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In Focus: The West Bank

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From Here to Heaven
Photograph by Annie Griffiths Belt

A roof of radiant gold crowns Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock, a beacon of faith for Muslims since its construction in A.D. 691. The mosque was built by the Umayyad caliph, Abd el-Malik, to mark the holy “rock of foundation,” where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to heaven. This same rock is holy to Jews, who believe it is here Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. In 1994 King Hussein of Jordan helped finance a 6.5 million dollar renovation project that electroplated 200 pounds (91 kilograms) of gold onto the surface of the dome.

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