Friar Cyrille Jalabert, professor at the Ébaf from 2021 to 2023, is now prior of the convent in Marseille. He returns to Jerusalem for ten days to give a course and contribute to publications.

A Dominican friar from the Province of Toulouse with a doctorate in history and a master’s degree in Assyriology, friar Cyrille is a specialist in the medieval history of the Near East. Even before joining the Order of Preachers, he spent three years in the Holy Land, during which time he discovered Jerusalem and other aspects of the region.

The students were delighted to benefit from his knowledge and his eagerness to share the history of medieval Jerusalem. “My course complements the topography courses, during which the students discover a multitude of sites, from a historical perspective. In particular, we took the time to visit the esplanade and deepen our understanding of the history reflected in the city’s Muslim heritage. Learning to read and understand heritage from a historical perspective is a very exciting challenge that we have taken up with the students. “


Friar Cyrille has also come to Jerusalem to work with the École’s archaeology laboratory. “We are working together to publish archaeological research on Khirbet Samra, a Roman site in Jordan. It’s a long-term project, a team effort. The publication is behind schedule and coming to the site was a good way of getting things moving! It’s a real joy for the historian that is Brother Cyrille to devote his time to this site, which is “a time capsule from several eras that we can date! That’s rare in this region, where sites and eras are intertwined. For example, we can state very precisely that the pottery dates from 150-200 AD. This sheds some interesting light on the dating of a whole series of other sites in the region. A research project that is close to his heart: “I continue to work on it from Marseille, bringing a seasoned reader’s eye to the work.”

An Arab speaker with a strong attachment to the region, friar Cyrille was looking forward to this visit, despite the ongoing war: “I make no secret of the fact that one day I’d like to return to Jerusalem! I’ve forged strong ties during my years in the Holy Land and I’m very attached to the people and culture here. Six months after leaving and four months after the start of the war, nothing has changed, but everything has changed. The atmosphere in the city is not the same, there can be fear and mistrust between people. But it’s good to come to Jerusalem for a few days and move forward”.