Coronavirus impact in Jericho, the world’s oldest city

Posted on Jun 12, 2020

The tourism sector in the Holy Land is completely paralyzed due to the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus in recent months. Like the other Palestinian localities that live thanks to this sector, the city of Jericho has been greatly affected by the effects of the pandemic, because internal and external tourism is the backbone of its economy.

JAMES ABED RABBO
Travel guide – Jericho

“Since total closure was imposed in all cities, Jericho has also been severely affected. No one has visited it for months. Most of the people’s income in the city is related to tourism but hotels, tour guides, transport, travel agencies have stopped. Even pilgrims are afraid to come here, and in general to visit the Holy Land.”

BASEM ABED RABBO
Jericho

“Initially this new experience was accompanied by a feeling of fear and anxiety, tension and fear of the uncertain. Everyone was afraid for their health, for the risk of getting infected and getting sick. Everyone wondered whether after the emergency there would still be work or not, and for how long.
But those who believe reach a point where they say: that’s enough! We have to get out of the shell of fear and tension that everyone experienced during the pandemic.”

In Jericho, the oldest city in the world, live 500 Christians: during the lockdown everyone opened the doors of their houses to the priests and nuns of the city, and prayed with them.
Br Mario Hadchiti, Latin parish priest of Jericho, says that among the faithful he found a great desire to approach the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Br MARIO HADCHITI, ofm
Priest of Jericho

“During this time we went to visit the parishioners in their homes. The whole family, including children and grandchildren, gathered to pray. We joined in the prayer of His Holiness Pope Francis, and His blessing accompanied us. We turned to our Mother, the Virgin Mary. The visits were wonderful and full of spiritual fruits, and the faithful were able to approach the sacraments.”

BASEM ABED RABBO
Jericho

“Undoubtedly this experience has greatly strengthened the faith within the family: we have prayed together every day, asking Almighty God for an end to the epidemic, for health, and for life to return to normal.”

An experience of hope that lived in the parish of Jericho: prayer has fought fear, at a time when man throughout the world has not yet found a way to defeat the Coronavirus.