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360 Degrees Around the Old City


Highlights from our program with local youth.

 

After many months of planning, and the cancellation of an initially scheduled date in March due to recurring violence, the Jerusalem 360 program commenced this past September 22-23, 2016.

The concept, developed in partnership with Kids4Peace, aimed to introduce the youth organization's local Muslim, Jewish, and Christian members to a diversity of narratives pertaining to their home city, and the Old City in particular. The act of walking together around the Old City would effectively reclaim this historic and long-contested space from its frequent association with violence and extremism.


An introductory workshop the evening before the tour included a presentation on the possibility of seeing the same one thing in many different ways, a group discussion on participants' relationship to Jerusalem, and a conversation with Tiyul-Rihla's directors, Ahmed and Yovav.

The following morning, over 75 participants split into four groups by age and colored shirts (see picture) and set out for the day. They toured around the entire perimeter of the Old City's walls, meeting a new guide at every quarter.

The group stood above the site of many recent clashes at the Damascus Gate, weaved in and out of worshiper traffic near the Al Aqsa Mosque, viewed the Mt. of Olives from under the "Golden Gate," peaked at the Western Wall through the Dung Gate, discussed the City of David, examined the skyline of West Jerusalem, and more. You can find media coverage of the event here.

To wrap up, the groups reconvened in Teddy Park beneath the Jaffa Gate to reflect on various themes like Holiness, Diversity, History, Conflict, and others. A few of the lingering questions and observations included that...

 

  • Many of the Old City's gates have a different name in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Each has a its own story. New conquerors assigned new names, but the significance of the old one's remained with the people living there.

 
  • King Solomon's Quarry was also named King Hezekiah's Tunnel even though it belonged to neither. How and why do sites become linked to great leaders and how does this impact the way people consider a site's importance in the future?

 

  • "We just entered the city that has been fought over so many times by three religions as a group of Muslims, Christians, and Jews walking together."


Tiyul-Rihla enjoyed working with Kids4Peace youth and staff and is grateful for having had the opportunity to coordinate the Jerusalem 360 program. 

We plan to further develop the curriculum and to lead the program with many more youth groups and tour-goers of all ages in the near future.

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Thank you to all of our generous donors, partners, and friends.


Your support made possible a creative and unprecedented program like Jerusalem 360, and can sustain others like it in the months ahead.

Please consider donating to our project online or by post through our host 501(c)(3) NGO at
:


 
The Center for Emerging Futures
380 E. Parkcenter Blvd.
Suite 300
Boise, ID 83706
[RE: RIHLA]
In This Newsletter
Jerusalem 360
Partnership with K4P
The group is ready to go.
TR introduces the day.
Hearing one of many stories.
Guide Jalal presents the map.
Guide Hava presents a view to the east.
Guide Alex uses hands to represent layers of history.
Taking a rest along the walls.
Reflecting on a day of touring.
Mapping our route and stops along the way.
Copyright © 2016 Tiyul-Rihla, All rights reserved.


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