Whose Jerusalem?

Kanan Makiya

Whatever one does, one always rebuilds a monument in one’s own way. But something has already been gained if we use only the original stones.

Marguerite Yourcenar

The problem that everyone faces in writing about the Dome of the Rock is that so few ‘stones’ remain from the first century of Islam. Why was it built then; what did it mean to the Muslims who built it? We know so little, and so much has been irretrievably lost. Most of what we do know began to be written down a century after the events described. So how can anyone, writer or scholar, go about building their monument, their own account of how the Dome of the Rock was imagined into existence?

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