Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Walk Through the Muslim Quarter

I headed back to the Kotel (Western Wall) for Mincha (afternoon prayers,) and then left through Sha'ar Schem (The Damascus Gate) in the Muslim Quarter on my way home. I snapped a few pictures on the way.

Me in front of the Kotel. The crowds have subsided since the priestly blessing.

More tours of the Moslem Quarter.

Islamic fundamentalist videos on sale.

At the bottom left is Sheikh Achmed Yassin, founder of Hamas. His most famous quote, "The Jews love life, Arabs love death!" He was often described sympathetically by the BBC as "The wheelchair-bound cleric," conjuring images of a kindly, senile old man granting blessings.

The remains of Sheikh Yassin's wheelchair and sandals after an Israeli missile strike prematurely ended his career.

Hijab anyone?

Despite the dislike and hatred most of the residents have for people of my religious persuasion, there is one fact that I admire about the Muslim Quarter: it's organic, a part of the city. Unlike the Jewish quarter, with it's focus on wealthy American tourists, the Muslim Quarter is designed for living. Want to buy a keychain, overpriced Jewelry, and a twenty shekel ice cream? Head for the Jewish quarter, post haste! Want to by a ten shekel pair of shoes and some fruit? The Muslim Quarter is the place to go.

Real goods on sale. Real people live here, not tourists.

Barekka movie, anyone? (sp?)

In the age before Starbucks.

Chassidic family outside Sha'ar Schem, the Shechem Gate

1 comment:

Ephraim said...

Hi Baleboosteh,

Don't worry, I keep my eyes open. The Moslem quarter was packed full of jews that day, and there was a decent police presence. It's the sort of place that's a gray area, so I wouldn't go there after dark or by myself. That being said, there are plenty of Jews who would, so it's more of a pesonal comfort level thing. One has to strike a balance between not being intimidated and knowing one's limits here, but I didn't feel so nervous that particular day.