Agricultural Villages Near Bethlehem
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Al-Khader

A short distance from Beit Jala lies the town of Al-Khader, a small town of 9,543 inhabitants surrounded by vineyards, fig and olive tree orchards. It can be reached via Beit Jala or via the Bethlehem-Hebron Road, where a distinctive stone gate marks the entrance to the village. The village is home to the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George, or Al Khader, a very popular Palestinian saint, revered by Christians and Muslims alike, and part of an enormous body of legend and lore. Throngs of people come to pay homage to him on the Feast of St. George on May 5 and 6 of each year. The village is also full on the occasion of the Grape Festival. There are many ruins or Khirab around al Khader.  A building in the old core is being renovated for use as a community center by the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation, which has also constructed a football stadium in the village in a departure from its more traditional work.

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