Wednesday, September 18th | 18 Elul 5779

March 15, 2019 8:38 am

Syrian Flag Flies Over Jerusalem in Support of Expected Marathon Runner

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Thousands of runners take part in the 2018 Jerusalem Marathon on March 9, 2018. Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash90. – Jerusalemites were little surprised on Wednesday when a Syrian flag was found flying across from the national legislature’s Knesset, but they soon discovered that it was erected by the Jerusalem municipality in support of a Syrian runner who is scheduled to participate in the annual Jerusalem Marathon on Friday.

Professional runner Hassan Shishakly registered for the event, but reportedly has not yet collected his racing kit and number, raising doubts that he will actually arrive to participate in the event. The race is expected to draw 38,000 runners from 80 countries around the world.

Flags from all of the countries were placed along the race route by the City of Jerusalem in a gesture of goodwill and welcome.

Shishakly, who was born in Damascus, spends most of his time in the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.

“In our united capital, all are respected,” said Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. “In sports, everyone is equal, and everyone can test the limits of their athletic abilities to break records and conquer new heights. Sport is a bridge connecting different peoples and cultures.”

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