The Armenian community in Palestine.. A tale of belonging and giving

The Palestinian people are proud of the coexistence of their multiple sects and their solid interdependence. The Christian stands by the Muslim side in this land, bearing the continuous suffering of the arbitrary measures of the occupation and facing it with steadfastness and steadfastness.

Among these sects are the Armenians who belong nationally to Armenia, and some of them immigrated to Palestine.

The Armenian community’s celebrations of Christmas, according to the Armenian calendar, begin with the arrival of the procession of the Armenian Patriarch to Bethlehem on the eighteenth of this month, with an official reception by officials in the security and civil departments, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, who is scheduled to attend the midnight mass on the night of the eighteenth of this month .

The Armenian Patriarch Manougian had said on several occasions while he was in Bethlehem, “From Bethlehem, the beating heart of Palestine, the message of peace for all mankind emerged, and here we are today not living in peace. Flesh, what is peace and how can we live it in a time when this land is still exuding blood and pain.”

Members of the Armenian community are generally proud of their holding Palestinian citizenship and their involvement in public life in various fields. There are many academic and political energies that have emerged on the national scene, among them the late Dr. Albert Aghazarian, who passed away two years ago and who spent most of his days at Birzeit University. He accompanied her in the darkest and most difficult circumstances, in her bitterness and sweetness, since his relationship with her began in 1968.

He studied literature at Birzeit, then political science at the American University of Beirut, and concluded with contemporary Arab studies from Georgetown University in the United States. He began his work in public relations at the university by chance and had a great contribution to strengthening the university's relationship with the international environment in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. He also worked as a professional translator for many languages. He is the former director of public relations at the university and one of its 1970 graduates.

Likewise, Dr. Manawil Hassasian, with the rank of Professor of Political Science, was born in Jerusalem, lived in Bethlehem, attended its university for a quarter of a century, and served as Palestine’s ambassador to Britain for several years. The two men are prominent national figures at the national level and have important intellectual contributions.

The Armenians are distinguished by their craftsmanship and industry, as they are the first to establish a photography workshop in Palestine, the second to introduce printing to Palestine in 1833 AD, and the first to establish a ceramics factory during the British Mandate era.

They mastered the art of pottery, faience, sewing, and jewelry, among them the sheikh of Palestinian pharmacists, Nubar Arslian, who used to make medicines with his own hands. The Armenian craftsmen spread these industries in different parts of the Palestinian territories.

Today, most of the Armenians in Jerusalem work and sell jewelry, and make and decorate copper vessels, and many of them own gift shops for tourists coming to the Holy Land.

The Armenians traditionally dominated the shoe-making sector, but this sector was shrinking due to competition from ready-made shoes, and because of the harassment of the occupation of the Palestinian industrial sector in general in the city of Jerusalem.

St. Jacob Monastery Library

The library of St. Jacob Monastery was established in 1929 AD with funds donated by the wealthy Armenian Gulbenkian. It contains the largest collection of ancient Armenian documents in the world. It is believed that the history of some of them dates back to the early Christian centuries. A limited number of Arabic documents have been translated into the Armenian language in two books: the first is entitled “ The Serial History of Jerusalem” by the Armenian historian Hovannisian, which was published in Jerusalem in 1890 AD, and the second entitled “The History of Jerusalem” by the Armenian historian Savlanian, which was also issued in Jerusalem in 1931 AD.

Armenian Press

It was founded by the Gregorian Armenians in Jerusalem in 1848 AD, and they issued a number of books in the Armenian script that dealt with religious topics. This printing press was mentioned by Father Louis Sheikho the Jesuit, who visited it in the late nineteenth century.

It is noteworthy that the number of the Armenian community in Palestine is about 7,500 people, including 2,000 in the Armenian Quarter in Old Jerusalem and 200 in Bethlehem.

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