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Postcard From Bethlehem

A California town recreates the blocks-long Bethlehem, complete with a night market, and other news

In Bethlehem:

  • Three Christian churches have leaky roofs but no money to pay for the $10 million repairs.
  • A Bethlehem native brings Middle Eastern soul food to Toronto, thanks to recipes handed down from his grandparents.
  • Coptic Christians make a pilgrimage.
  • Israel plans to extend its wall through the city further into Palestinian territory, making it even more difficult for the city's Arabs to survive. Here's one man's account of the impact: "Mitri Michel Ghneim, painter and taxi driver, has had an unusual life. War has twice dispossessed him. His honeymoon lasted 12 years. And he has a highway in his garden. Mr Ghneim was once very proud of his garden on the outskirts of Beit Jala, a Christian town in the Palestinian governorate of Bethlehem. “It was a paradise, full of trees and birds,” he says. The birds and trees are long gone, replaced by the roar of traffic after Israel built Route 60, the main Jewish settler road in the West Bank, through his land."
  • And a California town tries to recreate the city's feel thousands of miles awey.

Photo courtesy of Reuters. Submit your pictures to

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.