Revel in the sights and sounds of the Old City of Jerusalem at the Sounds of the Old City Festival. A true celebration of all the four quarters’ inhabitants, the alleys, squares and walls of the Old City will come to life with traditional and contemporary Armenian, Arab and Jewish music. Featuring Marsh Dondurma, Dandana, Shaharayer, Ararat Ensemble, Shlomo Bar, Opera Studio, Reim Duo and Joseph.Sounds about as multicultural as possible, doesn't it?
Runs Tuesday through next Thursday, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. www.jerusalem-oldcity.org.il
But the wizened minds of the Muslims who pore over every Israeli press release in order to find something to seethe over know better. They look at this festival and see only one thing: Judaization!
The Aqsa Heritage Foundation denounced these celebrations, and confirmed in a statement today that the occupation authorities are only exploiting for the Judaization of Jerusalem and the area around Al-Aqsa Mosque, and most recently announced by the organization of night concerts in Jewish neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, and in areas close to the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation said, "The organization of these festivals is contrary to the sanctity of Jerusalem and its Arabism. The Israeli occupation uses these to change the of Islamic Arab religious, historical and cultural character of the city of Jerusalem and the area around Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the organization of these events disturbs the lives of Jerusalemites and disrupts their lives because of the accompanying extensive security measures. "
The statement said that objectives of these concerts are to support the Jewish economy in Jerusalem, and restrict the Palestinian economy.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Arabs have been building their own cultural institutions in Jerusalem. From the Daily News Egypt, an article that reveals the mainstream Arab news bias:
In East Jerusalem, the occupation has affected the city’s cultural landscape. Chronic underinvestment, expanding settlements and a massive wall — which Israel says it has constructed for security purposes and Palestinians allege is a land grab — have had the effect of squeezing the life out of the Palestinian quarter in Jerusalem and shifting the cultural center of gravity to Ramallah in the West Bank. In addition, it seems many Palestinian Jerusalemites have not been able to shake off the curfew mentality of the intifada, which ended almost seven years ago.
In the past few years, however, efforts have been launched to revive and enrich East Jerusalem’s modest cultural topography. The latest of these is the reincarnation of the old Al-Quds cinema, which closed down a quarter of a century ago during the first intifada (which lasted from 1987-1993). Now it is the state of the art, though still unfinished, Yabous Cultural Center. In addition to film screenings, it hosts artistic, theatrical and musical events, including a photo exhibition about the Egyptian revolution and live jazz concerts.
Yabous marked its reopening with Freedom Films Week. The theme is appropriate given the thirst for political, economic and social liberty, evident not only amongst Palestinians but peoples across the region — including in Israel, where a broad-based social protest movement erupted last summer. Israeli protesters declared Rothschild Avenue in Tel Aviv their own “Tahrir Square” and Arab commentators dubbed the movement the “Israeli Spring.”
The films featured at Yabous included “We Won’t Leave,” which chronicles the Palestinian struggle against forced displacement in Jerusalem; “Fallega,” which documents the innovative and inspirational sit-ins organized by Tunisian activists following the fall of dictator Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali; and “Cairo 678,” a taboo-breaking drama about sexual harassment in Egypt.
You mean the evil Jewish Zionists are allowing Arabs to have culture in Jerusalem as well that includes explicitly anti-Zionist messages? That can't be possible! It doesn't fit with what I've been told by the Palestinian Arabs themselves! How can I stop my oncoming brain aneurysm from the cognitive dissonance?
It must be that the Arabs of Jerusalem are doing this despite the Jews' insistence otherwise. It is an act of resistance to the occupation! Yes, that must be it.
Whew! I feel better now.