‘the Palestinian way’ – with sweets and song

 Akram Al-Waara MEE 9/03/2020

Nestled between the sloping hills of Beit Jala, the sister town of Bethlehem, is the Angel Hotel – the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in the occupied West Bank city. The hotel is “ground zero” for the city’s outbreak, after seven of its staff members were diagnosed with coronavirus, which they caught after coming into contact with a group of Greek tourists who stayed at the hotel. Since the first seven cases were announced on 5 March, the number of confirmed patients has risen to 20, all of whom are Palestinian residents of Bethlehem …  Of the 20 cases, 16 were being quarantined in the Angel Hotel, along with 15 American tourists who are believed to have come into contact with those carrying the virus according to the PA . . . .  But on the morning the 13-people group was supposed to leave, it was ordered to stay for a 14-day quarantine at the hotel to ensure none of them were infected. The visitors, however, have looked on the bright side. Since the hotel was closed off on Thursday, local Palestinian restaurants and residents have been flooding it with medical supplies, personal hygiene products, and most importantly, food. “Amazing community! These 13 Americans love all of you!” . . .one of many posts on Facebook praising the local community for their hospitality towards those quarantined at the hotel….

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