Looking out over the old city

It occurred to me today, as I looked out over a panoramic of the city, that it is very hard to understand the political problems surrounding Jerusalem without ever actually coming here.

So here’s a brief history lesson:

I’m sure most people will know, especially anybody who is willing to get this far in this blog, that Jerusalem is a major city for 3 religions; Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Christianity is of course based around the teachings of Jesus, who spent the last, and possibly most significant, moments of his life in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of hundreds of churches in Jerusalem, but it is significant as it stands close to the sights believed to be both the death and burial places of Jesus.

Judaism is a very old religion, and Jerusalem has been the centre of the religion for thousands of years, with the head temples standing here. The Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) is largely remnant from the 2nd Temple, built circa 19BCE.

The Dome of the Rock is the oldest Islamic building in the world. The dome was constructed in the hope that it would “house the Muslims from cold and heat” and was also significantly built on the site of the Jewish 2nd Temple, after Jerusalem was overthrown by the Byzantine Empire.

The Old City

As well as being sensationally interesting this little History lecture, and the accompanying picture which I lovingly prepared, show just how ridiculously close all these places are. Imagine that York Minster is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, then Bettys is the Dome of the Rock and Evil Eye is the Western Wall.

Well thats enough history for one night, here’s the amusing quotes I overheard today:
“I can’t believe they have trains, I thought they’d use Camels”
“Try and get a picture of the little man with the camel, he’s in the funny costume and everything”
(from a random American women in a cafe) “and after that he filed a sexual harassment charge. I never liked that workplace anyway!”

Well that’s enough fun for tonight. Tomorrow I’m off to see the IDF, ICAHD and the AIC. Lots of interviews. Feel free to post questions for interviews. Or to post at all, just so I know someone’s actually reading this far!

Shalom

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