A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Palestine Before 1948
BY: Emily Devereaux/ Arab America contributing writer Pictures are worth a thousand words. The images below document Palestine before the partition through historic photographs.
Palestine Before 1948
This sacred shrine built in Jerusalem by Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan in the late seventh century. It’s the oldest standing Islamic monument. Other than being a holy structure for all Muslims around the world, it’s appreciated by all people for its work of art, as well as a testament to the culture of that era.
Just like the aforementioned picture, the Dome of the Rock is significant for Muslims. UNESCO declared this building a World Heritage Site. The Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is traditionally believed to have ascended into heaven from this site. The construction of this holy Muslim shrine in the 7th century represents an early stage in the emergence of a distinct Islamic visual style.
Around the late-1800s, Ramallah was described as a large Christian village full of well-constructed stone houses. Here, the homes were high enough to have an extending view of the sea. This photograph shows the construction of some of these homes.
In 1918, the Ottoman Empire seized Haifa with horsemen from the British Army. Under the British Mandate, Haifa rapidly underwent development and soon became a major port city. The ports were a major source of income for the city and fishing became another major source of income during this time. This photo shows the hard work along the shores.
The village was known as Abraham al-Khalil which means “the Friend of God”. the city was robust and is still one of the largest cities in Palestine, just south of Jerusalem.
Before 1948, this farming land was part of Nazareth (Al-Nasira). It’s known as the Holy Land because this is where the angel announced to virgin Mary that she’s going to have a son named Jesus.
Al Quds, Jerusalem (circa the 1900s), Sam HarbAl Quds is another name for Jerusalem. In other words, which literally means “the Holy Sanctuary”. In this photo, we are able to see some of the structures in Jerusalem, and the daily activities of the townspeople.
This is another picture of the holy city of Nazareth. The crowd of women and children was a typical sight in Nazareth. Many people would gather in this area, which is called Mary’s Well, because there was a spring of water that gushed out two streams of water through a wall. In other words, this is considered a gift on a hot day. Many people would stay here all day laughing, chatting, and pushing for a spot at the spouts.
Established in 1929 by a group of young women. The Arab Women’s Union of Ramallah is one of the oldest women societies in Palestine. The primary goals of this organization were to participate in national, social activities, and demonstrations to assist the rebels. These women pioneered a movement for the rights of women. Through education and awareness, these women worked hard to empower other women to seek professional positions. This included being financially sustained for their families.
Pictured here is a family in Bethlehem, Palestine in the late 1800s. The family is bearing baskets necessary for daily activities. Sporting outfits that were popular and common in the 1800s.