At the center of conflict in the city of Hebron in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank is the Ibrahimi Mosque. Considered one of the most sacred sites by both Jews and Muslims, the Mosque is said to be built above the burial place of Abraham and his family, known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Abraham is considered the father of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, so this place has some serious religious cred. It's also had a violent and conflicted history. The Mosque has survived the Hellenistic, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader, Ayyubid, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods of rule, now residing under Israeli rule since the six day war in 1967. Inside the Mosque, one area is for Muslims to worship and the other for Jews, separated by a bulletproof barrier.
I shot only a few photos while there, including this one of a man reading and praying outside the Mosque. Moments after I took this photo I was chastised for photographing him during his prayer. Street photography can cross lines for some, but for me it seemed important to capture this moment of peace and devotion in a place riddled with tension, conflict and violence. As I pressed the shutter button on my camera for this photo, nearby an IDF officer was addressing a group of religious pilgrims standing outside the Mosque, describing their successful reduction in terrorism by a heavy military presence and the construction of the Security Fence that, he claimed, kept the Palestinians, and violence, at bay. The irony was thick in this place.
@ellostreet @ellophotography #streetphotography #thewestbank #hebron #ibrahimimosque