Unis Middle School
I am very fortunate to come from the oldest Arab family in Jerusalem. Because of this special place in history, for centuries my family has had the honor of holding the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The church is a special place because it is a very holy for many Christian sects, including Catholics, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They share the building, and my Muslim family has the neutral job of keeping the church safe. I strongly believe that my family’s role at the church makes the relations between the religious sects stronger.
Every morning at 4 a.m., my dad’s uncle, Wajeeh Nuseibeh, grabs the ancient 12-inch iron key and a small ladder and opens the large wooden doors to the Holy Sepulchre Church, where Chrisitans believe Jesus was buried.
Nuseibeh was 15 the first time he opened the church. The Nuseibeh family arrived in Jerusalem in the 7th century, and has held the key since then. The mosque of Omar was built next to the Holy Sepulchre where Wajeeh goes and prays when he’s at work. Our ancestors opened the door to the place where many Christians believe Jesus was buried, and also crucified. “It goes from father to son, from one generation to another,” Nuseibeh says of his job.
I visited the church a couple years ago and got the oppurtunity to see all this history that’s affected my family and made us special, in a way. The experience made me realize that I’m very lucky to have such a history of neutrality and honor in my life.