Sheikh Jarrah Jerusalem
Sheikh Jarrah is a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, on the road to Mount Scopus.
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Sheikh Jarrah Jerusalem

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Sheikh Jarrah Neighborthood Jerusalem
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Sheikh Jarrah History

The quarter was established on the slopes of Mount Scopus and named for the tomb of a Sheikh Jarrah. The tomb, dated to 1201, belongs to Husam al-Din al-Jarrahi, an emir and physician to Saladin In the 12th century, he established a zawiya (school) known as the Zawiya Jarrahiyya.After his death, his tomb was situated within the school, where it was visited by 'Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi, a scholar from Damascus, who travelled with a group of friends and followers to Jerusalem in 1690. They were received at the Jarrahiyya School by a group of dignitaries and spiritual leaders, who then accompanied them into the Old City. The tomb of al-Jarrahi, which is still known as Zawiya Jarrahiyya is today situated inside a mosque that was built in 1895 in the Sheikh Jarrah Quarter, on Nablus Road, north of the Old City and the American Colony. Prayer at the shrine is said bring good luck, particularly for those involved in the raising of chickens and eggs. A two-story stone building that included a flour mill, called Qasr el-Amawi, existed opposite the tomb from the 17th century. The Sheikh Jarrah quarter began to grow as a Muslim nucleus between the 1870s and 1890s. The northern and eastern parts of the neighborhood constituted a more prestigious area, where several famous families such at the Nashashibis had houses. In the western part, houses were smaller and more scattered.
Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood Main Street, Nablus Road or Derech Shchem (In Hebrew), was previously part of route 60, during the 1990�s a new route was built to the west of the neighborhood, a new dual carriage way with 2 lines in each direction and a separate Bus line. The bus line is currently being converted to a Light Rail route part of the first line of the Jerusalem Light Rail. The line will include a station next to the neighborhood, which is expected to be opened at the end of 2010.

Sheikh Jarrah Transportation

In recent years, private Jewish groups are seeking to regain possession of property in Sheikh Jarrah once owned by Jews and purchase new property. The areas in question are the Shepherd Hotel compound, the Mufti's Vineyard, the building of the el-Ma'amuniya school, the Simeon the Just/Shimon HaTzadik compound, and the Nahlat Shimon neighborhood. At the same time, foreign investors from Arab states, particularly the Persian Gulf, are seeking to purchase properties to further Palestinian interests.

Sheikh Jarrah Disputes

Sheikh Jarrah Historical landmarks

The Jewish presence in Sheikh Jarrah centered around the tomb of Shimon HaTzadik, one of the last members of the Great Assembly, the governing body of the Jewish people after the Babylonian Exile. According to the Babylonian Talmud, Shimon HaTzadik met with Alexander the Great when the Macedonian army passed through the Land of Israel and convinced him not to destroy the Second Temple. For years Jews made pilgrimages to his tomb in Sheikh Jarrah, a practice documented in travel literature. In 1876, the cave and the adjoining land, planted with 80 ancient olive trees, were purchased by the Jews for 15,000 francs. Dozens of Jewish families built homes on the property.
Also located in Sheikh Jarrah is a medieval mosque dedicated to one the soldiers of Saladin, the Muslim sultan who wrested control of Jerusalem from the Crusaders in the 12th century. St. George's Anglican Church is situated in the neighborhood, along with an old Jewish cemetery known as the "Graves of the Kings."

Sheikh Jarrah Shepherd Hotel

The Shepherd Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah was originally a villa built for the Mufti of Jerusalem. The mufti, who never lived in it, transferred property rights to his personal secretary, George Antonius and his wife, Katy. After the death of George Antonius in 1942, the house became a meeting place for Jerusalem's elite, although it was off-limits to Jews. While living in the house, Katy Antonius had a highly-publicized affair with the commander of the British forces in Palestine, Evelyn Barker. In 1947, the Jewish underground Irgun blew up a house nearby. Antonius left the house, and a regiment of Scottish Highlanders was stationed there. After the 1948 War, it was taken over by the Jordanian authorities and turned into a pilgrim hotel. In 1985, it was bought by the American Jewish millionaire Irving Moskowitz and continued to operate as a hotel, renamed the Shefer Hotel. After the Israeli border police used it as base for several years, Moskowitz announced plans to build 20 housing units on the site. Final approval was given for a group of settlers to build 20 apartments in the hotel on March 23, 2010 hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Barack Obama. More information about Shepherd Hotel Jerusalem.