Directed by A.J. Roy
Produced by Sam Mueller and Sam Garrott in association with Arts Alliance.
Directed by Rives Collins. Shot for The Daily Northwestern. Full gallery: http://goo.gl/LhLXPk
Images from a staged reading and a performance of the first and second installments of The House Theater of Chicago‘s “The Crownless King.” Shot for The House Theater of Chicago.
I worked a 16 hour shift from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon this week covering the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av (lit: The 9th of Av, a date in the Jewish calender). The 25 hour period, one of only two such long fasts in the Jewish year, commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple in its first iteration in 587 BCE, and in its second iteration in 70 CE.
I began the night with a group of right wing nationalist-religious activists who march with huge numbers of flags every year from Independence Park in West Jerusalem, around the Old City through Palestinian East Jerusalem, and end up at the Western Wall (one of the retaining walls of the mountain on which the Temple stood, now home to The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque.) A small group breaks off each year to try to march to the Temple Mount itself, and are each year rebuffed.
This year’s march was particularly tense, because for the first time in its history it was allowed to go on during Ramadan, the Muslim period of praying and fasting that sometimes overlaps with Tisha B’av. A heavy police escort separated the Jewish political group from the much larger groups of Muslims returning from prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque. At one point the two groups chanted “The nation of Israel lives!” and “God is great!” at one another in Hebrew and Arabic respectively.
Palestinian youths listened to a hard-right parliamentarian’s speech to the Jewish crowd.
A group of girls peeked into the men’s section.
The Old City of Jerusalem is home to the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque – Muslim holy sites that drew nearly 80,000 worshippers this first Friday of Ramadan. Unfortunately for me, only Muslims are allowed near the center of the action in the Mosque.
The influx of so many people to the small area, many of them Palestinians without Israeli citizenship, has led to clashes in the past. The security situation was tense as crowds moved from Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem to the places of prayer. Soldiers, police officers and border patrol held positions throughout the Muslim quarter. Many people told me they were waiting for something to happen at any moment. Fortuately, nothing did.
I benefited from the rare good noon light that filtered through my adopted neighborhood’s covered alleys.
Images for Flash90.