A new ceramic tile renovation project in Jerusalem will have the potential to transform a corner of a building into a place of religious worship and reflection.
The project, which is being led by the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Antiquities Authority, is expected to open this week.
The project, called “Cholamat,” was announced in June at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
The tiles will be installed over a period of about eight weeks in three different locations, with the goal of creating a space for prayer, worship and contemplation, the project said.
The initiative is being promoted by a partnership between the Israeli Municipality, the Israel Institute for Religious Affairs (IIRA) and the Jerusalem Center for the Promotion of Religious Tolerance, which was created to support the project.
The IIRA, a nonprofit organization based in Jerusalem, has helped build mosques in the city for the past 20 years.
Its co-founder and president, Rafi Sheshon, said that he hopes the project will draw people to Jerusalem and help them realize that “the city of Jerusalem is one of the most important places in the world.”
“I think the idea of building a mosque in Jerusalem is very important, but also I think it’s very important for the world to recognize that we are not alone,” he told The Jerusalem Report.
“This project, together with the other initiatives, can open the door to a new era of tolerance in the country.”
The project is being undertaken by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israeli Antiquities Ministry, the IIRAs Jerusalem Center of Religious and Cultural Tolerance and the Israeli Museum of the Bible.
It was approved by the Municipality’s Planning and Development Committee in June, with a recommendation to open the project to public participation.
The plan called for the installation of the tiles in a plaza, on the first floor of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and at the entrance of the mosque.
The plaza would be filled with ceramic tiles, with sections of each tile reflecting light from the surrounding area.
The building’s facade, also known as a cholamah, will reflect light from all parts of the building.
The building will be located near the Haram al-Sharif, which houses the Dome of the Rock, the holiest site in Islam.
The mosaic tiles will cover the roof of the structure and will also be installed in front of the Dome, said IIRI executive director Ilan Khatib.
The Dome, in addition to being the holiest place in Islam, is the site of the Jewish Temple.
The tile tiles will have an important role in the religious life of Jerusalem.
They will be placed in front and in between the doors of the two holy sites, Khatir said.
In the Old City, the Dome is a sacred place.
At night, a large mosaic of the Kaaba, the holy place where Jesus is believed to have been born, will be illuminated by the sun.
In the daytime, people can see and hear the sounds of the muezzin, the prayer of the faithful.
The muezza is also the seat of the Muslim faithful.
During the day, Muslims pray in a small room on the roof.
“This is the place where we will pray,” said Khatiib.
“We want to create a space that will reflect the religious and spiritual dimension of the area.”
The construction is expected in phases, with phases starting next month.
The initial phase will include about 20 tiles in total, with more tiles being added every month, according to the project’s official website.
The tile project is expected not only to provide a space to observe the rituals of the Holy Week, but to also reflect the spiritual dimensions of the city.
In addition to the mosaic tiles, the building will feature a mosaic of three stone tablets, each containing a verse from the Quran.
The first tablet reads, “The sun will never rise till the last stone.”
The second reads, “‘In the month of Rabi’ (Prayer of Peace) the sun will not rise until the last leaf of the tree.”
The third, which reads, “[The Holy One] is my Lord and my strength and my refuge and my help.”
The text was added by IIR and the Hebrews, according the project website.
“The building is the first in the region to be fully restored in the past decade.
The entire building, including the roof and the exterior walls, will undergo a complete restoration,” said IRI executive director Lior Hauser.