27 October, 2020

Showpiece Hospice

Showpiece Hospice
For an Indian visiting Jerusalem, a visit to the Indian hospice in the Old City would be a much-needed lesson in history. A Wakf property in the name of India, with Sheikh Mohammad Munir Ansari as the trustee, the hospice tops 7,000 square metres in area and is slowly being ringed by Jewish settlers trying to change the demographics of the Old City. In 1921, the Grand Mufti of Palestine came on a trip to India to raise finances for the revered Al Aqsa mosque. On his agenda, also, was to find a replacement for the Indian sheikh heading the hospice who had passed away in the Old City. The Grand Mufti was on good terms with the Shaukat brothers of the Khilafat movement and they recommended Ansari's father from Saharanpur. As a result, he landed up in the Old City in 1922. Between 1945-47, the hospice served as a leave camp for the Indian soldiers in the 4th Indian division under Field Marshal Montgomery. From 1952, it served as a boarding place for Indian pilgrims on tour to the holy land after Haj...


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