A study and research centre for emigrants from Bethlehem

Posted on Feb 15, 2019

A cultural rebirth for Star Street – one of the oldest streets in Bethlehem, UNESCO World Heritage since 2012: from the reconstruction and rehabilitation of several buildings, thanks to the Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage and the Municipality of Bethlehem, to the opening of the Centre for Studies and Research for Emigrants Dar Al-Sabbagh, considered one of the most important historical buildings in the city.

GEORGE ALAMA Researcher: “The Housh Al-Sabbagh is considered one of the most important buildings. Built in the mid-19th century, it was one of the first buildings built on the “Royal Road” during the Ottoman reform period. It was at this time that the inhabitants of Bethlehem were allowed to own land and build houses on the main roads, just like the “Royal Road”, known today as Star Street.”

George Alama, researcher, kept in touch with the family at Sabbagh in order to restore their property, to turn it into a research center. An idea born from the need to build bridges with the inhabitants of Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala who emigrated abroad, to help them keep a connection with their roots.

GEORGE ALAMA Researcher: “The Sabbagh family is one of the most important descendants of the Huraizat family, whose existence ended in Bethlehem in the late 1930s due to emigration, particularly to Latin America. Today, the Sabbagh family is one of the most numerous, especially in Chile. We were able to convince Mr. Alberto Qassis Sabbagh to take back a third or a part of the building, which once belonged to his mother, to give it to us and thus inaugurate a research center for expatriate inhabitant of Bethlehem”.

The Study and Research Centre for Emigrants in Bethlehem has set itself an important goal. It wants to reunite the Palestinian emigrants with their land, raising awareness for the future generations.