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Palestinians walk next to decorations at the entrance to the compound of The Dome of the Rock ahead of the upcoming holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalems Old City, June 11, 2015.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Giant Ramadan lantern lights up Jerusalem
By REUTERS
06/04/2017
The switch on of the lantern is part of a number of cultural events and activities taking part in East Jerusalem during Ramadan.
To the beating of drums Palestinians gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem for the illumination of a giant Ramadan lantern.

The lantern, a traditional Ramadan decoration, is 10 meters tall making it the biggest in the city.

Osama Abu Arafeh is one of the organizers behind the event and said its aim is to bring people together in celebration of the holy month.

"This activity is mostly a cultural one to assert the Palestinian identity in Jerusalem city. We all know that the lantern is one of Ramadan's symbols and we wanted it to revive such traditions, so we decided to bring lanterns and gather the youth and the children so we would revive this culture,'' he said.

Families gathered to take selfies by the lantern, and soak up the celebratory atmosphere.

"First of all, we want to teach the children what exactly is the holy month of Ramadan, and secondly to teach them that the lantern is a symbol of Ramadan, the holy month. In addition, these children would have some space to play because they do not have this with the occupation that suffocates them, such activates by Jerusalem institutions would give them a space to breathe,'' said Old City resident, Naser Quos.

The switch on of the lantern is part of a number of cultural events and activities taking part in East Jerusalem during Ramadan.

The lantern, which took two weeks to build was constructed by a number of charity organizations with the assistance of volunteers as well as funding from the UN Development Program.
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