Turkey's TIKA brings Gaza water fountain back to life
By Nour Abu Aisha, Wednesday, May 07, 2014
GAZA CITY – The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on Wednesday reopened a newly-renovated Ottoman-era public water fountain (sabil) in the Gaza Strip.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Turkish Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Mustafa Sarnic and Gaza Tourism Minister Ali Etarshawi, as well as TIKA officials.
In March, TIKA agreed to fund the renovation of the Sabil of Sultan Abdul-Hamid to the tune of $40,000. The move came upon the request of Gaza's Tourism and Antiquities Ministry.
Sarnic told Anadolu Agency that the renovation of the 500-year-old Ottoman sabil would help protect it from eventual ruin.
He added that the public fountain would serve the people of Gaza and provide them with potable water, noting that the sabil was meant to serve students in from nearby schools along with passersby.
He said he was happy to be part of the fountain's reopening, going on to laud TIKA-sponsored projects in the Gaza Strip – especially the renovation of Gaza's Ottoman-era antiquities.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sarnic said the renovation of the fountain would also contribute to bolstering relations between the Turkish and Palestinian people.
Tourism Minister Etarshawi, for his part, said the renovation of the sabil would also serve to reinvigorate Gaza's antiquities sector.
Built during the Ottoman era, the Sabil of Sultan Abdul-Hamid contains a large drinking basin used by citizens and passersby at that time.
It was named after Sultan Abdul-Hamid, during whose reign the fountain was first renovated.
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