Talbiya

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This article is about a Jerusalem neighborhood. For the Muslim prayer, see Talbiyah.
View of Talbiya from the Old City of Jerusalem

Talbiya or Talbiyeh (Hebrew: טַ‏‏לְבִּיֶ‏‏‏ה, Arabic: الطالبية‎), officially Komemiyut, is an upscale neighborhood in Jerusalem, located between Rehavia and Katamon. It was built in the 1920s and 1930s on land purchased from the Greek Patriarchate. Most of the early residents were affluent Christian Arabs who built elegant homes with Renaissance, Moorish and Arab architectural motifs, surrounded by trees and flowering gardens.[1]

History[edit]

Villa Salameh in Talbiya

After World War I, Constantine Salameh, a native of Beirut, bought land in Talbiya from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate with the idea of building a prestigious neighborhood for Christian Arabs. In addition to a villa for himself, Salameh built two apartment houses on the square that was named for him.[2] After the 1948 Palestine war many Arab residents of Talbiya lost the right to their properties due to Israel's Absentee Property Law. After a long legal process, Salameh was paid a symbolic $700,000 in compensation for his multi-million dollar properties located in Israel because he had proved that he had not left the Palestine Mandate due to the conflict, rather he was on a business trip during the outbreak of hostilities.[2] Talbiya's Gan Hashoshanim (Rose Garden) dates back to the 1930s. After the establishment of the State of Israel, official Independence Day events were held at this park.

Hansen Lepers Hospital, Talbiya

Before the Six-Day War, many of the villas in Talbiya housed foreign consulates. The home of Constantine Salameh, which he leased to the Belgian consulate, faces a flowering square, originally Salameh Square, later renamed Wingate Square to commemorate Orde Wingate, a British officer who trained members of the Haganah in the 1930s. Marcus Street is named for Colonel David (Mickey) Marcus, an officer in the U.S. army who volunteered to be a military advisor in Israel’s War of Independence.[1]

Today[edit]

The neighborhood's Hebrew name Komemiyut, (קוממיות) introduced after the establishment of the state, never caught on, and it is still known as Talbiya.[3] Some of Jerusalem's important cultural institutions are located in Talbiya, among them the Jerusalem Theater, the Van Leer Institute and Beit HaNassi, the official residence of the President of Israel.

Notable residents[edit]

Coordinates: 31°46′N 35°13′E / 31.767°N 35.217°E / 31.767; 35.217

References[edit]