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The road to Bethlehem



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Aleem Maqbool will be repeating on foot the journey made by Mary and Joseph according to Luke the evangelist, about 2,000 years ago.

Aleem's journey, due to end on Christmas Eve, could turn out to be just as hard as that made by his predecessors, but in different ways.

Here are some of the places he and his donkeys are expected to pass through.

Nazareth: The town, according to Luke, where Mary and Joseph lived and where the Angel Gabriel appeared. The other gospels note that Jesus was brought up here.

Jenin: Known in the Bible as En-Gannim, a large refugee camp lies adjacent to the town.

Nablus: Founded by the Romans near the Biblical town of Shechem, where some say Prophet Joseph's tomb is located. It is a city with a recent history of militancy and is now surrounded by Israeli checkpoints.

Salfit: A Palestinian town near the large Jewish settlement of Ariel.

Al-Bireh: Mary and Joseph are said to have lost Jesus here, on a later trip.

Beit Sahour: The place where, according to tradition, the Heavenly Host appeared to the shepherds.

Bethlehem: Aleem's journey ends in Manger Square. The Church of the Nativity, located on the square, is believed by Christians to have been built on the site of the manger where Jesus was lain in the Christmas story.



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