In the very heart of the old city of Nazareth, between its market and the Church of the Annunciation, we find a beautiful piece of history. It’s here, that one of the wealthiest men in Nazareth, Habib Azar, built his home around 200 years ago.
Three ceilings in the house are adorned with sky-blue mural paintings, decorated with flowers and angels carrying green wheat. As a symbol of heavenly grace and abundance, they are all original and well preserved. The decorative door lintels made from cedar wood have also aged well.
In the birth of such a grand building, the Lebanese artist, Saliba, was the one invited here to draw the paintings. Each evening Saliba received one golden sterling and a bottle of wine in exchange for his work.
Today, the house is being kept by the founder’s great-granddaughter.
[Suraida Shomar Naser, Azar’s great-granddaughter]: (Female, English)
"The house was built two hundred years ago, in the year 1830. It was built by Habib Azar, the great-great grandfather of Fauzi Azar. We have three painted ceilings, which is a very important thing.”
The high windows allow daylight into the room, which reflects onto the ceiling. The murals seem magnificent and festive. The chandeliers are also well looked after.
[Suraida Shomar Naser, Azar’s great-granddaughter:] (Female, English)
"In every painted ceiling we see, where they hang the chandelier there are some pieces of mirrors, if you notice. Because in those days they didn't have electricity so they had to lighten the chandelier with candles and the mirrors had to reflect the light of the candles, so that gave them more light".
Although situated in a noisy part of the city, upon entering the house, one feels the warmth and tranquillity that prevails inside. In Nazareth there are still many houses and beautiful corners preserved until today. Here we bring you just one of these old treasures.
Lee Rom, NTD News, Israel