Thread: On The Square
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Old 23-07-2014, 07:32 PM   #164
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Manger Square (Arabic: ميدان المهد‎) is an important city square in the center of Bethlehem.. It takes its name from the manger where Jesus is said to have been born which, according to Christian dogma, is in the Church of the Nativity, possibly the oldest existing church in the world, which surrounds the square. Also around Manger Square is the Mosque of Omar (the city's only mosque) and the Palestinian Peace Center. Streets with names connected to Jesus, including Star Street and Nativity Street, lead into the Square..On April 21, 2013 Manger Square was the starting and finishing line of Palestine Marathon...

Manger Square is a focal point for all of the Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, with a giant Christmas tree crowning the square. It is the traditional spot where locals and pilgrims sing Christmas carols before the midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Armenian Apostolic Church follow the Julian Calendar liturgically, whereas the Roman Catholic Church follows the modern Gregorian Calendar. Thus Christmas Eve services for the Eastern and Western confessions are held on different days. The Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Nativity on December 25; the Orthodox celebrations are on January 7...

In May 2002, during an Israel Defense Forces raid on the square a part of Operation Defensive Shield, a number of locals (some of whom were armed) occupied the Church of the Nativity. It became the site of a 5-week stand-off. The number of people inside was estimated between 120 and 240. It was alleged by Palestinians that several Palestinians inside the church compound were shot dead by Israeli snipers during the siege. The siege ended with an agreement for 13 militants to be sent via Cyprus to various European counties and another 26 to be sent to Gaza. The rest were set free.. The IDF stated that 40 explosive devices were found and removed from the compound
after the standoff was concluded...

The 2013 Middle East cold snap refers to the winter storm that hit the Middle East region in December 2013, affecting Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, and Egypt..Jerusalem was paralysed by its fiercest snowstorm in years, with its mayor calling out the army to help stranded motorists and authorities urging residents to stay indoors.. Netanyahu called it a "once-in-a-century" storm..After a day of lesser snow, a heavy snowstorm on 13 December 2013 deposited 40–70 cm (16–28 in) of snow in Jerusalem and 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in the Kefar Etzion area. In warmer parts of Israel very heavy rain fell and caused flooding. The railway into Jerusalem ran although it was Sabbath for people stranded by blocked roads..Deep snow fell in Amman, where King Abdullah II of Jordan helped to push a car that had got stuck in snow...It was reported that Lebanese Army was called in to help distribute emergency aid to Syrian refugees, as the UN handed out fuel, blankets, heaters and food rations yesterday amid a 3rd day of severe winter weather in the region..Egypt's capital Cairo witnessed extremely rare snowfall (mostly graupel) on Friday December 13 that the local media claimed to be the first in 112 years and night temperature was expected to drop as low as 2 °C (36 °F)..

The storm caused mayhem to millions of poor and displaced people across the region, especially afflicting refugees from the Syrian conflict..Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Hebron and many other towns and cities were coated in snow and some lower-lying areas suffered flooding from heavy rain..Snow in Nablus and Hebron ranged from 60–145 cm (24–57 in), and in Bethlehem 20–55 cm (7.9–21.7 in). The scene in Manger Square, the square adjacent to the Church of the Nativity was that of a white Christmas with the square fully decorated and covered with a deep coat of snow..The Gaza Strip was lashed by torrential rain for a 3rd day, and its Hamas rulers said that residents had been evacuated from 60 flooded homes since storms hit the coastal territory on December 11..(The west edge of the same anticyclone drew in a warm southwest wind from around the
Azores to Britain)..., your not going to let him leave the house dressed up like a gangster.. You tell her that I love her forever more.. Sure Benny, I'll tell her that your love is highly spiritual...
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