16th October Media Group visited several cultural sites on June 6, 2023, during a history tour of Gaza.
Team members were astonished that their homeland has such rich and important architectural buildings. They had never seen them before in any media.
The team visited 3 archaeological sites in the Strip: Maqam Al-Khidr, the Saint Hilarion Monastery in Al Nosairat Refugee camp; the Byzantine church in Jabaliya; and AlBasha palace. Al-Khidr’s shrine in Deir AlBalah is still considered a sacred place where worship is performed.
Mohammed Abeduljawad, from the Ministry of Tourism, said Al-Khidr was like a mosque with a mihrab. Moreover, there is a grave inside the shrine, laying west to the east, which is believed to be the tomb of a Greek bishop. The Greek language is written on the tombstone, which includes a religious cross.
They also visited the Church of St. Permerius/Monastery of St. Hilarion, the first and most important archaeological monastery in Palestine. St. Hilarion is located on a high hill of sand 15 km southwest of Gaza City and 3 km west of Nuseirat.
It is about 500 meters from the Mediterranean coast and rises 22 meters above sea level. The site, location, and building correspond to the description of the famous monastery of St. Hilarion in ancient texts. The Monastery of St. Hilarion is also famous in the sense that archaeological excavations have shown it to be among the “largest monasteries” in Palestine, in terms of area and design.
These archaeological sites are like a mirror that reflects the light of our ancient Palestinian history.
Team members were so pleased and encouraged to experience some of the history of their ancestors and confirmed that they will continue documenting that history to the world.
They wish to show all the important characteristics of the Gaza Strip, other than just the recent blockades, aggression, destruction, and plights.