Strandsofgoldentwinedwithcopper,wrappedin thefoldsofatoweringwall,thescentofpines carriedonthebreezeattwilight,thesoundofbells punctuating the slumber of tree and stone.Lyinginproudsolitude,itsmountainairasclearas wine, its name scorching like the kiss of a seraph.Wearelookingdownonthelittletownof Jerusalem,cityofgold,ofwhichthepoetsand troubadoursnevertireofsinging-Israel‚OfraHaza callsit“Yerushalaymshelzahav”‚(Jerusalemof Gold)andLebanon‚Fayrouz“zahratulmadaen”‚ (flower of the cities).
Celebrating Jerusalem on film
Easter in Jerusalem: renewing the faith
IiisGoodFridayinJerusalem,andandthe OldCityhasshakenoffitslackadaisicaltorpor in tune with the growing excitement.Thousandsofpilgrims,fromallpartsofthe world,someforthefirsttimeever,have congregatedinthecity.Theintensityof religiousfeverissopalpable,onewondersif thisisamanifestationoftheeschatological longings that drives the throngs, itisasiftheyexpecttheMessiahtomake hisentrance.Willhe,accordingtolocal legend,enterthecitythroughthetwin-arched GoldenGate(ortheGatesofMercy),which hasbeenblockednowforcenturies?Itwillnot beatip-toethroughthetulips,moreashuffle throughthemoundsofgravesliningthe approach to the gate.
In631CE,theCaliphOmarIbnulKhattab conqueredJerusalem.Flankedbyhisgenerals, hemarchedtotheChurchoftheHolySepulcher, theplacedconsidered themostsacredbyhis enemies, the Franks.Hegazedinaweat thechurch,butwhen hisentourageurged himtoenterthe buildingandpray there,hetoldthem no.Rather,hesaid, praywherethisstonedrops. Andhepickedupa stoneandthrewitasfarashecould,awayfrom the church.Moslemarmieswereonceagainatthegates ofJerusalem,whenSalahuddin(Saladin) overranitin1187.Inabidtoensurefraternity andpeacefulco-existencebetweenhisMoslem andChristiansubjects,heestablisheda protocol,stilladheredtotoday,wherebythe custodyofthekeystotheHolySepulchreis entrusted to Moslems.
Cricketissupposedtohaveoriginatedsome300 yearsagoinEngland,butitisjustpossiblethatthe gamezealouslyfollowedallovertheBritish Commonwealth, is older than currently thought.Thestory,toldbythedistinguishedkaghakatsi ArmenianprofessorDrAbrahamTerian,wasfirst releasedonlinebytheAustralianAssociatedPress, andhasbeenpickeduparoundtheworld,withboth thereverentandirreverent,havingafielddaywith the intriguing revelation.
TheChurchoftheHolySepulcher,thetraditional siteofthetombofJesusofNazareth,andregardedby manyastheholiestrelicinthewholeofChristendom, hasonceagainbecometheunwelcometheaterofan unsightlybrawlbetweentwobrotherlyChristian denominations.Thoughnotastrangertosuchflagranteruptions,the extentoftheviolencethistimerepelledeveryone whowitnessedthedramaasgraphicallycaptured videos streamed it on world TV.
News Headlines“Who remembers the Armenians?" Hitler once taunted.History has made a mockery of his infamous claim, for who does not remember and mourn the destruction of a million and a half innocent Armenians a century ago? Middle Eastern food aims, quite blatantly, at titillating the palate. None of this junk or fast food nonsense. People there have all the time in the world for their cooking. A thousand years ago, a monk in a distant monastery in the western Armenian province of Reshdunik, picked up a reed pen and began etching out what would later become known as the first great Armenian mystic and liturgical poetry. The Three Guardians of the Holy Places (the Greek and Armenian Orthodox Patriarchates and the Franciscan Custodia) have pledged to begin renovating the tomb of Jesus (the Edicule) in the Holy Sepulchre church, at an estimated cost of 3m Euros. The work is expected to start within a few weeks and take up to 8 months to complete. The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has completed partial structural restoration at our magnificent Cathedral of St James with the intention of pursuing a fullscale restoration at some future date. In order to accomplish this immensely important undertaking, the Patriarchate has launched appeal for help and support from Armenians all over the world.