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Celebrating Moses (1)


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ca. 1930s
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Al-Nabi Musa ("the Prophet Moses") was the name given to one of the most important annual religious festivals celebrated by Palestinian Muslims; it entailed a procession on foot or on horseback from Jerusalem to the traditional burial site of Moses, near Jericho (see 28-29, 38, 180, 183). Vast crowds from different parts of Palestine gathered for the occasion. These photographs show Jaffa Gate (207) and St. Stephen's Gate (208), in Jerusalem, during the festival. The mufti of Jerusalem (seen mounted in 208) led the procession. The custom of celebrating this festival went back to the thirteenth century. Al-Nabi Musa is an excellent example of how deeply imbued Muslim Palestinians were with the Jewish heritage.