Santa Claus of Jerusalem

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Issa Kassissieh, dressed as Santa Claus, welcomes people in his Santa’s House at the Christian Quarter in Old City, Jerusalem.

Kassissieh, a Christian Arab, has played Santa Claus in Jerusalem for a decade. In recent years he received an official Santa Diploma after attending training in Denver and Copenhagen along an official Santa Claus certificate from the old Santa Claus School in Michigan.

Issa has turned his 700-year-old family house into Santa’s House and claims to be the only officially certificated Santa Claus in Israel and the Middle East.

Photos EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN

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