Old City’s Khalidi Library reopens after nearly a half century

Islamic legal texts are at the core of the collection. Other fields include medicine, history, geography, astronomy, Koranic exegesis, rhetoric, logic, philosophy and poetry.

By GIL STERN STERN ZOHAR
May 5, 2016 11:57
Old City’s Khalidi Library

Old City’s Khalidi Library. (photo credit: KHALIDI LIBRARY)

 
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Nearly 49 years after the Khalidi Library in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City closed its doors during the Six Day War, the renowned private collection of Islamic manuscripts has been restored and reopened to the public.

The library is located on Tariq Bab as-Silsilah (Street of the Chain) in a two-story Mameluke-era building around the corner from the Western Wall. Its contents comprise 1,900 manuscripts – 18 in Farsi, 36 in Turkish, and the rest in Arabic – as well as more than 5,000 printed volumes, mostly on subjects in the realm of Islamic theology, law and philosophy. It also archives countless documents and letters, including the papers of Yousef Khalidi, who served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1899 to 1907.

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