Saturday, March 16th
I can’t believe that today was our last day in Israel! I still don’t know where the time went.
We started Saturday with a walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. We made our way through the Christian and Muslim quarters, and ended at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site many where many believe Jesus was crucified. The church featured countless portraits and articles with rich history, and I was enthralled with the thousands of people that had travelled to Israel in order to experience the church firsthand. I am certain that during our visit I must have heard a minimum of ten languages— it was definitely hard to keep track.
We finished our time in the Old City with free time in the Muslim quarter, where life continued as normal, even on Saturday. Many shops in the quarter featured both pro-Israel and anti-Israel memorabilia. Never before had I seen “Visit Palestine” shirts featured next to “I Love Israel” t-shirts.
Overall, Saturday epitomized the religious freedom that Israel allows and encourages in the country. As we entered the walls of the old city, people of the Jewish faith, the Islamic faith, and the Christian faith surrounded us. Each faith is present within the Old City, both with freedom of speech and expression. Where else in the world can you hear the prayers of each faith at the exact same time? As much as the quarters are separated, people of different faiths found no issues venturing into neighboring quarters.
As I look back at the week that was, I know that I leave Israel with a much better understanding of the business, the economy, and the religious history. Without the unique blend, Israel would not be the same. It is due to the distinct circumstances that Israel is able to function and emerge as the Start-Up Nation it has become. From the individuals at the IDC Elevator to the innovators at Given Image, there is a quality of persistence. As David Ben Gurion summarized the Israeli attitude, “If an expert said it can’t be done, get another expert” and that was clearly evident throughout the entirety of our trip.
Daniel, Class of 2014, College of Arts & Sciences, Boston
Photo by Christyn
This photo was taken on November 17, 2010 in Armenian Quarter, Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, IL, using a Nikon D3000.