Hebron is the largest city in the West Bank and the second holiest city in Judaism.  It is also Holy to both Christians and Muslims as it bears the tomb of Abraham as well as Sarah, Issaac, Jacob, Rebecca, and Leah.   The “Tomb of the Patriarchs” where these tombs are housed is the Muslim “Mosque of Ibrahimi” on one side and a Jewish Synagogue on the other - with separate entrances.  

As you can imagine, Hebron has been witness to a lot of violence and controversy in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.   There is currently a large contingent of what many refer to as “Jewish Settlers” and the town is described as unbearably tense.  The settlers see themselves as reclaiming land that historically and religiously is rightfully theirs, and the Palestinians see them as intruders into their city and way of life.  The violence has been intense coming from both sides and Hebron has gotten a pretty bad rap.  Fairly so.     

We have wanted to see Hebron, but probably would not have of our own devices.  A friend of ours from Bethlehem offered to take us to Hebron almost 2 months ago.  He’s a local, Arabic speaking, Muslim looking man, and tough as nails to boot so we took him up on the offer. 

(Here we are at the tomb of the Patriarchs.  That is me in the funny hooded thing.  Mosque garb - what can I say?  The tombs are all covered in big green covers.  Muslims believe Abraham was the first Muslim)

I have read accounts of Hebron as hostile, scary, broke-down, hellish, and many other things. While I don’t doubt that those accounts have been and are true at times, our short trip went very well. Even though a good portion of the old city was closed down (probably due to lack of visitors) the working portion of the city for locals was pretty busy with people and goods for sale. All I can really say is that on the particular day that we visited Hebron we did not feel threatened or victims of hostility in any way. Any other given day might have held a different outcome, but our visit was informative, thought provoking, and even enjoyable as we visited a small local candy shop.

I feel hesitant to even bring up our moment of enjoyment in a city where a lot of violence and even death have occurred, where daily life is strained to the point of combustion; but maybe that is reason to mention it all the more. People make candy in Hebron. There is a nice old man that makes Turkish delight-ish treats that come in both yellow and pink. He was really embarrassed that I was taking pictures of him and after I caught him in one, he was sure to skedaddle around the corner. But that any semblance of normal life, and something as purely pleasure bringing as candy making and selling, takes place in Hebron was a nice idea to me.


  1. Brookie your photos are SO beautiful - you are so talented!!

  2. I just discovered your blog today and have found it very interesting. I hope you don't mind if I clarify one point in this post. Muslims don't believe that Abraham was the first Muslim, we believe that all the prophets were Muslim, including Adam and Noah. "Muslim" simply means one who submits himself to God's will.

  3. I'm so glad you mentioned this - I spent all morning learning about it and I might even do a post clarifying.

    What a nice thing for me to have my blog turned into a tool for learning :)