11 August 2007

why are you so petrified of silence?

For a city less than 100 miles from Amman, Jerusalem feels like an entirely different world. Trashcans, street cafes where women aren't out of place, and only a handful of piggish excuses for men. But venture out Damascus Gate of the Old City to Palestinian East Jerusalem, and the piles of trash on the street magically reappear. If I could stay here and just teach Arabs to not throw their garbage in the street, I think I could die a fulfilled woman. Honestly!

I've been to Jerusalem before, and those of you who read last summer's blogging know how much I had to say about it then. In sum, I continue to love the city despite my best efforts not to. Although, I must say, the Jewish quarter cheats the Sabbath and shuts down at 3 PM when they're not technically at rest until sundown. I just wanted a bagel!

However, for those who watch/read the news, we did happen upon the aftermath of a shooting, the first act of violence in the city in quite some time now. We missed the actual event, but arrived (along with a herd of journalists and photographers) about 45 minutes later, in time to speculate and try to take pictures with the crowd. An unidentified Palestinian man tried to grab a security guard's gun, shot him, and got himself killed in the ensuing struggle when another security guard intervened. The body sat there for an hour and half before the truck came and got it, which is something to ponder. Apparently, there is a squad of ultra-orthodox Jews who handle all of the "clean-up" of blood and bodies after incidents of violence in Jerusalem. They were filling cups of water from the neighboring shops to wash away as much as they could before the police took down the crime scene tape and the media descended. We stood next to the BBC news crew as they shot their bit for the news. There was something morbidly fascinating about the entire event - I mean, save a funeral, I've never seen a dead body or blood stains in the flesh before. Between this and last summer's war, however, I think I'll stay out of Israel for a bit.

I took more pictures, although most of them are of the shooting scene and only a few are of the city. There are old Jerusalem pictures on the site for those interested. Dubai tomorrow!

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