Voices from the City’s Eastern Neighborhoods

A virtual event on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 at 7 PM Jerusalem time (GMT+2)


This past year, the city of Jerusalem has been on its own. No tourists, no pilgrims, and few out-of-town university students. For the first time the city is without guests, who have previously helped shape its culture and economy.

The stillness ever more underlines the division between the various communities in the city, in particular between its western and eastern parts. During the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve heard so much in the media about the “Other” but have had very few opportunities to hear from real people who live in these “other” communities.

A consortium of organizations active in Jerusalem invites you to hear about life in the city’s eastern parts, from two speakers:

Hiba Qawasmi, an Arabic teacher from Beit Hanina

Fuad Abu Hamed, a Jerusalemite social activist from sur baher

Join us for a conversation about life in Jerusalem during the pandemic and travel from one side of the city to the other. Hear about the most burning topics on the East Jerusalem agenda, and some thoughts about the city’s future

The event will take place on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 at 7 PM Jerusalem time (GMT+2).


The link will be sent out on the morning of the event.




The City of David Visitors Center

Here we will meet the tour guide, look at the site and its features, hear about the establishment of the ”City of David” Visitors Center in the early 2000s, and learn about the effects of establishing an archaeological tourist site on the surrounding area.

Observation point

Walking up to an observation point we will become acquainted with the surroundings: the village of Silwan, the Kidron Valley, the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif, and more. Here we will discuss the boundaries of Jerusalem throughout its various historical periods as well as the history of archaeological research of ancient Jerusalem. We will touch on the importance of Silwan / City of David in the struggle for identity and sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The archaeological excavation known as ''King David's Palace'' located below the visitors center

In this stop we will review the archaeological excavations conducted here and provide a description of the most prominent finds that were exposed. This will be followed be a discussion of the various interpretations presented by the excavators and researchers about the finds revealed here, and of the gaps between the finds and the narrative told to visitors at the site. Finally, we address the political impact of the ancient story on the present, and the importance of archaeology in shaping identity.

Area G excavations

The major remains that were discovered here during the various periods are presented in the excavation area known as the Government Compound. Through them we will try to get to know the city and its inhabitants during the time of the Kingdom of Judah. We will discuss the question of what can and cannot be learned about the past from archaeology in addition to current issues: who are the El’ad Foundation and the Nature and Parks Authority that manage the site?

Wadi Hilweh Street

We will leave the ”City of David” via the main street of the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan, look at the characteristics of daily life in the neighborhood, and learn about the changes that have taken place in the wake of the settlers’ entry. We will discuss the possibility of engaging and presenting archaeology in charged sites such as Silwan, how ancient relics can promote understanding between conflicting parties, and how communities can be integrated into managing sites located in their area.

The ''Givati Parking Lot'' archaeological excavation area

We will review the important finds that were discovered in this excavation and discuss the previous uses of this formerly open area. We will also deal with the Kedem Center, a tourism shopping mall that is about to be built on top of the excavation, and discuss the connections between residents’ needs, archaeology, narrative, and the political struggle over Jerusalem.

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