Palestine (pronounced Filistin in Arabic) has meaning for billions of people world-wide because of its religious, political, and historical significance. It is a culturally diverse place, having been home for Muslims, Christians, and Jews for hundreds of years. In modern times, Palestine has faced immense political struggles since the inception of the Israeli state 60 years ago, including the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land.
Despite political difficulties, the Palestinian people are a vibrant society that engages politically, values education, and appreciates its rich religious and historical heritage. Two of our Salam Stock Contributors have had the opportunity to visit, and have documented photos showcasing the richness and diversity of the Palestinian lifestyle and culture.
The Dome of the Rock – The famous Dome of the Rock, not to be confused with the neighboring Masjid Al-Aqsa, is a beautiful, detailed work of art as well as a holy place for both Jews and Muslims. The ancient place of worship resides in Jerusalem.
University Students – Three female students sit beside each other on a bench inside Arab American University, which is located on the outskirts of the Palestinian city Jenin in the West Bank. Photo taken on June 25, 2005.
Market in the Holy City – A father and daughter walk through a market in the Old City of Jerusalem. Crowded with locals, tourists, and many others. There is plenty to buy here – good good, clothing, and pricey souvenirs!
Stop the Wall – An enormous Wall separates Israelis from Palestinians and also encircles the village of Qalqilia from all directions leaving one electronic checkpoint as the sole entrance and exit for the city, run by the military, and opened at 9 am and closed at 5 pm. The Israeli administration often refers to the wall as a “Security Fence,” while Palestinian activists often describe it as an “Apartheid Wall.”
Friends Celebrate – Ibrahim Abu el-Hawa and Rabbi Meachem are described as “peacemakers” living in East Jerusalem. The two men have been friends for many years, and at this time Ibrahim was a guest at the wedding of one of Rabbi Froman’s daughthers. Picture taken on November 14, 2005 in Tekoa, the West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Walls that Divide – The imposing Israeli built wall separating Bethlehem from neighboring Jerusalem is here approximately 8 metres high. In this photo a Palestinian man walks on the Bethlehem side of the wall on September 30, 2005.
Israeli Guard Tower – An Israeli guard tower attached is to the massive security wall Israel erected in 2005. This part of the wall is beside a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem. Photo taken on September 30, 2005.
Prayer Congregation – An Imam named Abdul Karim Al Zorba leads a small group of Palestinian men in evening prayers in Jerusalem on October 2, 2007. Zorba leads the call to prayer at the Dome of the Rock.
Men of Knowledge – An Imam puts his hand on the shoulder of another Imam in Jerusalem on October 2, 2007. The Imam on the right is Abdul Karim Al Zorba, who leads the call to prayer at the Dome of the Rock.
Elderly Lady – An elderly Palestinian woman sits with her back to a blue-green door in the old city of Jerusalem on October 9, 2005. In addition to her white hijab, she is wearing a traditional blue and red Palestinian dress.
The People’s Security – An armed Palestinian security guard looks down intently while holding a Palestinian flag in the Mukataa in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank on September 24, 2005.
Represent – A young Palestinian woman looks over her shoulder while standing above the crowd in the Mukataa in Ramallah in the West Bank o September 24, 2005. She is wearing a traditional Arab scarf (kaffiyeh) on her shoulders.
Masjid al-Aqsa Interior – Inside of Masjid Al-Aqsa right, you can see tall pillars and a beautiful red carpet. This is the Masjid from where the Prophet Muhammad ascended on the Heavenly Journey, as stated in the Quran: “Immaculate is He who carried His servant on a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose environs We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs. Indeed He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.” (Quran 17:1)
Barbed Dome of the Rock – A barbed wire fence stands in front of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem on August 26, 2005. Israeli imposed restrictions have often made it difficult for worshipers and visitors to reach this sacred precinct.
Sheikh of the Naqshabandi Order – Naqshabandi Sufi Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari (1949-2010) was a leader in interreligious peace building in the holy land. The Bukhari family migrated from Bukhara to Jerusalem in 1616.
Palestinian Men Discuss in a Crowd – A group of Palestinian men congregate in Jenin in the West Bank on December 21, 2005. Two men are talking to each other. One seems to have a “Calvin Klein” beanie hat on.
A little too excited about School – Palestinian schoolgirls laugh and smile as they have their photo taken through the window of a van in the Palestinian city of Hebron in the West Bank on October 16, 2007.
Dinner time for Everyone – A group of Palestinian men, an Israeli Jew and a foreign man share a meal in a home in the old city of Jerusalem on October 2, 2007. They are in the home of an Uzbek Muslim family that has been in Jerusalem for many centuries.
Ceiling of the Dome of the Rock – The Dome of the Rock is located on the Haram-al-Sharif in the Old City of Jerusalem, and is the third most holy site in Islam. The rock in the center of the dome, call the foundation stone, is believed by Muslims to be the spot from which Muhammad ascended to God in heaven, accompanied by the angel Gabriel. In Judaism, the stone is the site where Abraham fulfilled God’s test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Damascus Gate into the Old City – This ancient gate is just one of the gates into the Old City of Jerusalem. Rebuilt in 1537, it is located in the wall on the city’s northwest side where the highway leads out to Nablus, and from there, in times past, to the capital of Syria, Damascus.
Minaret in Qalquilia – One of many mosques in Qalquilia, Palestine, this one is definitely the fanciest mosque. Right by the city’s entrance, its gold dome and tall minarets stand out among the nearby drab buildings.
Apartments in Gaza – The moon is seen in the sky above an apartment building in Gaza city on September 20, 2005 – as seen much before Operation Cast Lead took place in 2008 which left many Palestinian homes and building destroyed.
VW Taxi Cabs – In many of the villages in Palestine, these yellow vans are used to transport people from one village to another. Each passenger pays for their own seat and when the van is full, the driver takes off.