Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Price tag" attacks

I got lost in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood a few years ago when many parts of Jerusalem were still new to me.
What surprised me that day was that religious kids were playing on swings and stuff in a playground surrounded by three old Arab buildings.
The minaret marked one building as a long-abandoned mosque.

The sign warned not the enter the dangerous building which according to the drawing was liable to collapse.

Even then the doors had anti-Arab sentiments scrawled on them.

A second old building was also locked up.

The third building really raised my curiosity!
Plants growing on the dome.
It was clearly very old and once-grand.

I stuck the camera through the window bars and the flash revealed a neglected interior.

Back home, I could find no information about the place and it remained a mystery for me.
Until today, that is.

Today I read in Haaretz that

The Nebi Akasha mosque, apparently built under the Ayyubid dynasty in the 12th century with additions made under the Mamluk dynasty in the 13th century. It is believed that the mosque was founded on the burial site of combatants in Saladin’s army, though an ancient tradition designates the site as the place where Akasha, a friend of the Prophet Muhammad, was buried.

They also say it was abandoned in the 1948 War of Independence and was recently renovated and turned into a municipal storage facility.

Learning this history was the only good thing to come out of the worrying events of the last few days.
Last night vandals tried to set fire to the mosque (I think it was the newer mosque, the one in my first photo) and sprayed anti-Islam graffiti on it and the second building.

The media did not explain it well, especially the foreign papers; and if you had never been to this small compound/playground, it would be hard to understand.

More about the young right-wing extremists' violence, including an attack on an Israeli (!) army base, can be found here .
The so-called "price tag" attacks.
UPDATE: See here how 15 teenaged students later came to help remove the hate graffiti .

UPDATE Feb. 2013:  Fascinating history of the place from a Jewish viewpoint in the blog "Let us tour Eretz Yisroel." 


Sara said...

The arches inside that mosque are so beautiful and graceful.

There is so many troubling things going on these days...

Ann said...

What a shame. That bottom one is beautiful architecture.

Theanne and Baron said...

I am sorrowful that this is happening in your country Dina!

The photos of the old buildings are very interesting, as is their history!

Elena said...

Dina, I am so sorry. Worldwide, people are succumbing to rage--the shootings in Belgium and Italy are just the beginning I fear. Something beautiful and valuable which has been around since the 13th century should be sacrosanct but then again, so should human life, and we do a terrible job of preserving that. Your city is beautiful. Your land is beautiful. Your people are beautiful. The ugliness comes from and as result of the actions taken by a few ugly people with very loud voices. It has always been this way.

Cloudia said...

* Sigh *

Shalom with Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >


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Petrea Burchard said...

Yes, what the others said. So much sadness, so much hate. I don't know why we never seem to learn.

What I notice, Dina, is that you took these pictures some time ago and you held onto them, not knowing why. Sometimes people ask me why I keep thousands of photos on my hard drive and I say, "I don't know why now but someday I might know."

Kay said...

I'm so sorry, Dina. I wish the world could be a more peaceful, accepting, loving, understanding place.

cieldequimper said...

I can feel the usual anger swelling up. Oh the waste...

Pietro said...

You always provide a starting point for great meditation in your posts, Dina. Interesting images.

spacedlaw said...

So worrying...
It's good that the events helped you solve the mystery though.

Spiderdama said...

This is sad..
There is to much hate in this world..if people could love more than hate..
I will read your link, I do not trust the Norwegian media..

Great pics!
Hope you have a nice day!

VP said...

I see a nice ultra-Orthodox bench!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'll visit the links but first i got excited by the mention of Saladin. On my Face Book page I have a featured horse from the steppes that probably was the mount for the soldiers of fortune who would set the stage for Saladin. Part of my "I want a pony" from my mid-life crisis