Bethlehem’s Inns Are Empty This Christmas
|December 2, 2020 06:00 AM
The coronavirus has cast a pall over Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem, all but shutting down the biblical town revered as Jesus’ birthplace at the height of the normally cheery holiday season.
Missing are the thousands of international pilgrims who normally descend upon the town. Restaurants, hotels, and souvenir shops are closed. The renowned Christmas tree lighting service will be limited to a small group of authorized people, as will church services on Christmas Eve.
“Bethlehem is dead,” said Maryana al-Arja, owner of the 120-room Angel Hotel on the outskirts of Bethlehem.
The hotel was the site of the West Bank’s first coronavirus outbreak—when a group of Greek tourists came down with the virus last March.
She kept her 25 workers on staff for several..Read more