Highs & Lows from Creative Changing Jerusalem

Jerusalem has seen extreme highs and lows over the last three millennia.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel 70 years ago, Jerusalem has grown and changed.

Our theme, that you never know what you will find on the Jerusalem streets, is continually reinforced. Recently while driving home near the Jerusalem Theater, it seemed like a huge spaceship had landed.

Jerusalem, Israel, Hansen House at night lit up Ester wooden structure

Rising from the grounds of the old Hansen House grounds was this illuminated object.

Was is from another planet?

No it wasn’t, and by day, it proved much less mystifying.  It is a large wooden sculpture called an Ester Tower.

Innovation Ester Tower in Hansen House garden

In honor of 70 years of State of Israel and 100 years of Czechoslovakia, a Czech firm built its fifth project in Jerusalem. Hansen House, the former leper hospital, has become a center for innovation.

Hansen House Garden, Ester Tower in honor of 100 years Czech and 70 Israel

For those not afraid of heights, inside you will find a winding staircase as in a lighthouse, which goes up to a platform, from which there are some spectacular views of the city. And as in so many Jerusalem photos, when you look down, there is a cat on the scene.
Kikar Safra International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem Israel

The 32nd annual International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem began with a program at Kikar Safra, in the large municipal government  meeting room. Over 30 mayors from around the world attended this week long gathering.

International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem, Israel, Nir Barkat greets visitors at Kikar Safra

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat walked around to greet fellow mayors as they were introduced. During the week, they will see innovation and discuss security and ways of working together.  A mayor from Taiwan brought a team of businessmen looking for collaborative opportunities.

In his remarks, Barkat emphasized that Jerusalem is always viewed under a magnifying glass. In reality it is one of the safest cities in the world. What happens in Jerusalem spreads throughout the world.

Last week on a Friday Walk in Jerusalem, it was a lovely day, and I decided to just wander around to enjoy the weather. Jerusalem certainly has its highs and lows in weather!

View along Mamilla to Old City Jerusalem Israel

The road was unusually empty outside Mamilla Mall. The street was clear of cars, which usually happens only when traffic is blocked for special events or visitors.

Two Arab girls in Mamilla Mall Jerusalem Israel with 3 Jewish musicians.

As usual, musicians were performing along the Mall. It was unusual was to see a young Muslim woman put money in their case. The two stood for a while listening and took their toddler out of the stroller to dance.

Mamilla Mall artist Yardena Yizoker with her sculpture of male and female Israeli pioneers

Thousands of pieces have been displayed and changed in Mamilla since the opening. But this was a first, to find the artist with their work. Yardena Yizoker posed next to her ‘Zionist Pioneers’ with her partner.

Rova Jewish Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem Israel

Walking through the Rova, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, I decided to take a photo of those towering palm trees. I wondered how much longer they will be standing?

View from steps to Kotel, Western Wall from Jewish Quarter

Trees have been removed from here, opening up new views of Mount of Olives from these steps in the Old City.

Jerusalem, Israel construction of new hotel

All around Jerusalem, trees have been removed and construction is at work, as new foundations are laid deep in the earth.

Construction on National Library of Israel is seen above ground

After many months, construction at the site of future National Library is finally above ground.

Building in Jerusalem, Israel, fence for new City Center

A new construction fence is in place for the future Government Center. Those living and spending time around Jerusalem’s Rechavia neighborhood will not be sorry when the Prime Minister moves to this new abode and new location. Unpleasant street closings, traffic stops and pedestrian searches should become much less frequent.

Jerusalem Israel swimming pool destroyed to make room for new apartments

One thing swimmers in Jerusalem will miss, however, is the pool on Emek Refaim, which is now history. It was torn down to provide space for new luxury buildings for those who can afford to buy.

Night in Jerusalem, Israel lights on building post office

Not all old buildings are coming down. Here, the old Post Office on Jaffa Road, near Kikar Safra, is illuminated at night.

Police cars at Kotel on Friday Old City Jerusalem Israel

Old and new, highs and lows, the police vehicles are parked and waiting. When it is a quiet, as on a regular Friday in Jerusalem, there are no reports, no news.

Pro Israel demonstration in Jerusalem Israel on Friday afternoon

On my way home I saw a pro-Israel counter protest group has started demonstrating near Paris Square on Friday afternoon.

Store for rent on daily basis near Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem near Mamilla Mall

It is hard to tell what will pop up here.  This store between the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the US Consulate is now available for short term rental.

Can’t wait to see what will be happening next on the Jerusalem streets.

 

New Arab Girl Photos

New Arab Girl Photos

Times are a changin’.

Women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to attend sport events.

In a few months, women in Saudi Arabia  will be allowed to drive a car.

Photos of the new Saudi auto dealership for women only

show women covered in black from head-to-toe.

In Iran, Wednesdays have become protest days for women,

removing their white head coverings in protest to Islamic rulers.

And in Israel?

In Jerusalem, Israel, head coverings are important.

Without a red hijab,

Girl wearing red hijab in Israel restaurant in Mamilla Mall

how could we know this young woman in Aroma was an Arab girl?

World Champion gold-medal winner Anna Muzychuk

became news when she refused to wear an abaya

for the World Championship chess tournament held in Saudi Arabia.

Around the same time,

an interesting tourist group of women arrived

Arab girls at Western Wall plaza

at the Western Wall Plaza.

Escorted by two men,

a group of young women in traditional Muslim dress

Arab girls going to Western Wall

mingled with locals and other tourists.

