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Notes on the Geography of The West Bank: Jifna and Jiljilya: Photo 11

world pictures The West Bank: Jifna and Jiljilya

A few miles north of Jifna is the village of Sinjil, its name a corruption of St. Gilles, the hometown of a French crusader. To its west, there is another village known to some local architects as Chicago. Its real name if Jiljilya. Few if any West Bank villages can compete with Jiljilya when it comes to new villas. Many stand empty most of the year, while owners continue working abroad. The houses aren't useless, though: they're a pledge from the owners to themselves that they haven't forgotten where they came from--haven't had their roots extirpated by 30 years of military occupation. Precious few Israeli homes are built on a comparable scale.

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