Lights of Jerusalem 2013 – 1

I must confess that I love the annual Jerusalem “Festival of the Lights”, so-called Hag or Festival Ha’Or or Orim/חג – פסטיבל אורים . The Municipality of Jerusalem organizes the event in june, when the light is so special, sunset a bit, just a bit late around 8 p.m. Of course, the project is to link, connect the City of Jerusalem. Maybe this is why some Christian reporters would prefer to avoid the Jaffa Gate area that is “too Jewish and Israeli” and opt for the Muslim Quarter and Damascus Gate. A systematic denial or protest that is foreign. Over the years, it is evident that the event is a success: it maybe slow to start. People arrive lately. This is normal, they work during the day. In the first days, it seems that all need some taming, like in the “Little Prince”. All sorts of Israelis come: secular and religious, more an more of them, visiting the streets of the Christian Quarter and looking with attention at the wall videos (new this year). As years pass, a lot of photographers show to the event. They come in groups, tight, compact, altogether. They learn how t omake nice and correct takes, shots, not so many films. It only start: they will come to the bridge between Jaffa Gate and Mamilla all through the Summer. A lot of Arab youths come: they pass and go, do not speak, not that often for the moment, but definitely more and more they try to connect with the Jewish Israelis; these are “visitors. At times they do not even try to enter the Old City. Mobiles ring and ring: “Where are you – eifo at/a – איפה אתה ?” is the usual and basic question. They need to be comforted. There is a nice, joyous and very simple atmosphere: they would buy the famous Arab “beigele”, the sukhlab full of sugar or have a coffee. In the first days they will avoid to go to the nearby Old City restaurants… a sort of shyness. And all feel a bit “awkward”; still, people are nice. This year, the Churches made a protest, at least the original protest has been published by the Palestinian News agencies. It is somehow a bit away from the place. The protest? There were serious problems with the Israeli Police during the Holy Fire Saturday in the streets of the Old City. The Churches prohibit the Municipality to use the walls of the Church buildings… subsequently, there is a sort of slamom, zigzagging through the streets of the Christian Quarters. Nonetheless, the Christian shops are all open and have tons of clients: beverage, food, chocolates, tools of whatsoever nature and use. We are in the Middle-East. An Oriental flavor of ability and know-how-to-be-with-without-being-to-the-full.

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