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By Julia Droeber

Palestine is usually considered, from afar, in the course of the body of insurmountable distinction and violent clash alongside spiritual and ethnic traces. Julia Droeber appears to be like past this, as she attracts out the way sameness and distinction is built and handled within the everyday relationships and practices of alternative spiritual groups within the West financial institution city of Nablus. She follows the truth of coexistence and the consistent negotiation of limitations among Christians, Muslims and one of many final final Samaritan groups around the globe, and the way those relationships are advanced through an occupier perceived as 'Jewish'.

This is a delicate and nuanced learn of cultural and spiritual house in a much-contested sector. It illustrates how variations are reconciled, accommodated and emphasized, whereas latest along a standard experience of belonging. Droeber's findings resonate past the city of Nablus, and the West financial institution, and into the wider fields of center East reports, Anthropology, Comparative faith and Peace and clash solution Studies.

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Extra info for The Dynamics of Coexistence in the Middle East: Negotiating Boundaries Between Christians, Muslims, Jews and Samaritans in Palestine

Sample text

Yet, this balance has become unsettled in recent years, and Rafidiya’s Christian residents frequently bemoan the fact that they have lost not only the majority in this part of town, although it remains the “most Christian” part of Nablus (being the location of most churches in use today), but also quite literally lost “ground” to the Muslims, because people had to sell land to make ends meet during the difficult days of the two intifadas. : 49) reports that Rafidiya’s population had increased from 430 to 922 between 1945 and 1961.

When asked about their Palestinian identity, 89 per cent of the respondents felt that religion is less important than their national belonging. 3 per cent. For Kattan (1994: 94) these results are “to be expected in our context as nationalism is paramount in a society under occupation”. What is, however, hidden within in these figures, is the fact that only about one third of the students “strongly agree” with their national belongingness overriding their religious one. It would have been interesting to get a breakdown of these figures along religious lines, as I suspect that since the “Palestinian cause” has become increasingly Islamised, Muslims find it easier to conflate the two identities than Christians would.

The main guide at the church is a Muslim. The Roman Catholic presence in Nablus is marked by three sacred buildings. The Catholic (Latin) Church of Visitation was built in 1890, towards the end of Ottoman rule in Rafidiya (Zajel 2004). The visitation in its name refers to the Jesus’ visit of the area, mentioned above. It was largely run by the Rosary Sisterhood, which first came to Nablus in the early twentieth century and established a monastery close by. ). The Rosary Sisters left and in 1951 part of the monastery and church was taken over by the Red Cross and Crescent Society, which remained there until 1975.

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