GALILEE and JERUSALEM REGIONS OF ISRAEL—The Azraq family roots dig deep into the soil of Old City Jerusalem.Read the rest of the story here
“Our house is about 300 years old,” says Anton “Tony” Azraq, 39, a Melkite Catholic who has lived in Old City Jerusalem his whole life. “It’s built on top of a previous structure that goes back to the 12th century, to the Crusader time.”
His family name, which means “blue” in Arabic, goes back much further, to the seventh century when Muslims invaded the Holy Land and made Christians wear blue belts for easy identification.
But such deep Christian roots are at the risk of being severed in the Holy Land. Wars, laws, a poor economy and the high cost of living are driving Christians from the land where Christ began the Church.
This story looks at life in the Holy Land through the eyes of two Catholic Christians—Azraq, who served as tour guide for the archdiocesan pilgrimage, and Alfred Ra’ad, a shop owner in Old City Jerusalem.
Related: Tour guide gives pilgrims cultural, historical and archaeological insight on Scripture