One way to get ready to greet Jesus is to become familiar with his birthplace, Palestine. Yesterday my husband and I visited The Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington, DC. It’s quite new and has just a few exhibits about the land of Palestine. It’s only open for limited hours, though the staff will give personalized tours.
If you’re familiar with my writing, you may know that my first book, Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land, was about a transformative pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine. To me it was impossible to be a pilgrim to that land without becoming involved in its complicated history, and to allow my heart to break for the Palestinian people, who’ve been forced into refugee status for generations. (Here’s one story.)
Here’s what the museum looks like from the outside, and a few exhibits that struck me.
Visiting this museum during December may seem like an odd time, since we tend to be so busy, but it struck me as a perfect time. Next weekend is the annual Bethlehem Simulcast Service at the National Cathedral, a service we try to attend each year. I would love to see you there!
A good portion of the museum showcases the work of contemporary artists. Here are two pieces that struck me as especially beautiful and full of hope.
If you visit the museum, I suggest you also stop at the nearby Middle East Books. When we were there they had a lovely open house laid out, with sweets and dates, along with hummus and pita bread. We bought some olive oil, olive oil soap, and a packet of za’atar. There were many books, and a comfortable spot to sit and read. I was also tempted by some artwork for sale.
Wishing you Advent blessings of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!