After mere minutes of walking through the Jerusalem market, I found myself outside Israel’s holiest place – and I haven’t even heard of it. The street had led directly from the Jaffa Gate to the Western Wall and we were now outside the Plaza which housed it.
Before me lies an expanse of synagogues and golden mosque roofs. Arabic dwellings rectangular, like lego houses.
We have stopped off at a lookout point to view, from above, the Old City that I’ve only read about, and now Jerusalem spread across the desert plain in front of us.
We are surrounded not by sand dunes, but parched hills with a bristly beard of dry grass. Over the hills lies visible tread of where a dry fire spread and then halted – the trees dead, black like ash, distinct from those mere inches away that remained untouched.
Dassa is adorable, sweet, and quirky. She wears a small fabric headband, which, while looking like a fashion accessory, actually denotes that she is religious and married.
Her and Itai, my friend and now host in Israel, had met when both attended the University of Jerusalem. While she now lives in the area with her husband, amidst busy schedules of work, school and travels, they still manage to catch up every once in a while.