Beer Sheva: Old and New City

So much in Jerusalem, Israel, is old and new.

We used to joke that a good friend is defined as

someone who leaves Jerusalem to visit you in Beer Sheva.

With family in Beer Sheva, over the years,

we have visited the desert city many times.

ANZAC cemetery Beer Sheva

I used to say the only place that was green was this cemetery.

The Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery,

or the ANZAC cemetery, as most of the British soldiers

buried here were Australian and New Zealanders,

who fell in the World War I battles against the Turks,

ending the domination of the Ottoman Empire.

But things are changing, 

Carasson Science Park in Beer Sheva

Carasso Science Park opened in 2013,

and is the largest science park in Israel.

Park in Beer sheva

Remembering the British,

monument to Allenby in Beer Sheva

is Allenby Garden.

The park was established in early 1900s by the Turks,

After WWI, it became a memorial to General Edmund Allenby,

was destroyed during the Arab uprising in 1929,

and was finally rebuilt in 2014.

Allenby park and trail

One day when it is not so hot,

ANZAC trail Beer Sheva

it would be interesting to follow the ANZAC trail.

Art Museum in Beersheba

Across the road is the Negev Museum of Art,

the main art museum in southern Israel,

housed in what was the 20th century Governor’s house.

The current exhibit is called,

“Pulp and Fiction”

where all pieces are made out of paper.

Pulp and Fiction Lost Forest by Jan Fairbairn-Edwards from  France

“Lost Forest” by Jan Fairbairn-Edwards of France

The Burmese Story by Naamoa Aaronson

and “The Burmese Story” by Naama Aaronson of Israel

are just two of the works.

Who knew that paper art was started 35 years ago

at the Beer Sheva Station of the old Turkish railway?

large mosque in Beer Sheva

More of the old city and new

in the same area is the one mosque,

seal on mosque

built by the Turks.

It went unused as a mosque for decades,

and was the city’s Archaeological Museum.

Since 2011, it has been home to the

Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures.

stone in courtyard of Beer Sheva mosque

Ancient stones with Thuluth, Arabic and Kufic script

are in the courtyard.

Inside the restored mosque,

paryer rugs on display in Beer sheva mosque

is the current exhibit of old prayer rugs,

special lamps with Arabic writing

with new glass lamps decorated in Arabic hanging above them.

Turkish flag in Beer Sheva

A Turkish flag flies at the Train Yard Compound

which was restored and opened in 2014.

Bedouin man

Bedouins are still around.

Beer Sheva old and new

Going into and out of Beer Sheva

one can see the old and new,

with the new train track over the old Turkish one.

But it is at Be’er Avraham,

Abraham’s Well,

Abraham's well in Beer Sheva

located near the Beer Sheva River,

that one can really appreciate the old and new.

An international visitor center,

showcasing the life of Avraham Avinu,

in a 3D presentation, opened in 2013.

In old days, to get to Beer Sheva,

it seemed it took as long as a camel trip,

standing on those Egged buses

on hot Friday afternoons.

With the new modern highways going to Beer Sheva,

 it is not like it used to be,

 see the Old City and new neighborhoods.

but we will have to find another way to define good friends.

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