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Bab a-Zahara

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Bab a-Zahara

Salah a-Din Street in Bab a-Zahara

Bab a-Zahara Arabic: باب الساهرة‎ is an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem, north of the Old City. It is bordered by the American Colony to the north, Wadi al-Joz to the east, Herod's Gate and Damascus Gate on its south, and Mas'udiyyah, Mea Shearim to the west. Herod's Gate, which is called Bab a-Zahara (Gate of Flowers) in Arabic, lent its name to this neighborhood.[1]

The neighborhood was founded at the end of the 19th century along the road to Nablus and near the Garden of the Tomb (Hebrew: Gan HaKever), and was one of the first Arab neighborhoods built outside the Old City walls.[2] During the British Mandate in Palestine, and especially after the partition of Jerusalem in 1948, the neighborhood became a commercial center of East Jerusalem.

The main thoroughfares of the neighborhood, Nablus Road, Salah ad-Din Street (pictured at right), A-Zahara Street and surrounding streets are major commercial centers. Branches of the main banks and restaurants have offices there. The commercial areas forms a continuity through Damascus Gate with the open market in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. In the eastern part of the neighborhood resides Rockefeller Museum of Archaeology, which was opened in 1937. Also on Salah a-Din Road are located the district court, the judiciary office, and the legal counsel for the government. Another famous building in this neighborhood is the Orient House.[2]


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