January 19, 2000
Jerusalem's a city, caught between old and new,
Such opposites together how does it all work?
We'll begin with the old, a city walled in
Hundred's of winding narrow alleys, some hilly and some flat
Today this ancient city is divided into four
The last quarter's Armenian, but it's Christian too.
For the rest of the Old City and beyond its city gates,
The Jews live in the modern New City glitz,
Leaving the Old City through crowded Damascus Gate,
Veiled women walk by as vendors sell produce and sweets,
It reminds me of Marrakech, Alexandria, or Cairo,
But if, on the other hand, you left the Old City on the other side
For you've entered the New City, full of cafes and bright lights,
Amidst all the hip people, some evenings you'll see
With their music blaring loud, they are sharing their glee.
Wander up Ben Yehuda from Zion Square,
It all seems so modern, just like Melrose Place,
Of those platform leather shoes or trendy new styles
The women wear long skirts and their hair they won't show
The men wear black hats and strings tied around their waste,
The locals here are very religious and most don't work each day,
If you find yourself here, these warnings do heed,
Respect their traditional ways of being or else you may find
My favorite part of Jerusalem is surely the food,
The Palestinian Arabs are so generous and kind,
Strangers sharing all the food they just bought...
The Souq by Damascus Gate is where the Arabs all go
The Mahane Yehuda Market not far from Zion Square
Whether you choose market or souq, there's so much that's the same
But there are also differences, language is but one.
The prices might get lower, a deal might be struck,
There the prices are set, higher they may be
Sweets are everywhere in the market and souq.
Arab sweets are syrupy layered with dates, nuts or cheese.
There's more division here than just between markets and sweets,
Jordan gained the East and the Old City during the '48 War,
For years the city was divided at Mandelbaum Gate
In 1967, the War of 6 days
The Arabs and Jews still stick to their own sides,
Israel still sees Jerusalem as its capital, now the city as a whole,
Palestinians consider it a part of their state.
Jerusalem is where Israel's parliament still stays,
Strange as it may be, the craze suits me fine
I've never been to a city with such intensity everywhere
So join the millions that flock here if you ever get the chance,
To understand its complexity and appreciate the contrast.
p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...email@example.com
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