Thoughts and Impressions

Shooting in the Old City

The Dome of the Chain next to the Dome of the Rock
Recently I had a photoshoot in Jerusalem, which took me into the Old City. Normally when I’m there, in the Old City, I’m more focused on the buildings and architecture of the city, but this time I was out to do street photography. And that is an exciting endeavor when it’s done in a place like the Old City of Jerusalem.

Two Palestinians in a conversation, while the son of the one of them is waiting impatiently. 

A Hassidic Jew wandering through the Muslim quarter towards the Western Wall. 

There’s something about the place. It’s not just the history of the place, the intermingling of the various religions, or the many people spending time there, whether they are working, sightseeing, or going from A to B. Or maybe it is that, that it gives something special, a whole which is more than the sum of its parts.

Palestinian women arguing over the price of spices sold in the Damascus gate.

Christian pilgrims blocking a local on their journey down Via Dolorosa.

There is a special atmosphere there, an atmosphere which isn’t felt outside the Old City.  A feeling of living history, that you are experiencing event which both happened hundreds or thousands years ago, but also happened for the first time.

An old Jew wandering through the streets of the Old City in the Jewish quarter.

A Muslim girl an early morning in the Old City of Jerusalem.

History is repeating itself here. Through the people living there and visiting the city. Merchants selling their products, locals providing for the day, visitors coming from all over the known world to get a sense of this spectacular place.

A Palestinian woman preparing her stand for the shopping of the day.

A tourist is considering a purchase from one of the many souvenir shops in the Cado.

It is interesting that Jerusalem has been a focal point for the meeting of Europe and the Oriental in so many different ways. During the Hellenistic period, the Roman empire, the clashes between Christian Europe and Islamic Middle East, and so on up until today where Jerusalem is in the center of a conflict not only between two ethnic groups, but also between the democratic secularism and the religious conservatism.

A monk on his way somewhere in the Christian quarter. 

A Jew praying morning prayer, the Shaharit, at the Western Wall. 

I love the place and all of its expressions. Go down this street, and you’re in the Jewish quarter. Go up those stairs, and you’re in the Muslim quarter. Continue down the alley, and you enter the quiet quarter of the Armenians, for then to cross the Cado, and enter the Christian quarter. You wander around, turn around a corner, and suddenly you’re at the Wester Wall, seeing not only the wall, but also the two Islamic monuments, the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa mosque.

A Palestinian local watching as people pass by in the streets.

Israeli soldiers trying to take care of order and quiet.

In truth, the Old City of Jerusalem is indeed an amazing place to do street photography.

The clouds are hanging heavy over the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall.

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