Correspondent in Jerusalem.
A contract, currently shrouded in mystery, is causing deep concern in Jerusalem's small Armenian community. It is a 99-year lease that would entrust a discreet Australian entrepreneur named Daniel Rubenstein with the construction and operation of a luxury hotel inside the old town, opposite the convent of St. James, in the heart of the Armenian quarter.
The Armenian Christian community, whose presence dates back to the fourth century, sees this as a threat. And the younger generation has decided not to let this happen. On this Friday evening, two of the leaders of this new guard are busy around a microphone, in the courtyard of the convent of Saint-Jacques. They are preparing a demonstration to ask their patriarch, Nourhan Manougian, to unveil the contract. Its windows overlook the courtyard, but it has remained invisible since the affair broke.
He would have, as well as a priest in charge of property management, signed the...
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