I was on my way home, but I

Arab girls Jerusalem Israel

stayed to watch the reaction to the women at the Kotel,

the Western Wall, on that sunny afternoon.

Arab girls close to Kotel

There was none.

As they went close to the Kotel and stood there

Muslim women at Kotel

no one seemed to pay attention – but me!

Kotel, Arab women on Western Wall plaza

They took the normal tourist photos.

As the women wandered through the crowd,

 even their male escorts gave them space.

One woman waited outside the toilets for her friends.

Arab girl at Western Wall Plaza alone waiting for friends to come from toilets

Did anyone take notice?

From my vantage point above,

Arab girl alone in prayer in Jerusalem Israel near rest rooms

I noticed her taking the time to offer a prayer.

Her shoulder bag was from Milli Gorus,

which started in Turkey in 1969,

and is the most influential Islamist organization in Germany.

However, I am not sure where they live.

Arab tourism has increased,

and Muslim groups from Turkey and England are not unusual.

Next time I see a group of  young Muslim women

I plan to ask them where they live and how their trip is.

Will these women go back home and tell the truth?

In their traditional dress,

no one bothered them as they walked freely.

Muslim women walk pushing children in little cars in Jerusalem Israel First Station, Hatakana tourist site

 Israeli Arab girls and women in malls

or older women alone on side streets

know they have nothing to fear.

As a friend noted about 15 Real Photos of Arab Girls,

“Because somehow the “nude” got attached,

it will remain viral.

It will outlive the mythical cockroaches in a nuclear war.”🙂

Last year that post had almost 15,000 views,

my hope is some of those voyeurs

from every country in the world,

will see the truth about what is really happening

on these Jerusalem, Israel streets,

these real photos of Arab girls.

Eight Days of Hanukkah: Not Enough in Jerusalem

Eight Days of Hanukkah: Not Enough in Jerusalem

Hanukkah time in Jerusalem, Israel,

is always a busy time of year.

This past week the world has had Jerusalem

in its headlines after US President Trump acknowledged

Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

US flags flying in Israel on street where US consulate is located.

US, Israeli and Jerusalem flags

were flying on Agron Road

along the street of the US consulate building.

No photos are allowed of that building,

so this corner view of the

Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria will have to do.

Old city walls of Jerusalem Israel seen from King David Hotel with US, Israel and EU flags near pool

The Israeli, US, and EU flags were on display behind

the King David Hotel with

 the walls of Old City in the background.

Chanukia on display in Mamilla Mall as people walk under in mall

Hanukkah menorahs are placed in hundreds of locations.

Choir performs at Hanukkah performance for grandparents in Gush Etzion Efrat

Thousands of school performances

large, and not-so-epic, have been held.

So what about the “tense” situation?

On road to Efrat red warning Israel prohibiting Israelis to enter way to Bethlehem

Those red signs and IDF security posts

are the norm for the outskirts of Bethlehem.

Muslim woman and child in Liberty Bell Park in Jeremiahs Israel

Parks may be a little less crowded,

but I did not find the that the “situation”

was much different than usual.

There are neighborhoods of New York,

Washington, DC, and Chicago,

I would never walk through,

and where driving can be dangerous.

The Tower of David Museum opened a new exhibit,

A General and a Gentleman

Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem;

there was no way I was going to miss this event in the Old City.

Macabees to Allenby poster

Since the viewing Balfour-Allenby Exhibit

at the Israel National Library,

I have anxiously awaited December 11, 2017.

December is an important month for religious holidays.

Exhibit in Tower of David Museum for 100 years Allenby

Hanukiot are on display,

text description Allenby

this photo has the explanation.

There are dozens of original photos.

Keep in mind that World War I was first time soldiers

had cameras on the battlefield.

Not exactly Facebook live, but they captured memories

now frozen in time for over 100 years.

Three photos were ordered destroyed for proper procedure of British Narrative of war

The collection of authentic items and research is impressive.

Three official photos from the series are missing;

they were destroyed as they did not fit the British war narrative.

The exhibit runs until the fall of 2018,

but on December 11, 1917,

General Edmund Allenby entered through Jaffa Gate

to an impoverished Jerusalem.

100 years after actor dressed as General Allenby enters Jaffa Gate Jerusalem Israel

Actors recreated the event,

and thousands of spectators, local and international,

Actor as General Allenby on steps of Tower of David Museum

crowded in to watch the reenactment of the original ceremony.

‘General Allenby’ spoke, and his heirs who came from England

joined local dignitaries, past and present.

Thousands were in the streets of the Old City,

without violence – so not news.

But about that rusty key of the city,

Actors Allenby and Lawrence of Arabia at Tower of David Museum after reenactment holding key

Mayor Nir Barkat did not keep it.

Allenby took it out of his pocket as he spoke to

Lawrence of Arabia after the program

inside Tower of David.

Facebook photos of A General and A Gentleman

Street sign in Hebrew for Chaukkah event in Jerusalem

Here’s hoping people will not miss the multitude of events

Poster in Hebrew for Hanukkah event in Old City Jerusalem Israel

 planned this week in Jerusalem.

School is out.

Museums are free for children.

Too many events to list, but here is a link

to some of the Jerusalem Hanukkah events.

Menorah for Channuka on roof top in Jerusalem Israel

From Cinema City to Safra Sqaure to Yes Planet,

look up and look around.

There is, as usual, too much to do on Hanukkah.

In Jerusalem, eight days are not enough.

חנוכה שמח

Happy Hannukah!

Hebrew sign on bus in Jerusalem Israel Old City

Time to get going,

the first day is almost over.