Together to preserve the house of Lazarus, Martha and Mary

Palestine/Bethany

CONTEXT & OBJECTIVE

Bethany is a town of Judea, currently part of the West Bank, very close to Jerusalem, and under the control of the State of Palestine. It is separated from the Holy City by the Israeli separation wall. Today it has the Arabic name al-Azariyeh, which means “place of Lazarus“. Because of the conflict the situation is precarious especially for young people.

Since 2014, ATS pro Terra Sancta has been carrying on a project to enhance the place through the preservation of the basilica, the recovery of abandoned archaeological areas and the development of the local community that currently lives in an area of ​​severe economic and social degradation. We have been promoting the revival of sustainable tourism for years, that will benefit particularly women and young people. We have started micro-entrepreneurial activities such as the production of soap, candles and oils. In collaboration with local institutions, we carry out cultural events for the whole society. We also organize guided tours with the collaboration of Palestinian schools and the Mosaic Centre Jericho to train young people on the value of cultural heritage.

ACTIVITIES

  • Works for the preservation and maintenance of the basilica and convent
  • Preservation of abandoned archaeological areas with remains of ancient convents and basilicas
  • Cultural activities offered to the local community, with particular care for young people and women
  • Support activities for artisans, traders and social cooperatives of young and active women on the spot

BENEFICIARIES

  • The local community
  • Women through training activities
  • Workers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs
  • Pilgrims and visitors

The story of Ayman

A young and willing man forced to sell cans of Coca Cola and Seven Up. This was Ayman Nafee, before joining the great Mosaic Centre Jericho family, the Palestinian NGO with which the Association pro Terra Sancta has worked for years on this project. Today Ayman is the archaeologist responsible for the site of Bethany, the place of the resurrection of Lazarus. From the close collaboration with the staff of the Association, “who follows me step by step on everything”, and other professors and archaeologists of the Al-Quds university including Osama Hamdam, “I learned a fundamental method of cataloging, – he explains – an opportunity that very few have here, especially at my age”.

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In addition to excavations, he now also has the role of observer and evaluator of projects and other ongoing activities in Bethany. “We have some courses for tourist guides and other small initiatives related to the site. I have the responsibility to evaluate its progress”. Ayman stops and starts scribbling on the notebook. Is thinking. Think about how lucky you are. And about the meeting with Association pro Terra Sancta he says: “I really feel like I’m in a big family, always being accompanied”.
 

You can donate by BANK TRANSFER through your bank account and give your support to:
ASSOCIAZIONE PRO TERRA SANCTA
Banca Popolare Etica
IBAN: IT 56 R 05018 12101 000014400444
BIC CODE: CCRTIT2T84A

For American donors ONLY
If you wish to donate a minimum of $500 (with possibility of tax deduction) please contact info@proterrasancta.org BEFORE making the donation.

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