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Showcasing the things that make Palestine a unique and inspiring destination

Watch the crowds go by at Al-Manara Square

Updated: Dec 30, 2018

Al-Manara Square is considered the centre of the city, and it is worth spending some time observing the crowds (and cars) navigating this busy roundabout. There are a number of cafe's on the first floors of the surrounding buildings, which make an excellent place to enjoy a juice or snack and watch the world go by.

A bit of history of Al-Manara square, courtesy of Riwaq's detailed historic guide:

Al-Manara is known as Ramallah and el-Bireh’s central plaza and commercial district, and is known as a space for political demonstrations (El-Bireh and Ramallah are two different municipalities, however they are both usually considered to be part of the city of Ramallah).

Before 1902, the road connecting Ramallah and El-Bireh was a 1.5km dirt road used by shepherds. However in 1902, the Ottoman governor of Jerusalem made Ramallah the administrative centre of the neighboring villages, after which Ramallah was transformed... it was designated a city in 1908.

Al-Manara means "the light post", to symbolise when Ramallah was connected to the electricity grid and the switchboard was placed by the square in 1935. The lions seens around the square today are a replica of the first set of sculptures placed there in 1951, to represent the five original Ramallah families (three were added in the 2000 recreation of the sculptures). You can also still spot the lightswitch pole.

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