Al-Eizariya

Al-Eizariya

Infobox Palestinian Authority muni
name=al-Eizariya


imgsize=
caption=
arname=العيزريه
meaning="Place of Lazarus"
founded=
type=munb
typefrom=
altOffSp=al-'Eizariya
altUnoSp=al-Izzariya
governorate=jl
latd=31|latm=45|lats=50.91|latNS=N
longd=35|longm=16|longs=51.54|longEW=E
population=18,300
popyear=2006
area=
areakm=
mayor=Isam Farun

al-Eizariya or al-Izzariya ( _ar. العيزريه, lit. "Place of Lazarus") is the second largest Palestinian town in the Jerusalem Governorate with, according to the PCBS a population of 18,300 inhabitants [ [http://www.passia.org/publications/bulletins/english-jerusalem/pages/page6.pdf Jerusalem Bulletin English.pdf ] ] located on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, less than two miles (3 km) from Jerusalem. The town is commonly identified with the biblical Bethany.

History

Since the beginning of the 16th century, almost all of the town's inhabitants have been Muslim. The Ottomans under Abdul Hamid built al-Uzair Mosque to serve the town's inhabitants and named it in honor of the town's patron saint,

In the early 20th century, visitors counted 40 family dwellings in village. The "Catholic Encyclopedia" reported in 1908 that the modern village was centered on the cave that was associated with the raising of Lazarus, which had become an early pilgrimage site, and that the site of the village mentioned in the New Testament was a little distance away, higher up on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives.fact|date=May 2007

A Franciscan Church designed by Antonio Barluzzi and built in 1954 marks the spot of the Tomb of Lazarus and its gardens contain the remnants of a mosaic floor from an earlier church built in the 4th century CE.

Present-day

Today, the town experiences overcrowding, due to rapid population expansion and a lack of proper town planning Much of the agricultural land that produced figs, almonds, olives and carob has been confiscated or cut down and many of the original inhabitants now live in Jordan, the United States, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Real estate speculation and the opening of many bank branches briefly accompanied expectations that the Palestinian Authority would set up its seat of government in East Jerusalem.

The oldest house in present-day al-Eizariya is a 2,000 year old dwelling that has attracted pilgrims who believe it might have been the House of Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus. There are ongoing excavations at a site just beyond the House of Martha and Mary. Just west of it is the house of Simon the Leper, which is known by locals as the Tower of Lazarus and is operated by the Greek Orthodox Church.

People from al-Eizariya

* Said K. Aburish - former resident and author
* Abu Said Aburish - former resident and "Time" correspondent

References


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