Initiating the Museum


In October 1977, the Arab Women’s Union (AWU) bought the land which is located atthe northern entrance of Bethlehem near The Intercontinental Hotel Jaser Palace.

In 1980, when the AWU started excavating the foundations, they discovered a historical archeological Roman aqueduct that was built by the Roman Leader Pontius Pilate (the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, from AD 26–36), used to transfer water from the hills of  the “Al Aroub” water spring near Hebron to Jerusalem. It took the AWU almost 30 years to finish the building (1980 -2010) which is now considered to be one of the most important archeological sites in the area.

The main concept of the building was to create a museum where visitors and tourists would gain a greater awareness, understanding and education about the history, culture, heritage and faith of Palestine, and Bethlehem in particular. In 2012, the AWU signed a long term strategic agreement and partnered with HCEF to make their dream a reality.

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As part of its strategy, HCEF seeks to partner with other organizations to increase and strengthen its outreach and effectiveness.  Additionally, HCEF endeavors to create partnerships and programs for the empowerment of women. Thus, the partnership with the AWU is a natural fit.

Subsequent to its partnership with HCEF, and after 30 years in the making, the AWU will fulfill and achieve its goal of developing a Museum, as well as guarantee the sustainability and the proper management for such a vital, historical and important project.