Friday 8 January 2010

Blog-log Day 10 - getting under the skin of old Jerusalem

This risks being one of the most unlikely blog post yet - and I sense you have doubts already... bear with me.

  • The American Colony Hotel (much recommended by a friend) in East Jerusalem.
  • The road sign for Nablus Road - which is where the Hotel is...
  • And Palestinian Pottery - specialising in hand decorated tiles Est 1922.

The Hotel is the heart of diplomatic, international visitors in East Jerusalem - a regular hang-out for journalists, businessfolk and politicians. But the Amercan Colony Hotel also has an amazing history and heritage to it and a visitors book to wonder at.

The Nablus Road sign is perhaps a shade unfair - but as I walked from Damascus Gate along the Nablus Road you have a sense that you are moving into the European Quarter yet you are in the much spoken of East Jerusalem and it looked to me like this was a bullet pitted street name sign.

And so to the Palestinian Pottery - I was reading my book by Edwin Samuel (Sir Herbet's son), A Lifetime in Jerusalem - and I recollected that I read that he set up a fair in the Old City of Palestinian craftsmen.

"In 1921, the first exhibition of indigenous Palestinian arts and crafts, largely peasant ware, was held in the Citadel, and I was made the organizer" Edwin Samuel, Second Viscount Samuel.

So the connecting threads are these:
  1. all three are on the Nablus Road, there is much much more to East Jerusalem than Palestinian/Israeli dispute (don't judge a book by it's cover or just the reviews),
  2. Herbert and Edwin Samuel are inextricably links to all three - Nablus Road was a main thoroughfare for Mandate officials,
  3. the Colony Hotel was a key part of the British Adminstration and there some pretty compelling empirical evidence that Edwin Samuel was involved in the promotion that led to this company setting itself up...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So Ed, do you have anything to say about the Aid Convoy that has finally made it to Gaza from Britain breaking the cruel siege of Gaza by Israel?
This has not been reported in the yellow press in England. I wonder if Israelis know about the humanitarian gesture to help the poor children of Gaza.
Even as you have fun wandering about occupied Palestine do you know that Israeli jets are once again punding the homes and tenst of the Cazan people in their huge open ait concentration camp? Will there be a repeat of last years Gaza Holocaust?
On your travels in that stolenland will you be taking pictures of the huge, obscene aparthite wall that the occupiers have built in Palestine?
Will you be calling for this disgusting wall to be demolished? Will you be calling for an end to the siege of Gaza?
As you begin your campaign to be elected for Kilburn many of us will be listening to hear what you have to say about occupied Palestine and the desecration of the Holy Land for the past 61 years.
Sarah Teather visited Gaza and was horrified at the destruction and carnage that she saw there. Will you be visiting Gaza any time soon?
Are you an Israeli too? A dual citizen?