Sunday, April 19, 2015

Welcome to East Jerusalem

What always impresses me when I return to East Jerusalem (this must be my 9th visit) is the welcome I receive from so many of the merchants and shopkeepers along Salah-ah-Eddin, the major street that leads from the back of St. George's Cathedral down to the Old City. When I checked in at my hotel, the National, on A-Zahra Street, it's "Welcome, Mr. Robert, to your second home". And it does indeed feel that way. The owner of the Educational Bookststore greeted me with "Ah, good to see you back – it's been a long time" – and at the little grocery where I buy bottles of water, it was the same. And when I asked about the sandwich shop where Mo and his family scratch out a living, closed now and under reconstruction, he said "Oh, don't worry, he's just redecorating; his chef is just outside the door" – from whom I got Mo's cell # to call. Mo and his wife were expecting another child when I saw them last.

The Palestinian people are an unusually generous, kind and hospitable people – from whom we could all learn a great deal.

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