The moods in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old Town are down. It is enough to follow a friendly, although a bit desperate invitation by the owner to enter his coffee shop on the famous Via Dolorosa to experience this. Although placed on the very route of all Christian pilgrims, just nearby the emotional and very feminine sixth station of the cross, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, the business is down. No-one enters! Well, OK, when forced by the circumstances and forces of the nature… Therefore the toilet usage is presently well overpriced. They don’t drink coffee here, although it is one of the best I have ever drunk in the Middle East. A hand-made miracle from the Arabica beans. Admitted, we have almost drunk it cold engaged in a lively conversation with the owner on the situation of Arab citizens of the State of Israel. We are permanently untrusted and unwanted.
Don’t believe the media, talk with the people directly and honestly, and you will learn the true face of the Holy Land. This recommendation of the French-Jewish owner of our accommodation in Jerusalem is the best approach to this conflict-tired area. Talk openly with everyone and keep your eyes wide open.
In the Holy Sepulchre Church you might learn otherwise. Shared by supposedly all streams of the Christian religion it seems to be a place of a frozen fanatic quarrel exploding from time to time. Pushed back by a loud dispute between Russian and Romanian pilgrim groups over the sequence order in the queue to the Golgota rock, we have shared our sympathy only with barefoot pilgrims from Ethiopia, too shy to enter The Very Holy Place.