - I am referring to my host family who has welcomed me, loved me, and made me a true member of the family) made an attempt to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque. I’m not sure what possessed my host father to attempt this, but we tried. We were abruptly and hostilely confronted by a guard, for we were all Christian. Religious postulation requires an armed guard in fatigues. I did not feel endangered, but that is not the point. The mere presence of a certain religion is that much of a threat. Meanwhile, Muslims were free to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and tour all of the religious Christian areas.

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Christmas in the West Bank


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