Postcard from... Jerusalem
Thursday 15 May 2014
From the way the coffee is ground (with cardamom) to the literary gatherings in Arabic, to the graffiti on buildings, Salah al-Din Street, the main artery of East Jerusalem is an Arab street. Palestinians hope it could one day become the main drag of the capital of the independent state of Palestine.
I have been attached to this street for more than 20 years but Israel has other plans for it. It is where I buy newspapers from Ramallah and Cairo, eat hummus and falafael, go to cafés and chat with storekeepers who are now friends.
But now Salah al-Din Street, named after the Kurdish warrior who fought the Crusaders, is being transformed as part of Israel’s rejection of the idea that Jewish neighbourhoods will be under Israeli control and Arab neighbourhoods will be under Palestinian control. Instead Israel seems to want to transform some of the Arab sectors into Jewish ones. Last month, Israeli settlers took over part of the post office which dominates the base of Salah al-Din street and plan to establish a religious seminary there.
The warm atmosphere of the street has chilled already. “There will be security people with guns, more police, cameras, tension… Fewer people will come to the street,” predicts Imad Muna, owner of a bookstore and café.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...