By ieiMedia Staff
Jerusalem, Israel — The faces of Jerusalem are as varied as the religions, politics and landscape of the region.
The ieiMedia/Jerusalem staff spent the summer of 2015 seeking to better understand the thoughts behind those faces. What follows is what we are calling ” The Humans of Jerusalem” – a blog that looks at the people of this city, a diverse people, with one thing in common — a love for the city of Jerusalem and their hopes for its future peace.
Each was asked “What does peace in Jerusalem look like to you?” Here is what they told us:
“Jerusalem is great, it’s awesome. I don’t know anything about politics because I spend all my time studying in the yeshiva.” –Yehuda, age 18, yeshiva student born in Jerusalem.
“We have peace in Jerusalem. We have the Christian quarter, the Armenian quarter, the Jewish quarter. Sometimes, we have problems… I am with my brother and make fighting. This is life. I can say 90 percent there is peace in Jerusalem.” — Shadi, 24, Muslim store owner in Old City.
“I love Jerusalem. I don’t want to move anywhere. I want to live here. It’s the best place.” — Tamar, 19
“You can feel Israel. There’s emotion here. Spirit.” –Tovi, 19 , both live in the Jewish quarter of the Old City.
” I love Jerusalem because it’s the place God gave to the Jewish people. I don’t know anything about politics. Only that God will provide everything.” — Leah, mother of 10, Jewish Orthodox resident of Mea Shearim neighborhood.
“When it is hard to fast, I pray that God will give me strength to continue to find peace in my home for my family and my children in Jerusalem.” –Muslim woman in East Jerusalem
“What does peace in Jerusalem look like? It looks more like Haifa”–Zoubi, 20 year old soldier from the Israeli Army – the IDF.
“I live in Jerusalem because it is a holy place. The Jews would give me a blank check for my house and store. But I will not leave my place in Jerusalem. Only if they kill me.” –Muslim store owner in East Jerusalem.
” Peace in Jerusalem? All the Arabs should be killed because they want to kill the Jews.” –Man and his son from Ultra Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, Mea Shearim. “
“The real peace that we all want is not a political peace.” — Malk Shteynguuz, 25, of the Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem.
“What does peace in Jerusalem look like? It’s been going on for 2,000 years, it’s not going to stop tomorrow,” — David Horn, 35, of Jerusalem, moved to Israel from Florida 10 years ago.
“It’s the the beating heart of the country,” –Gilad Felberg, Israeli soldier from Jerusalem.
“I’m against the state of Israel. I wish all of Jerusalem would become Arab, and I would live among the Arabs.” — Arye, from the Neturei Karta sect of ultra-orthodox Judaism which is anti-Zionist group believing Jews should not live in the Holy Land of Israel until the messiah comes. He did not want his face shown in the photo.
“What does peace look like in Jerusalem? Not having to look over your back all the time.” – Elisheva, shopping in downtown Jerusalem.
“For sure it looks like 100% peace during Ramadan. The Israeli government and Israeli people want it too.” – Spice salesman in East Jerusalem.
“I’m in favor of peace, but dividing the city would be terrible. The Arabs of Jerusalem are in a better situation that Arabs throughout the Middle East. But they always want more.” — Tehiya, age 30, pregnant with 4 children .Lives in a Jewish enclave of about 100 families in the predominantly Arab neighborhood of the Mount of Olives.
“In Jerusalem I’m looking for peace through my prayers and through rest. I’m taking Ramadan off just to sleep.” — Mohammad, works at pastry shop in the Muslim quarter of Old City busy preparing the knafeh desert for the meal after the Ramadan day of fasting.
“Jerusalem means home, the capitol, the heart of Israel” — Nati Drai, 20, of Beersheba, shopping in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market.
“Peace in Jerusalem? (laughs) I came here from Morocco. Maybe I should be thinking of going back to Morocco (laughs again). I don’t know. I am very happy here.” – Jacqueline, Jewish resident of Jerusalem.