From an early age, Ibrahim Banelian, an Armenian man from the Old City of Jerusalem, has been collecting photographs that tell the history of the city through the centuries. He shares the rare images he possesses through his facebook page called 'Apo documentaries', to which he dedicates his time and energy.
"An old Arabic proverb says" Whoever neglects his past ...is lost".
The art of photography, here in the city, dates back to the middle of the 18th century. It was the Armenians who introduced it ... the first school was opened by an Armenian religious in 1850."
Through this passion, Banelian managed to find and catalog rare photographs of the city of Jerusalem in his own personal archive. He chose to share these unique pictures with everyone.
"I post my photographs on my facebook page using a well-defined criteria: all the images have the same frame, they have my 'Apo documentaries' logo and they all have a watermark: I do this to protect my work.”
From the British to the Ottoman mandate, in addition to the most recent visit of Paul VI to Jerusalem and to the daily lives of the inhabitants of the old city: each photo narrates a particular moment or event. And thanks to the many testimonies of seniors and photographers, Banelian is also able to decribe the events that took place in the holy city.
"This is Artin Banelian: he is my grandfather's father. I found this photo by accident: it tells us of the suffering of the Armenian people following the genocide. Here, on the other hand, we have a photo of a few members of the Catholic Scout group as they go to the Damascus Gate through the souk (the bazaar)to welcome His Holiness Pope Paul VI in 1964, during his historic visit to the Holy Land."