Kaukab Abu al-Hija is an Arab Muslim village in Israel, in the Lower Galilee is located on the rolling hills of the Segev area of Lower Galilee, 425 metres above sea level. The village, with its population of some 2,500 Sunni Moslems, has a panoramic view westwards towards the Mediterranean Sea, south towards Nazareth, east to the Sea of Galilee and north to the mountains of Upper Galilee.
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Sculptures for Peace
The idea of establishing a sculpture garden in Kaukab dedicated to the concept of peace and coexistence, was initiated after the signing of the Oslo agreements in 1993, implementing the ongoing peace process in the Middle East. It was taken at the initiative of the Kaukab local council together with Beit Hagefen, the Arab-Jewish Centre in Haifa, and with the help and backing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Haifa Municipality.
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The sculpture garden extends over two hill tops with other pieces scattered around the village and its entrance. At present there are some 30 works in situ with others planned. The sculptures have been donated by their Israeli (Arab and Jewish) and Palestinian artists.
Shrine of Abu al-Hayja
To the north of the village is the shrine and tomb of Husam ad Din Abu al-Hayja, a two domed structure with a courtyard to the north. Entering the shrine is done into the eastern domed chamber. This is a prayer chamber, and has a mihrab set into the south wall. The grave is often visited by Moslim, Christian and Jewish to pray and seek cures. The shrine is always open with blue ribbons tied at the entrance gate. Visitors pull threads from these ribbons to wrap around their wrists.
In the rectangular courtyard, there are two cenotaphs (an “empty tomb” or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere), one on each side of the door entering the shine. The cenotaph to the west of the door belongs to Ali Badawi Abu al-Hayja, who died in 1183 H (1769 CE), the east of the door carries an inscription dated to 1181 H (1767-1768 CE).