The Arab village of Abu Gosh is said to be the biblical site of Kiryat Yearim, where the Ark of the Covenant rested for 20 years, out of the reach of the Israelites (1 Samuel 7:2). In modern times, Abu Gosh is better known as the national capital of hummus, that lemony chickpea spread ubiquitous around the Middle East. Jerusalem’s secular Jews flock to Abu Gosh on weekends to escape the religious Sabbath with hummus and water pipes. But it’s not all escapism: Abu Gosh retains a spiritual quality, with Crusader-era churches and a recently built mega-mosque bankrolled by the Islamic Republic of Chechnya. These religious buildings provide an evocative background for the village’s annual summer music festival.
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