The ability to not get hopelessly lost in Jerusalem’s Old City felt like the pinnacle of achievements once upon a time. One always knows that there is more to see, but the new Enjoy Jerusalem website really proves the point.
A little-known treasure for the visiting set, and a little-visited site for anyone not from the Silwan neighbourhood of Jerusalem, the spring (Ayin) is rather an oasis set amid a somewhat less tranquil area where excavations to find the lost ‘City of David’ mean increasing pressure on residents.
Above the hustle and bustle, a stroll along the top of Jerusalem’s Old City walls means a flip of perspective; like seeing things from the inside out. That goes for everything from the markets to the communal church gardens, the old battlements and the city’s history as a fortress, as well as the back side of the Israeli police headquarters, all smushed into one square kilometre.
The party gets going in earnest after the night prayer, just before 10pm. But head to the Old City a little earlier to make the most of your wander-about and take in the new phenomenon of lights blazing up the arched alleyways. Continue reading
A river runs through it. Okay, not quite, but the Bethlehem Museum does literally have an old Roman water pipe bisecting the building.
And carries a cane, apparently. At least according to the kids I passed in the Old City the other afternoon. Continue reading
The museum’s current director, artist Inass Yassin, commenting on the recent exhibit ‘Unlike Other Springs,’ imagines more than one iteration of the spring of the show’s title.
With more than 10 publishing and distribution houses from Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait represented, (bringing books from around the globe) there was much to see and do over the three book halls and three events rooms. Continue reading
Or learn Arabic more generally?
Check out Nathan’s 20 tips on reaching fluency
Take a gander at his compiled list of useful resources on how to study Arabic and it’ll be no time till you’re picking up a novel.
My own advice? Pick a book, start reading and just keep going. Look up words for the first chapter then only look up key words to keep you going. Once you’re done, go back and read sections you’re unsure of. This was how I got through my first Arabic novel on my own. It took about a month of solid reading, and was only 150 pages, but, you have to start somewhere!