UK artist Banksy opens politically-charged Bethlehem hotel

Room number three is seen as a highlight, with a sketched image of a Palestinian and an Israeli having a pillow fight adorning the wall. (AP)
Updated 06 March 2017
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UK artist Banksy opens politically-charged Bethlehem hotel

Anonymous British graffiti artist Banksy has opened a hotel in Bethlehem, boasting what he says is the “worst view in the world.”
The guest house, named The Walled Off Hotel, stands next to the Israeli barrier wall and is a tongue-in-cheek jab at the political situation on the ground.
In a released statement, the artist said: “It’s exactly one hundred years since Britain took control of Palestine and started re-arranging the furniture – with chaotic results.
“I don’t know why but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.”
The building is punctuated by various pieces of artwork by the renowned artist, including a statue of a chimpanzee bell-hop standing at the entrance and a wall display of weaponry.
Room number three is seen as a highlight, with a sketched image of a Palestinian and an Israeli having a pillow fight adorning the wall.
Banksy’s official website is quick to boast about the hotel, in a summary that would not seem out of place on a hotel booking platform.
“The hotel boasts floor to ceiling views of graffiti-strewn concrete from almost every room. And for the exhibitionists among you — many are within range of the army watchtower. All scenic rooms are ensuite and equipped with Wi-Fi, fridge, radio, personal safe and air conditioning.”
The hotel-cum-protest offers a bed from $30 a night and even boasts a “palatial suite…equipped with everything a corrupt head of state would need,” according to the official website.
Located on 182 Caritas Street, the hotel opens to guests on March 20.


ThePlace: Fifa Mountains in Jazan

Photo/Colors of Saudi
Updated 15 February 2019
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ThePlace: Fifa Mountains in Jazan

The stunning mountains in Jazan remain one of Saudi Arabia’s most popular tourist attractions. Part of the Sarawat range, the dense forests that cover the jagged rock formations create a green blanket of natural beauty on the backbone of the Arabian Peninsula. The mountains are characterized by their towering peaks, terraces, and coffee and maize fields.