The president of Al Quds University, Dr. Imad Abu Kishek, received the Golden Jubilee Medal during a visit on Monday to the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, in appreciation for his work and for Al Quds University, upon the university’s unearthing of the remains of three Greek Orthodox Church saints, dating back to the 8th century AD. The remains were found in an ancient grave during research and excavation activities at Khirbet Al Tirreh in the district of Ramallah. Dr. Salah Al-Houdalieh, the archaeological project manager at Al Quds university was also granted the golden jubilee.
The Patriarch Theophilos III, “Patriarch of Jerusalem and all of Palestine”, presented the golden jubilee to the university, in appreciation of the efforts that the university has exerted, and for its efforts to strengthen and concretize Muslim-Christian relations, and for organizing the joint work to build upon what the university has unearthed in the ancient grave in Khirbet al-Tira.
The Patriarch also thanked Al-Quds University, and the university’s Higher Institute of Archaeology, for the efforts witnessed in achieving and completing this major project at a historically, archaeologically and religiously important site, highlighting the cultural and historical heritage of Palestine.
The president of Al-Quds University said “The university is conveying an important humanitarian message, and supports the Islamic/Christian brotherhood, adding that “Al-Quds University has established the Abu Jihad Museum for the prisoners movement a few years ago, considered one of a kind in all the world, and that the university has placed at the door of the museum a path resembling the Via Dolorosa, as an embodiment of the world’s first captive, our prophet Jesus Christ,” inviting the Patriarch to visit Al-Quds University.
Abu Kishek affirmed that “the university is proud of this great historical discovery” ensuring that Al-Quds university is working extensively to renovate the place to restore it to its original form, until it becomes a religious, cultural, and touristic shrine for all visitors in Palestine.
Dr. Salah Al-Houdalieh said that the university has invested all of its scientific, human and financial capabilities for the success of the Khirbet al-Tira archaeological project, until the site is ready to receive tourists and pilgrims.
Al-Houdalieh also mentioned that this ideal project aims to reveal the ambiance of the history of the Holy Land, and to restart palestinian storytelling and the enlightenment of the Palestinian audience about the value and importance of Palestinian heritage to Palestinian identity and existence, and the employment of archaeological sites for the development of local economy, hoping for joint cooperation to preserve the historical and archaeological heritage.
Al-Quds university has recently presented the remains of three saints to the Greek Orthodox church, which date back to the 8th century AD, at the site of the church in Ramallah. The university discovered them in an ancient grave during research and excavation activities in Khirbet al-Tirreh in the district of Ramallah. The site, or khirbet “ghilma”, is considered one of the most prominent and important archaeological, historical and religious sites in Palestine. The site was discovered through the Higher Institute of Archaeology at Al-Quds University of Jerusalem and contains inscriptions indicating that Jesus visited the site and built a palace and church.