Adventures at home, abroad, and online

Tag: Israel Page 1 of 5

This Year in Jerusalem

I planned a trip to Israel with my mother, who had never been. She was so upset at the wars in the 70s that she swore not to go until they “made peace” with their neighbors. In the 40 years since, it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, and so we are here together for Mothers’ Day.

Ein Gedi and Masada

Down to the Dead Sea, and back up waterfalls and desert fortresses.


I saw this poem mentioned in a letter to the IHT in response to Elie Wiesel’s full page ad.
Can I forget thee, o Jerusalem?

Tourists by Yehuda Amichai

Visits of condolence is all we get from them.
They squat at the Holocaust Memorial,
They put on grave faces at the Wailing Wall
And they laugh behind heavy curtains
In their hotels.
They have their pictures taken
Together with our famous dead
At Rachel's Tomb and Herzl's Tomb
And on Ammunition Hill.
They weep over our sweet boys
And lust after our tough girls
And hang up their underwear
To dry quickly
In cool, blue bathrooms.

Once I sat on the steps by agate at David's Tower, I placed my two heavy baskets at my side. A group of tourists was standing around their guide and I became their target marker. "You see that man with the baskets? Just right of his head there's an arch from the Roman period. Just right of his head." "But he's moving, he's moving!" I said to myself: redemption will come only if their guide tells them, "You see that arch from the Roman period? It's not important: but next to it, left and down a bit, there sits a man who's bought fruit and vegetables for his family."

To Jerusalem

On the drive from Amman to Jerusalem, we shared a taxi with Jacob from Souktel.

Allenby with Jacob

They’re the best mobile aid provider in the region, have mostly palestinian programmers, but was co-founded founded by this canadian HBS graduate. We’ve talked briefly before, but we had a several hour conversation on the complicated nature of work in this area. After arriving at Damascus Gate he left us to return to Ramallah, and we met Jared at Al-Ayed chicken restaurant.

Since it’s Jeff’s first time here, we spent the afternoon trekking around the old city. Did the standard holy sites tour: Church of the Speulchre, Western Wall, Dome of the Rock. Couldn’t actually get up to the mount because it was Friday, but did see some exuberant dancing at the Kotel plaza for the second night of Hannukkah. Then walked along the eastern edge of the wall, overlooking Silwan, a Palestinian village under threat of destruction, and the Valley of Jehosphat, where the dead shall rise when Gog and Magog battle and the Lord returns in glory. Or at least that’s what wikipedia tells me.

Dome of the Rock
Jerusalem with Jared
Ladder of the Status Quo
Pillar of Absalom and Cave of Jehosephat
Nose picking at the Church of St Mary Magdalene

Jeff bought some “computers”, which are really knock-off nintendo boards from china, on the street for $20. The first immediately broke upon plugging in to the TV, but I think we can fix it when we get back to the lab. The intention is to develop educational software for this platform, perhaps using the Contiki OS, but I think he just wants to play Duck Hunt.

Unique Educational Computer

Home Again

Jared and Faith were nice enough to drive us to Tel Aviv, so we gorged ourselves on sushi, enjoying the decidedly unkosher crispy baconmaki, and then spent a few hours on the beach. Once the fine sand had infiltrated every crevice, I bandited a quick open-air shower before hopping on a plane for fifteen hours. Sadly, the Philadelphia Chick-fil-a was closed due to our arrival on the Christian sabbath, so the trip was not a total success. Instead, I will leave you with the enduring image of Nasrallah stroking his beard.

Hassan keeps it silky smooth

Page 1 of 5

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén