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September 17, 2010

Bethlehem University Research Grant Brings Palestinian History to Life

Research grantFormer and current Bethlehem University faculty members and staff Elise Aghazarian, Andrea Merli, Ingeborg Tiemann and Lucia Russo joint in research explored the significance and importance of Rachel's Tomb, a sacred place venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

"The book tries to build a bridge with [Rachel's Tomb] that used to belong to the city of Bethlehem and to Palestinian heritage." — Lucia Russo

Rachel's Tomb: An Alien in Her Hometown? aims at documenting the dramatic transformation Rachel's Tomb has undergone since the beginning of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The transformation comes into stark light as the Israeli government built a wall to cut off Rachel's Tomb from the Palestinian community, thereby turning a religious and spiritual place that belonged to Christians, Muslims and Jews into place that only Jews can worship at.

The writing of Rachel's Tomb: An Alien in Her Hometown? was made possible by a research grant from Bethlehem University that allowed the researchers to begin their work. University students were also involved in the research process, above all by conducting interviews with people living in the neighborhood of Rachel's Tomb.

Transforming the initial research into the present book was facilitated by the support of the Association for Development Cooperation, the German Association for the Holy Land, and Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo.

A DVD is added to the book showing a series of pictures of Rachel's Tomb from inside and outside the Tomb, while copies of the book can be purchased at Bethlehem University Bookstore.


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine