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Ancient Gaza monastery gets second life as children’s library

The Khodr Monastery, which dates back to the Byzantine period, is being restored into a children’s library.
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DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — El-Khodr Shrine, which is also known as the Khodr Monastery and St. Hilarius Monastery, is situated just 200 meters (0.1 mile) south of the Deir al-Balah city center. The director general of antiquities and cultural heritage at the Ministry of Tourism, Jamal Abu Rayda, told Al-Monitor that archaeological studies confirmed that at the bottom of this site is situated the monastery of St. Hilarius, which dates back to the third century and is considered one of the oldest that still exists in Palestine.

The monastery is now being restored by the Iwan Center for Architecture Heritage of the Islamic University and the Riwaq Center for Architectural Conservation and turned into a library for the children of the neighborhood.

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