Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Aroma - Rich, Robust, and Enduring

One of the first sensations when entering the Old City is the assault of a delicious and complex mix of aromas - made up of dozens of fragrances. Here are some of the sources:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Back in the Classroom

The Center for Jerusalem Studies partners with Al Quds University for the Arabic language training and a Masters degree in Jerusalem Studies. Since I placed between Level 1 and Level 2 for spoken Arabic (local dialect), I'm taking both classes. Ameera is the instructor of both. Then I take introductory Modern Standard Arabic (reading/writing) with Ayman.

Entrance to the school is from the Old Cotton Market, now used as a bazarre.

Al A'elat Restaurant

On one of the first nights here I went in search of food and Abed, the owner/manager of Al A'elat Restaurant ("Family Restaurant") was particularly friendly and immediately agreed to speak only Arabic to me to help my learning, even though he speaks perfect English (and French). Seeing how slow business typically is in the Old City I privately committed to frequent this one restaurant as a means of making a contribution, at least to one family. Grilled chicken and rice, with a varying coupling of salads has become the staple. Most often I am the only client there, but it was pleasing to see the restaurant full once during this holiday week.

(As you enter Damascus Gate and come to the fork, take the right leg (Khan Elzait Str) and you'll find the restaurant up on the left just before getting to the Via Dolorosa. Number 77)


And there are the breads - all kinds and shapes, sweet and savory - made multiple times per day in any number of basement bakeries.


One of the great pleasures of living in E. Jerusalem - especially the Old City - is the abundance of fresh foods that is everywhere available as one walks the main streets or alleys. I walk by all of the stands below on a daily basis.