Street Food Jerusalem – Video

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Ten years ago, in November 2006, Al Jazeera English was launched. To mark that anniversary, we’ve created REWIND, which updates some of the channel’s most memorable and award-winning documentaries of the past decade. We find out what happened to some of the characters in those films and ask how the stories have developed in the years since our cameras left.

One of Al Jazeera’s most popular series of the last decade, Street Food travelled the world in search of culture, history, and multiculturalism through the medium of people’s food.

REWIND returns to 2008 when Mona Ibellini and the Street Food team travelled to Jerusalem, where peoples of different cultures and religions live – and eat – side by side. The ongoing conflict, however, remains as irresolvable as ever.

The ancient city of Jerusalem is sacred to three faiths: for Jews it is the site of their first holy temple; for Christians it is the scene of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection; and for Muslims it is the location of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven.

A site of vast historical and religious significance, this beautiful city is also a tragic one – fought over for centuries and coveted by millions who have never set foot in it. It is at the heart of the ongoing and seemingly unsolvable Israeli-Palestinian conflict and everything there is overshadowed by politics.

Jerusalem’s old city enthralls with its bustling markets and vibrant street life, but inside its walls, tensions are never far from the surface. History is a dimension of the present and there is little unity to be found in a city which Palestinians regard as their occupied capital.

In the struggle for the soul of a city, even food – a marker of identity, an expression of history, culture, and values – plays a part, and the roots of certain foods are fiercely debated.

For Palestinians, denied a state and with a national identity which is constantly undermined, food plays an even greater role in defining who they are.

Almost half of Israeli Jews come from Middle Eastern backgrounds where their parents and grandparents lived alongside Arabs in countries such as Iraq, Yemen and Morocco. Many dishes are a reminder of the shared history and culture of Arabs and Jews – something easily forgotten in today’s divided politics.

Source: Al Jazeera

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