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<style>.post-37374 .entry-title{color: }</style>311
<style>.post-37374 .entry-title{color: }</style>311

Holding On to Al-Quds

According to a gentleman who has lived all his life in Jerusalem, Al-Quds, all Jerusalemites deserve to be Nobel Prize laureates. I totally agree. What most Jerusalemites go through cannot be expressed in words. But then we hear about more hardships such as what the people living in Jenin Refugee Camp went through recently which humbles us all. In an area of less than half a square kilometer, the camp’s 11,000 inhabitants saw their roads left in rubble, their vehicles and water and electricity infrastructure destroyed, and 12 of their neighbors murdered. Dear Zeus, when will Palestinians be free from the yoke of occupation and able live in peace?
The focus of this July issue is Jerusalem, which Palestinians prefer to call Al-Quds, or the holy one. Although Jerusalemites are envied by West Bankers and certainly Gazans for being able to move around Palestine with liberty, they have their own set of problems, some of which are actually existential. Jerusalemites can drive to Jaffa or Haifa whenever they wish, but their lives are controlled by one monstrous office of the Ministry of Interior. There are approximately 360,000 Palestinians who in live Al-Quds. Short of a few services that can be done in West Jerusalem, every newborn registry, marriage, change in social status, permit to travel, issuance of identity cards, etc. has to go through this office, which often is impossible to access because of the hundreds of people waiting in line to get in. For the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, this is not a typical civil administration office; it is a means of control. All the information gathered by this office is ultimately in the hands of a foreign entity.
This July issue sheds light on several other problems that face East Jerusalemites. Housing, for instance, is a major issue because of the scarcity of land and stringent regulations that pertain to building on existing plots of land. As a result, young couples have had to flee to areas beyond the city, which is exactly what the authorities want. Unfortunately, the issues are many, as you will read.
Throughout its history, which spans around five millennia, Yabous, Aelia Capitolina, Al-Quds, Jerusalem, whatever you want to call it, has been historically home to a multitude of cultures. An article in this edition focuses on one culture, namely the Arab Islamic culture that ruled Al-Quds for over a millennium. Ali Qleibo writes about the magnificent Mamluk heritage in Jerusalem. Other highlights include articles on some minorities who live in Al-Quds, such as the Palestinian Africans, the Gypsies of Jerusalem, and the Armenians who have had a presence in Jerusalem since the fourth century and who are currently being scammed by a treacherous land deal that will strip them of about 25 percent of their property in the Old City of Jerusalem.
That’s not all! This issue highlights a few Jerusalemites who have had an impact internationally. Edward Said is featured, along with Faisal Husseini, the beloved prince of Jerusalem. Our numero uno – previous ambassador to the Holy See, London, Moscow, and Washington – Afif Safieh, is also in this edition. The young and promising Mohammed El-Kurd, who has around 2,000,000 followers, is also featured. Last, and probably least, I am featured! My team, along with my family and friends, schemed against me and insisted that since I’ve been part of the team that has been promoting Palestine internationally for the past 24 years, I should be featured. Quite embarrassing, but I had no say in the matter.
I do hope you will learn from and enjoy the current July 2023 issue of This Week in Palestine, themed “The Challenges of Living in Al-Quds.”
Long live Palestine!

Por Sani Meo

  • Sani Meo is co-founder of the English-language print and online magazine This Week in Palestine and has been its publisher since TWiP’s inception in December 1998. Since January 2007, he has also been the publisher of the Arabic online magazine Filistin Ashabab, which targets Palestinian youth.

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