The Living Stones

2012 - 2014

Amidst the wars and tumult of opinions of the Middle East, there exists a small percentage of often unnoticed Arab Christians. People from around the world come to the Middle East to venerate shrines of the past, all the while ignoring human beings. They come to see holy stones and holy sand. Elias Chacour, three time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Former Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church in Israel once asked, “Did you come for the shrines, or do you want to learn about the living stones?” The Holy Land is full of living stones hidden between the rocks, and thus, often ignored by the world.


I have spent a total of nine months traveling Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon, interviewing, photographing and videoing Arab Christians of differing denominations to better understand how they live their faith as minorities in Islamic and Jewish States. 

 

Be sure to click the links below.

A large crowd gathers for the Thursday night worship service at St Sama'ans Church in the neighborhood of Manshiyat Naser in East Cairo

Men pray at St Sama'ans Church in Manshiyat Naser

The cave cathedral of St Sama'ans Church in Cairo is the largest church in the Middle East, with seating for 15,000 people

Manshiyat Naser, an all Christian neighborhood, is considered a "slum city" where window displays can seem quite out of place

Two children wait on the street while their mothers work to sort through a garbage pile to provide for them

A street view from a coffee shop in Manshiyat Naser, an all Coptic Christian neighborhood

Manshiyat Naser, an entirely Coptic Christian neighborhood, is home to the Zabbaleen, or "garbage people" who collect and recycle trash from around the city of Cairo as a means of living

A young boy sits quietly in the Zeitoun Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, Egypt

A shrine of Pope Shenouda III, the former Pope of the Coptic Church, rests at the entrance of the Zeitoun Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, Egypt

A tapestry at the front of a Coptic Church reads, "who accepts to not cast out" (John 6:37) referring to Jesus accepting all who come unto him

Father Hana Kildani prayers with members of his parish in their home in Marj Al Hamam, outside of Amman, Jordan

Father Hana Kildani, under the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, is the parish priest of the Martyrs of Jordan Church, outside of Amman, Jordan

Two young boys pose on the street in Al Husn, Jordan, a predominantly Christian city

Young boys pose near a fruit and vegetable stand they help run in the city of Al Husn, Jordan

The city of Al Husn has one of the largest Christian communities in Jordan, including Melkites and Orthodox

A store owner in Amman, Jordan

Hazem Madanat prays with his family in their home in Marj Al Hamam, Jordan

Father Hana Kildani prays with the Madanat family from his perish in Marj Al Hamam, Jordan

Sister Lara Shawareb from the Rosary Sisters of Jerusalem poses in The Church of John the Baptist where she serves

An Elderly woman in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem

Sisters from the Orthodox Church walk down the street in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem

A shop keeper closes his shop for the day on David Street in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem

Catholic Christians listen during the Holy Thursday mass at The Church of Saint Catherine in Bethlehem, Palestine

A view of the inside of the dome covering the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, Israel

An aerial view of Theophilos III, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, carrying a cross down the Via Dolorosa on Good Friday in Jerusalem

The Franciscan Custody leads the Palm Sunday procession down the Mount of Olives heading towards the Old City of Jerusalem

The Holy Fire, which miraculously ignites each year inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, is carried all the way to Beit Jala, Palestine in a celebratory procession

Christians celebrate the Miracle of the Holy Fire with a procession in Beit Jala, Palestine

Christians decorate their vehicle to join in on the procession of the Holy Fire in Beit Jala, Palestine

A view of the separation wall from inside Bethlehem, a city with a large Christian presence