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.

After Fasting and Praying for Rain, Shabbat Shalom

The tenth day of tenth Hebrew month,

Asara B’Tevet is a fast day.

It marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem

which culminated in the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE

and the exile to Babylon.

Beit Hamikdash model at Israel Museum

This model of the Holy Temple sits outside the Israel Museum

Corner stone from Beit Hamikdash in Israel Museum

and this inscribed corner stone from the Second Temple is on display inside.

Jerusalem Israel Old City model to Second Temple on roof of Aish Hatorah overlooking Dome of Rock

Another model sits on the roof of the Aish HaTorah Center in the Old City,

with the Dome of the Rock showing in the background.

Thousands of people attended

special prayers for rain held yesterday at the Kotel,

the Western Wall, as Asara b’Tevet was coming to an end.

Farmers are complaining of poor growing conditions

because of the lack of rain and the warm weather.

But the weather was good for weddings this week.

Jewish wedding ceremony

So many weddings,

and each night the blessings ended with

 “Soon, Lord our God, may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem,

the sounds of joy and gladness,

the sounds of the bridegroom and bride…”

The sun set, and the fast was over.

Time to prepare for Shabbat.

Poster Shabbat Shalom on Jewish Temple model at Israel Museum

From the days of old

to the present,

may there always be singing

in the streets of Jerusalem.

Shabbat Shalom.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

שבת שלום